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Joella Bevan is Fort Macleod’s Citizen of the Year

Fort Macleod Mayor and Chamber director Brent Feyter presented the Citizen of the Year Award to Joella Bevan.

Joella Bevan is Fort Macleod’s Citizen of the Year for 2020.

Bevan was honoured last week as the Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards in virtual ceremonies.

“Joella tirelessly gives of her time to multiple events and doesn’t hesitate to volunteer,” Bevan’s’ nomination read. “She has the biggest heart and cares about her community.”

Other award recipients were Westco Construction, Raegan Lichtenberger, Twisted Hummingbird, Blackacre Farms, NAPA Auto Parts, Johnny’s Restaurant, Digby’s Diner, Cuts N Curls and Kyle Rosendal.

Bevan was recognized for her willingness to volunteer with a variety of Fort Macleod organizations and events, including the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk/Run, Fort Macleod Triathlon, Santa Claus Parade, pandemic birthday parades and the Fort Macleod Sharks Swim Club.

“When you are from a small town like ours, you know that if you’d like to see things happen, you get to work and make it happen,” the Chamber wrote in its description. “And that’s just what Joella does.”

The Chamber said Bevan embodies the traits sought in Fort Macleod’s Citizen of the Year.

Chamber president Andrew Beusekom, vice-president Adrian Stetski, executive director Ashley Nelson and directors Kayla Weston, Janene Moch,  Chase Oberg, Brent Feyter, Josh Beusekom, Bertel Fieret and Joanna Lyke presented the awards.

Individual presentations were made last month since the pandemic prevented the Chamber from hosting its annual awards gala at the community hall.

The following awards were presented last month:

Large Business Award

Chamber treasurer Chase Oberg presented the Large Business Award to Jason VanEe, Theo VanEe and Derek O’Connor of Westco Construction Ltd.

Westco Construction Ltd. was the recipient of the Large Business Award.

Westco specializes in the design-build and general contracting of commercial, agricultural, industrial, and institutional buildings.

Westco Construction is complimented by the rental and drilling operations.

Westco last month marked its 30th anniversary, and in the spring will start construction on its new office in Fort Macleod.

Junior Citizen

Raegan Lichtenberger accepted the Junior Citizen of the Year Award from Chamber executive director Ashley Nelson.

Raegan Lichtenberger was chosen Fort Macleod’s Junior Citizen of the Year.

Lichtenberger graduated last June from F.P. Walshe school where she participated in student leadership.

Lichtenberger served as a Junior Chamber member, doing volunteer work and community involvement for the 2019-’20 school year.

“Raegan has a big, kind heart,” the Chamber wrote. “She has always been thoughtful of others needs and ready to jump in and lend a helping hand.”

Outstanding Business

Chamber president Andrew Beusekom presented the Outstanding Business Award to Dona Guyette of Twisted Hummingbird.

Twisted Hummingbird received Fort Macleod’s Outstanding Business Award.

Dona Guyette and Twisted Hummingbird received several nominations for the Outstanding Business Award.

“The customer service at Twisted Hummingbird is always amazing,” the nomination read. “Dona really goes above and beyond and helps so many in need.”

Agricultural Business

The Welsh family (Barry, Cindy, Rob, Brady, Jordy, and Kody) of Blackacre Farms was presented with the Agricultural Business Award by Chamber director Kayla Weston.

Blackacre Farms was chosen for the Agricultural Business Award.

Blackacre Farms is a fourth generation farm and ranch operation south of Fort Macleod.

The operation began about 60 years ago when  Bob and Jean Welsh, purchased the farm.

Several years ago, the Welsh family signed up with a carbon credit company and changed their method of cultivation to zero till.

In 2001, they signed a contract with a windmill company and were the first to have a windmill south of Fort Macleod.

In the last couple of years, Rob Welsh signed into a sustainable beef program, which eliminates growth hormones.

Small Business

Chamber director Kayla Weston presented the Small Business Award to Mark and Cara Baird of NAPA Auto Parts.

NAPA Auto Parts won the Small Business Award.

Mark and Cara Baird moved to Fort Macleod 13 years ago to start NAPA Auto Parts.

“They are one of the best suppliers that we deal with,” the nomination read. “They truly go above and beyond for their customers. They are also very community-minded, often donating to fund-raisers and silent auctions.”

Customer Service

Chamber director Josh Beusekom presented the Customer Service Award to Johnny and May Tsai of Johnny’s Restaurant.

Johnny’s Restaurant was the recipient of the Customer Service Award.

Johnny and May Tsai have served Chinese and American style cuisine in their historic building on Main Street since moving to Fort Macleod from Calgary 24 years ago.

“Being in the service industry for as long as Johnny and May have, they have come to know their customers, genuinely care, greet them in their native language, and provide excellent, doting service,” the nomination read. “They stayed open for takeout during the pandemic closures and a lot of people needed that and were grateful they could still enjoy their delicious food.”

New Business

Debbie Ditchfield of Digbee’s Diner was presented with the New Business Award by Chamber director Janene Moch.

Digby’s Diner received the New Business Award.

The Chamber noted that starting a new business takes grit and determination — particularly in the face of a world-wide pandemic.

Mother-daughter duo, Debbie and Chelsy, and their team provide breakfast and lunch options in the Urban Core building.

Home-based Business

Chamber director Joanna Lyke presented the 2020 Home-Based Business Award to Brandy Archibald of Cuts N Curls.

Cuts N Curls won the Home-Based Business Award.

Brandy Archibald started Cuts N Curls in 1992 and was recognized for always going above and beyond to accommodate her clientele.

Community Enhancement

The Special Development Unit at Fort Macleod Health Centre received the Community Enhancement Award.

Chamber director Bertel Fieret presented the Community Enhancement Award to Jennie O’Sullivan, Siva Savudan, and Amanda Kusters of the Special Development Unit.

Staff at the Special Development Unit  care for some of Fort Macleod’s most vulnerable citizens with physical or mental disabilities.

They ensure patients feel included, treating them as contributing community members by involving them in local events and projects, and prepare some to be able to live on their own.

“They take such great care of their patients,” the nomination read. “Their staff is amazing.”

Employee Service

Chamber vice-president, Adrian Stetski presented the Employee Service Award to Kyle Rosendal of Davis Dodge.

Kyle Rosendal of Davis Dodge was the recipient of the Employee Service Award.

Rosendal has worked as a service technician at Davis Dodge for 16 years. His fellow team members noted  he is a dedicated and dependable employee, is always smiling, and has great customer service.

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