Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Jason Ryll (left) and Williams Lake Stampede Association director Karen Gertzen (right) help ventriloquist Norma McKnight entertain during the Chamber’s 19th Annual Business Excellence Awards held Saturday at the Elks Hall. Ryll was also recipient of this year’s Hugo Stahl Memorial Award.

Awards highlight business excellence

Good food, and fun-filled entertainment and commentary complimented the Italian themed Business Excellence Awards Saturday.

Good food, and fun-filled entertainment and commentary complimented the Italian themed 2014 Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards held Saturday at the Elks Hall.

From grape vines lining the entrance way with lights to scenes from Italy posted around the lavishly decorated Elks Hall it was an evening to stop and celebrate local businesses, organizations and individuals.

With several references throughout the night to the Timber Kings — the HGTV 10-part series about Pioneer Log Homes — it was timely that Pioneer emerged as the winner of the Business of the Year Award.

Even entertainer Norma McNight, during her ventriloquist sketches, made several references to the Timber Kings.

“There’s no better place to live, work and play,” Pioneer Log Homes general manager André Chevigny said in his acceptance speech.

Yes the HGTV television series Timber Kings focuses on six principle players at Pioneer, but it’s also about a “ton of talented people behind the scenes from office folk to log peelers,” Chevigny said.

Equally as gracious was chamber president Jason Ryll, who was named winner of the Hugo Stahl Memorial Award.

“This was totally unexpected,” he said. “People who volunteer for the community don’t do it for themselves, we do it to make Williams Lake a better place.”

“This type of event is just what our community needs right now, this was a very successful and rewarding evening,” Ryll added.

The evening included a large silent auction and live auction with many items.


As attendees filed out a group of 4H youths and chaperones arrived to help the clean-up run smoothly.

Many businesses were nominated for the 2013 Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards and honoured at the banquet along with winners announced here.

Business of the Year,  Pioneer Log Homes; Hugo Stahl Memorial, Jason Ryll; Manufacturer of the Year,  West Fraser Mills; Newsmaker of the Year,  Williams Lake Stampeders; Food Services,  The Bean Counter Bistro and Coffee Shop; Hospitality/Tourism Award,  Williams Lake Stampede Association; Greatest Improvement,  Gibraltar Mine; Community Booster,  M&M Meat Shops; Customer Service, Total Ice Training Centre Ltd.


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