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26th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence: Award Recipients Announced

Emcee - Chris Mei
Emcee Chris Mei presented the Oakville Awards of Excellence.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Oakville West presented the 26th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence virtually on Thursday, June 17th. The awards celebration recognized and honoured the outstanding contributions made by local businesses.

If you haven’t already, you can watch the awards presentation on the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page and website.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought its challenges and has been tough for many of our local businesses. This year, it is especially important to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary resilience our businesses exhibit in persevering through the pandemic. We are extremely proud of the wealth of outstanding businesses here in Oakville” said Doug Eglington, Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We congratulate the 25 businesses that were nominated and selected as finalists and the 11 award recipients.”

The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence accepts nominations from the Oakville community for eight judged award categories. Finalists in these categories were assessed on:

  • Business successes
  • Profile/Reputation
  • Innovation
  • Investment in the business
  • Business Practices

The recipients of the judged awards are:

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year

Virox Technologies Inc

Virox Technologies was established in Oakville over 20 years and has grown tremendously to be become a global leader in manufacturing and selling accelerated hydrogen peroxide – A robust, hospital-grade disinfectant used in the human and animal health markets. Their innovative products and safe disinfectant technology are effective against viruses and have been used in the hospital, food processing, education, and health care markets. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Virox Technologies has been committed to providing disinfectant solutions and protocols in combating outbreaks. With its strong reputation, innovation, growth and leadership in its market, Virox Technologies Inc. received the RBC Large Business of the Year award!

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Henderson Partners LLP Mid-size Business of the Year

Inovex Inc.

Helping businesses skillfully build technologies and custom software solutions to drive innovation and operational efficiency, this company constantly reimagines digital innovation. They use analytics and AI to predict then predict event such as patient injuries in hospitals, and displays this knowledge on a unified dashboard. This past year for the Ontario Government, Inovex Inc successfully created a digital supply and demand model and tool for PPE to assist LTC Homes, as well as Ontario-made PPE supply chains. For creating a healthier, safer and connected community Inovex Inc. received the Henderson Partners LLP Mid-Sized Business of the Year award!

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Bell Small Business of the Year 

ACE Coworking

The coworking space community has been hard hit by COVID-19, with most users opting to work from home, rather than shared office space. Against this, Nancy Fornasiero has shown exceptional entrepreneurial resilience and adaptability. Nancy saw a need to go beyond her physical environment and made the pivot to a value-added coworking ecosystem, that regenerated demand. By way of mentorship and idea-sharing, Nancy has built a community for her members and thus a sustainable business model during these challenging times.  ACE Coworking received the Bell Small Business of the Year award!

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP Professional Services Provider of the Year 

Institute for Hormonal Health

The Institute for Hormonal Health focuses on treating the root cause of the symptom, using a combination of natural remedies, modalities and cutting-edge technologies. The practice has experienced substantial growth, led by patient referrals who value a comprehensive process of care. Continuously expanding its services, IHH is committed to transforming the mind, body and spirit, critical to our true well-being. Dr. Kristy Prouse and the Institute for Hormonal Health was the recipient of the O’Connor MacLeod Hanna, LLP Professional Services Provider of the Year award.

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

The Morris Mercanti Service Industry of the Year

Core 1

Established in Oakville for 34 years, this company’s longstanding success is attributed to its comfortable atmosphere, personal assistance, and holistic “no pressure” approach to customer service. Like many other businesses, in 2020, their business model had to rapidly change. Within a week, a new business model was devised – Moving their service, sales and training to an appointment-based model, and offering free delivery and pick-up within the Halton region. Core1 is not just another computer store!  Core 1 was the recipient of the Morris Mercanti Service Industry of the Year award!

