Lane Merrifield was named Business Leader of the Year at the 2017 Kelonwna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Thursday night.—Google images

Lane Merrifield was named Business Leader of the Year at the 2017 Kelonwna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Thursday night.—Google images

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce hands out awards

Northside Industries named large Business of the Year

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce handed out its 2017 Business Excellence Awards Thursday night.

Nine of the 27 finalists took home awards and local technology entrepreneur Lane Merrifield, who was named the business leader of the year.

Merrifield, a co-founder of Club Penguin, the largest online virtual world for kids, currently runs Wheelhouse Ventures and is a co-founder of FreshGrade, a learning assessment and portfolio tool that many schools have adopted. It allows parental, student and teacher engagement and progress reporting.

Club Penguin was sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2007 for $350 million.

At the awards ceremony at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Northside Industries was named Large Business of the Year, while Newcap Radio took Mid-Size Business of the Year honours and Hybrid Elevator Inc. was recognized as Small Business of the Year.

Other award winners included:

• Current Taxi—Rising Star Business of the Year

• The Rotary Centre for the Arts—Arts and Entertainment Achievement Award

• CREW Marketing Partners—Marketing Campaign of the Year

• BC Tree Fruits Cooperative—Excellence in Agriculture Award

• Andrew Gaucher of GGroup and Catalyst Land Development—Young Entrepreneur Award

• Volinspire—Social Impact Award

The chamber’s annual award ceremony is the one of the largest business events of the year in Kelowna and this year drew a near-record audience of 400 guests at the gala dinner and awards presentation ceremony.

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