Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Local businesses recognized

The Freeport News

The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) held its third annual Business Excellence Award Ceremony Saturday night at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort.

The evening recognized the many contributions of outstanding business persons to the island over the last year.

President of the Chamber, K. Peter Turnquest noted that when the GBCC originally thought up the concept of the awards the economy was not in the throes of an economic downturn.

"We thought amongst ourselves, how can the Chamber contribute to increasing the level of service and rewarding and identifying those institutions that have historically and continually rendered good service throughout community, and use them as an example for the rest of the business community to follow," he supplied.

After three years, Turnquest said he hopes the ceremony is serving its purpose by helping to promote better service and encouraging the community to deliver first-class service which Grand Bahama is capable of providing.

He congratulated all the nominees noting that to just be nominated made them all winners.

"It means that there are others out there who have visited your business and patronized your business and appreciated and recognized the level of service that you are giving. It means that you are a cut above the rest and for that you are winners," Turnquest said.

Offering remarks at the award ceremony was Kenneth Russell, member of parliament for High Rock.

"Today we live in a world where mediocrity is gaining ground on too many fronts, he said. "However, as long as there are persons who will not settle for anything else but their very best, excellence will remain as the overwhelming benchmark for doing what we do whether in business or otherwise in our endeavours."

He added that despite the recession it is heartening to see that there are businesses that appear to be thriving and are keeping Bahamians employed.

He noted that like many other businesses that have close down during the recession, the business persons being recognized could have followed suit and closed their doors but have instead stayed to weather the storm.

"These awards tell me that while others slept, the awardees tonight were toiling well into the night and as a consequence they flourished while others failed," Russell said. "Their tenacity of purpose and resolve has produced excellence in the workplace of their various businesses."

The awardees he said have made it possible for Grand Bahamians to still have their jobs and be able to pay their bills.

"I am proud of you, Grand Bahama is proud of you and most certainly, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is proud of you because without you continuing your businesses, without you shining that light for those of us to follow, without you continuing to roll the ball to keep your employees. There would be no us," Russell noted.

Taking home the award for outstanding businessperson of the year award was Keith Rolle owner of Stop 'N' Wash who thanked his family and employees for making his win possible.

"I hope that moving forward when we hear the word economy we can hear more robust words like flourishing, never been better, words of that nature," he said.

He added that if the island adapts that right attitude it can be achieved.

"If we pull together Grand Bahama can be one of the most uplifting communities in this region," Rolle supplied.

Also taking home awards for the night were Peter Taylor for developing entrepreneur of the year, Waugh Construction which won for philanthropic businessperson of the year and Maitland Cates for lifetime achievement award,

Company of the year Category A went to Butler's Specialty, while Category B went to Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company. Two president's awards were issued this year to Atlantic Medical Insurance Company and Hutchison Ports Freeport.

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