Acadian Chamber announces finalists for Entrepreneurial Awards of Excellence

SUMMERSIDE – Dec. 9, 2019 – Fourteen candidates will be vying for the six Entrepreneurial Awards of Excellence that the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of Commerce of PEI (CCAFLIPE) will present during its 2020 Entrepreneurs’ Gala March 14 at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside.

CCAFLIPE spokesperson Pierre Gallant announced the names of the finalists during the Chamber’s Christmas celebration Friday, Dec. 6, in the very room where the Gala will take place. But before making the announcement, he told the 60 people present that the Chamber experienced some minor difficulties with its recent awards competition.

“The challenge this year was not the number of applications because we received 21 of them. The problem was that the applications were not well distributed among the categories,” he said. “In one category, we have only one candidate; in another category, we have eight! And unfortunately, we can only keep a maximum of three finalists per category, which means that some well-deserving candidates regrettably had to be eliminated.”

Gallant indicated that the quality of the submissions was excellent and that in several circumstances, scores were extremely tight.


He announced that Marcel and Gérard Arsenault of Deva Forestry/The Branch Manager of Abram-Village and Summerside and Patrick Villeneuve of Mermaid Marine Products in Charlottetown will compete for the most prestigious award at the Gala, the new Acadian and Francophone Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame Award. In addition to winning the trophy, the winner(s) will be permanently inducted into the new Hall of Fame, which will be erected on a wall of the Wellington Rural Action Centre (with the 17 winners of the Chamber’s former Distinguished Entrepreneur Award). The new distinction is essentially a lifetime achievement award, which recognizes the economic contribution of an entrepreneur over his entire career.

The award that attracted the most entries (eight) this year is the Business of Excellence Award, which recognizes a company that stands out for its innovation, quality of service, job creation, greening and impact on the community. The Wellington Co-operative, The Wellington Royal Canadian Legion and Mermaid Marine Products of Charlottetown are the finalists for this award.

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Award recognizes an entrepreneur for his achievements and business spirit. Rafael Octavio Aguirre Jimenez, owner and manager of EastCode Ecommerce Solutions and TopFeed of Charlottetown, is the only candidate in the category.


Another very popular category of the contest was the Distinguished Employee Award, which recognizes an employee of a company, cooperative or organization who has distinguished himself/herself by the quality of his/her customer service or by his/her achievements or leadership in the business world. The finalists are:

• David Perry, grocery manager of the Wellington Co-operative;
• Gisèle Gallant, financial services officer at Évangéline-Central Credit Union in Wellington;
• Louis Richard, manager of the Automotive Department at Canadian Tire in Summerside.

The finalists for the Social Economy Business Award (which recognizes a company, cooperative or organization with an economic vocation that has distinguished itself through its achievements and successes, including its impact on its community, are, once again, the Wellington Co-operative and the Wellington Royal Canadian Legion, along with the Association des centres de la petite enfance acadienne et francophone de l’ÎPÉ.

Maria Arsenault, daughter of Albert Arsenault and Julie Savoie of Mont-Carmel, and Samantha Lawther, a young woman from the Charlottetown area, are competing for the 2020 Young Enterprising Person Award. Finalists have to be 25 years of age or younger and must have been actively involved in meaningful entrepreneurial and/or community initiatives, especially over the past year.

The spokesperson noted that the CCAFLPE reserves the right to make special presentations, during its annual Gala, to individuals, organizations or events that have made significant contributions to the economy but do not necessarily fall within the competition’s prize categories. “You can expect such a special presentation at the Gala next March,” he said.

Gallant then wished all the finalists good luck and invited everyone to attend the gala, “our Chamber’s biggest and best evening of the year, to help us encourage, thank and honour the entrepreneurs who contribute so much to our provincial economy.”



PHOTO 1: Pierre Gallant (center), spokesperson for the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI, has just announced the list of finalists for the Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Awards of Excellence. He is seen at the launch Dec. 6 with six of the finalists: from left, Lisa Arsenault (representing the Wellington Co-operative), David Perry, Patrick Villeneuve of Mermaid Marine Products, Louis Richard, Mike Gallant (representing the Wellington Royal Canadian Legion) and Kathleen Couture (representing the Association des centres de la petite enfance acadienne et francophone de l’ÎPÉ.

PHOTO 2: Chamber spokesperson Pierre Gallant makes the announcement.

For more information:

Raymond J. Arsenault
Activities co-ordinator
Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI
902-854-3439, ext. 231