It was a packed house at the Stettler Community Hall as local businessmen and women and their families gathered to celebrate their own at the annual Stettler Business and Citizenship Awards Gala.
The Thursday, Oct. 22 gala was warm and cozy inside the hall even as skies glowered and rained outdoors, dampening the coats, but not the spirits, of the gathered celebrants. The good mood was further fuelled by an open bar by the Royal Bank, wine by Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort, and a delicious catered buffet dinner.
Q93.3’s Alex Mykyta was master of ceremonies for the annual event, his radio-ready voice cutting through the babble of the crowd with the help of the sound system. Greetings were brought by MP Kevin Sorenson, MLA Rick Strankman, town Deputy Mayor Will Brown and county Reeve Wayne Nixon on behalf of their respective governments.
Before the handing of the awards started, Jason Werhun, a comedian-magician, entertained the room with his blend of ridiculous humour and sleight-of-hand, aptly judging and interacting with the crowd. He was well received, with the room bursting into laughter and applause several times.
While many of the award winners were announced prior to the evening, several businesses were waiting to hear if they were the winner in the New Business of the Year, Business of the Year, and Small Business of the Year categories.
Hackers Indoor Golf and Lounge took the coveted New Business of the Year award, beating out fellow nominees Central Vision and Hearing and Goodsense Health and Happiness Boutique. The business, which opened this past June, has continued to expand as business has been booming.
Lorna Sinclair, who alongside Ike Lang opened the business, said being nominated was a “surprise for all of us.”
“It’s an honour to be nominated, to win,” she said. “Everyone’s been so wonderful.”
It was a sentiment shared by Byron Geddes, who along with his family re-opened the Jewel Theatre after its closure last year.
“When the Jewel’s doors closed, it left a hole in the community,” award presenter Sean O’Hara said.
The Jewel Theatre won the Small Business of the Year Award, beating out fellow nominees Brennan Auto Body Repair and OK Tire and Auto Service.
“It’s been a year for us now,” Geddes said. “It’s been exciting. The other nominees were just as deserving.”
The Business of the Year Award was between the Stettler Veterinary Clinic and SolutionCorp. Unsurprising after its Profit500 success earlier this year, SolutionCorp took the prize.
“We’ve had a great five years,” said Dean Lovell of his business, which recently placed 127 on the Canadian Profit500 list, said. “It’s not just us. Thank you to all our staff.”
Citizens of the YearThe male and female citizen of the year were joined by the new Youth Citizen of the Year award, which went to Tennille Day Chief of Big Valley.
The teenager was a shy, reticent girl, presenter Stacey Benjamin said, until she began competing in pageants. The competitions, and its community service element, seemed to light the girl’s passions on fire.
“Inspiration comes from within,” Benjamin said. “(Day Chief) inspires other youths to believe in themselves.”
Day Chief thanked the community for its continued support, noting that, “I wouldn’t have been able to get as far as I did without your help.”
Female Citizen of the Year went to Jenny Holubetz, who moved to Stettler in 1973 and immediately dug into the community.
“She always had time for children in the community,” presenter Rose Wisner said.
Through her work with the Royal Purple Elks, the United Church, Superfluity and other service organizations and committees, in addition to youth-oriented activities, Holubetz has become known as one of those individuals who could be relied upon to help another, Wisner said.
Musician, businessman and Rotarian Scott Pfeiffer was named Stettler’s Citizen of the Year for his long contributions to the community.
He took over the family business, Pfeiffer’s House of Music, and has used his love of music to become involved in many causes in the community. Whether it’s supplying sound support to a charitable gathering, performing music alone or as part of the Jazz Guys, or bringing the weight of the Rotary Club to tackle a community project, Pfeiffer has been there, presenter Penny Tash said.
Over the years, Pfeiffer has been part of the Variety Showcase, served on the board of the Stettler Music Festival, organized “Stettler Idol,” and allowed Pfeiffer’s House of Music to be the Christmas Shoebox gathering point.
Pfeiffer served as president of the Rotary Club, just recently handing the reins over to the new president, name is what?. It was music that got him involved, that and his father being a Rotarian.
“Thank you,” Pfeiffer said. “Like Sean (Nolls, who earlier accepted an award), it’s hard to accept this award when there’s so many people who do good things in the community.”
Both Holubetz and Pfeiffer received standing ovations from the crowd.
- Recycling Excellence: Burmac Mechanical
- Learning in the Workplace: Central Alberta Co-Op
- Product and Innovation: Hornet Aerial Imaging
- Business Collaboration: Vortex Production Services, Score Projects, TKS Controls
- Customer Service: OK Tire and Auto Service
- Community Service: Sean’s No Frills
- Corporate Citizen of the Year: TD Canada Trust
- Stettler’s Best-Kept Secret: Stettler Hotel
- Stettler Ambassador: Canalta Stettler
- Heritage Award: Johnson Connor Agencies
- Employer of the Year: Metalex Metal Buildings
- New Business of the Year: Hackers Indoor Golf and Lounge
- Small Business of the Year: Jewel Theatre
- Business of the Year: SolutionCorp
- Youth Citizen of the Year: Tennile Day Chief
- Female Citizen of the Year: Jenny Holubetz
- Male Citizen of the Year: Scott Pfeiffer