The Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism handed out its 20th annual Awards of Excellence at a gala event on Thursday night (October 10) at Lakefield College School, including presenting the Citizen of the Year Award to Nightingale Nursing president and CEO Sally Harding.
Harding received the award for her outstanding commitment to the area as a businessperson and community supporter. She took over the reins of family business Nightingale Nursing — which supports seniors to stay at home as long as possible by providing personal support and home maintenance services — 20 years ago and purchased it four years later.
A 15-year Rotarian, Harding has focused on youth projects, hosting 10 international exchange students and, through Rotary’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity, providing mentorship and advice to their youth council. She has also served on the hospital foundation board for nine years, the Kawartha Chamber board for six years (serving two terms as president), and currently sits on the board of the Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
Along with the Citizen of the Year Award, the Kawartha Chamber presented awards in nine categories to local businesses:
- Commercial Development or Renovation: Kawartha Lakes Construction (finalists: Lock Stop Cafe, Sweet Competition)
- Customer Service Excellence: Home Suite Home Transitions (finalists: Bell’s Garage, Lang Pioneer Village Museum, Nexicom, Village Pet Food & Supply)
- Entrepreneur Innovation: Entomo Farms (finalists: Emily Mae’s Cookies, PKA SoftTouch, TreeWell)
- Not-for-Profit Excellence: Lakefield Literary Festival (finalists: BEL Rotary Club, Camp Kawartha, Curve Lake First Nation Cultural Centre, The Canadian Canoe Museum)
- Retailer of the Year: Griffin’s Greenhouses (finalists: Kingdon Timber Mart, Paris Marine, Village Pet Food & Supply)
- Service Sector Excellence: Whelan’s Flooring Centre (finalists: BALL Real Estate, Swanky Events)
- Tourism/Hospitality Excellence: The Kawartha Buttertart Factory (finalists: Scotsman Point Resort, Westwind Inn)
- Outstanding Business Achievement: Central Smith Creamery (finalists: Beachwood Resort, Cottage Toys, T.G. Quirk Garage )
- Young Professional: Jillian Harrington, Clearview Cottage Resort (finalists not announced)