The innovative spirit of Henry Bernick was commemorated on March 23 with three awards given out to local entrepreneurs at a special celebration.
The Henry Bernick Medal Awards commemorate the qualities of its namesake who was a strong and principled man, a mentor and teacher, businessman and philanthropist. Henry was a friend and supporter of Georgian and his generous donation allowed for the creation of the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC).
Three medals were given out at the virtual celebration.
The Student Entrepreneur Medal was awarded to Rebecca (Selin) Armstrong and Brianne Morehouse of Honey Bee the Change. Their company infuses locally sourced honey with natural herbs, florals and spices to create decadent-infused honey.
Armstrong and Morehouse met as students in Georgian’s Business – Entrepreneurship program. Their business came out of the Georgian Den – a class project in which student entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.
“We’re absolutely honoured to win this medal,” said Armstrong. “Honey Bee the Change had its start under the Georgian roof a few years ago, and it’s a wonderful full circle to be back with this incredible recognition. We’re working hard to expand our reach, grow our skills, and hustle bigger and better things for our business.”
Morehouse added that they’re thankful for the rock-solid foundation they acquired while at Georgian.
“Everything we learned was invaluable – from flushing out a feasible business plan to leaning out our start-up and checking our financial boxes every step of the way,” she said. “The next few years hold some big milestone goals for Honey Bee the Change. We’ll grow our retail presence, launch some huge new projects and expand our product line. And we’re so thankful to have all of the knowledgeable and resourceful folks at HBEC as such a valuable part of our community.”
Michael Agema was presented with the Community Entrepreneur award. His company Agema Work seamlessly connects people with work and work with people – without boundaries. Clients have the option to work when they want and where they want. Agema Work increased its client base by 50 per cent in 2020, despite COVID-19, and employed over 150 associates. They work closely with local Labour Steering Committees providing viable solutions to meet their labour needs.
The Entrepreneurs’ Champion medal was awarded to David Yeaman from MPC Components. MPC, a precision plastic injection molder in the automotive and medical space, has been a valued supporter of Georgian sponsoring two $2,500 annual scholarships and hiring many graduates and co-op students. By providing students with valuable leadership opportunities and hands-on experience, they’re helping them be better prepared for the demands of industry 4.0 and ensuring they’re educated on the agility and mindset required to meet these demands.
MPC also worked tirelessly to meet the needs of COVID-19 head-on and made it their priority to solve Canada’s biggest medical PPE challenges. They succeeded by making over 450,000 face shields a day and have shipped over 27 million face shields to Canada’s frontline workers.
The virtual audience was also treated to a keynote by award-winning advertising writer, entrepreneur and best-selling author Ron Tite who shared the secrets of purpose-driven marketing.
Tite is the founder of Church+State, host and executive producer of the Canadian Comedy award-winning show Monkey Toast, and publisher of This is That Travel Guide to Canada – a best-selling and award-winning satirical book.
In his inspiring, and often humorous, keynote, he outlined his simple yet powerful process to help businesses stand out, unite and inspire their employees with a clear purpose, and foster real relationships with their customers. He explained that it starts with three simple steps: think, do, and say.
“Great organizations and leaders align what they think, they say and then do,” said Tite. “Authenticity is so important. Entrepreneurs should embrace their limitations and be true to their authentic self. If you think you should look, sound and act like what a stock-photo entrepreneur does, you won’t do well. Your imperfections are what make you human.”
Members of the Bernick family were in attendance and Henry’s son Howard shared a few thoughts with the audience about his family’s history with entrepreneurship and his father’s legacy. Howard spoke about the importance of being focused but to never forget about family.
The event was proudly sponsored by Grant Thornton, Central Ontario Broadcasting, Barriston Law, and Sun Life Financial – McBride Robillard Financial Solutions Inc.
Article Provided by Georgian College.