Cloverdale’s first-ever Clovies were a glittering success, with seven businesses, organizations and individuals honoured for making a difference in their community.
The awards were presented last Thursday by the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce at a sell-out gala at Northview Golf and Country Club, where a celebratory mood – and sense of occasion – reigned among the 25 finalists and 200-plus guests, a few proudly sporting western hats.
The Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce traces its roots back to the 1920s in Surrey, but it’s never before presented awards honouring business excellence.
The presence of the late Bill Reid, past executive director of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce, was evident, particularly when the award named in his memory – the Bill Reid Memorial Businessperson of the Year Award – was presented by his wife, Marion, delivering salutations from “The Centre of the Universe,” her husband’s famous description for Cloverdale.
“He would have been very proud of the efforts here,” she said, taking the stage. “Cloverdale has come a long way. This is awesome.”
The award – recognizing an individual with proven business acumen who promotes the community and is an inspirational leader – was presented to Lyle MacMillan. A former RCMP officer, MacMillan moved to Cloverdale in 1956, serving with the Surrey detachment until 1971. He then worked as a lawyer, co-founding MacMillan, Tucker & MacKay.
A longtime presence in the business community, MacMillan has served on the Cloverdale and Surrey Chambers of Commerce, the Cloverdale Legion, the Surrey Memorial Hospital Board, Rotary Club of Surrey and the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association, where his leadership has been instrumental in beautification and heritage projects along with community events.
He continues to advocate for more public transit and public parking, construction of phase two of the Surrey Museum, and development in the historic downtown.
MacMillan complimented the Cloverdale Chamber for doing a terrific job on the awards. “They have really exceeded themselves,” he said.
MacMillan said he was extremely honoured due to the nature of the award and its namesake.
“You couldn’t be with Bill without some of his charm and technique in getting people to agree with him. And even those who didn’t remained his friend.”
[pictured: Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce president John Gibeau, Christine Mohr, executive director of Options Community Services, and Options senior program manager Peter Fedos. – Jennifer Lang photo]
There were standing ovations for the winners in the two business excellence categories: Cloverdale Pharmasave (18 employees and under) and Michaud’s Salon & Spa Wellness Centre (18 employees and over) – both family owned and operated.
“We’re just local kids,” said Dean Moore, who owns Michaud’s along with his sister Cheri Morton and nephew Troy Michaud. “Our business might be a big salon, but it’s actually about building people,” he said, explaining that the shop provides good local jobs to young women and men in Cloverdale.
The family has over 70 years expertise in running a business in Cloverdale, starting with Venus Cleaners in 1911, he added.
“We don’t take it for granted,” said Michaud, congratulating all the other nominees. “We just truly feel blessed.”
The award for Green Business of the Year went to B.C. Plant Health Care.
Not For Profit of the Year went to the Surrey Association for Community Living.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Dr. Priya Vhora and Maneet Sandhu-Bains of Eye Optometry.
Cloverdale Coffee Company was named New Business of the Year.
The evening paid dividends for the Bill Reid Memorial Shelter, a 28-bed homeless transition centre being built in Cloverdale by Options Community Services in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, City of Surrey, Surrey Homelessness & Housing Society, Cloverdale Business Improvement Association and other community partners.
A live auction raised $4,500 for the cause. There were also two donations: a $2,000 pledge from Hillcrest Shopping Centre, and a $10,000 donation from Elements Casino, announced at the Clovies by General Manager Michael Kim.
“The community spirit in Cloverdale is unmatched,” pronounced former Surrey city councillor Judy Higginbotham as the evening drew to a close.