TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Diane Peters accepts the business builder award on behalf of her husband Gord Peters, owner of Cando Contracting, during the Brandon Chamber of Commerce Small Business Week kickoff luncheon at the Keystone Centre on Monday.
When Cando Contracting was founded in 1978, the fledgling company consisted of just two employees. Now, 34 years later, Cando has grown into a $50-million company that employs more than 300 people.
Brandon Chamber of Commerce past-president Cam Clark, left, presents Marc Watt and Darren Brick, directors of Elite Safety Services, with the entrepreneur of the year award during the chamber’s Small Business Week kickoff Luncheon on Monday. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Peter Bjornson, centre, Manitoba’s minister of entrepreneurship, training and trade, poses for a photo with Wawanesa Mutual Insurance representative Glenn McGregor and Christie’s Office Plus owner Don Green after they were presented with the new century business recognition award for operating in Manitoba for more than 100 years. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Brandon Sun sales and marketing director Glen Parker and Brandon Chamber of Commerce general manager Carolyn Cancade show off their certificates commemorating 130 years in business. The certificates were received at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce lunch Monday. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Founder and president Gord Peters is this year’s recipient of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious business builder award.
"Gord realized many years ago that the strength and future of the company depends on the people within the organization," said chamber past-president Cam Clark.
"With this in mind, in 1996 he created an employee ownership program, and currently over 150 employees are also corporate shareholders. This has developed a strong, loyal, hard-working team at Cando."
The business builder award was designed to recognize an individual who has contributed to Brandon’s success through a lifetime commitment to business and community service.
Cando supplies specialized services, quality materials and innovative solutions to customers in the rail sector and to those industries that depend on the movement of bulk materials.
Peters was away on business, so his wife Diane Peters accepted the award on his behalf at the Small Business Week kickoff luncheon at the Keystone Centre on Monday.
"We’re honoured to thank the chamber for this award and Gord will continue on building — which he is right now, away with a group doing some more business," Diane said. "Thank you to the chamber and to the city for making this just such a great place to do business and be a part of."
Meanwhile, Elite Safety Services Inc. was the recipient of the chamber of commerce’s outstanding entrepreneur of the year award.
The Manitoba-based company provides safety training and services for workplaces primarily in industrial and energy sectors.
"After incorporating in October of 2008, this local company expanded to regularly provide service throughout the province of Manitoba, in Saskatchewan as well as into western parts of the country," Clark said.
The company’s directors, Marc Watt and Darren Brick, accepted the award together.
"To say that we’re honoured to receive this recognition would be an understatement," Watt said.
Watt said when they first started offering safety courses, the intent of the business was to deliver firefighting and rescue programs.
"We were quick to recognize the need for similar courses and services throughout the construction and industrial sectors," Watt said.
The company has grown significantly over the years.
"We’ve taught our participants to self-rescue and rappel off wind turbines at 280 feet in the air," Watt said.
"They know now how to help a co-worker who has fallen off the roof and is hanging in their harness. We assess the hazards of the work location and recommend the equipment and procedures to help."
Peter Bjornson, Manitoba’s minister of entrepreneurship, training and trade, also presented two Westman businesses with the Manitoba century business recognition award — Christie’s Office Plus and Wawanesa Mutual Insurance.
The new program was developed to "celebrate and recognize entrepreneurs, families and businesses who have operated and served in Manitoba for 100 years."
Brandon Chamber of Commerce recognized its members celebrating milestone anniversaries. All businesses were to be awarded a certificate of achievement.
130 years in business
• The Brandon Sun
• Reesor's Jewellery
• Brandon Chamber of Commerce
105 years in business
• YWCA of Brandon
85 years in business
• Leech Printing Ltd.
80 years in business
• Kullberg’s Furniture Store
75 years in business
• United Way of Brandon & District
60 years in business
• Crocus Credit Union
50 years in business
• AAA Alarm Systems Ltd.
• McCallum Jewellers
• Pik - A - Dilly RV Centre
• Thunderbird Bowl & Huggy's Restaurant & Sports Bar
35 years in business
• CKLQ Radio
30 years in business
• Fowler Hyundai
• New Beginnings Intimate Apparel
• People's Market Place
25 years in business
• Hardy Electric Ltd.
• J & M Window and Door Company
15 years in business
• Colleen & Co. Hair Studio
• Days Inn
• InfoMetrics Incorporated
10 years in business
• Remington's Seafood & Steakhouse
• Wheat City Journal
5 years in business
• Blinds By Anita
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 16, 2012