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Finalists named for chamber awards

Finalists named for chamber awards

The Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant revealed its finalists for the annual business excellence awards at a reception Wednesday night at the Brantford Golf and Country Club.

Three finalists were named in each of three categories: top company, entrepreneur and community builders. The winners will be announced at a dinner May 16 at the Best Western Brantford Hotel and Conference Centre.

Finalists for top company award, which recognizes business achievements, high standards of employee relations, a strong corporate philosophy and positive impacts in the community, are Bowman Precision Tooling, GreenMantra Technologies and Hematite Manufacturing.

Bowman, a 70-year-old family business, has grown from a local tool-and- die company to an automotive tooling tech centre serving a global industry.

Bowman’s customers include Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, GM and Ford and ships products across North American and Europe. Since 2008, the company has seen its customer base double and its number of employee grow by more than 30 per cent. The company has invested more than $10 million in capital improvements at its Sinclair Boulevard plant.

GreenMantra Technologies turns recycled plastics into materials used in roofing, paving, adhesives and other composites.

Using a patented proprietary catalyst process, GreenMantra creates polyethylene and polypropylene waxes and polymer additives.

In the last few years, the company has doubled its sales by adding three new customers and increasing other sales.

GreenMantra uses 100 per cent post-consumer and post-industrial recycled plastic, diverting it from landfills.

Hematite Manufacturing started in 2007 to churn out thermo-formed sheets for a parent facility but has grown to serve the major auto manufacturers with lightweight products for the undercarriages of vehicles.

Hematite has found increasing contracts for its products, which use ground ethylene vinyl acetate or polyvinyl chloride.

The company recently secured a contract for the newly released Toyota RAV 4 and the Honda Civic.

In 2012, Hematite moved to a large facility, installing new lines.

Finalists for the entrepreneur award, which recognizes innovation and sales or employment growth, are Dragonfly Landscaping, IBC Computers and Synergy Mouldworks.

Dragonfly, purchased by Nick and Heidi Gorter in 2009, has been expanded to become a major supplier of landscape products locally and a major supplier of decorative stone products from around North America.

The Gorters renovated an old building into a gift shop that offers home and garden decor, and developed a website and social media presence.

ICB Computers, owned by Paul Hill, serves small- to medium-sized businesses within 150 kilometres of Brantford.

The store focuses on selling, installing and supporting the IBM/Lenova product line. It runs a retail side for consumers and a corporate side for tech support.

Hill and his team offer remote diagnostics and monitoring, repair services, software licensing audits and web, mail and domain hosting.

IBC restructured to accommodate new technological advances and, as a result, has seen an average annual growth of 10 per cent.

Synergy Mouldworks was founded by Cory Robertson in 2011 as a full-service maker of custom injection moulds for food and beverage, pharmaceutical and automotive use.

After starting with five people and sales of $224,000, Synergy has expanded to 12 people with an average year-over-year growth rate of 45 per cent.

Robertson has invested more than $1.8 million in capital spending so Synergy has a wider capability for moulding projects.

The community builder award goes to a company that has shown a longtime commitment to improving the quality of life in Brantford and Brant County. Finalists are Boddy Ryerson, College Source for Sports and Millards.

Begun in the 1920s, law firm Boddy Ryerson contributes to the community through sponsoring local events, programs and charities through funds, time and expertise. Among those helped are the Brant Community Foundation, Rotary, Enterprise Brant, the MS Society and the SPCA.

The firms also supports the Business Resource Centre by offering free legal and business advice to hundreds of starting entrepreneurs.

Since 1950, College Source for Sports has been a top location for skates and other sports equipment,

The hometown store also supports a variety of community events and programs, including the Run for Light, the Arnold Anderson Sport Fund, the International Jazz Festival, the Sunshine Foundation, the Dreamcatcher Foundation and multiple minor sports groups.

Through sponsorship, charitable donations and investment of time, the store has helped provide opportunities for kids and adults to play sports, build lifelong friendships, and learn dedication, respect and responsibility.

As Millards Chartered Professional Accountants moves toward its 100th birthday in 2020, the firm can look back at a long history of helping other local organizations thrive.

Millards provides financial support to a significant number of organizations but the partners and staff also offer their time and expertise to non-profit and charitable groups by sitting on boards of directors or assisting in other areas.

With a mandate of leading by example through philanthropy, Millards encourages all employees to give to the community. The firm also partners with other local businesses to support worthy causes.

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