Business Excellence Awards – BEA’S 2022

  • Business Excellence Awards – BEA’S 2022

BUSINESS excellence awards


Photo credit: Kris Mutafov @kris.mutafov

The Squamish Chamber of Commerce hosted a sellout crowd on December 1st for the 2022 Business Excellence Awards presented by RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate. Over 150 attendees gathered for the evening awards gala hosted at Quest University, where local businesses and community members were recognized in a total of 10 award categories.

In true celebratory nature, attendees enjoyed a Champagne Reception, a gourmet meal, the awards gala, and an afterparty reception featuring live entertainment.

A big congratulations to the 2022 nominees and the award recipients!

Congratulations to the 2022 Award Recipients!

Large Business of the Year, Presented by Nesters Market

The Squamish Connector

Despite the challenges of travel lockdowns, a global pandemic, and multiple shutdowns of our biggest tourism partner, the Sea to Sky Gondola, we have not only survived the last few years but have worked hard to cultivate growth at the Squamish Connector. Our community needs transportation options and, as a result, we’ve diversified. While continuing to offer safe, reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally conscious transportation between Squamish, Vancouver, and the North Shore, our custom charter division has taken off in support of local events, festivals, and charitable organizations. We are proud to call Squamish home and hope all of our customers feel like family when they travel with us.

Small Business of the Year - Presented by BlueShore Financial

Euphoria Natural Health

EUPHORIA NATURAL HEALTH is a integrative health clinic with a store front stocked with professional grade supplements and herbal formulations. Founded 5 years ago by a team of medical practitioners, the business is currently owned and operated by Roxana M. Dees, BSc since 2020. We combine cutting-edge naturopathic and functional medical services include massage therapy and chiropractic, with professional-grade supplements, and the highest quality health-related and toxin-free products. Our experienced team of practitioners takes a science-based approach when offering natural therapies to help patients reach their health goals.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Presented by Futurpreneur

Nadine Manson

Nadine is the founder of the slow fashion activewear brand Bewildher. As an active outdoorsy female Nadine lives her life in activewear, however upon achieving her dream career of becoming a fashion designer, she became faced with activewear's negative social and environmental impacts. This 300-billion-dollar global industry uses materials that create some of the highest carbon emissions and most garment workers, 80% of whom are female, earn below the poverty line – even in Canada. Morally dissatisfied, she founded her brand on a mission to make activewear as ethical and sustainable as possible. Upon the near failure of her start-up, she remodeled her business into being pre-order based, then preserved through the pandemic in support of her supply chain of local female-owner manufacturers and is now remaining resilient in this changing economy. To date, she has recycled over 100,000 plastic bottles into sustainable activewear and has planted over 10,000 trees.

Bill Manson Citizen of the Year - Sea to Sky Gondola

Carl Halvorson

I have lived my life in Squamish and always felt it important to give back for our many blessings. Through the years I have served on every salmon related committee that will have me and every transportation or environment initiative that I can find - mostly as a representative for either the Cheakamus Centre, Squamish Environment or Squamish Trails. They range from fish technical review committees to Safe Routes to School, from Estuary protection to the CN spill response and salmon recovery. I have volunteered to gravel trails to make them safer for seniors and disabled, for Vancouver Coastal Health unit to assist in covid clinics, the Repair Café, Fall Fairs, Test of Metal, Shoreline cleanups, Eagle Watch, bird counts - I try to participate in as many community forums as I can get to. I now obsessively pick up litter… Since retiring I go out most days on my bike for about 20km a day, sun, rain or snow and try to pick up everything that will fit on my bike. I drag all the litter home and it gets sorted to separate anything divertable - reusables (to Pearl’s or Rebuild), recyclables, compostables, things with refunds and those items that need to be broken down to separate metals, electronic recycleables and plastics. Add another obsession to the list.- I have an extensive collection of single gloves…there must be a lot of folks out there with one cold, dirty hand? I have hundreds and hundreds of them - if only I think of something useful to do with them...

Business Person of the Year - Presented by the Squamish Chief

David Arnott

Founder & Principal: Stark Architecture, Co-founder: Tag Panels, Co-founder: ALBA Distribution

Relocating to Squamish in early 2018, David moved his 3 person Architectural firm from Vancouver both out of a desire to stop commuting and a recognition of the talent and community in Squamish that had the potential to drive the business forward. Now with 20 full time staff in Downtown Squamish, the depth and range of skilled community members in Squamish has allowed STARK to grow at a record level. Alba Distribution was co-founded with two partners in late 2018 (distributing high end bike products from its base in Squamish.) In early 2019 David and two co-founders established TAG Panels in Squamish, to bring modern off-site construction to the Sea to Sky building environment and beyond. With 12 full time employees, with projects throughout BC, TAG continues to be a pioneer in helping the industry tackle labour shortages and energy efficiency. Giving back to the community, as well as supporting locals in their career has been at the forefront of business decisions, including being a Black Diamond sponsor of SORCA annually since 2018, co-sponsoring events in town, pro-bono work for Squamish groups and being a principal sponsor of the upcoming Women’s Mountain Bike Festival in Squamish in 2023.

