2022 Biz X Awards Winners Revealed

Biz X magazine NovDec 2022 Cover story
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The 25th Annual Biz X Awards Tribute Always Look For The Silver Lining In Every Cloud

Award Write-ups By Rebecca Wright & Jim Murphy

William Wordsworth’s poem, Daffodils, written in 1804, has the first line, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. Joni Mitchell’s classic song, Both Sides Now, has the words: “So many things I would have done, but clouds got in the way.” The computer animated comedy film is titled, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Those puffy white cotton balls in the sky have found their way into poems, songs, movies and more, throughout the ages.

Clouds are not just a term in meteorology. Think of cloud computing (data storage), a Cloudbook (laptop) and the dream of becoming an entrepreneur as symbolized by a cloud’s dream like qualities.

Clouds vary in size, shape and colour, as do those running local businesses and organizations who are made up of different ages, genders and backgrounds, selling a variety of goods or services.

Yet in business, just like life, there are always clouds on the horizon.

For all these reasons noted above, the theme: Always Look For The Silver Lining In Every Cloud, was chosen for the 25th Biz X Awards Edition. We all must see the positive in every situation no matter what!

As for silver in the theme, according to the Collins dictionary, Silver Jubilee is the 25th anniversary of an important event, such as a person becoming king or queen, or an organization being started . . . and Biz X is proudly celebrating this important milestone of its awards program.

Silver symbolizes brilliance, radiance and a long lasting relationship. These sparkling qualities also describe the Biz X Award nominees who deserve the royal treatment!

Though our theme changes each year, our mission always remains the same . . . to honour the outstanding entrepreneurs and leaders in Windsor, Essex County and Pelee Island. In the opinion of the loyal readers of Biz X, these exceptional nominees for 2022 leave their competitors behind in a cloud of dust!

Which local businesses, organizations, events and professionals will be chosen to receive the “pillars of success” — Biz X Award — this year?

In our 25th annual Awards Tribute, 244 nominees competed in 24 categories. This year, the online voting poll ran from September 19 until September 26 with over 30,000 votes coming in (surpassing the 2021 total).

Our award history goes back to 1998, and with the publishing of this issue, over 775 Biz X Awards have been handed out. Like every year before, the new batch of nominees are simply the best our region has to offer and we congratulate every company, organization, event and individual listed throughout this entire cover story. However, like all award programs, there can be only one winner of each category in the end.

These lucky recipients attend an exclusive Awards Gala on November 19, 2022 at St. Clair College Centre for the Arts in an elegant setting with décor by Designs by Diane and an Awards Ceremony featuring expert technical services and lighting by Bigtime Presentations, entertainment with Joshua & Kristina and a photo booth sponsored by KindRides.ca. For this formal event, our Biz X men, Judges and celebrity presenters are outfitted by Collins Clothiers.

Winners also receive a plaque from The Trophy Boys, to display in their workplace, plus promotion in the November/December print and digital editions of Biz X. As well, their acceptance speeches are shown on YourTV (Channel HD 700) in January 2023 on the Plugged In show. Video footage, along with live social media updates, is also recorded by the Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media & The Creative Arts in partnership with MANAN Media.

Five main Award sponsors include: Motor City Community Credit Union; Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre; St. Clair College Alumni Association; iNeedWebDesign.ca and Williams Food Equipment.

Let’s now fill you in on how a business, organization, individual or event became a nominee or the overall winner of their category, by recapping the official rules for the Biz X Awards.

-Each year a list of award categories is published in the summer and September editions of Biz X magazine and online at: BizXmagazine.com. Businesses, organizations, events and people can be nominated by customers, suppliers, and Biz X readers, from late July until early September, using an online form with a section for supporting evidence included. Only a single nomination is required to qualify for the voting poll, so everyone has a fair chance, especially if it’s a small company or organization.

-After the nomination period ended, nominees were made public on the Biz X website, when a voting poll in each category commenced in mid-September for one week. People could only vote once per category, per IP address, (reinforcing the fact this is not a popularity contest). Individuals could vote in all categories if they wanted — or just one! Everything was totally confidential, with no one knowing who voted for who or how many votes a particular nominee had. Getting the highest number of votes did not constitute an automatic win, and the voting results may or may not have had an impact on the judging process. Vote tallies are only a part of the overall selection process.

