Building on the overwhelming success of the 2020 virtual gala and honouring the tradition of celebrating business excellence, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce has combined the 2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur Dinner with this year’s Business Excellence Awards to bring you one special evening of inspiration on June 24, 2021, at 6:30 pm.

Join us as we honour Distinguished Entrepreneur, Kenna Danyliw, President/CEO, Founding Partner, Danyliw & Mann Professional Corporation, and her accomplishments in her industry alongside many organizations in Burlington that have embraced the pressures and uncertainty of the pandemic to meet the needs of their customers and the community during a very challenging year. Celebrate their achievements and show your support for the organizations that exceeded expectations and brought us all together to strengthen and redefine our sense of community and shared connection.

Thank you to our Staycation Prize Package Sponsors

Valued at $1,200 featuring luxurious offerings and services from local businesses with no limits on purchases. 

With Virtual Performances By

Sarah McLachlan

The Barenaked Ladies

Thank You to our Chamber Member Caterers

2021 Burlington Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Finalists

Congratulations to this year’s finalists! While the list of finalists is public, the winners will be announced at the 2021 Business Excellence Awards on June 24.

Kenna Danyliw, 2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur

Kenna is the President / CEO and founding partner of Danyliw & Mann, a boutique firm that specializes in providing business management, tax and accounting services to the music industry.  The business started 15 years ago in the spare bedroom of her family’s home while she had two young daughters, a stepson and one very supportive husband.  

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Danyliw & Mann has grown out of that bedroom and into one of the leading Canadian firms in the industry and represents several Juno and Grammy award-winning or nominated artists across Canada, the United States and beyond.  Kenna is a CPA, CA who started her career with Coopers & Lybrand and also worked with Laidlaw and PricewaterhouseCoopers before founding Danyliw & Mann. Kenna and her family are Burlington residents who have lived in the community for 20 years.  Kenna is the Treasurer on the Sarah McLachlan Foundation board, is the former Vice-Chair of the Art Gallery of Burlington Board of Directors, is a new member of the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Women4Change group, is a member of the JR Digs Acoustic Christmas organizing committee, volunteers services for The Avril Lavigne Foundation and was on the board of the Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute and Planned Parenthood Hamilton.

Aslan Technologies

Aslan Technologies, established in 1992, is a global design and manufacturing company located in Burlington and the Silicon Valley for cleantech solutions. Aslan offers innovation in water and energy management through sustainable manufacturing, integrated fabrication services and private labelling in partnership with investors and leading technology developers in different industrial sectors, academic institutions, and research centres.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions and barriers to business development at Aslan Technologies were affected. Acting quickly, all marketing and business development activities were turned into digitized services, virtual meetings and conferences. Aslan decided “not to waste a good crisis” and began thinking outside of the box. They shifted markets and began developing submarkets looking to water, wastewater treatment and supporting cleantech industries as they emerge to solve environmental problems. They are currently working in the biosolid field to keep waste out of landfill and turning waste into energy.

Learn more aslantech.ca/

Burlington Food Bank

The Burlington Food Bank is committed to ensuring that no one in Burlington struggles with hunger. Their mission is to provide nutritious food to the hungry in our community in a dignified and timely manner.

Burlington Food Bank does that by:

  • Providing emergency food to Burlington residents
  • Providing vital information to families struggling with finances
  • Supplementing fresh produce by growing their own vegetables in our community gardens
  • Extending their reach across Burlington through the generosity of corporate donors
  • Assisting local agencies to meet the food needs they have in providing for their clients

During the COVID-19 pandemic, they quickly transitioned from a shopping model where clients were able to come in and pick out their own groceries to a contactless, confidential delivery model to anyone in Burlington that self identifies their need for assistance. They have seen a dramatic increase of 40 per cent usage of their Food Bank over 2019 and were able to rise to the challenge of implementing their new delivery model and accommodated up to 50 families in one morning.

There was a dramatic rise of 50 per cent of clients served last year who had never used their services. They quicky realized how difficult it can be to ask for help and have assured our community that they are there for those who need help under difficult circumstances.

Learn more burlingtonfoodbank.ca

Burlington Sound of Music Festival

What do you do when you have 157 acts booked across multiple venues in Burlington with booked vendors and suppliers and a pandemic hits? For the first time in 43 years, Sound of Music was forced to cancel its festival – one of the first to make its announcement much to the dismay of its many fans. Sound of Music has been bringing music to Burlington since 1980. Its dedicated team pulled together and focused on what they could do rather than what they couldn’t do, and how it could support the community and the live music industry.

Despite a significant financial loss during the year, Sound of Music shifted to offer Sound of Music At Home comprised of an artists series offered for free, as well as an education series, an industry summit all featuring top talent performing “crash rhythm” guitar, drumming, beatboxing and vocals, a songwriting workshop. Sound of Music became more than Canada’s largest free music festival – but a creative gathering and music hub for people around the world. Sound of Music’s innovation garnered more than 500,000 social media followers and 5,000 podcast subscribers. The pandemic of 2020 created an incredibly successful experience that was truly barrier-free and accessible for all around the world.

