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Area businesses named as provincial award finalists

Eileen Steinhauer (back) and Jenny Houle are the longest employed Sewing and Garment employees in Goodfish Lake. The pair is pictured making face masks.

ST. PAUL - A few well-known area businesses have been named finalists in the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction.

St. Paul-based Internet provider MCSnet has been named a finalist in the marketing category, while Cornerstone Co-op has been named a finalist in the Community Attraction category. Goodfish Lake Business Corporation has also been named a finalist in the Indigenous category.

The Alberta Business Awards of Distinction recognize businesses and organizations that demonstrate "outstanding achievement and contribution to their community while having developed business acumen and management practices to ensure long term sustainability," reads the awards website. The awards are hosted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.

The Indigenous Award of Distinction recognizes a business or organization that demonstrates outstanding business achievement by incorporating Indigenous cultural concepts and community engagement into strategies, practices and processes.
According to the corporation's CEO, Tom Jackson, being named a finalist means a lot for the organization. The corporation includes three different areas - laundry, garment manufacturing, and dry cleaning. The dry cleaning portion has been around for over 40 years, says Jackson. Being named a finalist gives the business corporation more recognition and helps affirm the corporation is on the right track in continuing to grow its business.
Right now, business is "very busy" says Jackson. The corporation has been deemed an essential service and the sewing and garment section has been busy making face masks for employees in the energy sector. Two of the three businesses operate on reserve, located northwest of St. Paul, and the laundary business operates out of Lac La Biche.

The Marketing Award of Distinction recognizes a business or organization that develops and implements marketing strategies that have a demonstrable impact on business outcomes.

"We are extremely humbled and honoured to be named as a finalist for the Marketing category of the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction 2020," says Jerico Vanbrabant, CEO with MCSnet. He extends a special thank-you to the St. Paul & District Chamber of Commerce for nominating the business.

"I am extremely proud of our team and the cohesiveness going forward," says Vanbrabant. He offers a special mention to Rhonda Lafrance, the company's Marketing Coordinator who has personally overseen the entire re-brand that MCSnet went through in the past year.

"We could not have done this without her and are extremely grateful. . . This was a team effort with countless hours put in to align the marketing with who MCSnet really is, who we really are. We are local. We are invested, because we live and work in your communities."

Community Attraction

The Community Attraction Award of Distinction recognizes a business or organization that has influenced a community by making the community a more attractive place to work, live, visit and play.

"We are very honoured to be selected as a finalist with the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction in the category of Community Attraction. We pride ourselves on making life better in our communities," says Graham Getz, General Manager, Cornerstone Co-operative. "We operate in eight communities and proudly serve over 30,000 owners. We understand business and communities is all about people coming together and working towards a shared vision," he adds.
Speaking about the current situation, dealing with COVID-19, the idea of supporting community has been affirmed.
"During our current reality, this concept becomes ever more clear, and we truly want to thank our team and owners for making this possible," said Getz. "We wish to congratulate all of the other local finalists and offer our support and best wishes to all of the local businesses during this trying time.
Prior to the announcement of finalists, a list of those nominated was also made available. Other St. Paul based businesses on the list included: Zarowny Motors nominated in the Customer Service Award category; St. Paul Municipal Seed Cleaning Plant nominated in the Global Growth Award category; and New Beginning Law nominated in the Women Entrepreneur Award category.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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