|By PR Newswire||
|February 24, 2014 01:55 PM EST||
TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the AIR MILES® Reward Program celebrated the winners of the first annual Small Business Achievement Awards at a special ceremony held at the Toronto Board of Trade. Awards were presented in five categories: Small Business of the Year, Start-up of the Year, Innovation of the Year, Social Impact and Youth Entrepreneur of the Year.
Small businesses account for more than 98 per cent of all companies, playing an important role in job creation. Of the total economy, small businesses in the private sector accounted for about 30 per cent of GDP, while medium-sized and large firms accounted for 9 and 36 per cent of GDP respectively1. The public sector accounts for the remaining 25 per cent. On average, Canadian small businesses create a little over 100,000 jobs each year2.
The winner of each category will receive an invaluable mentorship from one of North America's top business leaders, 10,000 AIR MILES reward miles and will be profiled in the April issue of Canadian Business magazine.
Kevin O'Leary, Chairman, O'Leary Funds, and a seasoned veteran in providing valuable guidance to small business owners across the country, opened the ceremonies with a keynote speech peppered with colourful Dragons' Den anecdotes, and sage advice culled from his own experiences. Later, attendees were informed by panel discussions featuring representatives from Google Canada, Facebook Canada, Twitter Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal and American Express Canada, on relevant small business ownership topics.
There are hundreds of thousands of AIR MILES Collectors in the Program who are small business owners. With approximately 48 per cent of Canada's workforce employed by a small business, these leading entrepreneurs help drive the economy. "We need to continue to support our entrepreneurs if we want to safeguard Canada's future," says Kevin O'Leary. "Providing practical advice and mentorship can help make their ideas a reality and, coupled with support from AIR MILES for Business, which offers small business owners benefits and rewards to support their businesses, it's a winning combination."
The deserving winners of the 2014 AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Awards, and their business mentors are:
Small Business of the Year: North Strategic - Toronto, ON; Mia Pearson and Justin Creally,
North Strategic is a dynamic public relations and communications agency that helps leading brands build bold programs that are strategic and social by design. Founded in 2011 by Mia Pearson and Justin Creally, the business has achieved tremendous success to-date, generating marketing impact for a roster of Canada's top consumer lifestyle brands. The agency is recognized as an innovator in the marketplace with a business model and approach that challenges the status quo.
- Small Business of the Year Mentor: Howard Grosfield, President & CEO, American Express Canada
Youth Entrepreneur of the Year: Lawn Troopers® - Brampton, ON; Matt Hill; Founder
Lawn Troopers provides comprehensive residential and commercial lawn care services.. Matt is an inspiring young entrepreneur who started his business at age nine, caring for the lawns of three neighbours.. From there, his continuous passion for great service allowed him to grow a part-time summer business into an outstanding year-round operation. With a degree in engineering, Matt applies his training in systems, data analysis, and efficiencies to generate profitability. Now with an enthusiastic management team, Lawn Troopers consists of 40 extraordinary employees, serving thousands of customers in the Western GTA.
- Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Mentor: Kevin O'Leary, Chairman, O'Leary Funds
Innovation of the Year: Menyou - Toronto, ON; Thaves Ponnampalam and Ara Ehamparam, Co-Founders
Menyou is an interactive tablet menu application that provides customers with a way to order food in restaurants by tablet device. For diners, this means an enhanced, positive experience while dining out; for restaurant owners, this means increased revenue, efficiency in the ordering process and key analytics capabilities that could streamline operations and future marketing efforts. Founded in 2012, Menyou currently has four employees.
- Innovation of the Year Mentor: Dorothy Dowling, Sr. Vice-president, Marketing and Sales, Best Western International
Social Impact: North Shore Sports Medicine - North Vancouver, BC; Paige Larson,
President and CEO
North Shore Sports Medicine offers physiotherapy, acupuncture, aquatic rehabilitation, Pilates, bike fitting and kinesiology services in three clinics in North Vancouver. The company integrates social responsibility firmly into its business model and has provided hundreds of hours of free service to dozens of local teams, schools, healthcare initiatives, events and charities to-date. Founded 28 years ago by President and CEO, Paige Larson, the company has grown from a single physiotherapy clinic with two beds to three clinics with 23 beds, offering a locally-unrivaled range of services to a substantial client roster.
"In order to make impact, the business has to be out there - not just as a sponsor (of events) - but physically there," advises Paige to other entrepreneurs seeking to make a difference. "A bi-product of giving back like this means you will bring in more customers, which is a win-win. Being out there in the community will also increase job satisfaction of your employees."
- Social Impact Mentor: Bryan Pearson, President & CEO, LoyaltyOne
Start-up of the year: Village Brewery - Calgary, AB; Jim Button, Co-Founder
Village Brewery was founded in 2011 with the simple goal in mind of gathering people around community. The company operates exclusively in the Calgary area, using locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible, maintaining a high-quality product and a strong relationship with partners, all while investing 10 per cent of the bottom line into the community. The six founding partners bring a combined 150-plus years of industry experience, including Co-Founder Jim Button, who is backed by 15 years of experience and passion for the industry.
"My advice to other start-ups is do what you enjoy and the money will come later. Recognize that money is one objective - but always put the quality of the service first," says Button. "And being part of today's event was an honour and opportunity," he adds. "It's not every day you get to learn and network with some of North America's most well-regarded business leaders."
- Start-up of the Year Mentor: Steve Matyas, President, Staples Canada
AIR MILES for Business provides Canadian small business owners with the means and opportunity to reward themselves, their businesses and their employees, offering a dynamic online destination with a range of content and rewards, including: merchandise, special discounts and invitations to business-focused events. Membership also provides access to valuable tips and information that can help propel their businesses forward. Canadian small business owners can sign up for
AIR MILES for Business, find out about benefits and learn more by visiting airmiles.ca/business.
About the AIR MILES Reward Program:
Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada's premier coalition loyalty program with more than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to earn reward miles simply by doing their everyday shopping at more than 240 leading brand-name Sponsors, representing thousands of retail and service locations across Canada and leading global brands online. The AIR MILES Reward Program also allows Collectors to indulge in more than 1,200 leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and a range of accredited, environmentally-friendly lifestyle rewards. With AIR MILES Cash, Collectors can also have the flexibility to instantly redeem their AIR MILES reward miles in-store towards many every day and high value purchases like gas, grocery, drug store items and home improvement purchases at participating Sponsors.
1Statistics Canada, The Growth of Large Firms in Canada, 2008, and calculations by Industry Canada
2Industry Canada, Small Business Branch, Key Small Business Statistics - August 2013, http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/eng/02806.html
®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Co.
SOURCE AIR MILES Reward Program
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The bedrock of Secure Channels Technology is a uniquely modified and enhanced process based on superencipherment. Superencipherment is the process of encrypting an already encrypted message one or more times, either using the same or a different algorithm.
Sep. 25, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,511
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
Sep. 25, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,724
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 25, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,536
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 25, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,351
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Sep. 25, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,381
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Sep. 25, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,568
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Sep. 25, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,508
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Sep. 25, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,795
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Sep. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,513
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
Sep. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,599
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Sep. 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 825
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,442
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,106
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,377
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Sep. 25, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,645