News Local

Chamber recognizes business excellence

By Steven Sukkau

Dragon's Den star Robert Herjavec was the guest speaker at the Winkler and District Chamber of Commerce 2011 P.W. Enns Business Awards.

Herjavec said that while the television show makes business success seem as easy as having a great idea, in real life, it's much more.

"A successful business is a million little things you have to do every single day," he said. "Business is really not that glamorous."

He explained that people appear on the show thinking if they can invent a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to their door and that their idea will be a success without them having to do marketing, sales and any hard work.

But after seven years on the show, Herjavec said, "I really don't think there's such a thing as a better mouse trap... I think it's all execution."

When asked about his success, Herjavec said he has seen many failures. "The difference is, I am always willing to dust myself off, and try all over again."

But to succeed, he said, you have to be willing to change, "and change is very, very hard."

"Great communities like Winkler are successful because of their adaptability," Herjavec said, and suggested Convey-All is a good example, as they have expanded product lines and discontinued others. And since 1996, Convey-All has grown from 26 employees to nearly 200.

The agricultural manufacturer took home the Award for Business Excellence and remains one of North America's industry leaders in conveyor systems while maintaining a diverse line of products and services such as NuSteel Industries, Winkler Mini Storage and developing a line of outdoor wood furnaces.

Pfahl's Drugs received the Business Builder Award in the category of 10 or more employees and since 1987 owner Sig Pfahl has grown the business from six employees to over 20 employees and two stores.

Hi-Way Groceteria received the Business Achievement Award in the under 10 employees category. They offer a number of unique services ranging from parcel service and bus depot to a 24/7 convenience store and gas bar.

"We are in the greatest country in the world," said Herjavec, who left Croatia at the age of eight with his family and sailed for Canada in search of a better life.

In Canada, Herjavec said, "Nobody cares that my dad swept the floors of a factory, nobody cares where I came from... this country allows you to create success based on who you are."