2019 Winners Announced at National BIA Gala

For Immediate Release:

OBIAA-logo_preview.jpeg (663×178)

On Monday, April 1st 2019, the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) held its 2019 National Achievement Awards Gala at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa attended by delegates from across the country.

This annual event recognizes the best that business improvement revitalization and management have to offer.  Consultants, practitioners, communities and organizations involved in all aspects of BIAs are invited to submit case studies that showcase innovation and vision that have made a difference.

Within categories that cover the core priorities of most BIAs, the BIA Achievement Awards celebrate the most successful and innovative efforts in Business Development. The areas of Marketing and Communication, Special Events, Bricks and Mortar, Business Retention, Recruitment, Expansion, Streetscape & Public Realm and the Alex Ling Lifetime Achievement Award are awarded based on the ability to meet the judging criteria including; Innovation, Replication, Representation, Outcome, and Accessibility.

This year a new honour was added to the line-up, the Pinnacle Award, which recognizes individuals, who are accomplished leaders and have demonstrated skills in advocacy, innovation, and community building at their own organizations, OBIAA, and/or within the BIA movement at large.

The first recipient of this prestigious award is the Municipality of Huron East’s Economic Development Officer, Jan Hawley, best known for her advocacy of small business. During her tenure with Huron East, Hawley has facilitated numerous national and provincial award-winning programs supporting all pillars of business development.

“I am quite honoured by this recognition, and wish to extend my gratitude to the OBIAA board and administration for their continued support over the years”, says Hawley.

She goes on to mention that working with the Ontario Business Association during the past decade has allowed her to profile some of the great work being undertaken in rural Ontario, especially in her own community of Huron East.  Being recognized at a national level through these programs has allowed her community heightened exposure, and an opportunity to leverage funds to support a budget for many of its projects.

Other award recipients hailed from various regions throughout Ontario including Peterborough, Toronto, Windsor, Ottawa, London, Parry Sound, Napanee, Lincoln, Wellesley and Beamsville. Congratulations to each and every one of these winners for their contribution and dedication in nurturing business development in their communities. Outstanding!


Municipality of Huron East Congratulates Local Youth on Winning 2018 Enterprise Award

Press Release from the:


“An Academic Engine for Entrepreneurs”

Located within Canada’s most innovative university, and in a region ranked among the top start-up ecosystems in the world, the Conrad School is the academic engine for entrepreneurship on campus, offering programs that are entrepreneurial by design

In June of 2018, Enterprise Co-op students made a pitch for five prizes of $5,000 each at its Ignition Week Pitch Competition. Each competing student had five minutes to pitch their venture to a panel of judges, followed by a three-minute question period. 

As a result, the Municipality of Huron East is excited to announce that Lucas Godkin, local entrepreneur and owner of The Axe and Adze, located just north of Seaforth, Ontario was awarded one of the Norman Esch Enterprise Co-op honours. This recognition is available to students in Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

With a passion for woodwork and eye for detail, Lucas started “The Axe and Adze” to offer homeowners unique options for furnishing their homes.

Appealing to customers, who want something more than the ‘off the shelf’ look, the business offers 100% custom woodwork, and one-of-a-kind handcrafted furniture and home decor.

All Axe and Adze products are made with sustainable and locally-sourced wood. Whether it be reclaimed-wood from a century-old barn or a tree rescued from being chipped, Lucas strives to have an ethical story behind all of his products.

“Congratulations Lucas Godkin, we look forward to watching you soar!”



For information on investing or starting your business in Huron East contact:

Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer

Municipality of Huron East

Office: 519.527-0160 x5 or CEll: 519.525.7677