With the announcement from the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce, the list of recipients of the 2005 Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards has been released.
Entrepreneur of the Year
...is Kristine Cieslok, owner of Blue Springs Spa and Salon, 9 Mill St E. Acton.
Moving to the Acton area from Los Angeles, a few years ago, Cieslok had owned seven spa and salon businesses in the past, as there was no facilities in Acton, she decided to pursue her dream.
In a whirlwind renovation that only lasted 30 days, Cieslok had her place of business open November 15, 2003.
"We've never looked back," said Cieslok, "No regrets, only good things have happened. It all exceeded any of our expectations."
Employing a staff of seven full-time people, Cieslok also brings in contract people on occasion to cover special events or unique needs. In addition to offering a service that `allows women to feel good about themdoing anything selves' Cieslok also gives back to the community. Hosting numerous events in aid of the Breast Cancer Awareness, as well as sponsoring The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, Cieslok has also more recently held a fashion show in aid of Families of SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). In addition, Cieslok also donates to local causes and takes part in promoting local events like Leathertown Festival in August, and donations to the Acton skateboard park. "I'm here to stay and to give back (to the town)" said Cieslok, "I think I have a pretty good job here, helping make people look beautiful.
Employee of the Year...
When lifelong Acton resident Marie Vickery entered the doors of the Acton Branch of Halton Hills Public Library to start her new job in February of 1983, she had no inkling she'd still be there 23 years later-- more importantly still enjoying her job while doing it. In that time, thousands of Acton children have listened to stories read by Vickery, have received help finding information for school projects, made crafts and developed a respect and love for the Acton library. Halton Hills Public Library Director Jane Diamanti said, "Many agree that their visit to the Acton Branch is greatly enhanced by the way Marie interacts with them each time they arrive. Many children burst into the library calling her name, hoping she will be there to greet them." Vickery said, "I've never thought of doing anything different, of not liking my job. I come to work every day and take great satisfaction in doing it, seeing the children learn, develop and enjoy their visits here. To be recognized is wonderful, but the satisfaction of what I do each day is my real reward."
Civic Pride Award...
The Limehouse Community is the recipient of Civic Pride after the community was applauded for its transformation of the village, through the three community volunteer groups, who orchestrated the beautification of the village: · The Limehouse Community Hall Board was formed in 1996 for the operation and maintenance of the Memorial Hall. After extensive renovations, the hall has been the hub of the village, with the building being used regularly for family gatherings, public meetings, euchres and coffee house nights. During a meeting of the hall board, a group of individuals discussed improving the swampy bush area at the entrance to Limehouse Public School-- the Limehouse Millennium Garden committee was formed in 2000. Through a grant from the Shell Evergreen Foundation, the group built a garden, complete with flowerbeds, decorative stones/rocks and the elimination of a wetland area that was a natural breeding ground for mosquitoes-- a West Nile Virus threat . The final group that contributed to the improvement of Limehouse village is the Limehouse Kiln Society. Longtime residents Mary Shier and Marsha Batchelor were concerned about the ongoing degradation of the historic lime kilns in the village which Shier referred to as the village's `last hold on history.' In 1999, the Society formed and through local donations, a provincial heritage grant and later a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the group was able to restore the original power magazine (originally used to store blasting materials,) and have started the ball rolling for future restoration to continue, furthering enhancing and beautifying the village of Limehouse.