Local manufacturer up for provincial award

by Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Alberta Chambers of Commerce have announced that Champion Petfoods has been selected as a finalist for their Alberta Business Awards of Distinction for the second consecutive year. In addition to being a finalist in the award’s Export Category, the local manufacturer is also eligible for the Premier’s Award of Distinction, an award sponsored by Government of Alberta Human Services.

Champion shares finalist status in the Export Category with Medicine Hat companies Solutions Thru Software, Corelube Equipment and SHAC Environmental Products Inc. The award winner will be announced Feb. 28 during a gala dinner at the Radisson Hotel Edmonton South.

“Given all of Alberta’s great exporters, we are fortunate to be nominated for this award,” said Champion President and CEO, Frank Burdzy in a release Thursday afternoon. “Our mandate is to be trusted by pet lovers worldwide, so we very much appreciate this nomination.”

Burdzy is not alone in being pleased with the nomination. Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce President Simon Boersma said Champion’s being a finalist for a second year in a row was something the community and region should be proud of. “I’m just so excited about this whole thing. We get to enjoy it as a community,” Boersma said. “As an employer, lots of our community works there. To work for a corporate company that distinguishes themselves among others in Alberta and in Canada as a whole is just great. The region – Sturgeon County and the Town of Morinville – we’re one big family and we can enjoy this. It shows who we are as a region.” Boersma said the community should take pride that a local manufacturer from a Town of roughly 9,000 residents is in the running with three companies from a much larger centre. “We can boast that as the Town of Morinville and we should be very proud of that,” he said.

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Although Champion has been an Alberta Business Awards of Distinction finalist two years running, it is not the first award nomination they have received. The company won Pet Food of the Year in 2011-2012 from the Glycemic Research Institute of Washington, DC, Ernst & Young’s Manufacturer of the Year, Western Canada Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008-2009, as well as a pair of provincial awards in 2007.

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