| Advocacy

For Immediate release                                                                 


Board Congratulates 2016 Business Excellence Award Winners


The St. John’s Board of Trade recognized some of the city’s most outstanding entrepreneurs today at the 24th Annual Business Excellence Awards.

“These awards celebrate the achievements of private sector business and community leaders. They also acknowledge the significant contributions our members make to our community and province,” says Des Whelan, Chair of the St. John’s Board of Trade. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, and the 800 members who make up our organization, I congratulate all of this year’s award recipients and wish them many more years of continued success.”

The Business Excellence Awards represent overall achievement across several categories. The recipients have distinguished themselves at the very highest level of success during this business year. The recipients of the 2016 St. John’s Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards are below. Further information can be found in the backgrounder.

Community Impact (20+ employees) – PAL Airlines

Community Impact (under 20 employees) – East Coast Mortgage Brokers

Leader in Growth and Sales – Vigilant Management

Marketing and Promotional Achievement – The Rooms Corporation

Customer Service and Reliability – PAL Airlines

Innovative Solutions – Wedgwood Café and Catering

Workplace Excellence – Pennecon

Entrepreneurial Spirit – Vigilant Management

Community Builder Volunteer of the Year – Roger Maunder, Up Sky Down Films

The Business Excellence Award is the most prestigious award presented by the St. John’s Board of Trade. The winner of this award recognizes innovation, creativity, sales growth and a passion for success. This year, the Board is proud to shine the spotlight on PAL Airlines.

The St. John’s Board of Trade is a non-partisan, business advocacy organization that is the principal voice of business for 800 members in the St. John’s area. Its mission is to improve the local business climate, enhance our member’s ability to do business through advocacy and offer member services. http://stjohnsbot.ca/


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Meghan Drover
Communications & Advocacy Specialist
St. John’s Board of Trade
(709) 749-6706



Community Impact with More than 20 Employees – PAL Airlines

This awards recognizes companies with more than 20 employees that are continuously involved in helping out the community and make outstanding contributions through donations, time, effort and other means. PAL Airlines has raised significant dollars for a number of foundations. They also offered complimentary flights to veterans from across the province that allowed them to attend the 100th Beaumont Hamel commemoration ceremony in St. John’s. 

Community Impact with Fewer than 20 Employees: East Coast Mortgage Brokers

This awards recognizes companies with fewer than 20 employees that are continuously involved and make outstanding contributions to the community. East Coast Mortgage Brokers’ staff have contributed their time and effort to the Annual Daffodil Place Radiothon, the Bowl for Kids for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the staff collected prom dresses for underprivileged high school students, in addition to sponsoring a family in need each year at Christmas. Further, they support the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Janeway, Ronald McDonald House, the CLB Annual Gala and sponsor a Royal St. John’s Regatta squirt crew, mixed and men’s softball teams and many charity golf tournaments.

Leader in Growth and Sales- Vigilant Management

This award recognizes companies that are experiencing an increase in demand for their product and service resulting in significant growth in sales. Since 2013, Vigilant Management’s sales have grown by 171%, despite a downturn in construction spending. Further, this September they placed on the Startup 50 list by Canadian Business Magazine. They believe the key to their success is putting relationships ahead of profits and their progressive work culture. 

Marketing & Promotional Achievement- The Rooms Corporation

This award recognizes companies who stand out in a crowd. One that is original and provides results to their bottom line through their marketing and promotion. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Beaumont-Hamel and the First World War, The Rooms developed a multi-faceted advertising campaign to build awareness and momentum leading up to the July 1st, 2016 event. Approximately 3,000 attended the commemorative event on July 1st and over 1 million people watched the nationally televised live coverage on CBC News World and online. Social media reached 1.88 million accounts and visitation numbers to The Rooms increased by 30%.

Customer Service & Reliability- PAL Airlines

This award recognizes overall achievement or improvement in dedication to customer satisfaction through service, or development of an outstanding product or service.

PAL Airline’s customer service strategy is simple “Going above and beyond for customers”. It demonstrates the unmatchable commitment they provide to their customers. From their professionally trained in-flight staff to their use of enhanced digital technologies and social media, PAL Airlines continues to exceed customer’s expectations.

Innovative SolutionsWedgwood Café and Catering

How are you being creative or relevant? This award recognizes a business that provides innovation through a new product, process or positioning. In February of this year, Wedgwood Café and Catering partnered with a health and wellness company to create a healthy meal program for their clients and the general public. By July, they partnered with a second health and wellness company to offer meals for the purpose of weight loss and weight training. Since September, they have their own clients looking for the same freshly prepared meals, which they now call the “Healthy Eating Program”.

Workplace Excellence- Pennecon

This award recognizes companies who have provided an exceptional work environment through things such as staff development, work and life balance, fair employment, staff appreciation, and much more. Pennecon offers their staff the “total employment experience”. They are proud to maintain a 2% turnover rate amongst permanent, full time employees. In addition to fair compensation, they offer their staff meaningful employment, opportunity for personal and professional growth, a great corporate culture as well as wellness programs and professional development opportunities.

Entrepreneurial Spirit-  Vigilant Management

This award recognizes a company that not only offers new and exciting products and services that meet market needs but one that will achieve similar, if not greater, success in the future. Through their innovative model, Vigilant Management have created a need for their services in the construction industry which has created a first movers advantage. Their staff have a collective sense of purpose which has generated results for their clients. In just a few short years, Vigilant has gained credibility in the industry which will be important for their promising future.

Community Builder Volunteer of the Year- Roger Maunder, Up Sky Down Films

This award recognizes an individual who is committed and volunteers in the community. This individual is one who is seen as a role model in the community, within to their organization and someone who has made a difference from these contributions. Roger Maunder is the owner of Up Sky Down Films and is a well-known and respected business and filmmaking leader who has contributed a great deal to the community. Roger has stepped in to help startups create video content that is critical to developing a brand free of charge. He has also given his time and expertise to help raise awareness about mental health in order to affect change.

Business Excellence Award- PAL Airlines

This award is the most prestigious award presented by the St. John’s Board of Trade. The winner of this award recognizes innovation, creativity, sales growth and a passion for success.

PAL Airlines is a company that is well known in the business community as a choice employer, a champion for many causes and one that prides themselves on exceptional customer service.



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