The Fernie Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the Community & Business Excellence Awards Recipients for 2009:

2009 YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT:
Jenna Lamothe
Jenna, a student at Fernie Secondary School, is very involved and active at her school. She has been recognized as an organizer and a leader.  She is Team Leader for the Fernie Secondary School Leadership Committee. Jenna organizes workshops and motivational speakers for her school and the Sparwood and Jaffray Schools, as well as organizing the Mentor Workshop at Isabella Dicken Elementary School for the incoming students.  She also organizes the Trash Bash community clean up.  Jenna is also very active as an award winning athlete in a number of different sports.

2009 YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR:
Carolyn Doyle (Big Bang Bagels)
Carolyn started small, filling a niche market with her amazing bagels. In a short time she grew her business to relocate downtown.  Big Bang Bagels energy and enthusiasm brings a new excitement to the downtown experience for locals and visitors. Big Bang Bagels offers great food, made fresh daily,  and great value.

2009 ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR:
Carolyn Doyle (Big Bang Bagels)
Carolyn showed great innovation in choosing a smaller location to start up her business, keeping costs down while she established her business. She began by selling product at the Farmer’s Market and door to door to downtown businesses until she established a customer base and followed this up with a move to a larger more central location.

2009 NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Big Bang Bagels
Big Bang Bagels began with a big idea, in a small out-of-the-way location.  They focused on their product (which is excellent) and growing a loyal customer base, and in less than a year have moved into their new, much larger, downtown location.  Big Bang Bagels’ offers fabulous healthy food that’s real and great service with a smile. Staff and atmosphere are always enthusiastic and welcoming. One nomination form said: “Great people, great food, sexy staff”. Big Bang Bagels sponsors numerous community events and Carolyn volunteers as the head coach of the Fernie Women’s Hockey Team.

2009 OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Ghostrider Trading Company
The Ghostrider Trading Company continues to grow despite the slow economy. Their new shoe store was a bold move during a recession, which has proven a huge success, offering the best selection in the East Kootenays.  If they don’t have what you’re looking for at the store, they will do special orders for their customers. Ghostrider staff is friendly, helpful and know their products inside and out.  They make shopping at Ghostrider Trading a very positive and memorable experience for locals and visitors alike.  They are involved in many community organizations, among them is fundraising for the Ghostrider Adventure Camp for Kids; and a fundraiser which benefits East Kootenay families who are required to travel extensively for medical care for their child.

2009 FERNIE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Parastone Developments Ltd
Parastone Developments has demonstrated leadership in coordinating affordable housing in Fernie. Parastone is among the first local companies to step up to the plate to address this priority community issue.
Their restoration of several downtown heritage buildings reflects a deep respect for local heritage.  Parastone is a major employer in the local construction industry, and they sponsor several charitable organizations and events each year such as the Fernie Historical Society, Fernie Ghostriders, Fernie Mountain Bike Club, the Lions Club, and the Soap Box Derby to mention just a few. In addition, company owner, Simon Howse is very active on City and community initiatives, and sits on numerous committees such as the OCP Planning and other downtown initiatives.

2009 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR:
Alice Ferrarelli
Alice has been an active and tireless volunteer in her community for many years. Alice never thinks of herself and will lend a hand to whoever needs it. Alice is a working mother and widow who raised her children on her own and still found time to give back to her community. Alice is humble and unassuming, helpful and committed to whatever she is involved in.  Among Alice’s volunteer efforts are: Ghostrider bingo, Cancer Society, Relay for Life, and numerous other cancer fundraisers.  Alice helps local seniors, takes them to appointments, visits shut-ins, buys groceries and helps them with things around their homes. She is very active in her church, Rocky Mountain Village and the Seniors Drop in Centre.

2009 CHAMBER BUSINESS EXCELLENCE:
Parastone Developments Ltd
Parastone Developments have created an architectural legacy for Fernie with the restoration and development of the old schoolhouse.  Parastone Developments owner, Simon Howse is a visionary thinker who possesses the ability to take an idea and turn it into a reality on a grand scale. No matter that most people said the old high school building was a derelict eyesore and should just be torn down and demolished. Simon had a vision of what it could become, and he has proven it to us all.
Parastone is a major employer in the local construction industry, and has created countless positions and opportunities for numerous trades’ people.

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients. Well deserved.
Thank You to our sponsors, The City of Fernie, GPI Chartered Accountants, and Community Futures East Kootenay for their continued support of the annual Community & Business Excellence Awards.

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