Chamber, businesses come together to celebrate local success stories

October 2, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

Celebrating the success of local businesses is more than awards and speeches. It’s about mutual support and respect. It’s about being part of a very large family.
The King Chamber of Commerce held its annual Excellence in Business Awards Dinner last week, honouring the efforts of local entrepreneurs.
Mayor Steve Pellegrini likened the event to a “family dinner. He praised the incredible partnership the Chamber and Township have fostered over the years. Council and staff wholeheartedly support local businesses and the concept of shopping locally. This level of support and cooperation makes King a special place, and “awesome place”?to live, work and play.
Chamber president Angelo Santorelli said he’s enjoyed his term as president and being part of this local success story. Chamber membership continues to grow, members are engaged, and events are all well attended. This dinner was perhaps the most successful to date. New businesses continue to come to King.
The awards dinner is a way to help Chamber members connect with one another and the community. It’s great to gather and celebrate one another’s accomplishments.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards.
The Excellence in Small?Business Award (1-10 employees), is given to a company that exhibits attributes of community involvement and commitment to the development of business in King Township.
The award went to Dr. Melisa Sigarusa, of Nobleton Optometry. The award was presented by sponsor Sean Stephens of TreeFrog.
Dr. Siragusa, owner and Optometrist of Nobleton Optometry. opened her doors for business in November 2014. She graduated with an honours bachelor of science degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2008 and went on to receive her doctorate of optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in 2012. She worked with eye physician and surgeon Dr. Fadi Calotti, where she gained valuable experience with pre and postoperative care. She also spent time working in long-term care facilities providing on site eye care until she decided to find a location to begin her own service and started looking for an optometry practice for sale within the area.
Nobleton optometry is a full service clinic, including an optical boutique & equipped with all the latest technology.
The Excellence in Large Business Award (15 employees and up) goes to a company that supports business owners and the community through participation and sponsorship of both community and business activities.
Sponsored by Seneca College, the award went to Country?Day School, represented by Kim Sillcox.
Situated on a 100-acre campus among the rolling hills of King Township, The Country Day School is a leading JK-12 co-ed, non-denominational independent school. Since 1972, the dynamic and friendly CDS community has been nurturing student talent and fulfilling promise. Their innovative approach to learning integrates leading-edge technology, sophisticated facilities and exceptional teaching. They offer a superior educational experience that is sensitive to individual needs, enables learning and equips students for life. Emphasizing education with balance, CDS provides diverse opportunities in academics, athletics, and visual and performing arts.
Plus, students of all ages also love to explore the sprawling campus for outdoor education activities. This is a place of possibilities where students unearth their passions and everyone feels known, supported and inspired.
King Township sponsors the Sustainable King Award, which goes to a business that participates in environmental leadership on a personal and/or professional ongoing basis. This business shows a commitment to the environment through their actions and ongoing efforts to educate, inform, and lead by example demonstrating environmental leadership and responsibility.
Mayor Steve Pellegrini presented the award to Andre Flys, owner of Pioneer Brand Honey &?Maple.
Flys is a life-long King resident and started as a third generation hobbyist beekeeper. Both his father and his grandfather also kept bees as a hobby. His grandfather, Charles Sauriol received the Order of Canada for a lifetime of conservation initiatives. That led Andre to chair the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust for a time in the early 2000s. Andre was the first in his family to keep bees on a commercial scale.
“I’ve always been around bees,” said Andre. “I got my first colony in my early 20s and helped my dad out before that. It was a hobby. I was in the printing business and it started scaling back – and the honey started growing.” Andre and family now run between 400 and 500 colonies of bees (that’s tens of millions of honey bees) and sells maple syrup and hive products out of their farm gate store, Pioneer Brand Honey in Nobleton. Andre also serves on the Ontario Beekeepers Association and has been a board member since 2014. He plays an active role in education, research and advocacy for beekeepers.
The Excellence in New Business Award recognizes a business that has been established for a minimum of 2 years and has demonstrated notable achievements within King such as growth, customer service, innovative ideas, community involvement.
Sponsored by King Auto Repairs Service (KARS), the award went to Forest Hill Elite, and Manuela Palermo.
Manuela has been passionate with everything real estate related since she was 18. Her years of sales and real estate experience, a mortgage broker licence, along with a background in finance, development projects, property management and trading both in residential and commercial properties, have given her the confidence, skill and expertise to excel. Manuela’s strong leadership skills and passion to share her knowledge and experience with her fellow industry professionals lead her to a new chapter in her career, opening and introducing the prestigious Forest Hill Real Estate brand in King City servicing all of York Region. She is also currently undergoing the expansion of Forest Hill Elite to a new location in Vaughan. Manuela sits on the board of directors of the King Chamber and heavily involves herself within the community.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to an individual with vision, creating a unique business that may accomplish an outcome that changes the way business has been done until they created their manner of practice. They show growth in their business and overcome obstacles while creating a special niche within their business sector.
Sponsored by Foley Restoration, the award went to Joshua Speers, of Speers Creative.
Josh is the driving force behind Speers Creative, a branding and design agency located on historic Main Street in Schomberg. Prior to entering the design and media industry, Josh spent 7 years traveling around the world, exploring different cultures and gaining an extensive understanding and appreciation for the arts. His passions led him to earn a theatre degree in Norway, act on stage and television, perform live music and even release a record. As Speers Creative continues to grow and expand its services, Josh takes great pride in helping a wide range of companies with their design and marketing, including many local businesses in and around his hometown of Schomberg. Using his knowledge of the arts industry and combining it with his design and marketing skills, Josh is able to effectively collaborate with his clients to create a truly original experience for each and every one.
The People’s Choice?Award is for a registered business in King Township, that has been established for a minimum of 3 years and is in retail or the service industry. The business has shown outstanding customer service, growth, best business practices and community involvement. This category is open to the public for nominations and the business does not have to be a member of the Chamber
The King Weekly Sentinel has sponsored this award from the beginning and this year it went to Locale. On hand receiving the award was Roman Facciponte.
Lilly Vona and her family are 10-year King residents and she fell in love with the 150-year-old Crawford Wells building on Keele in King City. It became home to Locale. As a restaurateur and caterer, she wanted to open a “locale” in her own neighborhood that offered not only a gathering place but quality driven Italian focused cuisine.
Locale started as a take-out and catering kitchen before renovations to the main building began. Locale isn’t just a place to eat food and leave. You can enjoy dinner or just drinks in the upstairs lounge where old Italian movies are playing (when hockey isn’t). They offer excellent live entertainment in lounge and also on the patio. They have expanded and also operate another restaurant in Aurora.



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