BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Kerry Campbell of C&C Construction Company Ltd. was named business person of the year by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce on Friday.
For his efforts in fostering a hugely successful local business and for his substantial community involvement, Kerry Campbell, president of C&C Construction Company Ltd., is this year’s business person of the year.
Presented by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the annual president’s award recognizes one outstanding business person in the Brandon community.
"Probably for a business person in Brandon, it’s the biggest honour you can receive," Campbell said.
C&C Construction, which now employs more than 60 people, is a water and sewer infrastructure business that has been family owned since 1957. Campbell has been working with the business since 1973 when he was first hired to manage the office and bookkeeping.
"I was given a golden opportunity because my father had started the business, so it was a whole lot easier for myself to get started," he said.
"I worked hard of course. If you’re part of a family business you have to work harder than if you weren’t family, it’s just expected of you."
Aside from running the successful 56-year-old family business, Campbell’s continuous efforts in community work hasn’t been overlooked by the Chamber.
Campbell was instrumental in the construction of the Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skate Plaza that opened in 2010 on the grounds of the former Prince Edward Hotel in Brandon’s downtown and is named in honour of his late son.
"Every time I drive by there, I get a big grin on my face," he said. "Everyone knows you go by there from early spring to late fall and it’s sure getting used."
As well, in an effort to keep the memory of his father alive, Campbell set up the Jim Campbell Memorial award at Assiniboine Community College more than 20 years ago.
C&C Construction employees are largely made up of ACC grads, and the scholarship is based on both academic and social merit.
"We wanted to set up a perpetual scholarship," he said. "And it lets my dad’s name go on forever."
The list of organizations Campbell is involved in is long, but his "pet charity" is Westman Dreams for Kids, which is essentially a localized version of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
He’s past-president of the organization, has served on the board for about 20 years and said he’ll stay involved in it for the rest of his life.
"For any charity I get involved in, my expertise is fundraising, that’s usually what I do," he said.
And he has also lent those skills to Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Salvation Army Adopt-a-family Christmas Hampers, to name a few.
The Chamber award, Campbell said, is so special because it’s given by local business peers, which he said is humbling.
"It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you’re recognized by the city as a whole, it’s very humbling."
The recipient is chosen by a business development committee that votes from nominations brought forward by the community.
"(C&C) has become a brand name in this area," said Nate Andrews, president of the Chamber.
"Not only has (Kerry) exemplified a business that’s grown tremendously in our area, but he’s exemplified a person that’s given back, probably more than he’s taken in."
Andrews said the benevolence of the people in Brandon keep local businesses alive and said it’s tremendously important to foster local names.
"A lot of the non-profits, the charities that get funded ... the real backbone of who makes our sports tick, putting names on the back of hockey jerseys and all that stuff that goes along with it, primarily you’re going to see a lot of those independent businesses involved."
Campbell was presented with the award during the 130th annual Brandon Chamber of Commerce dinner last night at the Keystone Centre.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 16, 2013