Welcome to “Emerald City!” Which local businesses and people will follow the yellow brick road and earn the coveted 20th Annual Biz X Awards (the “pillars of success”) honouring our emerald anniversary? Photo credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. /welburnstuart. Insertion of Biz X Award by Rod Denis.
“Emerald City: There’s No Place Like Home!” The 20th Annual Biz X Awards Tribute
20th Annual Biz X Awards Write-ups By Rebecca Wright.
“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true!” Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, uttered these words from the hit song in the famous 1939 magical movie. They not only relate to all entrepreneurs wanting to go into business, but can also refer to the start-up of Biz X magazine and the vision of its Publisher, Deborah Jones.
Back in February 1998, the first issue of Biz X rolled off the press and now in 2017 we celebrate our own milestone — the 20th anniversary of the magazine along with the Biz X Awards. So, an ideal theme for this Awards edition, and accompanying gala, is the gemstone designated to celebrate 20th anniversaries — the brilliant emerald.
But, that’s not all! The November/December 2017 edition is also our 200th issue! And since the entire team of Biz X calls Windsor Essex home, when you think of “Emerald City” (aka Windsor in our case) The Wizard of Oz once again comes to mind with Dorothy’s famous line, “There’s No Place Like Home.” We could not agree more!
In our opinion, the region of Essex County is the best place to live and own a business. We are sure the award nominees and other local business owners in the “merry old land” of Windsor Essex feel the same. Therefore an “Emerald City: There’s No Place Like Home” theme is a good fit.
Throughout the 20th Annual Biz X Awards edition you will see elements of this Emerald/Home theme (graphics, reference to music, the Wizard of Oz and shiny green colouring) on the story pages and for those attending our gala, the décor of the room.
However, the mission of our annual awards edition is to honour the cream of the crop Windsor Essex has to offer and that begins with the super tough (just like the emerald gem) business owners and people (the nominees) who have weathered so many unexpected storms (flooding, high gas/energy, minimum wage increases etc.) to make sure they always “bring home the bacon!”
The readers of Biz X magazine believe our nominees are the leaders in the local business community for exceptional customer service, selection, pricing and dedication to their companies/organizations.
The Awards recognize and honour the business men and women in Windsor Essex who are constantly working hard to be #1 in their industries. Which businesses and people will receive the Biz X Award —the “pillars of success” — this year?For 2017, the 20th Annual Biz X Awards story, 220 nominees competed in 24 categories.
Since 1998, over 660 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 and individual listed throughout this entire cover story. In our view, all are exceptional business owners or top managers, but there can be only one winner of each category in the end.
These lucky recipients attend an exclusive awards gala on November 17, 2017 downtown at St. Clair College Centre for the Arts and enjoy gourmet hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dessert, in a beautiful setting with décor by Designs by Diane and an Awards Ceremony featuring expert technical services and lighting by Bigtime Presentations and live music with Pat & Nino. Our Biz X men, Judges and celebrity presenters are outfitted by Collins Formal and Mens Wear.
Winners also receive a plaque from The Trophy Boys, to display in their place of business. As well, their acceptance speeches are shown on YourTV (Channel HD 700) in January 2018 on the “Plugged In” show. Video footage along with live social media updates, will be recorded by MANAN Media in partnership with Film Camp for Kids & Youth (social media live updates too!).
Award sponsors include: Motor City Community Credit Union; The WindsorEssex Economic Development Small Business Centre; St. Clair College Alumni Association; Tecumseh Mall, and Leon’s Windsor. For a complete list of our gala suppliers and sponsors, please visit check out the 20th Annual Biz X Awards page.
So how does a business or individual become a nominee or winner? To start, let’s recap the rules for the 20th Annual Biz X Awards.
-Each year a list of award categories are published in the summer and September editions of Biz X magazine and online at: BizXmagazine.com. Businesses and people can be nominated by customers, suppliers and Biz X readers, from mid-July until early September, using an on-line form with a section for supporting evidence included. Only one nomination is required to be in the voting poll, so everyone has a fair chance, especially if a small company.
-After the nomination period ended, nominees were made public on the Biz X website, when a voting poll in each category commenced for a two week period from mid-September until the end of the month. People could vote once per category per IP address only (reinforcing the fact this is not just a popularity contest). Individuals could vote in all categories, if they wanted — or just one! Everything was totally confidential and no one could see who voted for who or how many votes a particular nominee had. The 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 must be located in Windsor Essex, which includes the City of Windsor, LaSalle, Sandwich South, Lakeshore, Tecumseh, Amherstburg and all of Essex County. For categories in the PEOPLE section, nominees must be 19 years of age or over and reside in Windsor Essex.
-Companies can be nominated for more than one category; however, businesses/people are only allowed to win one award per year.
-National chains and non-profits are not eligible in most categories. Our mission is to reward start-up businesses in our region and not national companies. However, exceptions are made in the PEOPLE category as we do believe those individuals (working for national chains or working for a charity/non-profit) living in our area deserve recognition as well. Since this entire category is being judged on the individual and not the company itself, they are allowed to participate. *An exception for 2017 has also been made for non-profit organizations and national charities to be included in award #22 for events.
-No media outlets can participate in any of the categories.
-Nominees are given an opportunity to submit information on themselves and/or their company to Biz X magazine upon notification that they were nominated. The information from the nomination forms, a summary of the voting poll results and the company supplied information are then submitted to our panel of Judges for review and discussion. It is very important for all nominees to return this information 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. Judges also research each nominee at their own discretion and visit as many nominees as possible. The Judges meet after the online voting poll closes and review the results and the backup information 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 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. Please note that any biases declared by Judges are mentioned at the end of the write-up, if necessary.
-Businesses do not have to be an advertiser with the magazine 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), companies may be contacted to purchase ads by Biz X Sales Associates to thank those who voted for them in the November/December awards issue. The Judges are unaware which companies advertise (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 ahead of time and no one seeing the winner badge in their ad until the magazine is released to the public.
And now we’re off to see the winners…of the 20th Annual Biz X Awards!