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Honouring Edmonton’s Visionary Business Leaders


Business in Edmonton is pleased to celebrate Edmonton’s top Leaders: the entrepreneurs that work tirelessly to create outstanding businesses while giving back to the community and mentoring the next generation. While Business in Edmonton sponsors and highlights the event, the winning leaders are chosen by an independent panel that assesses each nominee on several levels of criteria. This year’s judges are: Dustin Sundby, managing partner – Edmonton region, MNP; Dale Beaudry, managing director, high growth market – North, business and agriculture, ATB; Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, president & CEO, NorQuest College.

“What makes a great leader? One who has passion and a sense of curiosity, who focuses on what is essential, and who recruits/trains/empowers and surrounds themselves with a great team,” says Sundby, and he goes on to note the positive conditions for entrepreneurs to flourish in the city. “Edmonton is positioned very favorably. It is one of the largest cities in Canada, which provides the required infrastructure for entrepreneurs. It is also the gateway to the north, which presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs.”

“We are fortunate to have you in our community!” Sundby says to the nominees, “And I’m fortunate to learn from all of you as each is a master of their craft.”

Beaudry says, “A great business leader has faith in their own values and beliefs and works to bring out the best in others to drive a business to success. The individual provides a compelling vision to team members, using strong communication skills that are clear in expectation, but agile in nature. Great leaders understand that people are at the heart of a business—including staff, customers and associates—so they gain insight by really listening to what others have to say and by learning along the way.”

Working with ATB has given Beaudry a unique understanding of the city’s business landscape.

“Edmonton is like no other market. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong and supportive with the understanding that, when one business succeeds, we all succeed. Events like this celebrate leaders, recharging them along the journey and helping connect them with other like-minded business experts.”

To the nominees, he says, “It’s never is easy to be in business, and the recession has proven that. Some nominees have this knack of making it look easy, but we know behind the scenes you hustle and never fail to show grit. Your ability to lead with a purpose and a clear vision—while managing little separation between personal and business lives at times—will lead you to the success you deserve. Keep hustling!”

“It is easy to see the passion that this year’s Leaders have for their business and the people they lead, Beaudry concludes. “They are not just looking after their businesses and their families, but they are also mindful of the people that work for them and their families.  I’m excited to be a judge because I believe their leadership excellence deserves to be celebrated. Great leaders inspire us all to put our best foot forward every day and give back to the community in the hopes of making someone’s life better.”

“A great business leader,” says Dr. Abbott, “is someone who has courage.  A courageous leader takes risks to advance their vision and approaches each strategic move with passion.  Often, a great business leader will act first and think fully later.  I think this is because they have experienced a path before and can connect dots quickly. During this process, courageous leaders make mistakes, assess the shift to recover, and keep going. Thinking and moving fast are critical.”

To the nominees, Dr. Abbott says, “You have carved a path for your business, for your employees, and for their families.  Because of your courage, others will look to you for advice. Watching from afar, they will see your dedication, your risk taking, and your impact on our community.”

“It has been a privilege to judge the Business in Edmonton Leaders Awards this year,” concludes Dr. Abbott.  “The judging process was collaborative, yet passionate, and so are the winners.”

To view the winners pages click here.
To view winners videos click here.