Blog Category: Awards of Excellence

2018 Young Professional, Emily Wilkins


Emily Wilkins. Photo by Erin Caitlin Photography.

Congratulations to Emily Wilkins!

Emily Wilkins, Adventure Outfitters was the recipient of our Young Professional award (sponsored by Community Futures Peterborough) at our 19th annual Awards of Excellence.

While not the original game plan, Emily is now part owner of a business that has been a local mainstay for over 30 years. Her duties include selecting and displaying stock, managing staff, and all marketing decisions. Essentially the day-to-day management of the business.

As an ideas person, Emily encouraged the redesign of the retail space, opening it up and making sales areas easier to navigate. E-commerce capability has expanded on the website. While others weren’t sure, Emily felt rental customers would pay for the convenience of delivery and she was right – bookings have doubled each year. With some product manufactured on site, she increased visibility of the ‘made here’ aspect and shares this story by offering factory tours. All have contributed to sales increasing about 20% over last year.

It was a challenge coming in to a well-established business and quickly moving to full responsibility; there was much trial and error learning. While staff management was a steep learning curve, Emily has implemented more effective training methods, adjusted scheduling to better support staff, and put more work into the hiring process to find remarkable people who make all the difference. Emily greatly appreciates the support that she has had from more experienced business people.

Learning how to keep everything afloat in the busy summer months has been very rewarding. Emily now prepares as much as possible in the slower season. Some maturity and documented protocols have also helped her to stay calm when the pace gets hectic.

Emily offers this advice for other young professionals, “It is very important to pay attention to your own mental health and stress levels as this can translate to business health. A lot of youth don’t think about this. They access lots of business-related resources to develop those hard skills but may not think about mental health resources and support.”

The judges were very impressed with how Emily has grown. Initially uncomfortable with the decision-making role, she now shows confidence in all areas and the business is better for her involvement.

2018 Tourism/Hospitality Excellence, Lang Pioneer Village Museum


Laurie Siblock, Lang Pioneer Village Museum. Photo by Erin Caitlin Photography.

Congratulations to Lang Pioneer Village Museum!

Lang Pioneer Village Museum was the recipient of our Tourism/Hospitality Excellence award (sponsored by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development) at our 19th annual Awards of Excellence.

In its 51st season, Lang Pioneer Village Museum attracts 20,000 visitors annually to experience living history interpretation, events and educational programs. Worldwide visitors have an economic impact of $4-million. The 25-acre site is home to over 30 historic buildings, a First Nation encampment, thousands of artifacts and the new Agricultural Heritage Building. 75% of Google and Trip Advisor reviews are 5-star and 25% are 4-star. 200 volunteers assist with delivering ‘unique to Ontario’ experiences.

2018 finalists: Greenbridge Celtic Folk Festival & Indian River Reptile Zoo

2018 Service Sector Excellence, The Regency of Lakefield

The Regency of Lakefield. Photo by Erin Caitlin Photography.

Congratulations to the Regency of Lakefield!

The Regency of Lakefield was the recipient of our Service Sector Excellence award (sponsored by Herod Financial Services) at our 19th annual Awards of Excellence.

“Providing rural seniors with an assisted living choice in a small community is so important for their long-term health,” notes the nominator. Pricing is very competitive and suite sizes are generous. Transitioning to a seniors’ residence can be traumatic for some so it’s managed with sensitivity. Staff take pride in making the residents’ lives comfortable with lots of fun thrown in! One 91-year-old resident is thankful she is spending the last of her years, “enjoying life to the fullest at the Regency.”

2018 finalists: Kawartha Lakes Construction & Lakefield Herald

2018 Retailer of the Year, Trinkets & Treasures

Rachel Sloan, Trinkets & Treasures. Photo by Erin Caitlin Photography.

Congratulations to Trinkets & Treasures!

Trinkets & Treasures was the recipient of our Retailer of the Year award (sponsored by Nexicom) at our 19th annual Awards of Excellence.

Sales have increased 20-25% in each of their almost 12 years in business. With over 8000 followers on social platforms, this engagement has been a huge part of their sales growth. Daily posts and weekly storefront window changes keep people interested and showcase their extensive inventory of unique gifts and home décor. Handmade products of seven local makers are stocked. Planning or participating in numerous community events is a mainstay.

2018 finalists: Happenstance Books & Yarns & Style Boutique

2018 Outstanding Business Achievement, Lakefield Foodland


Ross Bletsoe, Lakefield Foodland. Photo by Erin Caitlin Photography.

Congratulations to Lakefield Foodland!

Lakefield Foodland was the recipient of our Outstanding Business Achievement award (sponsored by County of Peterborough) at our 19th annual Awards of Excellence.

With a mantra of, “Retail is Detail,” Lakefield Foodland knows that, “If we don’t take care of the customer, somebody else will.” A small store but with big variety, they stock 3,000 more SKUS than the average Foodland including locally supplied, gluten free and organics. Open 24 hours a day for 362 days a year, they can see as many as 25,000 customers in a summer week. They rank 5th in annual sales volume out of 145 Ontario Foodland stores. A comprehensive benefit program is provided to 100 employees. Many local charities benefit from their generous donations.

2018 finalists: Nightingale & Salon Sorella & Day Spa