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Last night was the Ottawa Business Achievement awards Gala dinner. It was a classy event, attended by many prominent business people and designed to honor individuals and companies that have excelled over the last year.
Eagle was very flattered to win the Mid-Market Company of the Year award ... recognizing in particular the growth we had last year, but also the contribution that we make to the community.
The event also honored the 2011 CEO of the Year, who is Jean Laurin the CEO of Encon and while I don't know him personally I received very positive feedback about him from the organisers. This is an award that I won in 2006 and which pays a lot of attention to community involvement as well as the business success a CEO has in leading an organization.
The other individual award was to Jim Durrell, former Mayor of Ottawa, and a guy who has been a big part of many innovations around Ottawa. He headed up the team that ensured the Ottawa Convention Centre became a reality ... and that is where last night's event took place! He was instrumental in bringing the Ottawa Senators to Ottawa, involved with the Ottawa Rough Riders football, part of the group that got Ottawa a "real airport' etc. I have also sat with Jim on charity committees. He is clearly well deserving of this award, but like many said ... there is more to come from Jim Durrell! Even Premiere McGuinty popped in to pay tribute to Jim!
In our personal lives my wife and I have recently had to deal with a very distasteful company and so it was a breath of fresh air to be here amongst ethical professionals who know what it means to run good companies and be good corporate citizens.
As I talked to people I know around the room, I was struck by how many of these business leaders are so involved in giving back to the community. It is a passion of mine, but clearly it is a common theme amongst winners!
I chatted to Michael Curran, Publisher of the Ottawa Business Journal and one of the driving forces behind last night's event. Mike is always involved with some charity or other ... a couple of years ago he spent 4 or 5 months training to take place in a charity white collar boxing match! He was one of the reasons that I agreed to do the same thing earlier this year ... and it was a fantastic experience. Incidentally Justin Trudeau will be one of the fighters at the 2012 Fight for the Cure!
I chatted to Howard Grant, President and Founder of a successful consulting company PPI consulting. Howard got me involved with the committee working to end homelessness in Ottawa, and is another leader very involved in numerous charitable endeavors.
I could go ... but I think you get the point. The night was about recognizing business achievements, but I believe that there is a strong correlation between business success and corporate social responsibility! Last night was just another example that true leaders will give and give!
If you are in business then improve your chances of success by getting more involved with your community!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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