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WillowGrove Pharmacy named Business of the Year at Samuel McLeod Business Awards

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WillowGrove Pharmacy named Business of the Year at Samuel McLeod Business Awards
Amy Lamb of WillowGrove Pharmacy gives a short speech after accepting the Business of the Year Award along with registered pharmacy technician Kendyl Hoey and pharmacist Nicole Winder. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Amy Lamb wasn’t expecting to climb the stage once at the 2022 Samuel McLeod Business Awards, never mind twice, but that’s exactly what happened.

Lamb was named Prince Albert’s Business Leader of the Year at Friday’s award ceremony, then returned to the podium near the end of the night to accept the Business of the Year award on behalf of WillowGrove Pharmacy.

“I’m kind of shocked,” Lamb said shortly after accepting the Business of the Year award with partners Kendyl Hoey and Nicole Winder. “There were some incredible nominees in our categories. We’re a new business, (with) new operations, (and) we’re new to business in general—all three of us—so it’s been a pretty humbling experience.”

WillowGrove beat out fellow nominees Phantom Light Distillery, and River Park Funeral Home and Prince Albert Memorial Gardens for Business of the Year. Lamb credited her business partners for making the business work in a difficult occupation.

“There are lots of hurdles along the way that we’ve had to navigate,” she said. “But, because we’re a team of partners, (and) because we all share a lot of the same work life requirements—we’re all young moms (and) we all have kids under the age of five—and it’s been something where we can share strength, share passions, and really count on and encourage each other to get through some of those harder times.

“Kendyll and Nicole are such incredible and impassioned dedicated individuals to the operations. Pharmacy is a really difficult thing to operate. There are lots of regulations, lots of standards. We are extremely dedicated to the safety of our patients, including the cultural safety of our patients, and they’re on the ground doing that every day.

Lamb has spent 10 years as a pharmacist, specializing in women’s and Indigenous health, health advocacy, and functional medicine. She edged out Colette McDermott of Colette Portamedic Services and Colin Fraser of OK Tire and Auto Services for Business Leader to win another award she wasn’t expecting.

During her acceptance speech, Lamb credited her mother Deborah, a longtime Prince Albert business owner who retired last year, for setting a good example.

“It’s hard to sometimes keep your team together,” Lamb said afterwards. “It’s hard sometimes to motivate yourself. There are up times and down times and there’s lots of stress, but she did something that she absolutely loved and she’s very talented.”

Lamb got her first job washing hair in her mother’s salon, and said that experience helped prepare her for the highs and lows of the business world.

Although there were several businesses nominated in more than one category, Lamb was the only nominee to win two awards.

Phantom Light Distillery led the way with three nominations. They walked away with the Best New Venture Award over nominees Lemon Yellow Art Studio, and Aurora Chiropractic Message Therapy and Health Centre.

Mont St. Joseph Home was named Non-Profit of the Year over nominees KIN Enterprises Inc. and YWCA Prince Albert, while Dane Sanderson of Media Made Simple edged out Tayler Korycki of Korycki Mechanical Inc. and Tia Furstenberg and Kayanna Wirtz of Lemon Yellow Art Studio for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

A complete list of award winners is below. For more on the awards, please see Tuesday’s edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.

2022 Samuel McLeod Business Awards (nominees in brackets):

Business Leader of the Year: Amy Lamb – WillowGrove Pharmacy (Colette McDermott – Colette Portamedic Services, Colin Fraser – OK Tire and Auto Services)

Business Transformation Award: Trunorth Marine and Recreation (Feher Financial Inc., Lakeland Hyundai)

Community Involvement Award: Mann-Northway Chevrolet Buick GMC (Diamond North Credit Union, River Park Funeral Home and Prince Albert Memorial Gardens)

Customer Service Award: Ricky’s All Day Grill (Diamond North Credit Union, Lake Country Co-op)

Diversity in the Workplace Award: 6th Avenue Car Wash and Auto Glass (Community Service Centre, Mont St. Joseph Home)

Indigenous Business of the Year: Athabasca Basin Development (ABM Plubing and Heating, Media Made Simple)

Marketing Award: Korycki Mechanical (Hope’s Home, Phantom Light Distillery)

Best New Venture: Phantom Light Distillery (Lemon Yellow Art Studio, Aurora Chiropractic Message Therapy and Health Centre)

Non-Profit of the Year: Mont St. Joseph Home (KIN Enterprises Inc., YWCA Prince Albert)

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Dane Sanderson – Media Made Simple (Tayler Korycki – Korycki Mechanical Inc., Tia Furstenberg and Kayanna Wirtz – Lemon Yellow Art Studio)

Micro Enterprise of the Year: ABM Plumbing and Heating (Aurora Chiropractic Massage Therapy and Health, Feher Financial Inc.)

Business of the Year: WillowGrove Pharmacy (Phantom Light Distillery, River Park Funeral Home and Prince Albert Memorial Gardens)