Learn more soundofmusic.ca

Dare To Be Youth Charity

Dare to be Youth (DTBY) is a grassroots for-purpose organization that empowers young adults ages 17-24 in Halton and Hamilton to unlock their potential. Driven by mentorship and leadership initiatives, DTBY is dedicated to supporting young adults and empowering personal growth and self-discovery to create a community of future leaders that inspire change.

At the onset of the pandemic, DTBY pivoted to online Zoom meetings and prioritized youth connection and empowerment, building life skills and connections during this unprecedented time. When so many youth wellness programs closed down due to the pandemic, DTBY shifted to be a positive resource for youth, recognizing the need to support young adults this past year more than ever.

Their various programs help young adults develop mental wellness, resiliency and confidence. These workshops offer engaging activities and reflective exercises focused on several priority areas including authenticity, self-awareness, trust, resilience and community integration. Their programs provide further opportunities for their workshop graduates to apply their learning from being mentees to now becoming mentors through peer-led initiatives, and to engage in meaningful community service.

Learn more www.dtby.ca

Fast Stitch

Fast Stitch has been a leading tailor in Burlington for more than 10 years. This small, family-run business has made a name for itself through quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, quick turnaround times, and the personal care provided by a close family team.

During the pandemic, they were forced to shut their doors during lockdowns, however, they quickly pulled together as a family and leveraged their knowledge of using masks from their South Korean roots and began deploying their industrial machines to create masks. To date, they have shipped more than 13,000 masks to organizations in Burlington including the Burlington Food Bank and Burlington Performing Arts Centre as well as long-term care homes and auto manufacturers.  They overcame several challenges that they had never had to face including launching an online shop for the first time, purchasing fabrics without physically seeing them, creating a custom design, securing materials in high demand, adapting to evolving public health guidance on masks and answering hundreds of inquiries from customers who were not familiar with masks at the beginning of the pandemic.

Pulled together as a family. Leveraged their knowledge of masks from South Korean roots where masks have been commonplace for many years allowing them to be first to market before Government guidance on masks was available.

Learn more faststitch.wordpress.com/about/

Food for Life

Since 1995, Food for Life has rescued more than 26 million pounds of food by collecting surplus perishable food (fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat and prepared foods) from both retail and wholesale food suppliers and grocery stores. Food for Life is the largest food rescue organization in Halton and Hamilton.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Food for Life re-modelled its strategic plan, doubled its staff and pivoted its operations and programs ensuring it was able to continue to provide good food to the community – all within three days. Previously run out of church basements, Food For Life completely transformed its operating model by offering a drive-through program to an expanded number of families every Wednesday. Operating as a food broker, Food for Life worked with local restaurants to distribute surplus food that is not sold at the end of the day and work with restaurant networks to secure additional food where possible. Food for Life estimates that they have distributed a stunning four million pounds of food this year alone.

Learn more foodforlife.ca

Hunter Amenities

Celebrating its 40th year in business, Hunter Amenities is a global supplier of guest amenities providing a range of products from distinctive hotel amenities to luxurious spa and retail collections. At its peak, Hunter Amenities sales were topping $10 – $12 million a month. When the pandemic hit, the travel and tourism industry was greatly impacted and as a result, sales at Hunter Amenities plummeted to a mere $300,000 a month forcing layoffs of more than 200 employees. Very quickly, Hunter Amenities reinvented themselves to supply one of the pandemic’s most sought after products – hand sanitizer. Working with a very lean crew, they retooled 10 – 12 machines that would have otherwise been obsolete to produce hand sanitizer. They introduced personal protective equipment kits for the hospitality industry supplying hotels and others with sanitizer, wipes, gloves, masks – to improve safety and boost confidence for their clients. But their ultimate goal was to get everyone back to work. Within 45 days they were able to hire back those employees who were laid off, and as travel and tourism improves globally, Hunter Amenities has seen sales grow back to 60% of its original forecast. Hunter Amenities credits its success and perseverance due to the long-lasting relationships created with suppliers, hoteliers and retailers. Many of its partners and employees today have been with Hunter for more than 30 years and are considered family.

Learn more at hunteramenities.com

Joseph Tassoni
Joe Apps Technology

When the pandemic hit, many of Burlington’s workforce found themselves working from home. Technology took on a new meaning for many who found themselves trying to navigate their wifi set up, computer security, virtual meeting platforms and computer desk ergonomics. Joe Apps Technology was quick to come to their clients’ rescue and ramped up their services to ensure that clients could operate remotely, safely and effectively.

