Almost a hundred people attended the biennial business appreciation night hosted by the Town of Wilkie at the Saskcan Centre October 21. Mann Farm Equipment Ltd. was named the 2014 Business of the Year.
Mann Farm Equipment opened 28 years ago, when Ken and Gayleen Mann bought Schille Farm Supply in the fall of 1986 and renamed the business Mann Farm Equipment. They opened the doors to their new building a year and a half later, in the spring of 1988.
Mayor David Zeigler, in presenting the award, said, “Since then the business has thrived and prospered with the support of the community. From big tractors and combines to his grandchildren’s broken baby strollers and Tonka trucks, Ken has repaired it all at one time or another.”
Before presenting Ken with a plaque, Zeigler concluded by saying, “Being in business for over 25 years only a few things have remained the same – Ken, Gayleen and Tracie and the commitment to serve the community.”
Up with Ken to receive the award and be recognized by the audience were Gayleen, Tracie and mechanic Andy Winterhalt. MC Maryellen Herzog presented Gayleen with a flower arrangement.
New businesses in Wilkie were also recognized during the evening.
On hand to receive certificates and congratulations were the following businesses.
Al Rasko moved to Wilkie about two and a half years ago, bringing with him 50 years of bookkeeping experience. He mainly works on contract for non-profits and small companies.
Travis Thompson started TNT Plumbing & Heating Ltd. in October last year. Thompson is a journeyman plumber and a licensed gasfitter.
TKW Handyman Services was started by long-time Wilkie resident Thomas Winterhalt in June. Winterhalt will soon be retiring from CP Railway and offers services such as fence building, small repairs and snow removal to the residents of Wilkie and area.
Receiving the certificate on behalf of her sister Sheila Barron was Michelle Rasko. Barron is the owner/operator of Parson’s Parish Bed & Breakfast. Barron opened the B & B, which can accommodate up to 10 people at a time, in June 2013.
Information about TCL, a tree trimming and lawn care business, owned and operated by Mandy and Blaine Klein, and K1 Construction and Renos, owned and operated by Kelly and Kelly Anderson, was also read out, although no one was present to accept the framed certificates.
Bookkeeper Al Rasko, Michelle Rasko (sister of Sheila Barron, owner/operator of Parson’s Parish B&B), Wilkie Mayor David Zeigler, plumber/gasfitter Travis Thompson and handyman Thomas Winterhalt, all new businesses recognized at the Wilkie Business Appreciation Night October 21, 2014.
Danielle Smith, owner of Split Endz; Rhelda Baschuk, licensed mortgage broker, Walter Geering Jr., Little Walter’s yard maintenance; Kirklan Glassford and Jackson Soanes, Smash Brothers lawn care; and Jenn Winterhalt who does gel nails were also acknowledged from the podium.
The business expansions of the Junction C-Store and Restaurant to include the sale of Esso fuel at their location and of Georgine’s Greenhouse to include fresh flowers and arrangements were recognized.
Herzog welcomed the new owners of the Blue Moon Restaurant to Wilkie. Carey, Lucy and son Dave moved to Canada from China about five years ago, coming to Wilkie in September 2013. During her “welcome to Wilkie” remarks, Herzog noted, “I know I speak for many when I say I am grateful that the Blue Moon burger lives on in Wilkie.”
Before concluding the formal part of the evening with the drawing of door prizes, Herzog also spoke about the sale of Viterra in December, 2012 and the subsequent sale of the agriculture part of the business from Glencore to Agrium, also known as Crop Production Services.
“When major companies like this get bought, there is always a lot of uncertainty regarding potential job losses and loss of service that the previous company provided,” Herzog said. “We were fortunate that there were no job losses and CPS actually added some employees and continues to be a major employer and a vital part of the business sector in the area.”