File photo Philip Aguirre won the Business Person of the Year award during the Surrey Business Excellence Awards event held Tuesday.

Newton restaurateur and BIA boss wins Surrey Business Person of the Year award

Winners in seven categories announced Tuesday at Surrey Board of Trade-hosted gala

Some of Surrey’s best businesses were recognized during Surrey Board of Trade’s 20th annual Business Excellence Awards gala on Tuesday evening (Nov. 6).

More than 400 people attended the Oscars-style event at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

The Business Person of the Year award was given to Philip Aguirre, who heads the Newton Business Improvement Association and operates Old Surrey Restaurant on 72nd Avenue.

• RELATED STORY: Newton BIA unveils an ambitious 20-year plan, from 2015.

Winners of Business of the Year awards were Symbiosis Pediatric Therapy Inc. (in the category of one to 10 employees), HealthTech Connex Inc. (11 to 40 employees) and Silver Icing Inc. (41-plus employees).

Silver Icing, a company that offers casual fashion and accessories through independent online stylists, also won the night’s Corporate Social Responsibility Recognition Award, given to a business that works “to improve the lives of their employees and to enhance the civic environment in which they operate.”

Maple Organics, established as Canada’s first organic pharmaceuticals company, won the New Business of the Year award.

The Not-for-Profit/Association of the Year award went to Surrey Hospital Foundation, described as the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and region.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey Business Excellence Awards nominees named.

A judging team evaluated award finalists in a number of areas.

“The Surrey Board of Trade focused on the strength and innovation within every entrepreneur to take an idea and use it as the foundation for building a business,” said Anita Huberman, the board’s CEO. “They are inspirational – from the very small business to the large business to the not for profit service organization to the very innovative student entrepreneurs.”

Posted below are bios for each of the award winners, as submitted by Surrey Board of Trade.

BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

“Philip Aguirre is a Certified Professional Accountant with a Degree in Bachelor of Commerce from University of Victoria. He grew up in a typical immigrant family where hard work is emphasized. His parents opened the Old Surrey Restaurant in 1975, and at age 9, Philip was lucky to have gained his first experience at work as a dishwasher. From then on, Philip gained invaluable knowledge and experience working with people who inspired him to be a leader and a mentor, to work with passion and pride, work ethics and a consuming need to adapt to the ever changing environment. The Old Surrey Restaurant’s success over the last 39 years is a testament to Philip’s innovative, yet compassionate kind of leadership.”

BUSINESS WITH 1-10 EMPLOYEES

“Symbiosis Pediatric Therapy was founded and incorporated in 2009 by Sumanta and Shalini Das, two Pediatric Occupational Therapists, in response to a shortage of services for children with special needs and insufficient levels of support for their families in the Metro Vancouver and surrounding areas. Symbiosis initially started delivering full-spectrum private pediatric therapy services through a large, state of the art facility in Surrey. To cater to the growing need for their services over the next few years, the company has expanded to three more locations in South Surrey, Delta, and Abbotsford. Symbiosis has a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Behaviour Consultants, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Physiotherapists, Behaviour Interventionists and Clinic coordinators, who are all passionate about providing excellent therapy services to children and their families. Over the past ten years, as a trusted therapy center for children with special needs, Symbiosis has transformed the lives of more than 2000 families by providing high quality, evidence-based therapy services.”

BUSINESS WITH 11-40 EMPLOYEES

“HealthTech Connex Inc. routinely measures the body’s vital signs to evaluate a state of health (including blood pressure and heart rate); however, no equivalent measurement exists for monitoring brain function. With 1-in-3 Canadians experiencing devastating brain conditions in their lifetime, HealthTech Connex believes that bringing brain vital signs to the world is long overdue. HealthTech Connex is proud to be a Surrey-based health technology company bridging the gap between what’s capable in the laboratory and what’s available in the real-world. As a result, it has successfully developed the world’s first objective, physiological brain vital sign technology, that translates complex brain waves into easily obtainable and understandable markers of brain function. While the science and technology behind their innovation is complex, their vision is fairly simple, but ultimately important: Making brain health monitoring as accessible to the public as blood pressure monitoring is today.”

BUSINESS WITH 41+ Employees

“Silver Icing is an innovative, social selling, fashion company that offers casual fashion and accessories through Independent Online Stylists. Silver Icing’s commission-based Online Stylist program is a “business-in-a-box” for people who want to be in the fashion industry but don’t want the burden of selecting, carrying or investing in inventory. Each Online Stylist receives a personalized version of the website, Facebook Page and access to the ‘Online Stylist Hub’ – the Company’s private online stylist community. Stylists share first hand product knowledge that can be used to tailor advice on size, fit and quality for each of their customers providing customers a level of confidence in selecting the right fit for them.”

NOT FOR PROFIT/ASSOCIATION

“Surrey Hospital Foundation is the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and surrounding Fraser Valley communities. They raise funds for facilities, programs and innovations that save lives and reduce waiting times. The Foundation supports the major health facilities in the region, Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH), Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), as well as numerous specialized programs for newborns, children, adults and seniors. As a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of British Columbia, Surrey Memorial Hospital houses the second busiest children’s centre in the province. As a LEED-certified facility, JPOCSC is a ground breaking medical centre, with over 50 clinics and programs. In total, the Foundation supports a campus that includes 12 buildings with over 5,000 employees – a health-care campus that touches the lives of thousands of patients every day and cares for the whole family, from birth to end-of-life any everything in between. Their medical and professional teams work tirelessly to combine clinical excellence with human compassion for every family member in our growing community.”

NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

“Maple Organics is Canada’s first Organic Pharmaceuticals Company. Their mission is to make families healthier through their organic, pure and effective products while providing flexible career opportunities. They manufacture and sell organic body care, baby care, pharmaceutical and hair care products formulated with a very unique ingredient — Kokum Butter. Their products are USDA Organic-certified and their therapeutic products also carry Natural Product Numbers licensed by Health Canada allowing them to make medical claims on their efficacy. The business was conceptualized to ensure that families globally would have safe, clean and effective alternatives to commercial products.”

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