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2007 Business Achievement Awards Winners

CAMSC Congratulates the
2007 Business Achievement Awards Winners!

The 3rd Annual CAMSC Business Achievement Awards on October 11th celebrated the outstanding success of Aboriginal and minority entrepreneurs and corporations committed to supplier diversity. The “Not a One-Night Stand” art exhibit created a buzz at the networking reception, exposing attendees to an outstanding sample of the talented minority and Aboriginal artists working across Canada. Emcees Ali Velshi, Senior Business Correspondent CNN, and Carla Robinson, Host, First People’s edition of Absolutely Canadian, co-hosted a full house at the Harbour Castle Westin, while Don Drummond, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, TD Bank Financial Group made sense of the numbers, providing an entertaining keynote address that emphasized the strategic importance of diversity and its contribution as an engine for Canada’s growth.

A special thanks to our Business Achievement Award sponsor Cisco, our gold sponsors Chrysler, IBM, and Kraft, reception sponsor EDS, and our many silver sponsors who made this celebration possible. For photos of the Award Winners and the event, click here.

And the winners are………………

Supplier of the Year: QBD Cooling Systems

As a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration products for over 20 years, QBD has seen many changes in the industry. Responding to their corporate clients desire to reduce GHG emissions, QBD invested heavily in research and development resulting in significant improvements in the energy efficiency of their coolers throughout their life cycle. This has resulted in strong growth, with export sales on track to double in 2007 to $22 million. In conjunction with other innovative design developments and an excellent track record for delivery on or ahead of schedule, QBD has established itself as an industry leader in innovation and has delivered substantial cost savings, design and eco-efficiency benefits to its customers.

QBD is based out of Brampton, Ontario and employs 280 people. For more information, visit

Small Business of the Year: Neegan Burnside

Neegan Burnside Ltd. is an engineering firm with over 1,200 completed projects for over 200 Fist Nations clients across North America. Neegan Burnside Ltd. is owned and operated by Merv Dewasha, P. Eng., a Watha Mohawk who has devoted 30 years to advancing the interests of First Nations people. He is committed to the mentorship and skills development of Aboriginal engineers and technical staff, increasing Neegan Burnside’s Aboriginal staff from 5 to 11. Under Mr. Dewasha’s leadership, Neegan Burnside Ltd. has experienced significant growth over the last several years, including securing key projects improving water treatment systems for northern First Nations, as well as integrating Aboriginal architecture and traditional healing space into the $100 million Sioux Lookout Hospital project. Their successes in the private sector include a recent project for Pfizer for which they were commended for rapid response time and attention to detail.

With strategic alliances in place across the country, Neegan Burnside is an Aboriginal business success story delivering engineering projects from coast to coast to coast. For more information, visit

Corporation of the Year: Flex-N-Gate

Flex-N-Gate is a minority-owned company that puts its money where its mouth is. Having seen the benefits first-hand of supplier diversity initiatives in the growth of Flex-N-Gate, they have moved rapidly to provide access to Canadian Aboriginal and minority suppliers since joining CAMSC in 2006. In the first half of 2007 alone, they have invited bids from 15 CAMSC certified suppliers, and spent over $2.5 million dollars. They nominated a supplier diversity champion to drive active communication both internally across its many distinct divisions, as well as externally with diverse suppliers. Internal quality development teams have visited diverse suppliers for continuous improvement activities. As a direct result, Flex-N-Gate has improved its engagement and reporting mechanisms and in 2007 has already reported more than 400% growth in spend with CAMSC certified suppliers over 2006.

In business since 1956, Flex-N-Gate produces high quality products and systems for the automotive industry. Flex-N-Gate employs over 13,000 people at 47 manufacturing and 6 engineering facilities across North America, Mexico, Argentina and Spain. For more information, visit

Partnership Award – Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA)

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) is Canada’s leading, most influential and entrepreneurial technology alliance. It is committed to growing the global competitiveness of its members, 80% of which are currently active exporters. The common purpose that unites the membership is CATAAlliance’s commitment to members’ business growth.

CATAAlliance actively advocates for global growth of small and medium-sized businesses, through supply chain relationships with large enterprises. CATAAlliance and CAMSC have partnered together for a number of joint initiatives, including making use of increasingly effective online networking tools to facilitate procurement opportunities, as well as help educate, inspire and promote the richness of talent and innovation that lies within our Aboriginal and minority communities. For more information, visit

Procurement Business Advocate of the Year Award – Beth Pomper, Consulate of Canada

Beth Pomper, Trade Commissioner for the Consulate of Canada in Philadelphia, has led the implementation of Supplier Diversity initiatives in the US for the Canadian food and beverage sector. Prior to Beth’s involvement, the government of Canada was not familiar with Supplier Diversity and the opportunities it presents to diverse Canadian suppliers entering the US market. Working with partners at Agri-food Canada and provincial governments, Beth has been personally responsible for organizing a number of grocery chain buyer missions to Canada, as well as food and beverage supplier missions to the US. As a result of Beth’s efforts, Canadian diverse food companies are projected to generate US$14 million in export sales for 2007.