It was a bittersweet evening at the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce 2016 Business Awards.
Members of the business community came out to celebrate business in Castlegar at the banquet room in the Fireside Inn on Saturday night, sharing a meal prepared by the Grand Buddha Bistro.
While many businesses and local entrepreneurs were recognized throughout the evening (see below) it was the announcement of the late Kevin Chernoff as Business Person of the Year that elicited a palpable emotional reaction from the crowd. Everyone rose to their feet as soon as the award was announced, and Chernoff’s wife Trish and daughter Megan took the stage to accept the award on his behalf. The reaction from the crowd was the same at the end of the night as Chernoff’s former-fellow councillors Florio Vassilakakis, Dan Rye and Deb McIntosh, and Mayor Lawrence Chernoff presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Kevin Chernoff’s business Trowelex Rentals & Sales.
Asked how she felt about her father receiving the two awards, Megan Chernoff said, “Proud. Sad and proud at the same time. It was something that I know he’s worked really hard on and he would have appreciated a lot.”
Business Person of the Year: Kevin Chernoff
Business Excellence: Central City Shoes
Customer Service Excellence: Kootenay Market
The Green Award: Communities in Bloom
Professional Service: Yule Anderson Chartered Accountants
Contractor of the Year: Dirty Diggers
Tourism Development: Communities in Bloom
Young Entrepreneur Award: Jordan Perkins from Boston Pizza
Community Social Award: Castlegar Hospice Society
Home Based Business Award: Windborne B&B
Restaurant Award: The Grand Buddha Bistro
Manager of the Year: tie between Brian Bogle from Safeway and Dan Rye from Kootenay Market
Lifetime Achievement Award: Trowelex Rentals & Sales