Carfax Canada headlined the list of winners at the London Chamber of Commerce’s Business Achievement Awards Wednesday evening.
Carfax, which provides information about second-hand vehicles to prospective buyers, took the prize in the large-business category.
Vice-president of sales Shawn Vording, who accepted the trophy on behalf of Carfax, said the company is based on a simple idea. “Really simple thing we do, really passionate employees,” Vording said in summing up the firm’s success.
He added Carfax’s American counterpart has noticed the Canadian operation, and the London office now has remote teams serving the U.S. market out of its headquarters here.
Vording’s company beat out food giant Nestle, software supplier PSD and service plan provider Zucora Home.
Last year, Carfax announced it would move its headquarters into 100 Kellogg Lane, the renovated former Kellogg’s cereal factory. “We actually have the keys. We’re not moving in quite yet – until it’s safe,” Vording said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
Carfax’s roots in the Forest City go back to the year 2000.
We’re so honoured to be named @LdnOntChamber Business of the Year – Large Company!An enormous thank you to our incredible team and to the fellow nominees, it was an honour to be nominated alongside you. We’re proud to call #ldnont home! #baa2020— CARFAX Canada (@CARFAXca) September 24, 2020
Also named as winners were Mobials Inc. in the medium-sized business category and the Forest City Sport and Social Club in the small-business category.
The Business Achievement Awards are an annual tradition recognizing excellence among Forest City businesses. This year marks the 37th time they have been handed out.
The ceremony was live-streamed for ticket-holders after COVID-19 concerns forced organizers to shift to a hybrid online/in-person model because of restrictions on large in-person gatherings.
Before the award winners were announced, Chamber CEO Gerry Macartney noted the event in a typical year attracts 1,300 people in person.
“This year is anything but typical,” Macartney said.
Only 50 people were allowed to gather at the Lamplighter Inn. “I think some of you may be watching at home in your yoga pants,” Macartney joked of viewers of the live stream.
He called the show the largest virtual business awards in Canada’s history.
Also on Wednesday, Trojan Technologies took the corporate icon award. The company considers itself a steward of the world’s most precious resource, clean water.
“It’s been many, many years reaching this point,” said Trojan boss Stephen Bell as he received the honour, adding the company has 900 employees around the world who are committed to continuous improvement by challenging themselves.
Perennial award honouree Voices.com won in the beyond-borders category, which recognizes companies that have expanded outside of Canada, while family-run furniture retailer Tepperman’s was singled out as the leader in corporate social responsibility.
“We really, truly believe in making our small corner of the world better,” said Tepperman’s general manager Josh Miller. The company has six locations.
Strathroy’s Slegers Living Organic Greens got the nod as the best agribusiness. The London InterCommunity Health Centre was recognized for excellence in human resources.
The environmental leadership prize went to Burnbrae Farms Ltd. for its solar poultry operation, and Renix was selected as the winner in the innovation category.
Mayor Ed Holder, himself a former chamber president, represented city council at the ceremony.
“You provide the lifeblood of income for so many families across the region,” the mayor said of the finalists, calling them “the best and brightest in London and Canada.”