The Summerland Chamber of Commerce will host its 81st annual Summerland Business Excellence and Community Awards in spring, but this year, the judging for the awards has been changed.
Instead of the public voting or chamber member voting system from previous years, the award recipients this year will be determined by panels of judges.
“This is a far better way to go,” said David Hull, executive director of the chamber. “This will be strictly a merit based subjective process that ensures the recipient in each category is demonstrably deserving of being recognized by the chamber.”
He added that the process is intended to be transparent, fair and open.
A three-person judging panel will be set up for each of the categories for which the chamber presents an award.
The panels will hold 25-minute interviews with each of the nominees within the categories.
In addition, new awards have been added and some of the awards categories and criteria have been changed.
A category for Nonprofit Organization of the Year and a Business to Business Excellence award are both new for 2019.
The Professional Services Excellence award has been renamed the Accredited Professional Services Excellence award.
Other categories include Business of the Year, Hospitality and Tourism Excellence, Manufacturing and Production Excellence, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Customer Service Excellence, Business Person of the Year, New Business of the Year, Retailer of the Year and Agriculture and Agri-Business Excellence.
Community awards will also be presented at the awards ceremony. These include the Arts and Culture Award and the Citizen of the Year Award.
The Mayor’s Award of Excellence will be presented at the discretion of the mayor to honour a community organization.
Nominations open on Jan. 2 and close on Feb. 15.
A nominees’ reception will be held on Feb. 20.
The awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 16 at Centre Stage Theatre.
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