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Fortress Windows & Doors business of the year

2016 BBEX Awards

It was a big night for Fortress Windows & Doors at the 2016 BBEX Awards held at the Dekker Centre in North Battleford.

They took home the Business of the Year category, the prestige category with the winner selected among all the finalists in the six open categories of awards.

Biggar MLA Randy Weekes, representing Dustin Duncan the minister for SaskTel, presented the Business of the Year BBEX award to Kevin Driedger, owner/ manager of Fortress Windows & Doors. 

“It took me by surprise,” Driedger admitted. 

But he says he feels the business has always done its best to provide good service to customers, quality products and a “positive atmosphere” for their staff. He credited a “loyal customer base” for the success of the business.

“I’m so thankful for all the good customers. It’s really been a privilege to serve here,” he said.

There were eight awards categories overall and fierce competition for the 23rd annual awards, which were crafted by photographer Gilbert Katerynych.

There was a noticeable change this year in the presentation. Heath Gabruch who took on duties as MC from long-time MC David Dekker. 

One reason Dekker was not the MC that he was accepting the 2016 Heritage Award, awarded this year to the Dekker family for their radio station involvement in the Battlefords, an involvement that went back to Harry and Christine Dekker and the Double Dekker Breakfast Club on CJNB radio.

David and the other members of the Dekker family took to the stage to accept the award.

“We are sincerely honoured and humbled to receive this award,” he said.

“When you have a family business, everyone in the family is involved, whether it’s directly or indirectly. And that’s the reason why we have the entire family here for this award.”

The Heritage Award was the only category in which the recipient was announced prior to the event, recognizing pioneer and cornerstone business leaders who have demonstrated excellence over an extended period of time. 

In the category of Community Contribution, the BBEX went to Lakeland Veterinary Services Ltd. Dr. Shawn Haas, owner-manager, accepted the award from Nicole Suberlak, branch manager, Scotiabank.

Other nominees are Anderson Pump House Ltd., Fisher’s Drug Store and Loraas Environmental Services.

For Micro Business the award went to Jewellery Connection Inc., with David Odishaw accepting the award presented by Daniel Johnson of Innovation Credit Union.

The other nominees were Beaver Grill Express, Dream Realty Ltd., Maunula Electric Ltd. and Vitality Acupuncture and Massage.

For Marketing, the BBEX went to Gold Eagle Casino. Kerry Sapp, marketing manager, accepted the award presented by Norm Hochbaum, commercial account manager,  Bank of Montreal.

Other nominees in the category were Access Communications Co-operative Ltd., Bridges Chevrolet Buick Ltd., Empress Furniture and Décor, Norsask Farm Equipment Ltd., North West College, Oil Can Charlie’s Ltd., Platinum Salon and Spa and River Valley Eye Care.

For New Business Venture, going to a business that operated for more than one but less than three years, the BBEX went to All Out Graphics & Design Ltd. Cory Hill, senior account manager, Business Development Bank of Canada, presented the award to owner Nicole O’Driscoll. 

Other nominees were Artrageous Custom Art Finishing & Gallery, Just 4 Pets Supplies and Services, LUK Plumbing Heating & Electric Ltd. and Maunula Electric Ltd.

For Customer Service, in recognition of service and hospitality, the BBEX went to Fisher’s Drug Store. Gerald Pohl from Cogent Chartered Professional Accountants LLP presented the award to Diane Grondin and Darren Erbach, co-owners.

Other nominees were Artrageous Custom Art Finishing & Gallery, Betty Bubbles Auto & RV Wash, Eternal Memories Funeral Home and Crematorium, Fortress Windows & Doors Ltd., Fountain Tire, Innovation Credit Union, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Oil Can Charlie’s Ltd. and Visual Eyes Optical.

Finally, in the category of Battlefords’ Best Employer the BBEX went to Howard and Sharon Kirby of Anderson Pump House, Ltd.

Gord Dobrowolsky, representing the Sask. Workers Compensation Board, presented the BBEX Award in that category. Other nominees were Cargill Ag Horizons, Discovery Co-operative Ltd., Gold Eagle Casino, Ilta Grain Ltd., Innovation Credit Union and Prairie Cleaning Call.