The North Vancouver Chamber is proud to announce the Winners of the 2020 COVID-19 Local Leaders Awards in recognition of excellence in the North Vancouver business community during the pandemic.
These awards showcase a few of the many members of our business community who deserve our recognition for demonstrating initiative, community support and local leadership during these challenging times.
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all who participated in these awards through your nominations, sponsorship, and general community support. Please continue to offer your support to these and other North Vancouver businesses by shopping local.
Live Well Exercise Clinic specializes in exercise for people who have medical needs – they might be suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer or have some other need that requires more specialized care. Many of the clients they see don’t feel comfortable at a regular gym, and a great deal of the attraction of Live Well is the community and support they feel as members there. The Live Well team was quick to realize that while the gym might be closed, their clients still needed support and community. They rapidly transitioned to online training to keep contact with their clients and to ensure that they didn’t reverse the progress they had made at Live Well. Now that the gym is back open, Live Well is using best practices to ensure that their staff and vulnerable clients are safe. The fact that the staff genuinely care for their clients shines through.
Twin Lions Contracting contacted the North Shore Women’s Centre, during an early phase of COVID, to see if there was any way they could support the Centre during the pandemic as a local, non-profit organization. They came out to assist with a number of small repair and construction projects and donated countless hours of time to provide insight, give advice, share resources and do voluntary service work on multiple occasions. No task was too big or small for them including changing lightbulbs and light fixtures, installing blinds, building cabinetry, patching ceilings and more. They even put the Centre in contact with some of their suppliers so that they could get discounted construction products and came back another time to check out a malfunctioning appliance. The quality of their work, attention to detail and professionalism was the same as if they were working on a large paying project. They were always friendly, reliable and generous. As the North Shore Women’s Centre starts to gradually re-open, the work of Twin Lions Contracting will be seen to have helped facilitate a safer and more comfortable environment for those who seek support and services during this difficult time.
Thomas FX is a special effects company for the local film industry. When businesses had to shut down, they pivoted from making artificial snow, ash, etc. for film sets to focusing on how to sanitize. Starting with adapting their fog machines by adding sanitizing liquid, they graduated to UV sanitizing using company Biotech UV as an economical and safe option. This is a proven technology that allows Film Studios, Medical Offices, and Businesses to sanitize and clean large areas easily. UV Technology uses a high-frequency light wavelength to kill bacteria, germs, and viruses like COVID-19.
Thomas FX is now selling these UV machines to households and businesses across the country. As owner John Quee told CTV, “This is less about making money and more about saving lives and creating something that gives people confidence to come in public and go back to their jobs.”
Sons of Vancouver immediately recognized that a shortage of hand sanitizer in North Vancouver was affecting care facilities and first responders and reached out to a local MLA to offer their services. Along with some quick footwork by the Attorney General to allow distilleries to produce sanitation-grade alcohol, Sons of Vancouver was not just producing hand sanitizer – but giving it away for free to members of the public and organizations across the region. They also partnered with local grocers to sell bottles of hand sanitizer to raise money for Lions Gate Hospital. In addition to giving out liquid hand sanitizer to individual members of the community, they’ve donated thousands of litres of liquid hand sanitizer to organizations who have needed it most, including but not limited to North Shore charities, shelters, child care facilities, and health care providers.
Young Business Leader – Honourable Mention: Pocean
Zen Maker Lab has continued to provide exceptional customer service throughout the pandemic. They made a seamless transition online as they continued to deliver important STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) classes and they also began producing content online to replace the lack of in-person interaction. Zen offered more inclusive education by producing the DesignMakePlay show which is streamed on Zen Maker Lab web site and on Twitter for free. Zen never cancelled their spring camp, instead they delivered everything and accommodated all material so kids had a positive and unforgettable experience. The company also generously donated PPE face shields that were made in-house through 3D printing to support frontline workers during this chaotic time. Workplace wellness was a huge component of the success of the company as their main priority centered around their employees despite the pandemic negatively affecting the business. They made sure their employees had been taken care of above all. The business leadership at Zen Maker Labs consists of a robust team that know what they’re doing and focus on providing people with the best content possible and also taking care of their community. Zen is also providing an opportunity for youth and others despite the challenges currently, to continually learn and grow, which is very exciting to see.
The Hotel Manager, and the entire team have gone above and beyond for the community during the pandemic. Hotel Manger Farah Steen captured it so well in her interview with CTV when she felt it was the hotel’s responsibility to step in and help the community where they have been in business for over 30 years. These words do not do justice for what they did! Below are just a few examples of all the great things they’ve done to support the community; provided rooms at cost to Vancouver Coastal Health and Lions Gate Hospital Foundation and offered free meals, supported individual health care workers with special rates, invested in safety equipment to eliminate viruses from the rooms and provided appropriate PPE for all staff and guests alike, welcomed new immigrants during and after self-isolation, offered very affordable rates to the community for self-isolation rooms for long stays, and for use as remote office space and offered long term reduced rates to displaced seniors not able to access their senior or long term care homes. The list goes on and on. The staff and management of the hotel put everything they had into keeping the business open, and serving clients that were totally lost. We are truly astounded with the level of commitment and care the hotel gave to others not only in the community but for each other and everyone in the Lonsdale Quay Market.
To learn more about the North Vancouver Chamber, our role in the community and how you can get involved, please reach out at 604.987.4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our social media as we will be sharing more about the Local Leaders Winners and partners in the days and weeks ahead.