ST. JOHN’S, OCT. 26, 2017 – One of only 17 women named to Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs of 2017, was honoured tonight with the pinnacle award at the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) 20th annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
Patsy Tremblett-Di Nillo, President & CEO, Prima Information Solutions Inc. in St. John’s, took home the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award at NLOWE’s 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on October 26th, held at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland. In 1995, her entrepreneurial spirit, together with her determination and drive, led her to establish Prima. From its small beginnings, Tremblett-Di Nillo has grown Prima to become a leading expert in the field of Records and Information Management in Canada. Reflecting on her success, Tremblett-Di Nillo attributes it to always going with her gut. “I don’t know how long I would have remained in business without trusting my instincts and having an amazing team supporting me.”
The award recognizes a long-time entrepreneur who has made a significant impact on the economy, and whose success is an inspiration for other women in business. The Entrepreneurial Excellence Award is sponsored by RBC - Royal Bank. “Winning this award is an honour and I am very humbled by it,” says Tremblett-Di Nillo. “I know many of the people that have received this award and they are all amazing women.” Tremblett-Di Nillo was one of nine women business owners honoured at the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
Taking home the Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by College of the North Atlantic, was Krystal Hobbs, owner of Reflective Marketing. Her advice for other young entrepreneurs is, “bet on yourself.” Hobbs notes, “as a young person you’ll get a lot of people that want to give you advice, and you should listen, but ultimately you have to trust your instincts and do what you want to do.”
Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills, co-owners of Port Rexton Brewing Company in Port Rexton, were awarded the Trailblazer Award, sponsored by Cox & Palmer. The award recognizes an entrepreneur who owns and operates a business that has excelled in a non-traditional industry for women-owned businesses or successfully established a business in an industry uncommon to the area in which it operates. “It is very exciting to be recognized as a trailblazer in this industry here in Newfoundland,” says Mills upon learning they would be receiving this award, “as women blazing the trail for a traditionally, male-dominated industry.” MacDonald added, “I hope this inspires more women to do something in this or any other male-dominated industry.”
The winner of the Trendsetter Award, sponsored by Business Development Bank of Canada, was Kim Paddon, owner of Whink Inc. and Sparkes Design in St. John’s. The Trendsetter Award recognizes an entrepreneur whose successful business employs innovation and original thinking in both its operational and promotional activities, standing out from others in its industry for setting trends and turning traditional ideas on their heads. “Standing out from everyone else is key to having a successful business,” says Paddon. “Receiving the Trendsetter award truly means I am making a mark and I am doing things differently.”
Sarah Parker Charles and Nancy Shepherd Bragg, partners and interior designers at Carvel & Helm Interior Design Inc. in St. John’s, won the Momentum Award, sponsored by Husky Energy. The Momentum Award recognizes an entrepreneur who has demonstrated significant growth and/or growth potential within a one- to three-year time span, having built a business that is adaptable and apt to successfully leverage opportunities for continued growth. “Winning this award is incredibly meaningful and a welcome reminder that we have accomplished a lot in two and a half years,” says Shepherd Bragg. Parker Charles adds, “to be recognized for our potential for future growth is very motivating because we’re not done yet!”
The Economic Impact Award, sponsored by Hebron Project, was awarded to Deborah Bourden and Wilma Hartmann, owners and operators of Anchor Inn Hotel & Suites in Twillingate. The Economic Impact Award recognizes an entrepreneur whose business has significantly impacted the local economy, improving the economic position of the community in which it operates by employing local resources, stimulating growth and contributing to sustainable community development. Bourden and Hartmann have made their community a key aspect of promoting their business. “We believe being ambassadors for the destination first will pay dividends to our business as well as the community, so that has been where we have focused ourefforts,” says Hartmann. Bourden agrees, “a rising tide lifts all boats, so we continue to look at projects that help not only our business but the industry here in Twillingate and area.”
“For two decades NLOWE has been honouring the outstanding women business owners of Newfoundland and Labrador through our Entrepreneur of the Year Awards,” says Hilda Broomfield-Letemplier, president of NLOWE’s Board of Directors, “and this year is no different. This evening’s winners are helping create a stronger and more diverse business landscape in this province and we are happy to celebrate them and their contributions.”
The awards gala was attended by over 200 people including the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and Deputy Government House Leader and Susan Drodge, Director of Policy, Economics, and Communications for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) as well as other government representatives, members of the business community and industry professionals from across the province.
In addition to the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsors listed above, gala sponsors include, Decor Sponsors, MAKEvents Creative Planning Inc. and Moments by Martha.
NLOWE has been handing out Entrepreneur of the Year Awards since 1998. Over 100 nominations were received this year and in the past, winners have gone on to win national accolades. More details about the awards, the selection process, and previous award winners are available at www.nlowe.org/awards.
NLOWE is the only provincial organization that is dedicated exclusively to the support of women in business, offering a provincial network of community partners and women business owners as well as training, resources and opportunities to help women develop and grow their businesses. NLOWE provides services to women in business thanks to ACOA, Status of Women Canada, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
For more information, contact:
Julieanne Reddy, Director of Marketing & Communications