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Annual Business Excellence Awards celebrate best in the business

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Newbies, repeat winners and family legacies were honoured Thursday night as the Business Excellence Awards returned to an in-person ceremony for the first time in three years.

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The 2022 Business Excellence Awards, presented by Windsor Star, were handed out during a gala at the Chrysler Theatre. It was the first time the BEAs, a networking event organized by the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce, were presented live since 2019. The event was postponed in 2020 and presented online in 2021.

The event was  carried live on YourTV. A dinner in the Skyline Ballroom at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts followed the awards presentation.

Twelve winners were honoured. Among them was Penalty Box Restaurant owner Van Niforos, who received the Believe Windsor-Essex Award. He was honoured for a range of efforts such has his support of charities and athletic programs, and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included maintaining staff levels and increasing wages at his restaurant.

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Federica Nazzani of Capital Assist (Valuation) received the ATHENA Leadership Award.

After benefitting from female mentorship and leadership on her way up, Nazzani is now focused on “giving back” and mentoring other women. She has also donates her time to many non-profit groups and community organizations. She currently volunteers on the Art Windsor Essex (AWE) board of directors and is a member of the Windsor Cancer Research Group Strategic Partnership Committee.

Federica Nazzani, Managing Partner of Capital Assist (Valuation) Inc., receives the ATHENA Leadership Award at the 2022 Business Excellence Awards at the Chrysler Theatre on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Federica Nazzani, Managing Partner of Capital Assist (Valuation) Inc., receives the ATHENA Leadership Award at the 2022 Business Excellence Awards at the Chrysler Theatre on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

This is Nazzani’s second BEA. She won the Professional of the Year Award in 2015.

Other repeat winners included Wolfhead Distillery, which picked up the Tourism and Hospitality Award to go along with its 2018 BEA for New Company of the Year.

It was the first trophy for Jenna Tolmie of SPARK Pediatric Services, who took home the New Company of the Year Award. But the BEAs are something of a family tradition. Her father, David Batten, won the 1995 Company of the Year Award for Manz Contracting Services.

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SPARK, which has grown to a staff of 27 since opening in Oct. 2020, has collaborated with Autism Ontario and The Sunshine Foundation of Canada to “help make dreams come true” for children with severe physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. The company also adapted during the pandemic to provide virtual therapy through a secure teletherapy platform.

The Business Excellence Awards will be rebroadcast several times in the coming weeks to Cogeco subscribers on YourTV, including May 24th at 4 p.m., May 26th at 7 p.m. and May 30 at 8 p.m.

With the end of Thursday’s ceremony, planning for the 2023 event has begun.

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The date and location have yet to be determined, but nominations in all 12 categories will open in the fall. Details will be available at windsoressexchamber.org.

Goran Tororovic of Team Goran, RE/MAX CARE Realty, receives the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 2022 Business Excellence Awards at the Chrysler Theatre on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Goran Tororovic of Team Goran, RE/MAX CARE Realty, receives the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 2022 Business Excellence Awards at the Chrysler Theatre on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

2022 Business Excellence Award Winners

ATHENA Leadership Award

Federica Nazzani

Capital Assist (Valuation) Inc

Believe Windsor-Essex Award

Van Niforos

Penalty Box Restaurant

Entrepreneur of the Year

Goran Todorovic

Team Goran, RE/MAX CARE Realty

Green Innovation

Green Heart Kitchen

Large Company of the Year

Red Sun Farms

Mid-Size Company of the Year

Windsor Chapel Funeral and Cremation

New Company of the Year

SPARK Pediatric Services

Pillars of our Community

Fight Like Mason Foundation

Professional of the Year

Fiona Coughlin

Habitat For Humanity Windsor-Essex

Small Company of the Year

Absolute Comfort Control Services

Tourism and Hospitality

Wolfhead Distillery

Young Professional

Sawyer Telegdy

Shred Shop Wellness Complex

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