Barber Motors came away with the top prize of Business of the Year as well as winning the Golden Service Award in the WEYBEX Awards, presented virtually by the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce on Friday evening.
The hosts for the virtual event were Jeff Richards and Glenn Rogers, which was shown on the Access community channel and livestreamed online.
The category of best new or expanded business went to Fido’s Place Doggy Daycare and Training Centre, owned and operated by CindyAnn Boehm. The other two finalists were DSI Contracting and Mryglod Steel.
In accepting the award, Boehm said, “I was very humbled and honoured for Fido’s Place to be nominated. This business was started to bring a much-needed service to the community. Weyburn is such a great place to live, and it’s an honour to bring in a business to show how forward-thinking really is.”
She began the business in an empty quonset and a half-acre of bare land on Queen Street in March of 2019, and since then has grown and expanded the services provided, including a grooming service, a pet taxi, and the Good Canine Neighbour program through the Canadian Kennel Club, which held an event in April, the first time in 30 years in Weyburn. She plans to offer agility classes, and will be expanding the outside pens in June to provide a facility for the agility classes.
Boehm paid tribute to her staff, and said the business’s success was due to the community support and trust given by pet owners.
“We do this every day because we love it, so it’s a great honour for us because it’s an award to honour what we love to do,” said Boehm.
Andy Barber accepted the Golden Service Award on behalf of the Barber family, and he thanked his family for the parts they play in making the business successful, and he congratulated the other nominee for this award, RP Automotive.
He paid tribute to his father Mal, his business partner and mentor, who “sets the bar high every day and pushes me every to do better. He always leads by example, and he loves to be there every day and to be involved. He’s taught us how important it is to always treat people fairly and provide value to all of our customers.”
Barber said the “real stars of the show” are the staff who go above and beyond every day.
“This past year hasn’t been without its challenges, but the staff showed up and they came to play, every day, also our customers could feel safe and secure coming into our business. They’re very very deserving of the Golden Service Award,” he said.
The Community Involvement award was won by the Weyburn Oilwomen Association, and the other nominees were DSI Contracting and NSWB Law Firm.
Jordan Szczecinski spoke on behalf of the Weyburn Oilwomen, an organization that began in 2007 as a partner organization to the Weyburn Oilfield Technical Society, and is operated by a volunteer board of “women who wanted to make a difference in the community.”
“We’re very honoured to receive this award from the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce. We’re very proud of the work our organization has done over the last number of years. We strive every day to make a new impact with every event we host, with every sponsorship and with every scholarship we award,” she said.
The Weyburn Oilwomen sponsor two scholarships at Southeast College, worth $1,000 each, and more recently they also offer two $500 scholarships to graduates of the Weyburn Comprehensive School. They have also provided donations to many community organizations, like Envision Counselling, the Weyburn Hospital Foundation, Weyburn Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Therapeutic Animal Park.
The Business Leader of the Year was Don Shumlich, CEO of the Weyburn Credit Union, a position he has held for the last 16 of the 21 years he has worked there.
He paid tribute to his board of directors, the vice-presidents he works with on the executive team for the Credit Union, and the staff.
“The staff of the Credit Union are the heart and soul of the organization,” said Shumlich, noting that particularly through the pandemic in 2020, “they stepped up big time and showed up big time for each member. They gave the community their best during the pandemic, and they are absolutely the best.”
He also acknowledged every business leader in the community, who lost sleep and agonized over decisions made in the past year, and cared about the people they employ and the people they serve.
“I will do my best to keep living up to it,” Shumlich said of this award.
During the evening, the Chamber also featured the new inductees to the Business Hall of Fame: Don’s Plumbing and Heating, RP Automotive and East Wey Auto Body.
Don’s Plumbing has served Weyburn and area for over 30 years, originally operated by Neil and Donna Hastings, and now is owned and operated by Todd and Angie Hastings, with a staff of around 20 people.
RP Automotive is owned and operated by Rodney Pickering since June of 2001, starting out as a two-bay garage to its current operation as a four-bay garage with six staff, including three journeymen technicians.
East Wey Auto Body is currently owned and operated by Dwayne Leslie and Steve Roelfsema, who took over the business in 2007 from the original owners, Arnold Leslie and Wayne Satre, who started it up in 1978.
The winners of the judged categories will be forwarded to the provincial ABEX Awards, to be presented by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce in October.