CAMACC Systems Inc. was the only dual award winner on the night as the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce handed out its 2015 Crystal Awards.
The Peninsula company was recognized both as employer and business (with 16 or more workers) of the year. The remaining awards all went to different businesses in Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney.
Guest speaker William Collins of QuesterTangent in Central Saanich, talked about innovation, by way of two examples from around the world. While seemingly unrelated at first, Collins brought them together with a focus on the Saanich Peninsula.
What his two examples of success had in common, was the Peninsula Co-op on Keating X Road.
“That’s where Jim King eats his daily sandwich,” Collins said.
A software developer, King used data to create an algorithm to meet the needs of seemingly different industries. That’s a snapshot of what has made QuesterTangent a success, he added.
“That’s an example of the type of innovation that can happen on the Peninsula,” he said.
Collins called it the ‘innovation game’ and “it requires courage to go out on a limb … to be engaged.”
“You need to be true and know when it’s time to stop on a dead end and then go follow another rabbit hole,” he said. “Innovation grows from imagination.”
Collins said it behooves community leaders to foster innovation in youth, giving them every opportunity to imagine what could be.
“There’s a great future ahead, if we do,” he said.
The Chamber recognized one such innovator with its Lifetime Achievement Award, presented this year to Ginny Alger of Horizon Power.
She and husband Bob came to the Peninsula in 1981 and created their company in 1991. They specialized in overhead and underground high voltage design and from their Saanichton base, found work all over B.C. and grew to employ 20 people. Over their careers, the Algers were involved in the community in a variety of ways and are now in the process of retiring.
Ginny said, in accepting the honour Oct. 22 at the Blue Poppy Restaurant at Butchart Gardens, that they found success in business here and were happy to support others in the community.
The awards gala was a chance for business owners and their employees to enjoy a night out and be recognized for excellence in categories such as green business, new business, entrepreneurial spirit and customer service.
Winners of the 2015 Crystal Awards
Business of the Year (up to 15 employees): BMT Group Services
Business of the Year (16+ employees): CAMACC Systems Inc.
Not-for-Profit Organization: Beacon Community Services
Contribution to the Community: Sidney Meet Up
Green Business of the Year: Island Return-It, Sidney
Entrepreneurial Spirit: Seaside Magazine
New Business of the Year: Man Cave on Beacon
Employer of the Year: CAMACC System Inc.
New Product or Service: Revolution 3D Printers
Outstanding Customer Service: Curves Sidney
Newsmaker of the Year: Panorama Recreation Centre
Lifetime Achievement: Ginny Alger, Horizon Power