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Honouring the community’s leaders is part of Langley chamber’s mission

Whether in business or volunteer service, the chamber singles out Langley’s best
Kathy Derksen, president of the Langley Hospice Society’s board, received the Harold Stafford Good Citizen of the Year award from Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce CEO Cory Redekop in 2022. (Langley Advance Times files)

Two of the biggest events on the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce’s calendar are about recognizing the achievements and triumphs of people in the community.

Every year, the chamber’s Business Excellence Awards in November honours a number of winners across various categories – big and small businesses of the year, employer of the year, environmental leadership and entrepreneurial excellence, as well as categories for the charity or non-profit of the year, and the George Preston Memorial Business Person of the Year Award, named after the late Langley mayor and car dealership owner.

Then in December, the chamber bestows its H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year award. That award goes to someone who has made a difference for the community, through volunteerism, organizing, and helping others.

“I think it’s important that the chamber recognizes good leadership in the community,” said Angie Quaale, a director at large and former president of the chamber.

Quaale has been on both sides of the awards process – she has nominated people for the Stafford award, and she’s been nominated for, and won, Business Excellence Awards.

In 2013, she was named the George Preston Business Person of the Year both for her food and kitchen supply store, Well Seasoned, and for working tirelessly to promote Langley through community events and culinary tours.

“Things like that are super meaningful to me,” Quaale said.

The awards mean recognition by peers in the local business world, for contributions to the whole community, she said.

That’s why it’s important that the chamber runs the awards every year, despite the fact that it’s a big job for the chamber’s staff and directors.

Every year, nominations come in from many people, they have to be handled well, and the entire process needs to be fair and seen as trustworthy, Quaale said.

Beyond the benefits of recognizing businesses and local leaders who have done outstanding work, Quaale said the events also help to promote and increase awareness of businesses in Langley.

“I’ve learned a lot over the years about businesses in the community because of the awards,” Quaale said.

It’s also a chance to spread some good news.

“I think this is an opportunity to talk about positive things in the community,” she said.

In 2022, Freybe Gourmet Foods took the award for Business of the Year for large businesses, White Canvas Design Studio for small business, Gemma Martini of Martini Film Studios won the George Preston Memorial award, and Langley Hospice Society was named the non-profit of the year.

In December, Kathy Derksen, president of the hospice society, was also named Langley’s Good Citizen of the Year.

READ MORE: Kathy Derksen named Langley’s citizen of the year

READ MORE: Langley chamber crowns Freybe best big business of the year

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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