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2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

31 Oct 2019 8:50 AM | Jennifer Brown (Administrator)

NLOWE honours women in business at the 22nd annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards


The Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) hosted its 22nd annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s, NL. The event celebrates women in business in Newfoundland and Labrador, and seven business owners were awarded and honoured tonight for the positive impacts they’ve made in our province.

Michelle Melendy, CEO of Western Group of Companies in Corner Brook, took home the pinnacle Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, sponsored by RBC Royal Bank. This 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. Western Group of Companies is a family-owned business and consists of automotive dealerships (Western Toyota, Western Kia, Western Mazda), an autobody repair shop (Western Collision), a recreational dealership (Western Motorsports), and a commercial glass, door, fabrication and installation company (Western Glass). Melendy acknowledges that the success of her business is made possible by investing in her team.

“We believe strongly in the importance of team development as our competitive advantage and invest in it,” says Melendy. “The engagement of our employees is crucial for our success. Our employees are our customers, and happy and satisfied employees provide great customer service.”

To learn more about Michelle Melendy, please click here

Brittany Stanley, owner of Spotlight Events in Bay Bulls, took home the Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by College of the North Atlantic. This award recognizes an entrepreneur, 35 years of age or younger, that has owned and operated a profitable business for at least two years. Spotlight Events is a full-service wedding and event décor and planning company that has been in operation since 2014. Stanley has decorated over 500 weddings and is currently working on growing her second business, the Luxury Wedding Show Inc.

“The final piece of the puzzle will be to someday own my very own wedding venue, where I can host weddings and the wedding show,” says Stanley. “I want to grow in this industry, learn new things and amaze people every chance I get.”

To learn more about Brittany Stanley, please click here.

Tammy Wrice-Paetkau and Michelle Penney Rowe, co-owners of Studio Coffee and Ocean View Gallery in Carbonear, took home the Economic Impact Award, sponsored by Hebron Project. This 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. Since day one, adding value to their community has been Tammy and Michelle’s mandate.

“We believe in offering the best of ourselves to our community,” says Penney Rowe. “We are deeply rooted in this town and love to share our hospitality. We view our business as organic and we allow for it to grow and change as we meet our needs, and we provide our customers and clients with excellence, good experiences and quality service.”

To learn more about Tammy Wrice-Paetkau and Michelle Penney Rowe, please click here

Jacqui Winter, owner of HR Project Partners in St. John’s, took home the Momentum Award, sponsored by Husky Energy West White Rose Project. This 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. Winter brings over 25 years of experience to HR Project Partners, which is a full suite HR consulting and recruitment company.

“I believe that the quality of service, our honesty and genuine approach, and attitude has helped us to grow,” says Winter. “Living and working our values every day and holding true to those values and keeping a high standard of service is what has helped us to grow and become a successful and respected HR service provider.”

To learn more about Jacqui Winter, please click here

Karen Dewling, co-owner of East Coast Glow Inc. in Bonavista, took home the Trendsetter Award, sponsored by NLOWE. This 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. East Coast Glow is a creative iceberg water cosmetics studio and manufacturing facility in rural NL.

“An innate curiosity for nature is what drives my innovative ideas for developing modern, effective formulas that create connections between us and the wild,” says Dewling. “The earth will always provide for me the very best ingredients, and the product line was designed to capture the essence of the wild that surrounds us and inspires every product that we create.”

To learn more about Karen Dewling, please click here

Linda Yates, co-owner of King’s Point Pottery in King’s Point, took home the Trailblazer Award, sponsored by Cox & Palmer. This 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. King’s Point Pottery first opened in 1992 as a small pottery studio and retail space, and 27 years later it has grown into a top shopping destination in NL.

“We pride ourselves on featuring world class quality items,” says Yates. “We want to continue to move up the ladder and see that the rest of Canada discovers our world class shopping right here in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.”

To learn more about Linda Yates, please click here

Along with women business owners, tonight’s awards gala was attended by Bernard Davis, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII); Sarah Stoodley, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of TCII and MHA for Mount Scio; Elizabeth Beckett, Manager, Innovation, Enterprise Development for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA); and Jeanne Stapleton, President of NLOWE’s Board of Directors.

“For over two decades NLOWE has been honouring the outstanding women business owners of Newfoundland and Labrador through our Entrepreneur of the Year Awards,” says Stapleton, president of NLOWE’s Board of Directors. “This evening’s winners demonstrate true entrepreneurial spirit and we are happy to celebrate them and their accomplishments.”

“Supporting the professional advancement of women is an economic imperative,” says Jennifer Bessell, CEO of NLOWE. “We have been providing advising services, resources, support and access to networks that women in business need. We’re excited about the achievements made and are delighted to take this moment in time to pause and celebrate the great contribution these talented women entrepreneurs make to our economy.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is proudly supported by ACOA and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Awards sponsors include RBC Royal Bank, Hebron Project, College of the North Atlantic, Husky Energy West White Rose Project and Cox & Palmer. Décor sponsors include MAKEvents and Moments by Martha.

Founded in 1997, 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. NLOWE has been handing out Entrepreneur of the Year Awards since 1998.

To learn more about each 2019 award recipient, and past recipients, please visit our YouTube page.

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