Black Tie award finalists announced

The winners of the 2011 Black Tie awards. The finalists for 2012 were announced this month. - Andrew Leong/file
The winners of the 2011 Black Tie awards. The finalists for 2012 were announced this month.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Twenty-five Cowichanians committed to gold-plated customer and community service are finalists in this year’s coveted Black Tie Awards.

Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce brass will announce winners in seven service slots during the Black Tie gala April 28 in Cowichan Exhibition’s Mellor Hall.

The 17th Black Tie Awards honouring excellence in valley volunteerism and business drew 186 public nominations in categories spanning Volunteer, Young Entrepreneur, Green Award, Customer Service, Business Achiever, Home-Based Business and Art in Business.

Finalists are being interviewed by a judging panel using scored questions. Results are audited, then sealed until the awards night when winners receive their Black Ties.

Finalists include:

Home-Based Business: Andrew Shepherd, Vancouver Island Salt Co.; Patricia MacGregor, Drew Harling, Zuk Design; Becky Litt, Advantage Hospitality.

Green Business: Aimee Bartesko, skin n.v.; Margaret Sherren, Indoor Healthy Environment; Vincent Spronken, Cowichan Valley Bottle Depot.

Art in Business: Sue Coleman, Coleman & Coleman Enterprises Ltd.; Margit Nelleman, Margit Nelleman Handbuilt Ceramics; Gloria S. Daly, Studio G Art.

Customer Service: Mike McCluskey, Thermo Proof Windows; Dana Martin, Highway Rentals; Ashley Blandin, Twisted Mug Café.

Volunteer of the Year: Dorothy and Eric Marshall, Audie Williams, Davey Derby; Cathy Schmidt, South Island Musical Theatre Society.

Young Entrepreneur: Marcus Woernle, Bioflame Briquettes; Ashley Kennewell, Twisted Mug Café.

Business Achiever: Dominique Daviau, Handy Mum; Chad Conrad, Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse & Bar; Karen Chong and Yolanda Sandz, Chari-Teas.

Pre-paid tickets are $75, or $575 for a table of eight. Visit or call 250-748-1111.

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