OBAA Night

OBAA Night

  • As we look forward to celebrating the 30th year of the Chamber’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards (OBAA) gala, the excitement is building. This year’s Awards Gala will take place on Friday, October 18, 2019, at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

    It starts with the official beginning of the nomination process, which takes place on Wednesday, May 7, also at the Imperial Theatre, upstairs in the NOVA Chemicals room.

    We invite past winners to join us at noon when representatives of Libro Credit Union, our title sponsor, will join us for a ceremony as we begin the journey to the 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala, an event you won’t want to miss!

    Click to view the list of  2019 OBAA Nominees (003)

    Cool Place to Work

    Having a place that focuses on creating a healthy, positive and productive workplace environment is the very definition of a “cool place to work” and this award epitomizes those qualities. You know you work in such a place when your friends keep asking how they can join the team you love so much.


    Through a commitment to staff development, work/life balance, fair employment practices, and employee communications, the organization provides an exceptional work environment with proven positive results in employee satisfaction and retention.


    It’s one thing to apply the latest technology to the work you do. It’s quite another to lean into not just the “latest and greatest” but incorporating a spirit of innovation in doing so. That’s what it means to be a “tech-novation’ standout, an organization full of people who look for ways to be the best at what they do and lead the way.


    Bringing a sense of enthusiasm and a commitment to driving technological innovation throughout the value chain.

    Marketing & Promotion

    Marketing and Promotion includes looking for ways to communicate everything your firm does to stand out from the crowd. There’s little point if no one knows what great work you do, which is where marketing and promotion prowess comes into play.


    Demonstrate a well-designed and executed outreach plan geared to expanding your product / service / business reach through various marketing & promotion strategies.
    Show creativity and forward thinking in advertising design and/or market outreach strategies.

    Health, Safety & Environmental Leadership

    Recognizes an organization or business that demonstrates leading environmental, social, and health and safety performance.


    Demonstration of leadership in the following sectors:

    • Corporate Governance – Third-party recognition of HSE management system (ex. IEC Safety Management Assessment; Ontario Certificate of Recognition (COR), ISO 14001, other accreditation.
    • Risk & Crisis Management – Emergency response planning. Participation in CAER.  Enrollment / active use of My CNN.  Evidence of company emergency response processes linked to municipal response processes.
    • Environmental Reporting – Environmental performance targets set and tracked related to site conditions, process emissions, waste reduction, housekeeping, etc.
    • Social factors – Workplace processes that motivate, recognize and support employee involvement in HSE initiatives. Support of an active Joint Health and Safety Committee.  Active involvement in HSE related associations and demonstrated leadership in the field.
    • Performance – Absence of adverse regulatory reporting/exceedances. Incident data maintained and performance recognized as a strong performer vs. peer groups.

    Non Profit

    To recognize and reward excellence and innovation among non-profit organizations resulting in significant social impact within and external to the Sarnia-Lambton community.


    • Displays visionary leadership
    • Customer focused
    • Can demonstrate a commitment to volunteers, employees and partners
    • Demonstrates corporate citizenship and/or community leadership
    • Can show a growth in sales, services and/or growth in number of individuals served and/or expanded programs and services
    • Recognition of innovative campaigns
    • Demonstrated Social Impact

    Outstanding Customer Service – Business

    We all want to be well cared for when it comes to doing business. An organization that excels in providing outstanding customer service is bound to get our attention, and drive value throughout the community as a place that we want to send our family, friends and colleagues.


    • An organization that go above and beyond the job and/or consumer expectations
    • High quality service from beginning to end – the amount and quality of assistance given to customers
    • An organizations behavior or activities that help improve morale and public relations


    Celebrating what makes us different is important for many reasons, not least of which is that those differences are what makes us stronger. As a forward-thinking champion of inclusive principles, the employer selected will be living out an attitude that recognizes how important it is to build momentum in this area. Showing how inclusivity can be part of a competitive advantage is just part of what this award category demonstrates. The key is to drive respect, value and support through activities that take place on a daily basis.


