When he heard the criteria for the Whistler Business Person of the Year leadership, mentorship, business excellence, integrity and a commitment to the community Bob Lorriman thought, "that gets me off the hook."
Although he may have failed in his self-evaluation the owner of Gone Bakery was more highly thought of by past winners of the award, including Kathy Barnett who presented Lorriman with the honour at the Whistler Chamber of Commerces annual Spirit Luncheon Nov. 20.
"Yeah, I was surprised," Lorriman said. "I actually forgot they do that every year.
"I was surprised, embarrassed, speechless honoured."
Candidates for Business Person of the Year are nominated by the business community and the winner is chosen by past Business Person of the Year recipients.
In presenting the award Pique publisher Barnett, last years winner said: "I have known this person to be a catalyst for bringing issues to the forefront, to spark debate, argue with passion and be willing to jump in with both feet to do something about it."
Lorriman opened Gone Bakery in 1997 and last February expanded his operation to a second location. He is also a past president of WORCA and served on the board of the cycling organization for eight years. He was instrumental in WORCA organizing a highly-successful all-candidates meeting prior to municipal elections last fall and in boosting WORCAs membership to more than 1,200.
He is also a member of the Commercial Core Committee and has been involved with the Whistler Naturalists Society.
While many Whistler businesses have struggled in a tough business climate the last couple of years, Lorrimans business has been expanding.
"It has been a challenging two years, and I think thats woken a lot of people up to be careful," Lorriman said.
"For me, with Gone, its a year-round business, so that helps.
"But the biggest challenge for us is finding qualified cooks and kitchen staff. If we did have a culinary school (as some people have talked about), that would be awesome for Whistler."
Prior to opening Gone Bakery Lorriman owned a bakery on Saltspring Island for four years. Before that he worked for Mike Wiegele Heilskiing.
In what he calls "real life", before moving to B.C., Lorriman worked in the computer business back east.
"But I would never give up the life I have now," he said.