Up for an ABEX

Green Hill Lodge and Suites nominated for pro­vin­cial busi­ness award

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - FRONT PAGE - JASON KERR @ker­r_­jas • jason.kerr@pa­her­ald.sk.ca

Dur­ing the past year, Green Hill Lodge and Suites coown­ers Amir Ashraf and Al­lan Balan were too busy get­ting Green Hill Lodge and Suites up and run­ning to even think about awards.

It came as a pleas­ant sur­prise then when they were nominated for one.

The Prince Al­bert care home is one of six fi­nal­ists up for the New Ven­ture Award; one of 10 ABEX awards pre­sented an­nu­ally to the top busi­nesses in the prov­ince by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Com­merce. The recog­ni­tion has Ashraf and Balan beam­ing.

“To be named a fi­nal­ist is cer­tainly a thrill,” Balan said. “As a team, we’re very proud of the nom­i­na­tion.”

“Be­ing within the first year of our op­er­a­tion, to be con­sid­ered (for an ABEX) is huge for us, in terms of our busi­ness prac­tices and devel­op­ment,” Ashraf added.

Since tak­ing pos­ses­sion of the for­mer Pineview Ter­race Lodge in March 2015, Ashraf, Balan and their staff have worked tire­lessly to turn Green Hill Lodge and Suites into a wel­com­ing place.

Ashraf said it’s vi­tal that care homes pro­vide a com­pas­sion­ate and car­ing at­mos­phere in a quick and timely man­ner.

“Com­mu­ni­ca­tion with fam­i­lies is key,” he ex­plained. “It’s very im­por­tant and it needs to be con­ducted ef­fi­ciently.”

How­ever, pro­vid­ing that ser­vice hasn’t been easy. Balan said it was a chal­lenge to get the busi­ness off the ground, and they didn’t have a lot of time to do it in. In the end how­ever, it was worth it.

“We’ve taken a fa­cil­ity that was shut down—that was kind of given up on—and rather than bull­doze it, now it’s alive again,” Balan said. “It’s vi­brant. There are peo­ple out­side. The cot­tages are rented. Se­niors are com­ing. Fam­i­lies are vis­it­ing. It’s what I re­mem­bered it be­ing 20 years ago.”

Be­ing a fi­nal­ist is a proud mo­ment for the Green Hill Lodge staff, too. Di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions Zabi Nul­lah said it’s nice to their work rec­og­nized.

“It makes you feel much more con­fi­dant, and bet­ter, when your ef­forts are seen and some­body ac­knowl­edges you.”

Green Hill Lodge is the only Prince Al­bert busi­ness up for an ABEX award this year. Balan and Ashraf said they’re proud to rep­re­sent the com­mu­nity, and hope they can bring some pos­i­tive at­ten­tion to the area.

“It’s good to have recog­ni­tion for the city, (to show) that the city is mov­ing for­ward as well,” Balan said.

Green Hill Lodge and Suites is one of six fi­nal­ists for the New Ven­ture Award. The other five are Black Bridge Brew­ery from Swift Cur­rent, Buck­berger, Baerg & Part­ners LLP from Saska­toon, Queen City Ex­ca­vat­ing from Regina, and two War­man busi­nesses: War­man Phys­io­ther­apy & Well­ness, and War­man Small An­i­mal Hospi­tal.

The 2016 ABEX Awards will be pre­sented on Oct. 22 in Saska­toon.

JASON KERR/DAILY HER­ALD

A group of se­niors take part in an ex­er­cise class at Green Hill Lodge and Suites in Prince Al­bert. The care home was re­cently nominated for the New Ven­ture Award, to be pre­sented at the 2016 ABEX Awards in Oc­to­ber.

JASON KERR/DAILY HER­ALD

From left to right, Green Hill Lodges and Suites di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions Zabi Nul­lah, and co-own­ers Amir Ashraf and Al­lan Balan pose for a photo. All three say it’s ex­cit­ing to be rec­og­nized for an ABEX award.

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