The Markham Board of Trade (MBT) Business Excellence Awards is an annual celebration of entrepreneurial spirit, success and ingenuity. This year, two new partnerships have been announced.

The first, with TechConnex, will add technology awards to the annual business award presentations. TechConnex, the only member-directed industry association in the Greater Toronto Area, is focused on the cost-effective growth of tech businesses. The awards will recognize the Tech Company of the Year and Tech Startup of the Year.

The ASPIRE Awards, meanwhile, will honour business people under the age of 40. Organized by MBT’s Young Professionals Networking group, the awards are sponsored by Seneca College and include Professional Excellence Entrepreneur; Professional Excellence Employee; Community Involvement Entrepreneur; Community Involvement Employee; and Startup.

The finalists for the 2018 Business Excellence Awards are:

Business Employer of Excellence: Bluewrist Inc.; Change Connect; Teqtronix International Inc.

Community Relations & Cultural Enrichment: Finlayson Hospitality Partners Inc.; Lee’s Badminton Training Centre; Wilson Vukelich LLP.

The Donald Cousens Conservation & Environmental Leadership Award: Commercial Air Compressor Ltd.; Markham Stouffville Hospital; Sunny Crunch Foods Ltd.

Entrepreneurship: Ecoideas®; Hunt Design Associates Inc.; LUG USA, LLC – LUG Canada Inc.

Food Service & Hospitality: Aji Sai Restaurant; Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa; Shanghai Shikumen Fine Cuisine.

Global Business Excellence: Book4Time; CallEngine Inc.; LEA Group Holdings Inc.

High Quality and Service: Atlas Global Healthcare Ltd.; Food for Tots; Unionville Montessori Private School.

Innovation: Acculogic Inc.; FA Enterprise System Inc.; Iris Technologies Inc.

Award recipients will be announced at a gala event on Nov. 6 at the Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre. For tickets, contact Erica Fraser at 289-844-3024 or efraser@markhamboard.com.

Photo, from the left: MPP Daisy Wai with Markham Board of Trade members Bruce Tilden, Susanne Tappenden, Eric Tappenden and Jo-anne Marr at last year’s awards gala. Markham Board of Trade photo