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Chamber, businesses celebrate local success stories By Mark Pavilons

THE WEEKLY SENTINEL - Thursday, October 3, 2019 

Celebrating the success of local businesses is more than awards and speeches. It’s about mutual support and respect. It’s about being part of a very large family.

The King Chamber of Commerce held its annual Excellence in Business Awards Dinner last week, honouring the efforts of local entrepreneurs.

Mayor Steve Pellegrini likened the event to a “family dinner. He praised the incredible partnership the Chamber and Township have fostered over the years. Council and staff wholeheartedly support local businesses and the concept of shopping locally. This level of support and cooperation makes King a special place, and “awesome place” to live, work and play.

Chamber president Angelo Santorelli said he’s enjoyed his term as president and being part of this local success story. Chamber membership continues to grow, members are engaged, and events are all well attended. This dinner was perhaps the most successful to date. New businesses continue to come to King.

The awards dinner is a way to help Chamber members connect with one another and the community. It’s great to gather and celebrate one another’s accomplishments.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards.

The Excellence in Small Business Award (1-10 employees), is given to a company that exhibits attributes of community involvement and commitment to the development of business in King Township.

The award went to Dr. Melisa Sigarusa, of Nobleton Optometry. The award was presented by sponsor Sean Stephens of TreeFrog

Dr. Siragusa, owner and Optometrist of Nobleton Optometry. opened her doors for business in November 2014. She graduated with an honours bachelor of science degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2008 and went on to receive her doctorate of optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in 2012. She worked with eye physician and surgeon Dr. Fadi Calotti, where she gained valuable experience with pre and postoperative care. She also spent time working in long-term care facilities providing on site eye care.

Nobleton optometry is a full service clinic, including an optical boutique & equipped with all the latest technology.

The Excellence in Large Business Award (15 employees and up) goes to a company that supports business owners and the community through participation and sponsorship of both community and business activities.

Sponsored by Seneca College, the award went to Country Day School, represented by Kim Sillcox.

Situated on a 100-acre campus among the rolling hills of King Township, The Country Day School is a leading JK-12 co-ed, non-denominational independent school. Since 1972, the dynamic and friendly CDS community has been nurturing student talent and fulfilling promise. Their innovative approach to learning integrates leading-edge technology, sophisticated facilities and exceptional teaching. They offer a superior educational experience that is sensitive to individual needs, enables learning and equips students for life. Emphasizing education with balance, CDS provides diverse opportunities in academics, athletics, and visual and performing arts.

Plus, students of all ages also love to explore the sprawling campus for outdoor education activities. This is a place of possibilities where students unearth their passions and everyone feels known, supported and inspired.

King Township sponsors the Sustainable King Award, which goes to a business that participates in environmental leadership on a personal and/ or professional ongoing basis. This business shows a commitment to the environment through their actions and ongoing efforts to educate, inform, and lead by example demonstrating environmental leadership and responsibility.

Mayor Steve Pellegrini presented the award to Andre Flys, owner of Pioneer Brand Honey & Maple. 

Flys is a life-long King resident and started as a third generation hobbyist beekeeper. Both his father and his grandfather also kept bees as a hobby.

Left Photo-  Award Sponsor   -   Sean Stephens of TreeFrog: Brennan Foley of DKI Foley Restoration;  John Ciarallo of John's No Frills- Nobleton; Zach Shoub of King Weekly SentinelCory Long of Seneca College;  Jamie Symth of King Township

 His grandfather, Charles Sauriol received the Order of Canada for a lifetime of conservation initiatives. That led Andre to chair the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust for a time in the early 2000s. Andre was the first in his family to keep bees on a commercial scale.

“I’ve always been around bees,” said Andre. “I got my first colony in my early 20s and helped my dad out before that. It was a hobby. I was in the printing business and it started scaling back – and the honey started growing.” Andre and family now run between 400 and 500 colonies of bees (that’s tens of millions of honey bees) and sells maple syrup and hive products out of their farm gate store, Pioneer Brand Honey in Nobleton. Andre also serves on the Ontario Beekeepers Association and has been a board member since 2014. He plays an active role in education, research and advocacy for beekeepers.  

The Excellence in New Business Award recognizes a business that has been established for a minimum of 2 years and has demonstrated notable achievements within King such as growth, customer service, innovative ideas, community involvement. 

Sponsored by King Auto Repairs Service (KARS), the award went to Forest Hill Elite, and Manuela Palermo.

Manuela has been passionate with everything real estate related since she was 18. Her years of sales and real estate experience, a mortgage broker licence, along with a background in finance, development projects, property management and trading both in residential and commercial properties, have given her the confidence, skill and expertise to excel. Manuela’s strong leadership skills and passion to share her knowledge and experience with her fellow industry professionals lead her to a new chapter in her career, opening and introducing the prestigious Forest Hill Real Estate brand in King City servicing all of York Region.

