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Chamber celebrates Best Business Awards

By Robin Dudgeon, Portage Daily Graphic

The best and brightest in Portage la Prairie were honoured Thursday night during the Best Business and Community Volunteer Awards Gala held at the William Glesby Centre.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Lupkowski, Mayor Earl Porter, and MLA Ian Wishart before guests were served a dinner catered by Bill’s Sticky Fingers.

Former Portage and District Arts Centre executive director Jean Armstrong was recognized as the Arts Person of the Year; since she has retired to Thunder Bay, Ont. her award was accepted on her behalf by Chamber executive director Cindy McDonald.

The Youth Volunteer of the Year Awards was given to tireless PAWS volunteer Julia Arndt. Julia’s mother Jill accepted the award on her behalf as Julia is attending school in Prince Edward Island.

Guy Moffatt was awarded Citizen of the Year for his tireless work in many, many different community projects including the Portage Community Revitalization Corporation (PCRC), the Rotary Club, the Royal Bank, and many other groups.

“I am completely blown away. It is a huge honour to get that sort of recognition in this community,” said Moffatt following the awards. “I think Portage is the best city in Manitoba and in Canada. It’s the place I choose to live and I have just been raised to believe that your role as a citizen is to try to make your community a better place to live in, and I just work to do that.”

Among the businesses and business executives that were honoured were Chris Bures of CHB Developments, Allan Dillabough of Canadian Tire, the folks at Portage Mutual Insurance, and Mark Moon and Jack Meseyton of EF Moon Construction.

“It’s nice to see that we are recognized for what we do. It’s a tough haul doing infill housing and trying to renew neighbourhoods. It’s nice to see when there are families in these homes and it’s a vibrant community again. It really makes you feel good,” said Bures.

Meseyton said that EF Moon’s long term success has much to do with its loyal employees, some of whom have been with the company for 30 years.

“We are accepting it not just for Mark and I it’s for the former owners and for our employees. Companies don’t last 50 years without having loyal employees,” said Meseyton. “It’s been a pretty strong good company to work for for a lot of years and so we’re proud to carry on the tradition.”

The evening wrapped up guest speaker John Hindle, the former general manager of the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Community Volunteer Awards

Arts Person of the Year: Jean Armstrong

Youth Volunteer of the Year: Julia Arndt

Citizen of the Year: Guy Moffatt

Best Business Awards

Outstanding Small Business of the Year: CHB Developments

Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Business: Portage Mutual Insurance

Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Business Executive: Allan Dillabough of Canadian Tire

Long Term Achievement by a Business: EF Moon Construction


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