Clarenville Area Chamber of Commerce doles out annual business awards

Published on March 1, 2017

Adam Rowe and Chad Collett of SubC Imaging receiving their Business of the Year award from Barbara Crann.

The Clarenville Area Chamber of Commerce recognized the top businesses of the year on Wednesday night, with their annual Business Excellence Awards. The event, held at the St. Jude Hotel, recognized the business of the year, small business of the year (with nine or less employees), and the Corwin Mills Community Cares Award.

 

2017 Business of the Year:

SubC Imaging

 

SubC Imaging was born when founder Chad Collett believed he could produce higher quality products for underwater imaging applications.

Collett had been working as a subsea inspection manager at the time. He founded SubC in February 2010.

He developed a prototype camera framework and secured testing with local oil companies. Footage was gathered offshore, a website created and the first sale was made in Australia.

Collett was sure there was an opportunity for a business, so he pitched the concept to the Genesis Centre and invited longtime friend and software developer Adam Rowe to join as a partner.

Together, they built a dedicated team and with their help, have worked to develop SubC into the successful company it is today.

From its humble beginnings, which saw the sale of just three underwater cameras in 2010, SubC’s sales have grown steadily year after year. To date, SubC has sold nearly 600 products to clients all over the world, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Australia, and Saudi Arabia.

The staff and product line have continuously improved. SubC now employs 17 full-time workers, as well as research contractors.

The product line includes digital video processors, LED lights, reference lasers, and batteries.

SubC’s digital video processing is expanding to create data from video using advanced machine vision concepts.

To diversify in a challenging economy, SubC has split its custom engineering and inspection services into a second company.

And the unique skills that its technicians and engineers have learned over the past seven years have created another opportunity to grow the local economy with national and international business.

Closer to home, SubC has increased its involvement in the community and charitable initiatives by becoming a sponsor of the Kids Eat Smart Breakfast Program at Riverside Elementary, contributing an annual scholarship to a graduate of Clarenville High, donating to the NLSA Boys U14 Soccer Team and Petty Harbour Touch Tank, among others. SubC employees have also represented the company by participating in the Power to Hope 5K Run, the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike Ride, and volunteering at the Riverside Elementary Breakfast Program.

SubC makes annual contributions to Plan Canada International Inc., and is particularly fond of the Because I Am A Girl campaign, which aims to lift women and girls out of poverty.

One of its long-term goals includes creating a hub of underwater science and learning, with a focus on youth and the future.

SubC is proof that technology companies are not confined to urban areas and plans to continue to support the local community with time and resources.

Loretta Paul of Comfort & Class Boutique, winner of Small Business of the Year.

©Jonathan Parsons/TC Media

2017 Small Business of the Year:

Comfort & Class Boutique


The story of Comfort & Class Boutique began with family.

Loretta Paul and Tim Kelly had moved back to Newfoundland from Ottawa in 2007.

After spending some time with her parents, Lewis and Bride Paul of Come By Chance, Loretta realized they were aging and she wanted to stay in the area so she could be closer to them.

Unable to find suitable employment, Loretta decided to do something that she always wanted to do: open her own business.

She thought a quality ladies clothing store was missing from the area, so, in May 2008, Comfort & Class Boutique opened their doors.

Since then, Loretta has done many renovations and finally landed a space in her current location at the Random Square Mall.

Loretta currently has one other full-time employee, aside from herself, and two part-time employees.

Loretta’s background is in information technology, education and business.

Many times since opening Loretta has had to adapt to what the consumers want. She’s found that Clarenville has been a tough market to crack.

She not only works in the store but she does all her own buying, marketing and bookkeeping so there is no such thing as a 40 hour work week for her.

Comfort & Class’s goal since its beginning has been to offer quality ladies fashion at reasonable prices. The saying goes “you get what you pay for” is true as Loretta offers fashion that will wash and wear well. She believes that being self-employed takes dedication and tenacity or none of us would be here.

Loretta not only gave thanks for the honour she received, but also urged everyone to further support the local business community and “shop local.”

Ralph "Boonie" Lethbridge receiving the Corwin Mills Community Cares award from Greg Pittman.

©Jonathan Parsons/TC Media

2017 Corwin Mills Community Cares Award:

Ralph “Boonie” Lethbridge

 

In January 2016, in an event that would make national news, Boonie Lethbridge decided  he would shave his 40-year-old beard to raise funds for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

He decided to do this event after a friend of his was diagnosed with the illness, and also recognized others in the area who passed away due to ALS.

Lethbridge shaved his beard at centre ice during a Caribous game at the Eastlink Events Centre before a huge crowd supporting him. He was joined by his wife, Jenny, and their two granddaughters for the shave.

What had begun as a fundraising goal of $5,000 had gained momentum on social media and around Clarenville. When Cal Cole, who is a local volunteer with the ALS Society, came out with the cheque representing the total amount of funds raised, it was for $51,000.

Cole says the money raised will help people who have been diagnosed with ALS in Newfoundland and Labrador, providing necessities such as hospital beds and special chairs.

Lethbridge’s event is one of the largest fundraisers the ALS Society has had throughout the province on a local level.

With his long beard hanging to his chest over a year later, Boonie says he’s likely “ready to go again.”

 

Information courtesy of the Clarenville Area Chamber of Commerce