She is also currently undergoing the expansion of Forest Hill Elite to a new location in Vaughan. Manuela sits on the board of directors of the King Chamber and heavily involves herself within the community. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to an individual with vision, creating a unique business that may accomplish an outcome that changes the way business has been done until they created their manner of practice. They show growth in their business and overcome obstacles while creating a special niche within their business sector.

Sponsored by Foley Restoration, the award went to Joshua Speers, of Speers Creative.

Josh is the driving force behind Speers Creative, a branding and design agency located on historic Main Street in Schomberg. Prior to entering the design and media industry, Josh spent 7 years traveling around the world, exploring different cultures and gaining an extensive understanding and appreciation for the arts. His passions led him to earn a theatre degree in Norway, act on stage and television, perform live music and even release a record. As Speers Creative continues to grow and expand its services, Josh takes great pride in helping a wide range of companies with their design and marketing, including many local businesses in and around his hometown of Schomberg. Using his knowledge of the arts industry and combining it with his design and marketing skills, Josh is able to effectively collaborate with his clients to create a truly original experience for each and every one.

The People’s Choice Award is for a registered business in King Township, that has been established for a minimum of 3 years and is in retail or the service industry. The business has shown outstanding customer service, growth, best business practices and community involvement. This category is open to the public for nominations and the business does not have to be a member of the Chamber

The King Weekly Sentinel has sponsored this award from the beginning and this year it went to Locale. On hand receiving the award was Roman Facciponte. 

Lilly Vona and her family are 10-year King residents and she fell in love with the 150-year-old Crawford Wells building on Keele in King City. It became home to Locale. As a restaurateur and caterer, she wanted to open a “locale” in her own neighborhood that offered not only a gathering place but quality driven Italian focused cuisine.

Locale started as a take-out and catering kitchen before renovations to the main building began. Locale isn’t just a place to eat food and leave. You can enjoy dinner or just drinks in the upstairs lounge where old Italian movies are playing (when hockey isn’t). They offer excellent live entertainment in lounge and also on the patio. They have expanded and also operate another restaurant in Aurora.

King Chamber, Township roll out the red carpet   - By Mark Pavilons

THE WEEKLY SENTINEL - Thursday, May 2, 2019

New and existing businesses always get the red carpet treatment in King Township. That was the message delivered by King’s business brass at the annual Mayor’s Lunch, held at Nobleton Lakes. The King Chamber of Commerce, and its new president Angelo Santorelli, welcomed Mayor Steve Pellegrini and a sold-out crowd of local business owners. King-Vaughan MPP Stephen Lecce was slated to attend, but an emergency called him away. Former King councillor Linda Pabst spoke on his behalf, noting the MPP is strengthening ties with King Township and Mayor Pellegrini. He’s stepped up and helped bring investment to King, from the GO station in King City to Schomberg’s revitalization. The government is helping to grow small business and expand the employment base, across Ontario and also here in King. Helping to reduce red tape and improve business in his riding if one of Lecce’s priorities. Santorelli, in his first official event as president, stressed that small business has always been a foundation of our country’s economic driving force. He extended praise to Chamber board members and especially administrator Helen Neville, for setting up the lunch and making things run smoothly. Santorelli praised former president Tom Allen for the years he’s given to the Chamber as president and board member. Allen’s contributions are “too numerous to mention” and Santorelli looks forward to relying on Allen for his expertise and guidance. Mayor Pellegrini said the relationship between the Township and the Chamber continues to grow strong and Allen has been a big part of that cooperation. The Chamber wouldn’t be where it is today without the strong leadership from its 

Mayor Pellegrini said the relationship between the Township and the Chamber continues to grow strong and Allen has been a big part of that cooperation. The Chamber wouldn’t be where it is today without the strong leadership from its president and board members. Pellegrini also welcomed Santorelli, who’s a long-time resident and strong community force. Under his term, the Chamber will continue to encourage small and large businesses to flourish. The mayor reviewed the Township’s budgets and business plans through 2022, which maintain operational service level standards, boosting roads and respects the taxpayers. King’s network of some 300 kilometres of roads are paramount over the next four years. He encouraged residents, who have not yet had the chance, to visit the new, 46,000-square-foot municipal centre, since it’s designed for the public. King’s Economic Development department has been busy and its 2018- 2022 strategy will set the stage for the future. The key areas of focus include investment readiness; a commitment to sustainability; fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, and developing a strong, innovative rural brand. Recent achievements include the creation of the strategy; Schomberg Main Street revitalization; core parking study and the hiring of a new economic co-ordinator. King’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is working well, and has delivered more than $167,000 in grants to local businesses in core areas over the last four years. For every dollar the 

Township investments in this program, property owners and businesses have invested $8.50 to improve and revitalize their properties. The mayor also touched on the new recreation facility to be built on lands owned by Seneca College; King City streetscaping projects; the $750,000 in funding provided by the Province, as well as upcoming events in the community. King has been working for years to get broadband Internet service available to rural King homes. Even though it’s not a municipal responsibility, King has been working with other levels of government, as well as Vianet, to get the services up and running. The mayor pointed out that King City will see the bulk of residential development in the next few years, but he stressed the municipality will manage it in a sustainable way.

