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Business owners recognized at the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

On Tuesday March 5, 2019, Douglas College Self-Employment Services hosted the Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in the Anvil Theater in New Westminster. The yearly event celebrates the success of alumni from the Douglas College Self-Employment Program, recognized as one of the largest and most successful entrepreneurial training programs in Canada.

The evening began with a networking reception followed by the awards presentation. Attending VIPs and dignitaries from New Westminster included representatives from the City of New Westminster Economic Development Office Blair Fryer, Manager, and Carolyn Armanini, Economic Development Planer, as well as Mellissa Ratcliff, CEO, New Westminster Chamber of Commerce.

Representing the Burnaby Board of Trade was Board Chair Andrew Scott. City of Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, the Tourism Manager representing the Economic Development Office, Eric Kalnins and Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Randy Webster were also in attendance.

Nominee submissions are considered on the basis of five criteria: business achievements, product and service differentiators, marketing and operational strategies, community service and revenue. Two finalists and one winner were recognized in eight award categories, including overall Entrepreneur of the Year.

Congratulations to this year’s winners and finalists for their outstanding achievements. Highlighting Entrepreneur of the Year Awards within the eight categories include:

High Tech:
Don Lekei, Help-My-Tech

Noe Galindo, Monarch Roofing Services

Courtney Hunter, Shameless Resale

Fatma Taha, Big Hearts Homecare

Home Based:
Ivonne Navas, Explore I.D.E.A.S. Immigration & Education

Olexandr Syraiev, Northwest Storage & Fulfillment Inc.

Health and Wellness:
Mary Jane Gallagher, Sunflower Yoga & Healing Arts

Sandra Giraldo Mendez, Hundred Languages Childcare Inc.

Overall Entrepreneur of the Year:
Supneet Kaur Chawla, Ace Trades and Technical Institute Inc.

The 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year received tremendous support from its sponsors: the City of New Westminster, City of Coquitlam, City of New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, Burnaby Board of Trade, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, Anchor Awards & Engraving, Park Insurance, BNAC Environmental Solutions, Divine Vines Flowers, Lucid Visuals, CBowman Photography, Alliance Printing, IKEA, Best Buy and Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club.

Douglas College is the largest degree-granting college in B.C., combining the academic foundations of a university and the employer-ready skills of a college to provide the most relevant and inspiring undergraduate experience in British Columbia. 

For more information, visit



Nadége Rioux

Marketing Coordinator

Training Group at Douglas College

A1410-1250 Pinetree Way

Coquitlam, BC, V3B 7X3

Cell: 604.218.2198  Direct: 604.777.6003