Northern Ontario is home to some of the most forward-thinking business leaders in the country and around the globe. For 32 years, the Northern Ontario Business Awards program has celebrated this entrepreneurial spirit and the winning achievements of the best companies, individuals and economic development initiatives. "Our stock and trade are people who create wealth, build community, take risks, plan projects, exploit markets, run out of money and start again," said Michael Atkins, president of Laurentian Publishing and Northern Ontario Business. "It is this constant determination to remain relevant and maintain the power of our communities that makes it so special to live in Northern Ontario. We come together to celebrate this spirit."
With a crowd of300+ guests in attendance at the North Bay Granite Club, awards recognizing outstanding contributions to the North were presented in 10 categories: Company of the Year (1 to 15 employees, 16 to 50 employees and 51+ employees), Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Entrepreneurial Community, First Nations Business Award of Excellence, Innovation, Export and Judges' Choice. The annual $3,000 Union Gas Essay Scholarship was also presented to a Northern student.
The quality of the awards program is underwritten each year by a respected panel of judges from across Northern Ontario. They are asked to look at all aspects of business performance, from customer service and community involvement to human resource management and future planning. This year's judges were: David Rector, president and co-owner at Rector Machine Works (Sault Ste. Marie); Paul Reid, business development officer at the City of Greater Sudbury (Sudbury); Liana Frenette, CEO of TBT Engineering (Thunder Bay); and Mark Tulloch, CEO of Tulloch Engineering (Huntsville).
Richard Eberhardt, program director of reThink Green Sudbury, judged the essay scholarship submissions.
Since it was launched in 1986, NOBA has become the largest annual gathering of its kind in Northern Ontario. These awards have served to heighten the visibility and influence of business in the North and bring peer recognition to the business leaders who create prosperity and economic growth. Once again this year the Northern Policy Institute's State of the North Conference coincided with the event.
The 2018 Northern Ontario Business Awards program was co-hosted by North Bay Mayor Al McDonald and Wendy Watson, immediate past chair of the Greater...