The 2023 PW Enns Business Awards were given out Thursday evening at a formal gala event hosted by the Winkler and District Chamber of Commerce.
Ed Penner Construction Limited received this year's Community Builder Award.

Ed Penner construction poses for a photo after accepting awardEd Penner construction poses for a photo after accepting award

Owner, Ed Penner says the recognition is humbling. "That's not the reason that we go to work. We don't go to work for awards, we go to work to help customers out. That's what we do," said Penner. "We only have work because someone else has been successful or has had the need to grow. So it's humbling to see that they actually picked us, and they recognize our work and they come to us for their problem." 

Penner added their success isn't something that they've accomplished on their own, it is something that the community has helped them build. 

Ed Penner Construction was established in 2004. At the time, Penner said it was initially his intent to work on his own, then one employee was hired in 2005, and he said it just kept going from there. Ed Penner Construction now employs, on average, between 30 and 40 people.

Penner was asked how it feels to see what his vision has all accomplished, not only for himself but for the people he's given employment to over the years.

"It's something we do take pride in, all our staff take pride in too," said Penner. "It's nice to drive into town, seeing stuff that, whether you come from the West or the East or South, we see stuff that we've had our hands on and we've been able to build, and these things are going to be standing here for the next 50 to 100 years. So that's a great feeling when you can drive in and say, 'man, I was part of this, I was part of helping this person, or part of helping that business out'...It's been rewarding." 

Ed Penner Construction has outgrown its current location at 535 Commander Drive. Penner said they're currently in the process of constructing a new, larger facility on a 3-acre site on Viking Road.

This year's recipient of the 2023 Community Business Builder Award is Renew Wellness Center.

Crystal Thiessen and members of the Renew Wellness teamCrystal Thiessen and members of the Renew Wellness team

Owner Crystal Thiessen said when she started going to school to become a massage therapist, it was her plan to work out of her home. With a heart to help others, she opened her first clinic 4 1/2 years ago with 2 RMTs, and 1 admin person, and welcomed 6 students, which was only the start. Within six months of opening, they were already planning the construction of their current, larger clinic.

When asked 'what is your why as to why you do certain things', Thiessen said her 'why' has always been to glorify God. She said when God took her vision in a completely new direction, she said she trusted Him, and that it was His vision.

"Honestly, it's just been humbling for all of the people who have trusted me as I was a newly graduated RMT, that people came on board and trusted to work with me," said Thiessen. "And I just love the staff so much that I work with, we have also a naturopathic Doctor who works here as well."
Thiessen said it was also her mission to offer massage therapy students a place to perform their clinic hours, as she said there were not many clinic opportunities for students to perform those hours.
She was asked how it feels that her vision has opened the door for many others to begin their own careers.

"It's amazing, and sometimes it's scary too because I have to make sure that they have enough income coming in to provide for their family, that responsibility lies heavily on me," said Thiessen. She said it's also very rewarding to have the ability to work together with other therapists. "We can learn together, you know, working out of my home would have been very lonely, and I wouldn't have been able to bounce ideas off of other therapists, so it's been a really great opportunity to learn and grow from myself, and also for all the other RMTs and the students that work together here at the clinic." 

Thiessen said she loves to help people, and the more people she can help, the more people she needs to help more people. "I just think that is totally the vision of the business."  

She said it truly feels amazing and humbling to be chosen by the community and to be recognized with the award for the growth they have been experiencing.

Also last evening, Bloom Floral Creative was presented with the 2023 Business Excellence Award. The 2023 PW Enns Award for Customer Service went to the Outpost Grill, and Winkler Arts & Culture received the 2023 Not-for-Profit award.

Alesha Hildebrand, Winkler Arts and Culture Executive Director, holds 2023 non-profit of the year awardAlesha Hildebrand, Winkler Arts and Culture Executive Director, holds 2023 non-profit of the year award
Outpost owner Frank Peters, and members of his staff, address crowd after receiving awardOutpost owner Frank Peters, and members of his staff, address crowd after receiving award

~With files from Chris Sumner~

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