Employees, businesses recognized

Jamie Bennett
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What he expected to be a relaxing night out turned into something much more for Gary Goudie Saturday.

Goudie attended the Deer Lake Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Business and Community Awards Gala and silent auction, an event which honors businesses and citizens for excellence in the community.

Awards were also given in such categories as business of the year, rising star business and community spirit.  

To his surprise, Goudie took home the award for employee of the year for his work as a clerk at Williams Building Supplies.

With over 40 years on the job, the modest Deer Lake resident said he’s driven to provide excellent customer service, but never expected any accolades, especially not Saturday night.

“I was really taken by surprise,” Goudie said with a laugh. “It was a honour to receive it. I’ve been there for almost 41 years now and it’s great. It’s been a pleasure to meet and serve so many people.”

Goudie, who wasn’t even aware of his nomination for the award, said being with the same company since 1973 has been made possible by the leadership of former owner Bruce Williams and his sons Darryl and Darren, the current owners.

A proud resident of Deer Lake, Goudie said he was most pleased to be nominated at a time when he sees good things happening in the airport town.

“There’s so many people deserving of that award,” he said.

Goudie will be able to retire in 2015 and is already thinking about spending some of his retirement in Florida with his wife Sharon.

Still, he admits he’s just as likely to return to work on a part-time basis since customer service is truly a passion of his.

“You don’t know until you get there,” he said with a chuckle.

Meanwhile for Roger and Linda Sheppard, owners of Deer Lake Foodland, the event ended with the award for Business of the Year.

A native of St. John’s, Roger said its a special feeling to be honoured by residents of a town they’ve been happy to call home for the past eight years.

“Being recognized is great, but to win it ... we’re over the top,” he said. “This is where we live, our hometown now and we’re going to do what we can to help.”

Roger and Linda are active in the local food bank and Kids Eat Smart campaign, as well as animal rescue.

He said he too is proud to win the award at a time when many local businesses are booming and in turn, helping give back to the town.

“Lots of people do good things in the community and don’t get recognized for it,” he said. “But when you do, it’s quite a shot in the arm for sure.

The winners at Saturday’s gala in Deer Lake include:

— Rising Star Business —Park Fitness and Active Life Physiotherapy and Wellness (tie)

— Employers of the Year — J.N. Automotive Supplies

— Community Spirit Award — Brian Snow, Salvation Army

—  Special Recognition for 35+ years in business — Deer Lake Automotive (36); J.N. Automotive (40) and the Deer Lake Motel (48)

— Special Recognition Award — Curtis Powerworks

— Employee of the year — Gary Goudie, Williams Building Supplies

— Business of the Year — Deer Lake Foodland

Organizations: Deer Lake Chamber of Commerce, Roger and Linda Sheppard, Salvation Army

Geographic location: Deer Lake

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  • Susan MacNeil
    April 14, 2014 - 13:04

    Great Job Foodland Deer Lake from Head Office