Northern News Services
Monday, June 25, 2007
HAY RIVER - The NWT Chamber of Commerce has named 2007's business and businessperson of the year.
And the winners are Don Morin as Businessperson of the Year, and Up Here Publishing and the Outcrop Group of Companies as Business of the Year.
The NWT Chamber of Commerce handed out its annual awards in Hay River on June 18. Don Morin of Yellowknife was named the Businessperson of the Year (right), while Up Here Publishing and the Outcrop Group of Companies, represented by president Marion Lavigne, was named the Business of the Year. - Paul Bickford/ NNSL photo
Former premier Morin was honoured for his efforts in building up Aurora Village, a tourism operation 20 minutes east Yellowknife specializing in viewing Northern lights.
"Basically, I always wanted to be in tourism, and promote the land, the people and the culture," he said after receiving the award during a chamber dinner in Hay River on June 18.
Morin and other members of his family created Aurora Village six years ago, and it has enjoyed growing success since then.
"All we did was keep our heads down and work, and try to do the best we can," he said.
Marion Lavigne, the president of Up Here Publishing and the Outcrop Group of Companies, was on hand to pick up the Business of the Year award."It's definitely an honour," Lavigne said. She said the Outcrop Group of Companies - which is involved in magazine publishing, communications, marketing and media - was incorporated 32 years to the day prior to receiving the award.
"It's been a lot of fun," she said of her time in business.
She credited much of Up Here and Outcrop's success to the employees over the years, noting some have gone on to work with National Post and Reader's Digest.
"Over the years, we've had really good people," she said.
Lavigne said, when she came to the NWT, she never expected to become an entrepreneur.
Now, she said she doesn't intend to leave.
"I'm going to retire in the Northwest Territories.
Lavigne started the business with Ronne Heming, who is now vice-president.
Brendan Bell, minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, was guest speaker at the chamber dinner and spoke about the future, not the plans of the current government.
"Let's face it, we're at the end of the government," he said. "If we haven't done it by now, we're not going to do it."