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Business excellence is celebrated at WEYBEX

Weyburn Chamber of Commerce hosts event

Weyburns business community gathered for a gala celebration of business excellence, as the biennial WEYBEX Awards were presented in several categories on Friday evening at McKenna Hall, hosted by the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce.The winners of the WEYBEX now advance to the provincial ABEX Awards, presented by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

In the category of New or Expanded Business Award, sponsored by Community Futures Sunrise, the winner was Southern Industrial and Truck, which also went on to be named the overall Business of the Year Award winner.Owner Dennice Rouse noted they started out with three employees in 1989, and grew over the years as their business expanded, first with the facilities on First Avenue, which they purchased and renovated in 1996. In 2006, the oilfield division moved to quarters on Queen Street, and subsequently they became the local dealers for International Trucks. Spread in three locations, they purchased a lot for a new building in 2009, and on Jan. 18, 2010, they moved in to the new 36,000-sq.-ft. facility located just south of Main Track, with 43 employees currently. The three companies include Southern Industrial, J.R. Wellsite Power, and Rouse Industries.Its very much an honour to be recognized by your peers, said Rouse following the ceremonies. We were literally out of space even to hire more people. Now this facility can house all three companies. We have the opportunity to expand all three companies, and were able to facilitate that.She added the company is always looking for opportunities to expand. When the opportunity presents itself, Im sure well move forward with it.The Golden Service Award, sponsored by Cogent Business Consulting, was presented to Joe Cayen of Canadian Tire.The Weyburn store has been in the top 25 of all Canadian Tire stores in Canada for 22 months.We strive every day to provide good customer service. There should 35-40 people up here with me, because theyre the reason for it, said Cayen, noting it was almost four years to the day when he received word in Toronto that he would be getting the Weyburn store.

Its been a whirlwind adventure ever since. (Weyburn) has been one of the best-kept secrets; we quite enjoy it here. We look forward to the future and are very glad to be a part of it, he said.The Business Hall of Fame, sponsored by New Age Electronics, saw four inductees at the 2010 WEYBEX, including Aldon Oils, Barber Motors, Terrys Cycle and the Weyburn Review.Norm Mondor accepted the award for Aldon Oils, which began operations in 1975, and has been steadily growing and expanding in the years since. Mondor was inducted into the Saskatchewan Oil Industry Hall of Fame at the 2009 Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show.He said their first office was in the basement of their home, until they grew out of the space and moved into the old Bank of Montreal building.We started by buying up old oil wells that were not economic for other people to produce. We have 150 horizontal wells in the Midale, Bakken and Red River formations with good success, and now with $70-80 a barrel oil, its hard to make a mistake, said Mondor.Mal Barber accepted for Barber Motors, who made note they have been a part of General Motors for over 66 years, and said the quality of their staff is the main reason they are here today.Being a part of Weyburn with a strong business community makes it better, because were all in business together, he said, noting his competitors help keep them sharp.His grandfather Cecil started the business in 1949, followed by his father Ron. He noted at one time his father was advised to shut their doors, but my dad didnt believe that was the way to go.

All of his family has worked in the business at one time or another, he added, and said they look forward to continuing business in the best place in the world.Terrys Cycles award was accepted by chamber manager Jeff Richards on behalf of Marence Pierce, who was at a family wedding and couldnt attend. The founder of the business, Terry and Marlene Pierce, were on hand in the audience.

Richards read out information supplied by Pierce, who noted the Weyburn business is now owned and operated by the third generation since starting in 1968, and adding Yamaha in 1971. The Weyburn dealership is one of the longest-standing Yamaha dealers in Canada.Part of the longevity of the business has been third and fourth generations of customers who are supportive, as well great employees who are like a family at the business.Publisher and general manager Darryl Ward accepted the award for the Weyburn Review, which was established in Weyburn in 1909. Ward noted the current newspaper business is successful today due to the work of Ernie and Irene Neufeld, who bought the paper in 1958, continuing today with himself and wife Patricia who have been involved in the papers operations for over 30 years.

Doing business in Weyburn has been a very good thing, said Ward.The Community Involvement Award, sponsored by SaskEnergy, was presented to United Centrifuge, and accepted by Wayne Ebel.United Centrifuge donates funds to various community groups and initiatives, with their policy to first help projects and programs that benefit the youth of the community. The employees are encouraged to become involved in the community, and they have logged over 2,000 volunteer hours for various events in the community over the past five years.

In accepting the award, Ebel told the audience, The staff gets the award. Its all about the kids.The Business Leader of the Year, sponsored by Cenovus Energy, is Don Kraft, the general manager of the Weyburn Co-op.

Under his tenure over the last 15 years, he has seen sales grow from $18 million to $53 million, with every facility having upgrades in the last eight years.Im very humbled to receive this, there many other people in the community who are more deserving of this award, said Kraft. I think its a great honour just to be nominated. I have to say thank you to the members of the board and management, and the staff, certainly the customers, for allowing me to implement some of my goals. We have a few unfulfilled dreams, and I want to continue to expand service of the community and expand the role the company plays with supporting non-profit organizations, and continuing to build the community.