KITCHENER — A beer maker, a caterer and an event planning firm were among the businesses honoured this year by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.
They were named businesses of the year at the chamber’s annual Business Excellence Awards gala Thursday night at Bingemans.
Waterloo Brewing Co. was named Business of the Year for companies with more than 50 employees. Waterloo Brewing, the trade name of Brick Brewing Co. Ltd., Ontario’s first craft brewery when it was founded 35 years ago, has grown significantly, now employing 170 people, and is a leader in environmental sustainability, said the chamber.
Little Mushroom Catering received the Business of the Year award for companies with 11 to 50 employees. The chamber noted that the business, founded in 2010, is “dedicated to sustainability, its employees and, of course, food.”
The Event Firm won the Business of the Year award for companies with 10 or fewer employees. The event planning firm is moving into new facilities in the Gaslight District in Cambridge and plans to almost double its staff.
A number of other businesses and individuals were honoured at the event.
Cellar 52 received the New Business of the Year Award. Cellar 52 is an event space in St. Jacobs that opened in December 2017. In its first year of business, it hosted 44 events, almost double the 24 it expected to host.
GHD received the Employee Engagement Award. The company — a provider of engineering, architecture, environmental and construction consulting and management services — supports workplace learning through a variety of educational and training opportunities, is committed to diversity and inclusion, and offers flexible and adaptive working arrangements.
EY was given the Environment & Sustainability Award. The professional services firm, which employs 170 people in Waterloo Region, has adopted many initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint, led by its move into the Evolv1 building in Waterloo, Canada’s first net-positive, zero carbon office building.
Parents for Community Living won the Health & Wellness in the Workplace Award. The chamber noted that the not-for-profit “promotes the inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities in the Waterloo Region and are just as committed at providing for their own employees.”
The Charcoal Group of Restaurants received the Service Excellence in Hospitality/Tourism Award. The restaurant group, with roots going back to 1956, employs more than 1,000 people in Waterloo Region and continues to push innovation in the local culinary scene, the chamber said.
McIntyre Group received the Innovation Award. The manufacturer of office workplace furniture and acoustics was cited for its focus on innovation, which includes the development of mobile, foldable office workstations, and benching and meeting spaces that “address the disruptive nature of today’s workforce.”
Waterloo Region Police Chief Bryan Larkin received the Michael R. Follett Community Leader Award. The chamber said the chief “is a strong believer in community volunteerism and spends countless hours showing his support by attending as many events as his schedule will allow.”
TheMuseum was given the Non-Profit/Charitable Award. The chamber said the organization’s “core values of experiential learning, unexpected intersections and diverse voices are reflected in world-class exhibitions, curriculum-based education programs and public events.”
Michael Hewitson of Royal LePage Wolle Realty received the Volunteer of the Year Award. The real estate agent has been an active member of the chamber since 2010, is part of the Networking Breakfast Committee and has been on the Chamber Young Professionals Committee.
Shelby Behling of Clean & Tidy was named Young Professional of the Year. Behling started her cleaning business in 2013; it now employs more than 30 people.