Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo                                Business Excellence Award’s business person of the year winners, Ryan Moreno (second from left) and Mostafa Sabeti (right), pose for a photo with their wives after winning the corporate and self-owned categories, respectively.

Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo Business Excellence Award’s business person of the year winners, Ryan Moreno (second from left) and Mostafa Sabeti (right), pose for a photo with their wives after winning the corporate and self-owned categories, respectively.

Business community feted in anniversary event

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce awards celebrate excellence

Representatives of a broad spectrum of Semiahmoo Peninsula-based businesses gathered to celebrate excellence among their peers Wednesday night.

The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber Business Excellence Awards, at Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club, marked the 20th anniversary of the event, and there was a significant difference this year, executive director Ritu Khanna noted.

“It was the first time the chamber opened up the awards to the entire business community, rather than just chamber members,” she said, adding that two new categories – recognizing businesses that are supporters of the arts and businesses that are community builders – were also added.

“We have a wealth of experience and expertise here,” she said.

“We wanted to recognize the whole community and invite all businesses to become members and make our network stronger. This was also an acknowledgement that we are a growing community and an important part of the Greater Vancouver area for employment and economic growth.”

Mostafa Sabeti of Golden Glory Martial Arts Academy was named business person of the year in the self-owned category.

“I’m very happy to be here in this beautiful country, this beautiful province and city,” the Tehran, Iran-born entrepreneur and kickboxing champion told the crowd after accepting his award.

“I came here to Canada 12 years ago, and the first day I landed in Canada I really felt this was my home,” he added. “It has been very hard and challenging as a new immigrant, but I tried to do my best and from the first I had lots of great, great Canadian friends who helped me and made be proud to be a Canadian.”

Ryan Moreno, co-founder of the Joseph Richard Group, received business person of the year laurels in the corporate category, while the company itself – a fast-growing chain of public houses, restaurants and liquor stores – was honoured as business of the year in the 41-employee-plus category.

In accepting his personal award, Moreno said that “like everybody in the room, I’ve never done anything that we’ve ever done for awards or things like that – but to be recognized with all of you is very humbling and an honour.

“All the businesses here make our community what it is, and my wife and I are so proud to be a part of the community and to raise our kids here.”

Also receiving business of the year recognition were (in the one-to-10-employee category) White Rock Beach Beer Company; and (in the 11-to-40- employee category) Ocean Park Pizza and Village Pub.

Looby Doo, a European-style boutique for children’s clothing and accessories, was named new business of the year; theatre, film and television training studio The Drama Class took the new award for supporter of the arts, while the host venue, Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club, was honoured as community builder of the year.

The Peace Arch Hospice Society was recognized as non-profit organization of the year, and executive director Beth Kish, in accepting the award, paid special tribute to 27-year volunteer Jean Walker, who has just turned 90. Earlier in the evening, attendees serenaded Walker with an impromptu chorus of ‘Happy Birthday To You’.

Chamber president Adam Smith offered opening remarks and introduced master of ceremonies Mark Madryga, well-known TV weather presenter, while Greg Timms, Surrey-based American Olympic Softball qualifier was guest speaker.

Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by singer-songwriter-guitarist Richard Tichelman.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Peace Arch News publisher and award sponsor Dwayne Weidendorf presents business of the year honours (in the 11-40 employee category) to Ocean Park Pizza and Village Pub, with the award accepted by Costa and Nico Docolas on behalf of their parents, owners George and Linda Docolas.

Peace Arch News publisher and award sponsor Dwayne Weidendorf presents business of the year honours (in the 11-40 employee category) to Ocean Park Pizza and Village Pub, with the award accepted by Costa and Nico Docolas on behalf of their parents, owners George and Linda Docolas.

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce executive director Ritu Khanna (left) with Surrey Board of Trade chief executive officer Anita Huberman. (Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo)

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce executive director Ritu Khanna (left) with Surrey Board of Trade chief executive officer Anita Huberman. (Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo)

Former City of White Rock mayor Catherine Ferguson (left) with master of ceremonies Mark Madryga.(Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo)

Former City of White Rock mayor Catherine Ferguson (left) with master of ceremonies Mark Madryga.(Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo)

Rising White Rock singer-songwriter Richard Tichelman was on hand to supply musical entertainment at the event. (Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo)

Rising White Rock singer-songwriter Richard Tichelman was on hand to supply musical entertainment at the event. (Adrienne Thiessen/Gemini Visuals photo)

Just Posted

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Keir Macdonald, CEO of Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery Education Society, with the “first of its kind” Adult Residential Substance Use and Supportive Recovery Facility Homelessness Count. It was done around the time of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count (March 3 to 4, 2020) to complement the count. (Photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey homeless, recovery counts show need for long-term solutions

This was the first time recovery, substance use facilities were included in the count

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read