SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN – The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority’s entrepreneurship program Square One honoured businesses and individuals at the second annual Newcomer Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (NEYA), which was celebrated in Saskatoon on June 6 at The Sheraton Cavalier.
“Last night’s gala was a celebration of newcomer entrepreneurs who have demonstrated the drive and determination it takes to be a successful business owner in Saskatchewan,” said Alex Fallon, President and CEO of SREDA. “Their stories are unique and inspiring, and reflect their desire to contribute to our community. We are delighted they have chosen to live in Saskatchewan, to build a future here and to build companies that generate employment opportunities for local residents. We are a strong community and a stronger economy because of their contribution.”
The 2017 NEYA winners are:
Start-Up – Press’d Sandwich Stonebridge, Smitaben Patel
Smitaben moved to Canada from India in January 2010 and opened Press’d Sandwich in Stonebridge April 2016. Press’d is a sandwich store franchise offering healthy sandwiches for walk-in, take-out and catering. The store specializes in providing customers with a fresh healthy alternative to typical fried fast-food.
Growth – S&E Trusted Online Directories Inc., Sara Wheelwright
Sara moved to Canada from the United Kingdom in April 2006 and launched TrustedSaskatoon.com in 2011, TrustedRegina.com in 2012 and Trusted Marketing Services in 2014. The Trusted Online Directories are online directories that list and promote locally owned Saskatchewan companies that are run with integrity. Trusted Marketing Services is a full service marketing agency offering everything from social media management, website design, video creation, SEO and full creative services.
U39 – Complete Technologies, Andrey Olinov
Andrey moved to Canada from Moscow in 2009 and started Complete Technologies in 2011. Complete Technologies is an outsourced IT department that allows businesses to spend more time on other areas of their business. Complete Technologies uses the latest technology and industry leading tools to successfully maintain and improve their IT service with world-class customer service.
Connect – Kavia Auto Body Inc., Raj Kavia
Raj moved to Canada in 1983 and his father started Kavia Auto Body in 1986. Kavia Auto Body is a reputable auto collision repair facility that is SGI elite approved. They also offer auto glass replacement, paint less dent repair and have a fully transferable nationwide warranty. Kavia Auto Body uses modern tools from laser frame measuring equipment to resistance welding.
Employer – Memories Dining & Bar, Thomas Siarkos
Memories Dining & Bar is a full-service fine dining restaurant in Regina, Saskatchewan. Over the years, Memories Dining & Bar has sponsored and hired many newcomers to Canada from several countries around the world. The staff are treated like family, with many being with the restaurant from the beginning.
At the end of the evening, SREDA announced a special award called the NEYA Spirit Award. This award was presented to a business that best embodies the spirit of a newcomer entrepreneur. The 2017 NEYA Spirit Award was awarded to Vincent Lu of Ground Yoga. Since moving to Saskatoon Vincent has built a business around giving back to the community through his passion, yoga.
NEYA Spirit – Ground Yoga, Vincent Lu
Vincent moved to Canada from Taiwan in October 2010 and opened Ground Yoga in July 2011. Ground Yoga is a yoga studio in the Broadway District of Saskatoon. It’s an all-inclusive, welcoming space that is family owned and managed. Ground Yoga has 42 classes, 24 teachers, and utilizes an ‘Energy Exchange’ program for our 20 desk and cleaning staff. The schedule reflects a diverse range of classes for all ages and abilities.
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