The Chamber Announces Winners of the 37th Annual Outstanding Business Awards
The Event Will Highlight the Resilience Showcased by Business Throughout the Pandemic
For Immediate Release:
November 4th, 2021
SAINT JOHN, NB – The Saint John Region Chamber announced today the winners of the 37th annual
Outstanding Business Awards (OBA’s) that is being held as a digital event on Thursday, November 25th.
The awards will be presented to the recipients beginning at 12:00 PM and will be livestreamed to an
online audience via Zoom and on The Chamber’s Facebook page. Details to follow.
Last year saw the award ceremony pivot to an online format with “InSpirit 2020”, the digital evolution of
the OBA’s. The format is planned to return this year with some changes and a mix of returning and
revamped award categories.
The Chamber has partnered with member Encore Global to deliver the platform for the digital
production. The production will consist of a variety of short videos, greetings from sponsors and the
presentation of the awards.
Excellence in Collaboration: Heather Acker, Head of Business Development at
This award recognizes creative collaboration between organizations/businesses for the purpose
of addressing significant needs and/or expanding the possibilities of your organization or
Business Strength/Resilience Award: Lisa Hovey, Bill Gray, and Cindy Gray owners of The Zesty Lemon and Brent Harris, Founder and Executive Director of the Saint John Tool Library
This award recognizes an organization/business which displayed enduring strength, capably
adapted in times of crisis and continues to thrive.
Front Line Hero Award: Dale Esson, Senior Program Advisor with the Department of Health
This award recognizes an individual/business who has shown a great amount of courage,
considerations for those surrounding them, and selflessness. A front-line hero puts others’
needs before their own and ensures the safety of everyone around them.
The Inspirational Leader Award: Ralph Thomas, Project Manager at New Brunswick Black
This award recognizes an individual that has demonstrated true integrity, compassion and
courage while leading in our community.
The Most Innovative Award: Ray Gracewood and the Area 506 Festival
This award recognizes an organization or business that has presented new methods, a new
service or product, and advanced thinking to meet new requirements, specifically during a time
Community “Support Local” Advocate:
Acadia Broadcasting (Country 94 and 97.3 The Wave),
and J.D. Irving Limited
This individual or company would be known to be a true advocate of supporting local and
encouraging others to as well. They work tirelessly to promote fellow members of the
community, they have a vested interest in the development, success, and support of the region.
The Chamber will also be giving special recognition to the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, for
the work they’ve done with the provincial government in setting up the COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit
We have had a number of suggestions that did not fit the criteria for this year’s celebrations, but we
would like to recognize their contributions to economic growth and recovery. Our tourism and
hospitality sectors have been hard hit and we hope that recovery models will help us to get back to
happier times. The former Discover Saint John, the new Envision Saint John, The Saint John Hotel
Association, TIANB, Port Saint John and all other tourism assets such as Aquila Tours, have all worked
hard to position us as a great destination to welcome cruise ships, and other visitors to our region. We
celebrate all of their efforts.
Recipients of an OBA in 2020 include Uptown Saint John, Discover Saint John, Queen Square Farmers
Market, Cochran’s Country Market, Grand Bay Home Hardware, On The Vine, and Jeannette Arsenault
with the office of MP Wayne Long. A complete list of past recipients can be found