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2015 Airdrie Business Awards

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Daring to be Remarkable

The best and brightest of Airdrie’s small-business community were honoured at the 2015 Airdrie Business Awards in October.

Derek Lalonde of Edward Jones Investments received the Airdrie Business Leader Award for his seemingly endless enthusiasm in giving back to the community and promoting the city through his business and volunteer efforts.

“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Lalonde says. “There are so many great people who do a lot for promoting business and community and doing stuff for charities. It’s pretty special to be looked upon as a leader amongst them.

“It feels good to be giving back into the community and seeing what your volunteerism is doing,” he adds. “I feel it rejuvenates one’s own business … you’re energized and ready to do more work.”

Lorelei Talbot accepted the Winning Edge Award for Astoria Asset Management by paying tribute to her staff.

“You guys persevere through things that I could never imagine,” Talbot says. “We talk about strengths in business … your strength is who you are. (My staff is) very, very strong and they inspire me every day.”

After receiving the award honouring businesses demonstrating achievement in growth, customer service and innovative practices, Talbot adds: “We talk about bringing people together [in business] … this year has been about personal strengths. I am a better person because of who my staff are.”

The Eco Edge Award honoured The Hair Lounge for its work in promoting environmental stewardship, including recycling chemicals, hair and even the little foil strips used for hair colouring. Hair Lounge previously won the 2014 Winning Edge and Family Friendly awards.

Owner Wendy Bates-Wiebe said that her staff proves you don’t have to be a big business to reduce your footprint. Even hair clippings are recycled (for oil-spill mops), Bates-Wiebe says, estimating that The Hair Lounge has diverted some 2,000 pounds of waste.

“It’s an easy transition to be more environmentally friendly and change our impact,” she says. “The amount of chemicals that go down the drain in a salon is huge, so to remove that [is significant].”

The Family Friendly Award honoured CrossFit 403 for embracing family values, not only for its employees, but also its customers.

“Everyone together [at CrossFit], as a family unit, we’ve all given back,” owner Heather Crippen says after receiving the award just ahead of hosting the annual CF24 fundraiser to support Special Olympics, for which CrossFit 403 has raised more than $300,000 over the years. “When families do things together, it strengthens the family bond.”

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