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Cogeco Entrepreneur of the Year

Lindsay Boardman of Meraki Fitness & Sports Performance

Lindsay Boardman took a leap of faith when she left her stable, corporate career in the fitness industry to launch Meraki Fitness & Sports Performance, with the goal of personalizing fitness and empowering trainers. In the years that have followed, Lindsay has built a thriving community fitness centre that differentiates itself through its state-of-the-art facility, personalized fitness programs and a team of enthusiastic trainers. Lindsay's strong leadership, innovative mindset and passion for helping people has allowed Meraki Fitness & Sports Performance to solidify its position as a leader in the market. Meraki means “putting a piece of your heart, soul & creativity into everything that you do” and this is evident in Lindsay's entrepreneurial journey. Lindsay Boardman was presented with the Cogeco Entrepreneur of the Year award!

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

KPMG Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award)

Jonathan Minnaar of Pad Print Extreme Inc.

Jonathan Minnaar recently acquired Pad Print Extreme after working at the company for six years. Jonathan's ability to excel as an entrepreneur with remarkable leadership skills are demonstrated by the deep relationships built with his team. Jonathan was able to turn a potentially catastrophic circumstance (COVID-19) into an opportunity for success by leveraging different advertising mediums that resulted in new work, including production on ventilators manufactured for the Canadian Federal Government and the manufacturing of acrylic no-touch keys. Jonathan also found ways to give back to the community by donating over 1,000 face shields to the McMaster School of Medicine, and by providing local companies with free products to use for their own marketing purposes. Jonathan Minnaar received the KMPG Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year! 

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Visit Oakville Tourism Excellence of the Year Cinemas Inc.

Lights, camera popcorn! This family-friendly theatre draws movie-goers from our community and surrounding municipalities. also hosts movie premiers and rents the theatre as a film set, bringing casts and crews into Oakville. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, revamped its online presence, creating entertaining content that features local businesses, citizens, and landmarks, which will continue to contribute to the visitor economy in the future. received the Visit Oakville Tourism Excellence of the Year award!

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

In addition to the eight judged categories, the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence presents three named awards - one selected by the Rotary Club of Oakville West, and two bY the OABE Committee.

Rotary Club of Oakville West Community Builder Award 

This award recognizes a business that has, over a period of time, demonstrated exemplary business practices and dedicated involvement in the community.

The recipient is selected based on:

  • Commitment to corporate social responsibility
  • Community engagement
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Local sourcing
  • Employee engagement
  • Business practices

This year, the Rotary Club of Oakville West selected Mattamy Homes as the recipient, because of their impressive legacy.

Mattamy Homes’ corporate head office was established in Oakville 37 years ago. From their humble beginnings in 1978, starting with the sale of a single home, Mattamy has gone on to build more than 100,000 homes across North America, all while ensuring that community initiatives were supported.

The Community Builder Award recognizes the values and leadership of Mattamy’s Founder and CEO, Peter Gilgan, as well as the management team, and thousands of employees who have generously contributed to the hundreds of communities they have built homes in.

Over the years, Peter Gilgan has hosted the Mayor’s Invitational Softball Tournament in support of the YMCA Oakville, organized a motorcycle Poker Run for the Children’s Wish Foundation, and initiated a long-distance bicycle ride in support of Sick Kids Hospital of Toronto. Peter Gilgan acted as Chair of the capital campaign for the new YMCA building on Rebecca Street in 1997, followed by a $1 million donation for the expansion in 2006. In 2010, Peter made a $10 million donation to the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, setting an example for others to follow.

Mattamy Homes and Peter Gilgan have truly made a difference in the Oakville Community, and the Rotary Club of Oakville West was proud to present them with the Community Builder Award!

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

CN Charity/Not-For-Profit Excellence Award

This award recognizes a charity or not-for-profit organization that is highly regarded in the community and raises funds or provides services to improve the lives of people within the community.

The recipient must be:

  • A registered charity or not-for-profit organization
  • Operated for a minimum of five years in Oakville or Halton
  • Have an office or facility in Oakville or Halton
  • Make a substantial contribution to the social well-being of Oakville

This year, the OABE Committee selected ArtHouse as the award recipient.

ArtHouse is a charitable organization that provides free arts programs for children and youth aged seven to seventeen living in Halton Region. After a successful career on Bay St., founder Don Pangman knew he had more to contribute and turned his attention to the charity sector. Volunteering for the United Way of Oakville gave Don an insight into the needs of his community and the spark to create an art-based charity geared towards at-risk youth.  ArtHouse provides free art programs and also provides homework help, cooking, gardening, and environmental education. For many children, ArtHouse is their only extra-curricular activity. 

