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Home News Prince Albert business owner named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at 2021 ABEX Awards

Prince Albert business owner named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at 2021 ABEX Awards

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Prince Albert business owner named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at 2021 ABEX Awards
Prince Albert’s Cody Demerais of Limitless Gear, Clothing and Apparel was named the 2021 ABEX Young Entrepreneur of the Year on Friday. -- Submitted photo.

Prince Albert’s Cody Demerais hasn’t had time to get used to a regular business climate, but that hasn’t been a roadblock to success.

Demerais took home the top young entrepreneur award at the Achieving Business Excellence (ABEX) Awards, which were handed out on Friday. The owner of Prince Albert’s Limitless Gear Clothing and Apparel couldn’t accept his award in person, but said he’ll remember the night regardless.

“Me and my fiancé were enjoying supper and enjoying our time together, and ended up just watching it ourselves, actually,” Demerais said during an interview on Monday. “It was a night I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life.”

Demerais beat out Warman’s Amy Bertram of Dancer’s Edge and Regina’s Daniela Mintenko of Luxe Artisan Chocolates and Dandy’s Ice Cream for the award. Demerais said it’s validating to get provincial recognition, since every nominee worked hard to become successful.

He attributed his own success to approaching every day with passion and appreciation.

“I truly do believe when you do something with great intentions, with trying to make a difference in the world, I believe eventually it does just get recognized,” he said. “Luckily enough, it was our night for that. I’m just grateful to be honoured.”

Demerais said there have been challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but he’s used them as opportunities to learn and improve. He’s helped by the fact that he wasn’t open long before COVID hit, so there weren’t many adjustments to make.

“It’s almost helped me understand that you have to be creative,” he explained. “You have to be resourceful, and you have to be willing to try things that you may not have thought of in the first place to be able to adapt and pivot with the times.”

The ABEX Awards have been held every year since 1984 in honour of outstanding achievement in business excellence.

Other award winners included Murad Al-Katib, the president and CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients, who was named ABEX Business Leader of the Year.

“Murad has made a remarkable contribution to the business community and Saskatchewan’s economy through his work in the agri-food sector, board governance, and passion for supporting entrepreneurs,” Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan said.

Meanwhile, Saskatoon-based software company Vendasta was named Business of the Year.

“There are many excellent businesses who were finalists at this year’s ABEX Awards,” McLellan said. “Vendasta stood out because of its dedication to innovation and ability to help the business community navigate the digital world we live in today. We are pleased to honour their great work.”

Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Rob Clark received the Roger Phillips Chamber Builder Award, while Pamela Klein was named Community Leader of the Year.

Paradise Hill’s Novlan Bros. was inducted into the Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame, and Saskatoon’s Curbie Cars received the New Venture Award.

2021 ABEX Award Winners

  • Business of the Year Award, sponsored by David Aplin GroupVendasta
  • Community Leader of the Year Award, sponsored by SaskEnergyPamela Klein
  • Business Leader of the Year Award, sponsored by University of ReginaMurad Al-Katib
  • Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame, presented by Conexus Credit UnionNovlan Bros.
  • Roger Phillips Chamber Builder Award – Rob Clark
  • Innovation Award, sponsored by Saskatchewan PolytechnicGreenwave Innovations Inc.
  • Marketing Award, sponsored by Xplornet Enterprise SolutionsDandy’s Artisan Ice Cream
  • Export Award, sponsored by Saskatchewan Trade and Export PartnershipXPT Grain Inc.
  • Community Involvement Award, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLPAvana
  • Priority Focus Award (Digital Integration), sponsored by NutrienVendasta
  • Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award, sponsored by CamecoCody Demerais, Limitless Gear, Clothing and Apparel