-The qualifications for nominees are simple. Businesses/organizations must be located in Windsor, Essex County or Pelee Island, which includes LaSalle, Lakeshore, Tecumseh, Amherstburg, Kingsville, Leamington, and Essex Centre. For categories in the PEOPLE section, nominees must be 19 years of age or over and reside in Windsor, Essex County or Pelee Island.

-Only one nomination per business/organization or individual is permitted. There are no multiple nominations in different categories permitted. We reserve the right to choose the best category for each nominee when a nomination comes in.

-National chains/franchises and non-profit organizations are not eligible in most categories. Our mandate is to reward start-up businesses in our region and not national companies. However, exceptions are made in the PEOPLE categories as we do believe those individuals (working for national chains or working for a charity/non-profit) living in our area deserve to be recognized. Since this entire section (categories #8 to #13) is being judged on the individual and not the company itself, they can be included. An exception for category #24 in the HOSPITALITY & ENTERTAINMENT categories is also allowed, as many national organizations have local chapters hosting events.

-No media outlets can participate in any of the categories.

-Nominees are given an opportunity to submit information online, answering specific questions set out by Biz X magazine, upon notification that they were nominated. Information from the nomination forms and online submissions, along with the voting poll results, is then reviewed by each Judge on his/her own time. All nominees are required to submit information online as it is a way to check the information a nominator has submitted on the website form. The information provided is also used to compile the write-up on the company or person in the annual Awards Edition should they be determined as the winner. Judges also research each nominee at their own discretion. The Judges meet after the online voting poll closes and all nominee information is received, they discuss their findings with each other and select the final winners during Judgment Night in October.

-To avoid any conflict of interest, Biz X full time staff members are not permitted to participate in the judging process. This is to ensure impartiality to all advertisers, suppliers, and friends. As well, Judges cannot participate on Judgment Night conversations or the final voting in any categories that friends, relatives, or their own business, are being considered for. They also are not permitted to be involved in any part of the judging process if their own business or workplace is a supplier to a nominee or pays a nominated company for any services they or their business may need. There is an exception to this rule if a Judge has hired or worked with many nominees in the category. In this case, we consider him/her an expert in this industry with valuable input to offer and they are permitted to vote. As well, in large categories, such as #8 Powerhouse Professional — where certain Judges know multiple nominees and all Judges would have had to declare a bias as each knows at least one nominee — they are allowed to participate or there would be no voting Judges! Please note that any biases declared by Judges, are mentioned at the end of the award write-up, if necessary.

-Businesses do not have to be an advertiser with the magazine to be nominated or to win. Every company, whether a Biz X advertiser or not, has an equal chance of winning. Once all nominations are in and the voting poll is closed (the end of September), nominees may be contacted to purchase ads by Biz X Sales Associates to thank those who nominated and voted for them in the November/December Awards Issue. The Judges are unaware which companies advertise in this edition (or do not) when they make their final decisions and only see the completed Awards Issue at the same time the readers do. This ensures there are no biases or conflicts of interest. Judges do not know who the final winners are on Judgment Night as they voted by secret ballot and are not told the results. All those nominees who chose to advertise in the November/December issue had nominee badges in their ads and, just before the magazine went to print, for those who won, the nominee badge was switched to a winner badge (without the knowledge of the advertiser). The entire process is kept top secret with only a select few knowing the final outcome during the printing process of the magazine and no-one seeing the winner badge in their ad until the annual Biz X Awards Edition is released to the public in mid-November.

COVER STORY CONTINUES ON PAGE 18

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Deborah Jones – Publisher of Biz X Magazine Deborah Jones graduated from the University of Windsor with an Honours Degree in Communication Studies and was employed at two other local magazines shortly after for a few years learning all she could about writing, advertising, public relations and more. She made the jump in 1998 to go out on her own to publish Biz X magazine and has worked in the publishing industry since 1990. In 2007, she earned the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from the Windsor & District Chamber of Commerce. To date, she is the ONLY woman so far to receive this award. In 2013, she received one of the first “Windsor Women of the Year” awards from the Ladies Exclusive Alliance. Her most recent achievement is a “2016 Vocational Service Award” from the Rotary Club of Windsor Roseland. Deborah is proud to live in Windsor and truly cares about each and every business and strives to make Windsor Essex the best place to live, work and play.