The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for the 2015 Business Excellence Awards.

The annual  event recognizes local businesses for excellent service and operation. The awards ceremony and celebratory cocktail party is planned for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Regency Theatre, under the theme “Celebrating Success.”

There are five award categories, including Developing Entrepreneur of the Year, Businessperson of the Year, Company of the Year, Philanthropic Business or Businessperson of the Year and the very special Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Developing Entrepreneur of the Year Award is given to recognize the entrepreneur who has started a new business in the private sector within the past five years.  Finalists are: Clayvon Duncombe (Phluid Phactory); Sherise Ciccolella ( Eden Wellness Spa); Phylicia Duncombe (PD Photography); Latess Bartlett (Chocolatess); Billie Bowe (Benchmark Consulting Services); Rob Harris and Orick Nesbitt (Olympic Fitness – The Compound); Jason Franklyn (Bones Bar); Franco Adams (Invader Tank Cleaning); Ashley Baker (Entwined);  Krystal Evans (Renu Day Spa) and Atario Mitchell (Caribbean Pavement Solutions).

The community has nominated several outstanding individuals for the title of Businessperson of the Year. In the past winners were known for increasing business income, innovative spirit, new market acquisitions, job creations and the overall impact on the community.

This year’s finalists are: Lyndah Wells (Lyndah Wells Photography); Hadley Forbes (H. Forbes Charter and Tours); Susan “Susie” Darville (The Uniform Factory); Layton Roberts (The $2 Shop); Sandy Sawyer (Sawyer’s Food Supply); Liz Knowles (Bell Channel Inn); Lesley Davies-Baptista (Paint Fair) and Jason Johnson (Johnson’s Auto Body).

Company of the Year is awarded to the business, which has proven to produce good corporate citizens and improve business while adhering to ethical business practices, is involved and active in industry organizations, and is a willing contributor to enhancing the overall development of The Bahamas. There are two categories for this award. Small Business with 1-50 employees has the following finalists: Agave, Marco’s Pizza, LivityFreeport Gases Ltd., Pineyard Steel, Sav-Mor Drugs, The Seventeen Shoppe, The $2 Shoppe, Barefoot Marketing, Island Bedding and Furniture, Austin Outdoors, Choices and Okayanos. The finalists for Company of the Year  with 51 or more employees are: Columbian Emeralds International, Statoil South Riding Pointe Ltd., Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited, Grand Bahama Power Company, Pharmachem Acquisition Company Ltd. and Bahamas Oil Refining Company.

Philanthropic Business or Businessperson of the Year is a company or person who has contributed through their business to help charitable organizations or community groups. The 2015 philanthropic finalists are: Ravanno Ferguson (Fast Track Management); Frank Outten (Frank’s Ice Cream); Atlantic Medical Insurance; Eddie Whan, Jr. (Control Chemicals); Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited, Grand Bahama Shipyard, Pelican Bay Hotel and Atario Mitchell (President, Caribbean Pavement Solutions).

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a very special honor that acknowledges the winner for their lifelong growth and contributions to Grand Bahama Island. The red carpet will be rolled out for the following finalists: Dr. John Clement (Retired Physician); Rev. Dr. Ralph Russell (Co-Founder Russell and Pinder’s Funeral Home, Businessman, Religious Minister); Donald “Don” Roberts (President, Dolly Madison Furniture); Jimmy Sands (President, Bahamian Brewery and Beverages); Willie Moss (Attorney, Graham, Thompson and Co.); Erika Gates (President, Bahamas Parks , Gardens and Recreations Ltd.) and Headley Forbes (President, H. Forbes Charter and Tours).

“The Chamber congratulates the finalists in all award categories. We look forward to a grand celebration as we honor those who are making an outstanding difference and leading the way with service on our island,” said Mercynth Ferguson, Executive Director for the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce.

The selection committee responsible for reviews the 50 plus nominating applications and selecting the finalist includes Sarah Kirkby, Dan Romance and Mick Holding. For more information or tickets please call the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce at 352-8329.