2018 Recipients

The 2018 Annual General Meeting & Business Achievement Awards was a big success on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018, with over 180 people in attendance! 

We were able to recognize numerous local businesses who have contributed to the local economy and made a positive impact on Southern Georgian Bay. 

The recipients of the 2018 Business Achievement Awards are: 

Willow Graphix & Co. – Small Business 


Maureen Reid (Meridian Credit Union – Award Sponsor) & Michelle Rogers (Willow Graphix & Co.)

Willow Graphix & Co. started as a home-based business in 2012 and, through dedication and hard work, it quickly had to seek out a new location to accommodate the increasing number in staff to meet the growing clientele list of well over 200.

Willow Graphix & Co. experienced growth in sales at an amazing 303% in 6 years, giving credit to Michelle Rogers’ innovation in developing what would have been basic graphic design services to full marketing/social media services.

Michelle volunteered many hours of her branding and marketing services to non-profit organizations, which has helped these organizations increase their profile in Southern Georgian Bay. 

Through Willow Graphix & Co.’s vision and mission, they are a leader in Southern Georgian Bay in both ethics and morals.


ADM Milling Co. – Large Business 

(Unable to attend – no picture available) 

Since its inception in 1923, ADM Milling Co. has transformed crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world.  Together with their 270 global manufacturing facilities, they are today one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers.

ADM Milling Co. connects the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses. They continue to use all transportation networks – barges, ocean-going vessels, trucks, rails and container freight services.

ADM Milling Co., located in Southern Georgian Bay, have been in our community for 95 years and currently employ 59 people. They support the community by donating on average $8-10,000 per year.


Open A Party – New Business 


Jamie Redgrift (Open A Party) & Devon Teeple (RBC – Award Sponsor)

Southern Georgian Bay recognized Open A Party as a new business that has experienced rapid growth and expansion within a short period.  From a home “basement” setting to recently acquiring a 15,000 square foot warehouse; from two employees to now employing 22 employees; from being a best kept secret in Southern Georgian Bay to supplying customers internationally; and from being supportive to charitable organizations to providing generous donations to charitable events and fundraisers. 

Open A Party knows how to make a party look its best!!


Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association  Community Support 


Marlene Thornbury (CIBC – Award Sponsor) & Charlotte Nicholson (Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association)

The Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1989.  Its main source of funding flows from the hard work of volunteers who run various fundraising activities, and grants from various government sources. 

The Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association’s principal concern is to support and endorse culture, language and heritage in this diverse community. Their programs include nurturing expectant mothers, developing healthy children, and improving independent seniors lifestyles.  In collaboration with over thirteen organizations in Southern Georgian Bay, they are able to extend their outreach to the many native women and children who would benefit from the programs and assistance being offered through this organization. 

The Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association a significant role in developing a health community.


The Faris Team – Ambassador Award 


Daniel Faris, Sabrina Staunton, Sean Molnar, Jenny Jeune, and Ryan Lesperance (The Faris Team) & Susan Hrickovian (TD Bank – Award Sponsor)

Mark Faris started his career at the age of 24 and within 10 years, has grown his team from 2 to over 50 employees.

The Faris Team established in Southern Georgian Bay in 2014 to deliver better services to their clients.   By opening an office in the community, they created additional job opportunities and invested in products and services provided by neighbouring employers. They believe in giving back to the community by supporting and donating to charitable organizations.

Through technological advancements and continual investments, the Faris Team have become Global Agents advertising on international websites, reaching over 100 countries in multiple languages. They are proud to feature Southern Georgian Bay on their website and social channels to promote the area to attract potential clients from the GTA and surrounding communities.

The Faris Team’s rock-solid customer service is for life, “so a sale is not the end of a relationship, but only the beginning.”


Bayshore Lanes Bowling Centre –

President’s Award 


Kathy Watson (Scotiabank- Award Sponsor) with Pauline & Dennis Brabant (Bayshore Lanes) & daughters, Marlena, Monique and Miranda

Bayshore Lanes Bowling Centre originally started in Southern Georgian Bay just after the war and was purchased by new owners in the 1950’s. With over 51 years of involvement with the bowling centre, the Dennis Brabant eventually had the opportunity to purchase the business in 1984.  Since then, Bayshore Lanes Bowling Centre became a major part of the Brabant’s daily lives.

The Brabant’s involvement in this sport was further extended to the community ranging from youths to seniors.  Families, friends and the community participated in local competitions and travelled beyond to compete provincially and nationally.

Through Dennis and Pauline’s continued financial investments and innovative changes, Bayshore Lanes Bowling Centre is thriving and the sport is growing in popularity for individuals and families.

Bayshore Lanes Bowling Centre is recognized for keeping the residents in Southern Georgian Bay active for 70 years.


Meridian Credit Union, Maureen Reid –

President’s Award 


Meridian believes in investing, nurturing, and engaging their employees, clients, and community. At least 4% of Meridian’s profits are invested in community programs and partnerships.

Not only is financial contributions an investment for Meridian, but time and energy from staff is a major factor in delivering these programs and building partnerships.   For this reason, Maureen Reid is an excellent candidate for the President’s award, because many of those hours are Maureen’s personal time and energy.  Maureen is well recognized in Southern Georgian Bay because she has committed to many organizations and events over the past number of years.