ArtHouse launched its first arts program in Oakville in 2009, offering 2 programs to 60 children at one location.  Fast forward to 2020, the offering has expanded to 64 programs, 894 children and 35 locations. Since 2009, ArtHouse has engaged over 9,000 vulnerable young children by providing 634 Neighbourhood and Community Programs, delivered at 90 subsidized housing locations, cooperatives, and community hubs. In 2016, ArtHouse received accreditation from Imagine Canada for excellence in nonprofit accountability, transparency and governance.

When the pandemic hit, Don and his team quickly transitioned their 25 in-person arts programming to YouTube and Zoom interactive programs open to hundreds of youth. They also went beyond the arts to support their families, initiating the ArtHouse Emergency Meals program in March 2020. They partnered with four local restaurants to provide more than 65 ArtHouse families with weekly fresh meals. In August 2020, ArtHouse further expanded the program by partnering with Food for Life. Through the pandemic, ArtHouse has strengthened its mission to serve the whole child – creatively, physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually, educationally, and nutritionally in a safe and supportive manner. 

ArtHouse “Shining Brightly through COVID and Beyond” indeed! 

Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Business Icon Award

This award recognizes a prominent Oakville business that is highly regarded in the business community.

The recipient must be:

  • Headquartered and operating for a minimum of five years in Oakville
  • Have a national or international profile
  • Provide significant local employment opportunities
  • Make a substantial contribution to the social and economic well-being of Oakville
  • Recognized as a leader in its field

The OABE Committee selected Promation as this year's Business Icon Award Recipient.

Mark Zimny founded Promation in the basement of his home in 1995. As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, Promation has grown to become a leading designer and manufacturer of high-quality tooling, automation, and robotic systems serving customers in Canada and worldwide with three divisions: Nuclear, Automotive, and Industrial. ​Striving for continuous improvement, performance, and excellent workmanship, Promation adheres to established standards and strong assurance of service quality. Company founder Mark Zimny and President, Darryl Spector acknowledge that much of their strength comes from the colossal bank of employee skills and dedication that has built up over the years.  The story of Promation is one of resilience, adaptability and honed survival instincts helping the business navigate downturns, most recently those brought about by the Pandemic. 

Promation rose to the challenge of COVID-19 by providing personal protective equipment to help stop the spread, producing 3D-printed medical face shields for front-line workers – up to 650 face shields per day. When there were forecasted concerns of ventilator shortages, Promation stepped in and developed a low-cost ventilator that is easy to mass-produce in just 2 weeks, sharing their knowledge with other teams around the world. Making all the design files and related data open to others is a true sentiment to the statement that we are all in this together. Promation was recognized by Toronto scientists and industry experts at the University Health Network, University of Toronto, and Mackenzie Innovation Institute for the fast development and low cost of the ventilator. 

When Mark founded Promation, one of his goals was to build the business around its people. Recently, the company was named one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers for their ongoing investment in employee development, retirement planning assistance services, deferred profit-sharing program together with charitable initiatives directed to “youth engagement, Indigenous communities and women at risk”. Promation prides itself on employing talented Canadians and recently landed immigrants receiving profiles of newly-arrived professional candidates for possible job placing.  President Darry Spector believes in promoting ethnic and gender diversity are the important value of being a socially responsible member of the business community. 

Promation faced the challenges brought about by the pandemic and has worked tirelessly to care for its workers, the Oakville community, and the global community.  A past OABE Winner in the Large Business Category, we congratulate the team at Promation for achieving this “iconic recognition”.

Promation | Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Promation | Oakville Chamber of Commerce

“Thank you to the Oakville community for supporting the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence by nominating local businesses and participating in the virtual celebration,” said Ahmed Ezzat, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West. “We are optimistic that next year, for the 27th Annual Awards, we will be able to gather in person and have our largest celebration yet!”