Best of busi­ness saluted with awards

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - IAN MACALPINE imacalpine@post­ twit­

It was a night to cel­e­brate lo­cal busi­ness on Thurs­day evening at the Greater Kingston Cham­ber of Com­merce 23rd an­nual Busi­ness Achieve­ment Awards.

More than 300 peo­ple at­tended the gala at the Four Points by Sher­a­ton, where awards were given out in nine busi­ness cat­e­gories.

The lo­cal busi­nesses are nom­i­nated by their cus­tomers, clients, staff and peers for the an­nual Busi­ness Achieve­ment Awards, a news re­lease from the cham­ber said.

Nom­i­na­tions are eval­u­ated by a group of peers from the Kingston busi­ness com­mu­nity who eval­u­ate the busi­ness’s or per­son’s cus­tomer and em­ployee re­la­tions, busi­ness growth, busi­ness stan­dards and ethics, and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment.

Fol­low­ing are the award win­ners:

• The In­no­va­tion Award: The KEYS Job Cen­tre

KEYS Job Cen­tre is a com­mu­nity-based or­ga­ni­za­tion with an ex­per­tise in em­ploy­ment ser­vices for 35 years. It has more than 30 pro­grams for youth and stu­dent em­ploy­ment, and as­sists ma­ture work­ers, im­mi­grants, job seek­ers, per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties, as well as em­ploy­ers. It has a staff of more than 70 em­ploy­ees at two lo­ca­tions in Kingston as well as lo­ca­tions in Gananoque, El­gin and Smiths Falls.

• Tourism/Hos­pi­tal­ity Award: Im­prob­a­ble Es­capes Inc.

Since June 2015, Im­prob­a­ble Es­capes has been pro­vid­ing es­cape room ex­pe­ri­ences. Orig­i­nally a two-per­son op­er­a­tion, Im­prob­a­ble Es­capes has evolved into a team of 17 artists, de­sign­ers and per­form­ers. Its fa­cil­ity of­fers four in­door es­cape rooms and two out­door ad­ven­tures, with a fifth in­door game com­ing soon.

• New Busi­ness of the Year: FabCut Sys­tems Inc.

Fab-Cut Sys­tems, which opened in Jan­uary 2017 with five em­ploy­ees, is fam­ily owned by Rene and Lau­rie Barnes. Now the com­pany has 10 full-time and two part-time em­ploy­ees as well as two tran­si­tional mil­i­tary vet­er­ans work­ing out of its two Jus­tus Drive lo­ca­tions. Fab-Cut makes CNC plasma cut­ting ta­bles. Most of Fab-Cut’s sales con­sist of leads de­vel­oped us­ing a so­cial me­dia and in­ter­net mar­ket­ing fo­cus.

• Small Busi­ness of the Year, 1-10 Em­ploy­ees: Ac­tive Or­tho­pe­dic So­lu­tions

Ac­tive Or­tho­pe­dic So­lu­tions Inc., founded in 2006, of­fers or­thotic and brac­ing ser­vices in Kingston. It has two full-ser­vices clin­ics and two satel­lite oper­a­tions. It fab­ri­cates or­thoses, braces and sup­ports for the en­tire hu­man body, and it­snew Prov­i­dence Care Hos­pi­tal clinic pro­vides ser­vices to both in and out­pa­tients.

• Medium Busi­ness of the Year, 11-34 Em­ploy­ees: Auto Ser­vice Kingston

Auto Ser­vice Kingston opened in 2012. Since then, it has ex­panded from two to 11 em­ploy­ees and from three to nine ser­vice bays at its new lo­ca­tion at 66 Har­vey St.

• Large Busi­ness of the Year, 34-plus Em­ploy­ees: Di­a­mond Ho­tels Man­age­ment Inc.

Di­a­mond Ho­tels Man­age­ment Inc. op­er­ates prop­er­ties in Kingston and Sault Ste. Marie, em­ploy­ing 260 peo­ple, de­pend­ing on the sea­son. Its brands in­clude the Delta Ho­tels by Mar­riott Kingston Water­front, AquaTerra, Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press and Suites Kingston, Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press Sault Ste. Marie and Ra­mada by Wyn­d­ham Kingston Ho­tel and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre.

• Young En­tre­pre­neur of the Year: Jor­dan Mi­lani of iGuide

Mi­lani runs a grow­ing real es­tate mar­ket­ing ser­vice. He was also a video pro­ducer be­fore tran­si­tion­ing and re­fo­cus­ing his ef­forts to launch iGuide in 2016, a ser­vice of­fer­ing 3D vir­tual tours of real es­tate prop­er­ties.

• Busi­ness Per­son of the Year: Rick Kramer, Mi­croAge Kingston

Kramer has owned Mi­croAge since 2010. Mi­croAge has main­tained top-line rev­enue through new rev­enue streams, nearly dou­bled its work­force, and in­creased net prof­its by more than 350 per cent. It is one of the top 50 IT Com­pa­nies in Canada and are ranked of 357 of the top 500 world­wide.

• Chair’s Award: Nancy Car­di­nal, Digi­graph­ics

Cham­ber chair Melody Knott se­lected Car­di­nal for the award due to her con­tin­u­ous and con­sis­tent gen­eros­ity, which is spread across many lo­cal events, busi­ness part­ner­ships, char­i­ties and com­mu­nity aware­ness. Car­di­nal sup­ports a wide va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives and as well has cre­ated a not-for-profit/co-op-style women’s ex­er­cise class and healthy con­nec­tions club called the Con­nect Fit Club.

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