The contributions of local business leaders were recognized on Friday night during the fourth biennial Estevan Business Excellence (EBEX) Awards at the Wylie Mitchell Building.
Awards were handed out in several different categories. Brent Gedak Welding was the big winner, as the company took home the award for the Business of the Year. All of the businesses that were nominated for an EBEX Award were eleigible for the Business of the Year honour.
The company also won the Growth and Expansion Award.
Gedak was stunned that the company was able to take home two honours.
"It goes to show that the harder you push, the more successful you'll be," Gedak told the Mercury after the ceremony. "We have a long ways to go, and we're just scratching the ground with what we've created in our business."
The Southern Plains Co-op took home the Community Involvement Award, while Michelle Smart with the co-op was named the Employee of the Year. The latter award was handed out for the first time at EBEX.
Other award winners were: Joe Billesberger with B&S Construction and Prairie Sky Kitchens was named the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Encompass Fitness Studio won the New Business Venture Award, and Pharmasave 427 won the Outstanding Service Award.
A couple other highlights occurred during the evening. Ed Turnbull and Turnbull Excavating was inducted into the Nick and Verna Morsky Business Hall of Fame. Ed Turnbull, who started the company in 1986, admitted that he never thought he would find himself in such an exclusive club.
"There are so many guys out there who are bigger," said Turnbull. "They have branches all over and have done a lot bigger things than I have."
Also during the evening, the Rural Municipality of Estevan recognized Ray and Doris Frehlick for their contributions to the local business community. The Frehlicks' company, Prairie Mud Service, was inducted into the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce's Business Hall of Fame last year.
Ray Frehlick used his acceptance speech to encourage people to be involved with service clubs.
Next week's edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.