To substitute for in-home services, Joe Apps Technology implemented a “Client take-out window” where a technician could safely assist those clients that required a more hands-on approach. Not surprisingly, Joe Apps Technology was able to successfully grow the business increasing their web and application development from 5% to 25% of their business, acquiring a retiring IT company and expanding the business to a larger facility. Through it all, Joe Apps Technology has also supported Burlington not-for-profit organizations such as Halton Women’s Place, Burlington Soccer Club, Dare to Be You and Food4Kids.

Learn more joeapps.ca

Stratus Building Solutions

Stratus Building Solutions is the industry-leading franchise in green commercial cleaning. In an ever-increasing health and environmentally conscious consumer market, the demand for green cleaning services puts Stratus at the forefront of the competition. As a standard, Stratus franchisees use state-of-the-art cleaning equipment, sustainable processes and Green Seal Certified, biodegradable and non-toxic branded cleaning chemicals. With customizable cleaning options and competitive rates, Stratus Building Solutions franchisees provide services to a large range of clients, from schools, medical offices, shopping centres, warehouses, dealerships, religious centres, professional offices, daycares, retail stores, gyms and more.
As an essential service, Stratus has been able to continue operating and in fact, acquired and spun off franchises during the pandemic. Diversity and inclusion are important at Stratus Building Solutions and 70 per cent of their franchisees are new immigrants to Canada.

Businesses and organizations need cleaning services more than ever due to the pandemic which may be the new normal moving forward. Through training and support, their staff have elevated their cleaning protocols and disinfecting services to ensure that the Burlington community and Burlington businesses can enter safe workspaces.

Learn more stratusclean.com

Supreme Cheerleading Inc.

Supreme Cheerleading began operations in 2011 teaching cheer and tumbling to children and youth 3 – 18 years old. In March 2020, Supreme Cheerleading had just moved to a new 10,000 square foot facility to continue its operations when the pandemic hit. Faced with lockdowns, Supreme Cheerleading was forced to shut down for two weeks while it developed a new strategy that would enable it to continue to offer its programming to its “families”.

Recognizing the importance in keeping children and youth mentally and physically active, Supreme Cheerleading focused its energy on developing ways that it could keep its families moving and active. Connecting with parents, they welcomed suggestions on how this might be achieved and worked together with their team coaches to develop online programming that they offered to free of charge to their families. Making use of subsidies available to them, Supreme Cheerleading installed a camera system for parents to watch their children. Successfully, Supreme Cheerleading was able to continue to offer much needed services to its families throughout the pandemic.

Learn more supremecheerleading.com

Wellington Square Friday Night Community

In this time of fear and uncertainty, Wellington Square believes that compassion is as important as ever. As a community, they are choosing to share what we have with those around us who may be scared, hungry and alone.

The Friday Community Meal Bag Program provides meals to people who are isolating or unable to go to the grocery store or make their own food through delivery options or pick up. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular Friday Night Community Meal for 250 people was reimagined to a take-home meal program as gathering indoors was not permitted.

The need for ready-made meals due to the pandemic has been overwhelming with meal requests increasing 1000 per cent to 1,200 meal bags per week. While it has been challenging to manage the uptake of the program, Wellington Square has remained resilient and found ways to persevere through community partners and outreach for volunteer assistance.

Thanks to the support of COVID-19 support programs, the Burlington Foundation, Second Harvest, and Halton Region, they have received numerous grants and corporate partner donations that have offset costs ensuring the program can be successful.

Learn more www.wsquare.ca/outreach/meal-bag-program/

W.H Kingsmill Ltd

W.H Kingsmill Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of high temperature dry fluorescent leak detection powder, used to test for leaks in fabric filter dust collection systems in both new installments, as well as regular maintenance.

Like all businesses, the pandemic had a serious impact on W.H Kingsmill’s supply chain and its pricing.  With limited suppliers in the market, W.H Kingsmill adjusted its production based on customer demand and supplies that were available at the time. This has a significant impact on operations given that prices of supplies increased exponentially but were not passed on to customers due to existing contracts. Fortunately, W.H Kingsmill was able to maintain its full staffing complement making good use of government support programs that were offered during the pandemic. To ensure its staff safety, W.H Kingsmill changed its staffing model to shifts so that employees could maintain social distances and limit interaction, while office staff worked from home. 

Learn more www.whkingsmill.com

2021 Burlington Partner Awards

Mayor's Community Service Awards
Mayor’s Community Service | For Profit

Mayor’s Community Service | Not for Profit

Burlington Economic Development Awards
Burlington Economic Development – Excellence in Global Business Award

Burlington Economic Development – Excellence in Innovation and Technology – Small

Burlington Economic Development – Excellence in Innovation and Technology – Large

2021 Business Excellence Awards Sponsors

Sponsorship opportunities are available! Please contact ashlee@ourforte.ca to become a sponsor and help recognize Business Excellence in our Burlington community.

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2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur

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2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur

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2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur

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2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur

2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur

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2020 Distinguished Entrepreneur

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