President’s Merit Award recipient an ‘instrument of change’

Besides the high-profile citizen and business of the year honours, 10 other award recipients were honoured Saturday in the Comox Valley.

CHAIR EDWIN GRIEVE of the Comox Valley Regional District receives the 2012 President's Merit Award at left from Dr. Jan Lindsay of North Island College.

Besides the high-profile citizen and business of the year honours, 10 other award recipients were honoured with Comox Valley Community Awards.

Edwin Grieve received the George Muir President’s Merit Award, which is sponsored by North Island College.

“This individual has been described as humble but, when the going gets tough, is someone who eagerly steps up to take command of the situation, inspiring community collaboration and being an instrument of change,” NIC president Dr. Jan Lindsay said in her introduction.

Born and raised in the Comox Valley, Grieve can trace his family roots locally to the 1860s and Grieve Avenue in Courtenay is named after one of his relatives. A Freeman of the City of Courtenay, Grieve is the chair of the Comox Valley Regional District and CVRD Area C director.

His volunteer and community commitments include performing on the Comox Valley Child Development Association’s Telethon since 1976, writing the theme song for the 1981 BC Summer Games, organizing the Simms Summer Concert Series and helping to make MusicFest what it is today.

Other award recipients (with award sponsors and other finalists) were:

Professional Merit Award

(First Insurance)

Ann Scott, Presley & Partners

(Bob Wells, My Tech Guys; Dr. Jan Lindsay, North Island College)

A Comox Valley native, Scott has practised in the Comox Valley since 1982 and been a partner at Presley & Partners since 1984. She has served as a board member, treasurer, volunteer and/or mentor with organizations that include North Island College, Vancouver Island University, United Way, Canadian Thoroughbred Society, BC Seniors’ Games, CYMC, Comox Rotary and Toastmasters.

Small Business of the Year

(Glacierview Financial Services)

Ambassador Shuttle Service

(South Country Feed & Supply, Two Eagles Lodge)

A locally owned and family-operated company, Ambassador was founded in 2005 by the late Ray Crossley, and purchased by Kevin and Angie East in 2010.

In just two years, the business increased sales by over 300 per cent. Ambassador has a fleet of four vehicles and eight employees.

New Business of the Year

(Presley & Partners)

Daryl Robbins, CGA and Notary Public

(Keystone Eldercare Solutions, Toneff Funeral Services)

Born in Comox and a Comox Valley resident his entire life, Robbins was the first graduate of the Bachelor of Administration program at North Island College. The company employs a staff of eight, recently moved to renovated premises in Courtenay and has opened an office in Cumberland.

Robbins is treasurer of the Comox Valley Baseball Association and donates time to the local Skating Club, BNI and Habitat for Humanity.

Young Entrepreneur Award

(Wedler Engineering)

Chris Ketch, BodyNetix Professional Fitness Training

(Kory Wagstaff, Prime Chophouse and Wine Bar;

Scott DiGuistini & Merissa Myles, Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt)

Ketch started BodyNetix in a small studio at his home in 2006. His company now works out of a 5,000-square-foot private training studio in Courtenay.

He employs four personal trainers who inspire hundreds of people to achieve their fitness goals. BodyNetix earned the 2008 New Business of the Year Award.

Youth Leadership Award

(WCG International)

Joey Clarkson

Only 23, Clarkson is known as self-employed singer-songwriter, musical producer-director, humanitarian, fundraiser, community motivator and Habitat for Humanity home builder. At 17, she was a finalist in Canada’s prestigious Top 20 under 20 Awards.

Through Joey Clarkson Musical Theatre, she works with children to improve their confidence and help them explore their creativity in fun workshops.

Customer Service Award

(Downtown Comox Valley)

Bryan Wiley, ABC Printing & Signs

(Eric Toneff, Toneff Funeral Services; Christine Morgan, McKinnon Photography)

Wiley received several nominations, all glowing testimonials peppered with adjectives like dedicated, hard-working, exceptional, knowledgeable and committed. Wiley is respected for his willingness to go above and beyond to not only meet customers’ project demands, but to ensure they are produced on time and within budget.

Agricultural Business of the Year


Coastal Black Estate Winery & Meadery

(DeeKayTee Ranch, South Country Feed & Supply)

In 2008, the four-generation Ludwig family began a conversion from a dairy farm in Black Creek. They grow their own fruit on the largest cultivated blackberry crop in Canada and produce their own honey, managing over 500 beehives.

Coastal Black has won 21 international and national awards, and their products are distributed in almost 80 liquor stores in B.C.

Environmental Leadership Award

(Comox-Strathcona Waste Management)

Woodland Flooring

(Hornby Island Recycling Depot, School District 71)

Started by owner Steve Roscoe in 1997, Woodland primarily focuses on working with salvaged wood from natural forest mortality to manufacturer quality solid-wood flooring products. They search the province for access to trees once considered waste.

Three times in five years, Woodland has won a MISTIC Award in the Value Added Products category.

Heritage Recognition Award

(Vancouver Island InsuranceCentres)

Courtenay Elks Lodge

(Whyte’s Framing, Chinook Forest Products)

Lodge No. 60 is one of the oldest in Canada and has been active in the Comox Valley since 1922. From its Sixth Street headquarters, the Elks promote and serve community need through local volunteers and fundraising.

They support the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, BC Family Hearing Resources for Deaf and the Elks Recreational Children’s Camp society.

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