    • Clearly demonstrates leadership and commitment through recruitment initiatives that focus on reaching the broadest possible talent
    • Provides access to mentoring tools and programs, including ones that support inclusivity including: Support for accessibility initiatives and assistive devices for those with disabilities, New immigrant employees, Women in leadership, Those who identify as LGBTQ, Members of visible minority groups
    • Leadership programs built on a solid foundation of inclusion and accessibility training
    • Ensures programs for employees from diverse backgrounds stay current on networking opportunities, customer products, services and programs targeted to diverse groups, including community activities, donations and volunteer opportunities.
    • Create / support initiatives to meet or exceed accessibility standards for premise design and IT development for both employees and/or customers
    • Builds a workforce that reflects the diversity of the customers and communities we live in and serve.


    Sarnia-Lambton remains one of Canada’s most diversified regions as defined by its mix of industrial and agricultural sectors. For those engaged in driving value through agri-business, this award is an opportunity to celebrate both the success and passion for growth and excellence in the agricultural sectors.


    • significant achievements as a senior leader in building, rejuvenating or expanding a business in the food, agribusiness or beverage sectors;
    • developed and communicated a clear vision and direction for sustainable growth and prosperity at both a corporate and industry level and;
    • Regarded as a good corporate citizen and demonstrates social commitment.

    Exporter of the Year

    Extending the economic reach of the Sarnia Lambton area through export activities is considered by many to be one of the greatest untapped opportunities available to members of the business community. By recognizing a business that demonstrates how those opportunities can be turned into economic reality is one reason the Exporter of the Year Award exists.


    • Demonstrate a program of strategic partnerships and/or distribution networks to identify, market and sell outside of Canada.
    • Demonstrate how export sales have allowed the business to maintain or increase overall sales and profitability, including an increasing level of export sales in relation to domestic sales.
    • Demonstrate innovation through product and/or service development and commercialization, allowing an expansion to global markets.

    Business of the Year

    Of all the businesses in our region, there is ONE that stands out as driving value—for its customers, employees, community and beyond. That’s what the Business of the Year category is all about, celebrating excellence across the board. We all know companies that provide leadership in their niche category. But it’s the well-rounded organization that has delivered on a promise of excellence that this category seeks to recognize.


    • Commitment to demonstrating excellence in products or services
    • Defining what it means to go beyond the expected.
    • Generating exceptional measures of value to the community and its team members.
    • Commitment to enhancing the image of Sarnia Lambton

    Social Responsibility

    It takes more than economic vitality to make our community a strong place to live and work. An organization also has the obligation to act for the benefit of society and the economy. This award recognizes the value that such an enterprise generates. Our recognition of excellence and innovation among those organizations that deliver on a promise of generating social responsibility is part of what makes us all stronger.


    • to act for the benefit of society/community
    • maintain a balance between the economy and ecosystems
    • take a stance on important social issues


    Entrepreneur Award (Individual)

    We were all there at one point, someone who reached for the brass ring and paid little if any attention to how long they’d been in business. And we applaud their energy, their commitment to building a business, of taking risks that others might shy away from. That’s what an entrepreneur does and our celebration of someone who has introduced a new product or idea to meet changing community and consumer demands, is what the Entrepreneur Award represents.


    • Consistently provides a high level of business service or product.
    • Demonstrates growth including sales, profitability, growth prospects, employment creation and acceptance in the market.
    • Commitment to the Sarnia Lambton community

    Business Leadership (Individual)

    Certainly, companies are essential to the vitality of the community. But so are individuals and we recognize individual leadership as part of a dynamic that can’t be overlooked. Our purpose in celebrating one outstanding Business Leadership winner is to bring forward the very best example that exists in our community today.


    • Commitment to developing the business community by offering expertise and leadership
    • Commitment to self-development
    • Commitment to enhancing the image of Sarnia Lambton


    Customer Service (Individual)

    Picking one individual that stands out when it comes to delivering customer service may be a tough order but that won’t keep our judges from making the call. We all want to be the best at what we do, and recognition in the form of a Customer Service award is something that goes hand in hand with the goals of the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards.


    • Individual who go above and beyond the job and/or consumer expectations
    • High quality service from beginning to end – the amount and quality of assistance given to customers
    • Individual behavior or activities that help improve morale and public relations

    Member of the Year (Individual)

    Every year, the Chamber’s selection of Member of the Year is one of the most anticipated moments of the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards. This year will be no exception as the competition heats up. Chamber Members have a well-deserved reputation for setting high standards.


    • The volunteer must have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills through selfless contributions, leading to significant local achievements or highly successful events.
    • Contributions should be above and beyond the nominee’s normal job/occupation.
    • The nominee must have shown responsibility, or demonstrated leadership qualities while being creative and using their own initiative

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