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Sault Chamber celebrates business leaders

Hundreds celebrated 'difference makers' at 2023 Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce recognized businesses across the community during their annual Outstanding Business Achievement Awards show at the Machine Shop on Mar. 25, 2023.

The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) celebrated its annual Outstanding Business Achievement Awards on Saturday at the Machine Shop.

Recognizing 'difference makers' in the community, the Chamber awarded 24 trophies to businesses in the community that showcase innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

Algoma Technology Solutions won two awards — the Beyond Sault Ste. Marie award and Business of the Year award (up to 50 employees) —and consultant Nesta Blackwood was incredibly appreciative to receive the recognition.

“I’ve seen how much work these guys have put in,” he said. “It’s a true reflection and a strong representation of the team. This shows we’re going in the right direction and onto bigger things.”

Receiving their first award, Thrive Tours co-owners Brad Robinson and Amanda Cora were thrilled with how the night went.

“We’ve really persevered in this community, and we’ve established some great connections and partnerships,” he says. “It makes us feel like we have something to work and strive towards.”

Emotional during their acceptance speech for the President’s Award, Erica Hogan of Hogan’s Homestead shared her appreciation for the partnership with her husband Spencer. 

“We started this company on a crazy dream with $200,” she said. “Being in business with your partner isn’t easy, and somehow we do it. I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else besides my husband.”

Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed drinks, treats, and other refreshments.

Award recipients:

  • The Safe Work, Sound Business award – Health and Safety Professionals Inc.
  • Employer of the Year award – Tulloch Engineering
  • Customer First award – Ken Currie of Arthur Funeral Home-Barton & Kiteley Chapel
  • Diversity award – Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation
  • Community Investment award (up to 50 employees) – Entomica Insectarium
  • Community Investment award (50+ employees) – McDougall Energy Inc.  
  • Innovation Award – The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre 
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year award – Shawna Mornix of Kickstart Mental Health
  • Downtown Business of the Year award – Fit Bodies. Fit Minds. 
  • Beyond Sault Ste. Marie award – Algoma Technology Solutions
  • Customer First award (business, non-profit or agency) – Hogan’s Homestead 
  • Indigenous Business of the Year award – PLATO
  • Community Non-Profit Business of the Year award – Entomica Insectarium
  • Rising Star New Business award – Thrive Tours
  • Indigenous Professional of the Year award – Teddy Syrette (Ozhawa Anung Kwe) of 2Spirit Anishnabe Storytelling & Advocacy
  • Leader in Accessibility award – Hiawatha Highlands
  • Business of the Year award (up to 50 employees) – Algoma Technology Solutions  
  • Business of the Year award (50+ employees) – ARAUCO - North America - Sault Ste. Marie Operations
  • Social Purpose and Environmental, Social and Governance award – Algoma Power Inc. (inaugural recipient)
  • Economic Impact award (individual) – Dr. Ron Common (inaugural recipient)
  • Economic Impact award (business) – Algoma Steel (inaugural recipient)
  • Skipper Manzzutti award for business achievement – Terry Rainone
  • Paul Dalseg Community Achievement award – Joseph Greco of Willson Greco Hagan Law Firm LLP, and I.D.A. Drug Marts / Orano Ltd.
  • Sault Ste. Marie Chamber Of Commerce President’s award – Erica & Spencer Hogan of Hogan’s Homestead

— SooToday