May 20, 2019

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Pardy named Business Person of the Year

Rhonda Pardy has spent 18 years parlaying Brandonites’ love of coffee and donuts into business success.

She was recognized on Thursday evening as the Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year.

The Tim Hortons franchisee received the award several years after her father, Merv Dillabough, was recognized with the same award for managing Brandon’s south end Canadian Tire.

Pardy said she was inspired by her father’s 1995 award and made it her goal to follow in his footsteps with a win of her own.

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Rhonda Pardy has spent 18 years parlaying Brandonites’ love of coffee and donuts into business success.

She was recognized on Thursday evening as the Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year.

Rhonda Pardy is pictured with the 2019 Business Person of the Year award she received from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. (Chelsea Kemp/The Brandon Sun)

Rhonda Pardy is pictured with the 2019 Business Person of the Year award she received from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. (Chelsea Kemp/The Brandon Sun)

The Tim Hortons franchisee received the award several years after her father, Merv Dillabough, was recognized with the same award for managing Brandon’s south end Canadian Tire.

Pardy said she was inspired by her father’s 1995 award and made it her goal to follow in his footsteps with a win of her own.

"It was something that I strived for. When he passed in 2011, I didn’t think it was so important to me because I really wanted to make him proud, but it turns out that it is. … It’s a huge achievement for me."

The award is given out by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce each year and recognizes a local business person for outstanding business practices and for their work giving back to the community.

Pardy owns Tim Hortons restaurants in Brandon, Neepawa, Virden and Moosomin, Sask. — eight in total. She was also responsible for bringing the first location to Brandon, which opened on 18th Street in November 2001. The city’s second location opened six months later on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Over the past 18 years of building the brand in the community, she has seen both Tim Hortons and Westman change.

"The city has really diversified," she said. "We have employees from every nationality and every language. … So have people with handicaps, I think I have five deaf people who work for me. So as our city changes, so are we and we’re adapting to it and we have great support from our entire community."

Brandon Chamber of Commerce president Jeff Hood said Pardy was given the award this year for her community involvement and the charity work she does in the city.

"It’s hard work to be able to do the things that you do to run any type of business and to have the amount of giving back that she and her family have in the community, it made perfect sense."

Brandon didn’t have a Timbits hockey or soccer program until Pardy and her Tim Hortons franchises helped start it. She said knowing that kids get to play sports who wouldn’t otherwise be able to makes her happy.

Pardy also volunteers at Helping Hands soup kitchen and sits on the board. Pardy says she is gratified that two of her employees serve lunch there on a weekly basis and she has been able to pass on the giving spirit. It’s something instilled in her by her parents.

"It was an understanding that we grew up with that if you have the privilege of doing business and being successful and you have your community supporting you, then it’s your obligation to give back. … I think that’s the thing that fills me up."

The restaurants have also created hundreds of jobs in the community. From single mothers to new Canadians, Pardy’s restaurants have given many a starting place and a chance to grow their careers. Pardy said it has been "really fun" to help people develop and watch them become successful.

Now on the verge of opening up a ninth restaurant at the corner of First Street and Richmond Avenue, it’s another chance to help grow the city and the people in it.

"It’s a discussion we had around the table even taking the ninth restaurant. ‘Are you guys up for this? Who would like to be in charge, who’s going to manage?’ We have gotten a lot on board who want to, so I think it certainly solidifies what we’re doing and we’re doing it well and we’ll continue to do it."

While it was a long road to getting Tim Hortons established in Brandon at first, Pardy said she’s proud of how far she has come and the impact the restaurants have had in the area. She’s also grateful for the help she had along the way and her own mentors.

"I have had a lot of support and of course no one influenced me more than my own father. … To continue growing and even the self-confidence to continue growing and investing in our city."

"Now I take pride in the fact that I feel like I’m doing that to new people around me as well."

» dmay@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @DrewMay_

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