Green Business of the Year - Presented by GFL Environmental

Eco Living Club

Eco Living Club is a women-owned company with two exciting products. This eco-friendly company is passionate about zero-waste living. The owners, sisters Tamara & Justine, took their passion and created a fast-growing enterprise, producing sought-after laundry strips and toilet bowl cleaners, and they are changing the way we think about some of the chores we do every day. Customers are raving about their two products; Toilet Bowl Cleaner strips and Laundry Detergent Strips. These strips are plastic/bottle free, so they don’t clog up the landfill. Additionally, they offset their shipping emissions and have completely recyclable cardboard packaging. Eco Laundry Club is drastically reducing the carbon footprint of laundry worldwide. The brand-new toilet bowl cleaner strips are scented with luxurious essential oils: Eucalyptus and Citrus. They are easy to use and a great way to remove limescale and odours from your toilet. The laundry detergent strips are cost-efficient, cruelty-free and certified hypoallergenic. This local cleaning strip company is excited to further develop its line in the coming years and do whatever it can to reduce waste worldwide.

Community Builder of the Year - Presented by RE/MAX Sea to Sky

Pride Squamish

Pride Squamish is a Nonprofit 2SLGBTQIA+ Registered Society in the Traditional, Ancestral, Unceded Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíxw (Squamish Territory) dedicated to creating awareness, togetherness and education within our community. We help individuals and businesses create safe spaces for all, and strive to connect the people that live within the Skwxwú7mesh territory. A sense of belonging is so very important to everyone. Pride Squamish is excited to be creating and promoting socials and events for community members to connect, and we look forward to continued support and collaboration for the work we happily do to gather, grow, and celebrate our community with acceptance and understanding. We all deserve love and respect, and as a farm boy born and raised in Skwxwú7mesh, it is amazing to see the growth and acceptance in my hometown. Thank you so much for your consideration for this honour.

New Business - Presented by Community Futures Howe Sound

The Little Bookshop

The idea for Little Bookshop was sparked by owner Julie Wilkins’ desire to diversify her own bookshelves. Community interest encouraged the launch of a small mobile business in 2021, and now, a storefront on Second Avenue. By hosting workshops, readings and other creative events in their lovingly curated space, Little Bookshop strives to be an accessible community hub (that also happens to sell great books). They have a talented roster of 8 bookish staff and donate 5% of their profits back to the community in the form of books. You’ll find their mobile shop roaming in neighbouring communities or fostering literary love at Squamish’s schools, parks, markets, and more. Both spaces proudly support Sea to Sky authors, artists and educators via various programs and products. While known for having expertise in kid lit, Little Bookshop also takes pride in their growing selection of gifts, literature, and events for humans of all ages.

Workplace of the Year - Presented by Mountain FM

Stark Architecture

STARK's 20 employees are all Sea to Sky based, working out of a downtown Squamish location. Personal and professional growth are at the forefront of our corporate culture and work environment. We organise a summer and winter trip for staff, recently taking us heli-biking in Tyax this summer and skiing on Powder Mountain last winter. Donut Mondays, Wig Wednesdays and half day Fridays in the summer allow the team to bond and grow as well as having a bit of fun. We invest heavily in training, including sending senior staff to the Chambers leadership training. We also support staff with Passive House training, personnel management and financial management with the Whistler Institute. Our goal is to recognize that work is a part of life and that you can have fun and enjoy spending time with your colleagues inside and outside of the workplace, which ultimately builds a stronger team who can better serve our community and clients.

Business Innovation - Presented by Race and Company

Penny AI

Back in 2017, Co-Founders David Abbey and Chris Noble started something special in Squamish. Penny is innovating the way hundreds of thousands of independent sellers on social media start, build and grow a sustainable business. In one pilot, 1,000 sellers saw a collective revenue increase of $2,740,770 in 3 months — all by completing the revenue-focused tasks generated by Penny. Continuously innovating, Penny recently launched the industry’s first micro-learning experience embedded in a social sales enablement platform. Now, sellers can learn while doing, directly in Penny. Passionate about making Penny a truly diverse and inclusive tech company, Penny prioritizes people’s health and wellness and supports local initiatives like SORCA and Brands for Better. Penny is proud to have created a team with one of the highest percentages of women engineers in all of Canada at 57% (when the industry average is below 30%).


A big thank you to our sponsors who helped bring this event to life!










2021 Business Excellence Winners

Last year over one hundred nominations were received, reflecting a strong and prosperous business community, full of talent, creativity and innovation. The 2021 Squamish Business Excellence Award Winners were:

Green Business of the Year - presented by GFL

The Nook Refillery

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - presented by Woodfibre LNG

Mike Van Capelle, Blue Water Concepts

Innovation and Resilience - presented by Race & Company

99 North Cannabis Store

Service Excellence - Large Business - presented by BlueShore Financial

Pearl’s Value & Vintage

Service Excellence - Small Business - presented by Nesters Market Squamish

Sḵwálwen Botanicals

2020 Business Excellence Awards

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