Entrepreneur John Kelly, Costco’s Louise Wendling, named Ottawa’s top businesspeople
Every high-tech entrepreneur faces a myriad of challenges, but what stands out for Ottawa’s John Kelly were the difficult conversations he had with his mother.
“She never did quite figure out what it was that I did,” he recalls with a laugh.
“My first job was with CIBC, and my mother said to me that for the next 20 years, the only job I ever had that she understood was banking.”
The 1970s was a period of great technological evolution, but also a time when entrepreneurs such as Mr. Kelly faced challenges communicating opportunities that were emerging. He overcame this hurdle and went on to help found several local tech success stories during his extensive career, including SHL Systemhouse Ltd., and served as CEO of JetForm Corp. and many other firms.
More recently, he acquired in-home non-medical care provider Comfort Keepers in 2011.
His contributions to the city’s economy, as well as a track record of giving back to the community, will be recognized next month when Mr. Kelly receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.
Also being honoured is the 2012 CEO of the Year, Louise Wendling. The head of Ottawa-based Costco Canada oversees a retail chain that rings up $15 billion in annual sales across its 82 stores.
“Ottawa is home to our head office, and Costco is proud to play an important role in the economic development of this great city,” said Ms. Wendling, adding the recognition is a “pleasure and an honour” that she accepts on behalf of all the company’s employees and members who have contributed to the firm’s success.
Mr. Kelly and Ms. Wendling will be honoured at the Ottawa Business Achievement Awards gala, which will be held on November 15 at the Westin Hotel.
In addition, awards will be handed out to businesses in five categories.The finalists are:
New Business of the Year
CitiPlace Dental & Hygiene
Fit Minds Cognitive Health Products Inc.
HI Impact Media
Journey of the Yogini
Shoebox-Be-Gone Bookkeeping Solutions
Tindr Solutions Inc.
Professional Service Provider of the Year
Adecco Employment Services
Ascribe Marketing Communications Inc.
AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions
CTES Training Submission
Paul Rushforth Real Estate
Small Business of the Year
Buckwheat Pillow Canada
Competition Composites Inc.
DA Global Consultants Inc.
GPS to GO
Impakt Protective Inc.
Ottawa General Contractors
Mid-Market Company of the Year
Robillard Hearing Centres
Rockwell Collins Government Systems Canada
Tiny Hoppers Corp.
Veritaaq IT Consulting
Company of the Year
The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro
The Minto Group