More than 600 guests which included VIPs, local celebrities and top business leaders gathered at the Shaw Centre to honour Ottawa’s top businesses and the people behind them at the 22nd edition of the Best Ottawa Business Awards (The BOBs).
Hosted by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal, the BOBs is the most recognized business gala in the city with the single focus of celebrating the history of innovation, entrepreneurship and business success in the nation’s capital.
The top two honourees, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Shirley Westeinde and CEO of the Year Bernie Ashe, both took the stage to stress the importance of building companies that weren’t just known for making profits, but were respected for their commitment to making the nation’s capital a better place to live.
Ms. Westeinde told the audience that when she graduated from nursing school, she never would have dreamed she’d one day be receiving a lifetime achievement award for her business accomplishments.
“Our company’s philosophy has always been that helping to build the community was just as important as building buildings. I’ve always felt that a healthy community contributes to a healthy business.”
In addition to forging a groundbreaking legacy that saw her become the first woman president of the Canadian Construction Association, Ms. Westeinde has been a tireless community volunteer for a variety of causes, including mental health awareness.
On a night when many of the city’s high-powered executives took time out to kick back and relax, Mr. Ashe, the CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), kept them entertained with a speech that was both funny and heartfelt.
A longtime executive in the sports, lumber and tech industries, the ever-humble Mr. Ashe heaped praise on the OSEG partners and his fellow managers at the organization, saying they deserved the award as much as he did.
BOB awards were handed out to 23 companies in 17 different categories, recognizing a wide range of local organizations from multiple industries at the gala.
2015 BOB Awards Recipients:
CEO of the Year
Berine Ashe – Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Shirley Westeinde – Westeinde Group
Best New Business of the Year
Best Finance Deal of the Year: Shopify
Best Real Estate Deal of the Year: KRP Properties
Best Retail Deal of the Year: Nordstrom
Best Technology Deal of the Year: Gigataur
Best Performance in Human Resources: Hydro Ottawa
Best Performance in Marketing: Shaw Centre
Best Performance in Sales: Rumidifier Home Comforts Inc.
Best Performance in Philanthropy: TELUS
Best Performance in Exports: B-Con Engineering Inc.
Best Performance in Sustainability: KRP Properties
Best Performance in Co-op Education: Curtiss-Wright
Best Newsmaker of the Year: Shopify