2024 Community and Business Excellence Awards

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Foodie Heaven, a family-operated restaurant on First Ave, is the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year for 2024.

Foodie Heaven was nominated for their excellent customer service and continuously improving communication and service. According to the nomination package, “Guests are encouraged to share their feedback, contributing to the restaurant’s commitment to the cost and improvement. From the outset, patrons have praised the delicious food, impeccable service and warm family atmosphere.”

The owners were not in attendance to accept the award.

The second top prize, Business Person of the Year, went to Ryan Hinds of Silver King Helicopters.

He said he felt privileged to receive the award.

“I feel a bit guilty because our team makes me look good,” he said. “The whole team should win. It is a big team effort.”

Hinds was nominated for his transformative impact on the local economy and community.

His commitment to safety, excellence and service and dedication to environmental sustainability exemplified Leadership and Innovation making him a beacon of inspiration and progress, his nominators wrote.

It was a night of sparkle in Smithers March 9 as the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 2024 Community and Business Excellence Awards at the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge.

The awards are a way to recognize excellence, outstanding achievements and the hardworking businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profit service groups in the region, according to the Chamber.

This year, the theme was to celebrate: “Smithers District Chamber’s 100th Anniversary Centennial. Fancy and Formal: Celebrating the Roaring 1920s in the 20s.”

As a nod to the theme, the Chamber presented a special “Centennial Award to The Interior News as the longest-standing Chamber member. The original publisher of The Interior News was L.B. Warner, one of the founding members of the organization.

Current publisher Grant Harris felt honoured to receive the award.

“That came as a complete surprise to me,” Harris said.

The Chamber also presented another non-annual special award to Carman Graf, who is a former mayor of both the Town of Smithers and Village of Telkwa.

The David McKenzie Community Booster Award is presented to a person who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to improving the community.

The ballroom was full of glitz and glamour to celebrate the chamber’s centennial with many attendees dressed in 1920s-style.

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach hosted the event.

Winners

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Foodie Heaven

BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

Ryan Hinds, Silver King Helicopters

CITIZEN / VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Brandy Hughes

CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE – BUSINESS

Freelance Automotive

CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE – INDIVIDUAL

Avi Ranjan, Panago

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

Brennan Anderson, Telkwa Elementary School

FAMILY FRIENDLY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Smokescreen Graphics & Embroidery

HOME-BASED BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Riverside Kitchen

MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO ARTS & CULTURE

Smithers Art Gallery

PUBLIC SERVICE EXCELLENCE

BC Wildfire

TOURISM EXCELLENCE

Hudson Bay Mountain Resort

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Shannon West, Steller Jay Coffee

ZERO WASTE CIRCULAR ECONOMY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Out of Hand

READ MORE: Nature’s Pantry named Smithers District business of the year

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