The finalists have been announced for Whistler's inaugural Excellence Awards.
Seventeen finalists have been selected by the Whistler Commerce, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Whistler, the Whistler Arts Council and the Whistler Centre for Sustainability.
Service Excellence Award: Lush Handmade Cosmetics, Sundial Boutique Hotel, and Upper Village Market;
Innovative Business of the Year Award: Nonna Pia's Gourmet Sauces, Prior Skis and Snowboards; RTown Communications;
Sustainability in Action Business Award: RDC Fine Homes, Whistler Community Services Society, Ziptrek Ecotours;
Citizen of the Year Award:
Alix Nicoll — Library Board of Directors, BC Library Trustee Association, Olympic Information Centre volunteer, Village Host Volunteer, Parent Advisory Committees (Myrtle Phillip and Whistler Secondary), and Whistler Mountain Host.
Nicoll's activities also include raising funds for the Canadian Avalanche Association, Whistler Valley Snowboard Club, and the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association. She also sits on the municipal sub-committee for Cultural Tourism. Much of her most caring volunteer activities are less visible. Whistlerites who are sick or incapacitated will often find some of Nicoll's homemade chicken soup or a casserole on their doorstep. For more than a decade, Ski Patrollers that had to work on Christmas Day love the Christmas Dinner that she has organized for them.
Brad Sills — Founding member of Whistler Search and Rescue and volunteer manager since the 1980s. He is also a very active member of the team, regularly participating in call-outs. Sills is involved in Search and rescue provincially, working with the province and others on policy to ensure safety and a high level of awareness of search and rescue. Volunteer with PineCrest Fire Department.
As the head of Whistler Search and Rescue, Sills has not only saved lives, but has helped to create a non-profit organization that has provided a positive image of Whistler as a caring and efficient rescue service.
In addition, Sills is credited for convincing the FIS Nordic disciplines that the Callaghan Valley was the best location for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. This led to the unprecedented step of Vancouver Olympic organizing committee creating a second Olympic Village and second medal area in Whistler. The result of this was a major employee housing community and a large gathering plaza in the centre of Whistler.
Sue Adams— Women of Whistler (founder and creator), Whistler Chamber of Commerce Board Director, Chair of Indulge Gala, a fundraiser for the Whistler Health Care Foundation, Community Foundation of Whistler Kathy Barnett Leadership Luncheon planning committee, and Whistler Arts Council Board Director.
Adams is also involved in many Women in Business networks outside of Whistler and from which she brings resources back to the community. She also sits on the Small Business BC Roundtable.
She has acted as mentor to many in the business community and works to strengthen partnerships and advance the skills of business people. Adams has worked to raise funds for many community causes and organizations, including Whistler Health Care Foundation, Community Foundation of Whistler, and a WOW Scholarship fund. The Arts community in Whistler has benefited from her leadership and support as well.
Business and the Arts Award: Burnt Stew Computer Solutions, Kendra Mazzei, TD Canada Trust, John Nadeau; and
Business Person of the Year Award: Danielle Kristmanson - Origin Design and Communications, Paul Mathews - Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners, Wayne Katz, - Gone Eatery, Moguls Coffee House and Zogs Dogs
Attendees to the dinner and ceremony will have the opportunity to hear presentations from the top three candidates for the Innovative Business of the Year Award before casting live votes to determine the winner.
"We are thrilled that there's real buzz in the community about this event and that it resulted in us receiving a large number of high calibre applicants and nominations for the six award categories," said Fiona Famulak, President of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce.
The awards take place on Friday, July 6 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler with a champagne reception and three-course dinner. Tickets at the early bird price of $100 per person can be purchased until midnight Monday, June 25. Prices afterwards rise to $125. Register at www.whistlerchamber.com.