The decision by the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce to hold its 2009 Business of the Year Awards at Red Deer College proved to be a fortuitous one for Stantec Consulting Ltd.
The company needed a platform as big as the Arts Centre Mainstage to accommodate the approximately 30 staff members who stepped forward to accept the Business of the Year Award on Friday evening.
Leading them was Russ Wlad, Stantec’s vice-president for Central and Northern Alberta.
Wlad stressed the importance of the people standing behind him, and the others who make up Stantec’s local workforce of more than 130. Those people, he said, are active participants in local activities, including charitable pursuits.
“We really enjoy what we do, we enjoy the work, but even more we enjoy being part of the community.”
Stantec provides design and consulting services in planning, architecture, landscaping, building, transportation, environmental engineering and land development.
Sending smaller delegations forward were Rocky Mountain Phoenix and 53rd Street Music, which were named Medium Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year, respectively.
Howard Bradley, one of the partners in Rocky Mountain Phoenix, suggested that they should have followed Stantec’s example when accepting the award.
“Our staff should be here with us because they’re the backbone of what our organization is all about.”
With more than 40 full-time staff, Rocky Mountain Phoenix manufactures, sells and repairs emergency vehicles, including fire trucks. It employs about two dozen people in Red Deer, with others spread across Western Canada and at another facility in Abbotsford, B.C.
Richard Chabot of 53rd Street Music also stressed the importance of employees during a company bio that preceded the presentation of the Small Business of the Year to him and his brother Ron. He added that customer service has also been a key to their music store’s success.
“We’re probably not going to grow much greater than what we are, but we can get better at what we do and provide better service.
“I think the community’s small enough that a customer service approach goes a long way.”
Other finalists in the 2009 Business of the Year Awards were the Capri Hotel, Trade & Convention Centre, and the North Hill Save-On-Foods store.
Also in the running for Medium Business of the Year were Chatters Canada and Strata Energy, and rounding out the field in the Small Business of the Year category were Wallah Signs and One to 1 Fitness.
Winners were selected based on a number of factors, including customer service, growth, awards, innovation, community contribution and future expectations.
Last year’s winners were Red Deer Co-op as Business of the Year, True-Line Contracting as Medium Business of the Year and Gorts Truckwash as Small Business of the Year.