The best of Delta’s business community was honoured last month at the Delta Chamber of Commerce’s annual Hats Off to Excellence Awards.
On Nov. 24, the chamber hosted its 66th annual awards gala recognizing business and community leaders from a wide range of backgrounds who have contributed significantly to the communities of Delta over the past year. Twenty-five finalists vied for the top prize in nine different categories at a lavish celebration held at Tsawwassen Springs.
“This year’s 66th annual Hats Off to Excellence Awards was one to remember,” said chamber chair Les Voros in a press release announcing 2017’s winners. “This event is something the board of directors, staff and community look forward to every year. It’s a chance to celebrate the exceptional individuals and businesses that make Delta the wonderful community it is.”
The event was capped off with former Deltassist executive director Irene Forcier being honoured as 2017’s Citizen of the Year.
A resident of Delta for the last 57 years, Forcier worked for Deltassist Community Services for 26 years — two as office manager and 24 as executive director. During this time she was responsible for the development of a wide variety of services for people of all ages in need.
She managed 54 staff, over 500 volunteers and 25 programs, and she worked with the board of directors and several of its committees. Her work resulted in bringing millions of dollars in program funding to Delta to provide services that enhanced the lives of many of the city’s residents.
Forcier is a proud member of the Rotary Club of Ladner and served as secretary and international chair before being elected as the first club’s first female president. She is also a two-time recipient of Rotary International’s highest award, and as a result is a Paul Harris Fellow.
She has been involved with several Delta committees including the Cooperative Community Planners for Mental Health, the Healthy Communities Committee, the Suicide Advisory Committee, the Delta Child and Youth Committee and the Multicultural Diversity Committee. Forcier was also appointed for several years running as a resource person on the mayor and council’s Community Services Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth in Delta.
For two years Forcier was the chair of the Reach Child and Youth Development Foundation and was charged with raising funds to build a state-of-the-art development centre for children and youth living with developmental and other disabilities. During her tenure at Reach, the organization raised approximately $1 million towards the project.
Between 2013 and 2017 Forcier chaired the Ladner Rotary Splash Park Committee, responsible for raising $640,000 jointly with the City of Delta in order to build a new, safer eco-friendly splash park for children of all abilities. To date, it is the largest project undertaken in the history of the Rotary Club of Ladner’s 60 years of service.
At the club’s 2017 installation dinner, Forcier was named Rotarian of the Year and a recipient of the Governor General’s Silver Medal for Outstanding Community Service.
Other 2017 Hats Off to Excellence Award winners include: Delta Hospital Auxilliary member Elaine Canning (Volunteer of the Year), Jordan Wolff of Neutron Factory Works (Employee Extraordinaire of the Year), Ladner Village Market (Special Events and Tourism), The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Tsawwassen (Rising Star of the Year), GCT Canada for GCT Deltaport (Green Business of the Year), Dave’s Pop Culture in Ladner (Micro Business of the Year), The RunInn in Tsawwassen (Small Business of the Year Award) and Unitech Construction Management Ltd. (Large Business of the Year).