Note: this post does not represent the views or opinions of the Saint John Board of Trade, or other members of the committee.

This year I’ve been volunteering on the Saint John Board of Trade Outstanding Business Achievement Awards Task Force. Phew, that was a long one!

Outstanding Business Achievement Awards- Saint John

The task force is a group of about 10 volunteers (+ two BOT staff), mostly representatives from companies that are Board of Trade members. BUT, let it be known – we have no involvement or influence over who the finalists or winners are. We’re too biased for that (pick me!).

Our job is to organize and put on a top notch event!  In addition to planning the details (food, venue, decor) we also have our hand in programming, marketing and securing sponsors. Sponsors are integral, it’s not just a cliché when we say the OBA Awards wouldn’t happen without them!

The Outstanding Business Achievement Awards is one of the largest, and most important events the Board of Trade puts on each year. We expect to have 350+ business people and community leaders in the room, which means tremendous opportunities for networking.

We are literally rolling out the red carpet for our finalists, and everyone in attendance. The committee has lined up an evening of fantastic food, entertainment (Steve Murphy is our Emcee), fun, laughs and celebration.

We’ve already sold almost 300 seats and traditionally receive a big surge of ticket sales during the last week.

How Are the Winners Chosen?

The Nomination…

Each spring the Saint John Board of Trade issues a call for nominations, inviting Board of Trade members and the community to nominate a deserving entrepreneur or business.

The Board sends out the nomination request via social media, their website, press release, word of mouth and emails to its member directory.

The nomination process is hassle-free, you simply give your name, and the name of the person and company you are nominating. All nominations are kept confidential, which means that the nominee will not know who nominated them…unless you tell. :)

The Response…

The Board of Trade sends ALL nominees a congratulatory letter and 14-page questionnaire to fill out and return if they choose to accept the nomination.

The questionnaire gives the judging panel an opportunity to learn more about the company/individual, sales history, achievements, marketing strategy, company history, community involvement, financial viability (a letter from their banker is required) and more.

The Judging Panel…

The judging panel is comprised of 5 people, chosen because of their business industry expertise and background. Although I do not know who this year’s judges were, I do know that they are typically comprised of people like financial advisors, bankers, corporate lawyers and business consultants.

The downside of not openly announcing the identity of the judging panel is that nominees don’t know who to deliver chocolate and cookies to. The upside of not announcing their identity is that nominees don’t know who to deliver chocolate and cookies to. :) OK – I’m just guessing there, BUT all joking aside, I think the Board does a good job keeping things objective, unbiased and fair.

The Finalists…

The judging panel reviews and scores the completed questionnaires based on sales performance, innovation, management excellence, entrepreneurship, employment growth, export growth, community relations and other achievements.

Based on the evaluations, the judges choose finalists and winners. The finalists are announced in early September, but the winners are not revealed until the Awards night reception in October.

The Big Night!

Time is flying by and this year’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards are less than a week away! Join us on Wednesday evening, October 3rd at the Saint John Trade and Convention Center.

Full event details are on the OBA Facebook event page. Be sure to join the event if you plan to attend!