SURREY BUSINESS NEWS: Roger Steers Named 2020 Surrey Business Person of the Year

-Surrey Board of Trade Congratulates 2020 Surrey Business Excellence Award Winners at Digital Event Last Night

Surrey, B.C. – On Thursday, November 5, 2020, the Surrey Board of Trade recognized eight winners at the 22nd Annual Surrey Business Excellence Awards – the Resiliency Edition, with Presenting TD Bank, and media sponsors CKNW, Global BC and the Surrey NOW-Leader. This year’s digital event was led by Master of Ceremonies Jay Janower of Global BC.

“The Surrey Board of Trade focused realized that this year has been one of incredible hardships for Surrey’s business community, but also one that has brought the community together in a way we haven’t seen before. A focus was made on business resiliency and a sense of community. They are inspirational – from the very small business to the large business to the not for profit service organization,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

The digital version of this year’s event included virtual networking and exhibitor spaces, and live entertainment sponsored by Trans Mountain Corporation. Finalists in all 8 categories were featured through professional video presentations, sponsored by CN.

2020 Surrey Board of Trade, Surrey Business Excellence Award Winners:

Business Person of the Year: Roger Steers, RJC Engineers
Sponsored by Hamilton Duncan
Roger is the Managing Principal of RJC Engineers Vancouver’s Building Science and Restoration team. With specialization in the evaluation, restoration, and repair of structures, Roger has built a reputation for having a client-focused approach to prime consulting and project management. He leads a team that includes experts in earthquake engineering for new and existing structures. Roger exemplifies what it is to be a community service leader. He is a champion of RJC Engineers’ Ride to Conquer Cancer teams, which have raised almost $2 million for cancer foundations across Canada. He is an active member within his industry and his community serving on numerous boards, associations, and institutes. He was Chair of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Real Estate and Development Committee for almost six years, Secretary/Treasurer of Balding for Dollars for nearly nine years, Director of BOMA BC for over three years, and is an active member of the Surrey Board of Trade.

Business Resilience Winner with 1-10 Employees: Mainland Whisky
Sponsored by Surrey NOW-Leader
Mainland Whisky is a cocktail lounge and whisky shop nestled in Campbell Heights in Surrey. Influenced by American moonshine recipes, Mainland concocts magnificent house-made corn whisky and whisky liqueur cocktails made with organic ingredients from BC. Mainland Whisky was only 3 months old when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. They were forced to close their tasting lounge which was their only source of revenue at the time. After the moment of initial panic had passed, they saw the community desperately in need of sanitization products. This spurred them to retool their operations to switch over to making sanitizers and surface disinfectant (a by-product of the whisky making process). In 2 months, they produced 520 litres of hand sanitizers and made donations to 1,008 families, seniors, and non-profit organizations, including local hospitals, schools and care facilities. A testament that they work constantly to be a positive force in the community.

Business Resilience Winner with 11 – 40 Employees: My Greek Taverna
Sponsored by Live Well Exercise Clinic
My Greek Taverna, Surrey’s Greek cuisine, has been a favourite Greek restaurant in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Family-owned and operated, they prepare all of their authentic Greek cuisine with the freshest ingredients and recipes that come directly from Greece. When the pandemic hit this year, My Greek Taverna had to shut down their dine in and rely only on food take outs. The owners worked tirelessly fighting to come up with new solutions and ideas on how to keep things moving forward. Even through the difficulties, the business graciously donated 75 dinners to a local hospital to help support front line workers. With the opening of the economy, the management ensures safety of staff and customers by having all protocols and procedures in place while serving customers daily, even at limited capacity.

Business Resilience Winner with 41+ Employees: Nana’s Kitchen & Hot Sauce Ltd.
Sponsored by MNP
Since 2000, Nana’s Kitchen has been producing flavourful, ready to eat items for food service and grocery retail customers across Canada and the USA. As a leading manufacturer of HACCP Certified, BRC Global Standard frozen entrée items, Nana’s passion is to provide the best quality comfort foods with the highest standards in food safety. During the recent pandemic Nana’s Kitchen production slowed down, but all employees remained employed and had full time positions waiting for them when business started to pick up again. Nana’s social commitment never wavered as they continuously help the community and support several charities and foundations. Just this past September, Nana’s Kitchen contributed $10,000 towards children’s cancer treatments at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Not-for-Profit Resilience: Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society
Sponsored by Kwantlen Polytechnic University
The Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society, established in 1994, has since become one of the leading charities in Surrey, raising $1,000,000 annually to support over 85 initiatives in Surrey. Unfortunately, a significant portion of these funds is raised through large public events. To date, many of their events have been cancelled and they closed their thrift store for three months. The volunteer members were determined to continue providing support to those that have come to rely on Surrey Fire Fighters. They immediately began looking at ways to generate funds, without gathering in large groups. This included an online raffle, online face mask sales, and a revised COVID friendly golf tournament. Despite the challenges, the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society was able to raise close to $200,000 and donated to various charities such as Frank Hurt Hornets Football, BC Cancer Agency, Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society, Coastal Track Club, BC Burn Fund, YMCA Youth Mindfulness Program, Child Development Foundation, Autism Research, Camp My Way, and the Peach Arch Hospital Foundation.

Surrey International Trade Award: Sundher Group
Sponsored by Trans Mountain Corporation
Sundher Timber Products Inc. was established to market western red cedar, yellow cedar and douglas fir lumber used for specialty requirements. Its export strategy is to focus on global markets that are deficient in the high quality or strength attributes that the BC coastal species are known for. These markets include Japan, China, US, Europe, India, Pakistan, and the Middle East. During this pandemic, when their business was declared an essential service, in a small but significant way, the Sundher Group contributed to the protection of the health workers by producing hospital gowns and masks made from pulp of cedar lumber.

Surrey Innovation Award: Firetech Manufacturing Ltd.
Sponsored by TD Bank
Firetech, established in 1983, is a manufacturer of high quality and technologically advanced custom backpacks and bags for the emergency medical, fire and industrial markets. Being involved in an industry where life matters, Firetech had to pivot its business model in response to the growing needs of Canadian healthcare workers in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. To address a national shortage, Firetech designed and manufactured a medical grade, disposable face shield. The sheild was purchased by both Vancouver Coastal and the Provincial Health Authorities to protect healthcare workers when they could not obtain these products through their existing supply chains from large international distributors outside of North America. It required them to create new designs, develop new production processes, and secure new materials and manpower at breakneck speed. In less than 20 days, Firetech managed to produce the required protective equipment that is now distributed across Canada.

Surrey Environment and Business Award: OCION Water Sciences Inc.
Sponsored by EXP Services Inc.
OCION Water Sciences Inc. is a privately held Surrey-based company that develops, manufactures and markets environmentally responsible mineral-based products internationally. OCION is committed to supporting and protecting the environment by discovering new applications for science-based products that are safe for humans, livestock, aquatic life, and agricultural crops. When the pandemic struck early this year, OCION took on the challenge to design a disinfectant that would not only perform at the highest level but also can be environmentally friendly. This product is just another example of how OCION strives to meet the needs of our ever-changing environment.

Presenting Sponsor: TD Bank
Video Sponsor: CN
Entertainment Sponsor: Trans Mountain Corporation
Award Sponsors: EXP Services Inc., Hamilton Duncan, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Live Well Exercise Clinic and MNP
Community Sponsors: FortisBC and the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
Media Sponsors: CKNW, Global BC and the Surrey NOW-Leader
Event Supporters: Glen Chua Media and Focus Audio Visual

For further information, please contact Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, at
604-634 0342 or