On May 8th the Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce held its 7th Business Excellence Awards Dinner at the Riviera Parque Dining, Banquet & Convention Centre in Vaughan, Ontario. This year’s event was attended by just under 500 people and celebrated leadership, innovation and excellence within the Croatian-Canadian business community.
In attendance were honoured political guests from Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government as well as Croatian government officials. Among the many political dignitaries in attendance were the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification M.P., Saskatchewan-Blackstrap; Mr. Borys Wrszenewskyj, M.P., for Etobicoke Centre, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, M.P., for Mississauga-Brampton South; the Honourable Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour (Ontario) M.P.P., Mississauga East-Cooksville; The Republic of Croatia was represented by Branka Pazin, Acting Consul General of the Republic of Croatia to Canada-Mississauga. Spiritual Leaders who attended as a guests of the Chamber were; Vlc. Ivica Reparinac of the Croatian Martyrs Church in Mississauga, Fra. Stipe Pandzic of Our Lady Queen of Peace Croatian Franciscan Centre in Norval and Vlc. Josip Kos of Our Lady Queen of Croatia Parish in Toronto.
Following a dinner of homemade wild mushroom and Asparagus Risotto, Chilean Sea Bass, Chateau Briand served in an oyster mushroom sauce and for dessert a sampling plate with mini blueberry cheesecake, mini crème brulee & chocolate mousse served on a decorated plate with fresh berries, Ivan Grbesic, Master of Ceremonies and board member announced the awards winners of the evening. The awards were given in the following categories:
Large Business of the Year
LS Metal Foundry and Mr. Luka Skara
Small Business of the Year
Rematech Industries and Mr. Ivan Beljo
Executive of the Year
Mario Frankovich, CEO of Burgeonvest Group of Funds
Professional of the Year
Mr. Vladimir Krcmar, Mr. John Cvetkovic and Gloria Loncaric
Entrepreneur of the Year
Mr. Joe Krasic, the Krasic Group of Companies
This year’s Community Achievement Award recipients were Mr. Ivan Radisic, one of the founders, producers and program director at CKWR FM 98.5 a non-for profit Community Radio Station in Canada; and Mr. Vladimir Bubrin, Justice of the Peace, Ontario Court of Justice.
In addition to the business awards, the Chamber recognized the following with Lifetime Community Services Awards
• Croatian Parish Folklore Group “Sljeme” represented by its president Mrs. Sonia Lajtman Balet
• Croatian National Sports Club “Croatia Hamilton”.
Each awards winner was presented with a unique one of a kind awards print, created by Ante Sardelic Kraljevic, a Croatian-Canadian Sculptor, painter and printmaker.
The Keynote Speaker for the evening Mr. Karlo Duvnjak, Managing Director for Oil Trading with Goldman Sachs in New York, who shared his personal and professional insights on fostering and promoting networking, businesses and growth opportunities within the community. Mr. Duvnjak’s presence greatly enhanced the evening’s festivities and contributed to its overall success.
The Sljeme Tamburasi, along with Jasmin Zdunic, provided the musical entertainment for the evening. Quite the impression was made on those in attendance and many wonderful comments were received as a result. The outstanding performances greatly contributed to the overall ambience of the evening.
Another year brings bigger and better Silent Auction Items donated by the following; Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, Ante Sardelic, The Boulevard Club, Croatia Restaurant, Beco Motors International, The Sweet Gallery, Casino Marketing Group, Lionhead Golf & Country Club, West 39th Bistro, Bwireless, Borys Wrszesnewskyj, Rado Watches of Canada, Z103.5 FM Today’s Hit Music, Basketball World Toronto, Edward Mavrinac, Kreso Kralj, The Hyatt Regency Hotel Toronto, Turner & Porter Funeral Directors, Assante Wealth Management, William Ashley, Research in Motion, Sharp Electronics of Canada, Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Prime Restaurants, Motiontek Productions, The Cranberry Resort, Dynamic Iron, and Leao D’ouro Restaurant.
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