MP Richards meets with King Chamber By Mark Pavilons

THE WEEKLY SENTINEL - Thursday, May 2, 2019 

Alberta MP Blake Richards, Ocial Opposition Shadow Cabinet Minister for Small Business, Export Promotion and Tourism, joined members of the King Chamber of Commerce last week for a round-table discussion on small business. “Our provincial government is implementing an ‘Open for Business’ and ‘Open for Jobs’ agenda, helping to grow our small business sector and giving our industry a competitive advantage so that it can expand our employment base and create good jobs here in King Township,” said King-Vaughan MPP Stephen Lecce. “It was great to have MP Blake Richards come to King to discuss how we can work with partners like the Township and the King Chamber of Commerce to reduce red tape at all levels and empower small businesses to grow and thrive in our communities.”

Santorelli is the new King Chamber president  By Mark Pavilons

THE WEEKLY SENTINEL - Thursday, April 18, 2019 

The King Chamber of Commerce has a new president. Well known King business owner and community supporter Angelo Santorelli, of Trisan Construction, takes over the lead of the local business association. The 40-year King resident is proud to call King his home. Trisan employs many local residents from the surrounding areas and also presents multiple opportunities for work and growth in the construction industry. Trisan Construction was also honoured to receive the Excellence in Large Business award by the King Chamber of Commerce in the fall of 2017. In 2011, Angelo and his family had the unique opportunity to be a part in supporting and naming of Schomberg’s community recreation centre, the Trisan Centre. Angelo has been a member of the King Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years, as well as participating in the Township’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and serving on the board of the Toronto Area Road Builders Association for 3 years. Moving forward as president of the King Chamber of Commerce, Angelo hopes to encourage businesses, both small and large, to plant, grow and flourish in King. He would like to bring businesses together and get involved in creating a stronger and even better community. In doing this, Angelo’s goal is to promote both the Chamber, as well as the municipality, for the benefit of local business and all who live and seek to thrive in our Township. Santorelli thanked Tom Allen for all his hard work and accomplishments in serving as president of the King Chamber of Commerce for the past number of years. It is Angelo’s aim to continue the important task of serving our great community and to carry on Tom’s legacy of leadership for the Chamber. Allen will still serve as past-president. Tom is a 20-year resident of Schomberg. With Sun Life Financial, 

Tom operates a financial planning business that helps business owners achieve tax efficient money for life, manage business continuity risks and supports businesses with group benefits. Tom has been a member for 13 years and he has been on the board for seven years. 

Jay Rider serves as vice-president. Rider practicing management side labour lawyer and long-term Nobleton resident. This is Jay’s fourth year as a member of the Chamber Board and he is pleased to be this year’s incoming vice-president. As a board member Jay has led a number of Chamber governmental relations and policy initiatives, including obtaining a township-wide Retail Business Holidays Act exemption from Regional Council and the modernization of King’s sign bylaw. In addition to his service on the Chamber board, Jay volunteers as the Director of Risk Management and Head Trainer for the King Township, NobleKing and Schomberg Minor Hockey Associations and was a member of the bench staff for this year’s York-Simcoe championship winning King Rebellion Minor Midget As. David Cross is the secretary. He joined the board in February 2017, and this is his second year as secretary. David is President of W.B.Cross Co., an installer and integrator of security and home automation products. The company moved to King Township in the mid1980s and serves clients in the GTA, York Region and Barrie areas. David has lived in King Township since 1958, where he and his wife Marti have enjoyed living and raising their 6 children, first living in Nobleton and then making the big trek north to Schomberg. An active member of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, David co-chaired the building committee and was also part of the building committee of the then “new” arena in Nobleton. A committed Christian, he has served as Chairman of the Scott Mission in Toronto and on the boards of the Scott Mission, 

Angelo Santorelli, of Trisan Construction

Tyndale College, and St. Andrew’s College as well as the Toronto and North York Hunt. David has always felt that the best way to make a business successful was to listen to your customer and then provide them with what they want at a fair price; always following up to build a relationship so that the customer feels supported every step of the way. Kelly Foley, is the board treasurer. Kelly is a proud King Township citizen from a long term King Township family. Kelly has been a Chamber member for 17 years, and she’s been on the board for five years and treasurer for two. Her contribution to the development of the King community and King Economy over the last 20 years brings a unique perspective to the 2017 Chamber board. She is excited to be able to network and bring new life into the business community of King. Being a small business owner she will have understanding and compassion for up and coming businesses in the community. The King Chamber’s mission is to promote a healthy, sustainable, and environmentally responsible business climate in King Township. For more, visit kingchamber.ca

King Chamber holds AGM, elects its new board      By Mark Pavilons

THE WEEKLY SENTINEL - Thursday, February 28, 2019

Steady membership gives the King Chamber of Commerce a mandate to continue to advocate on behalf of local business.

The Chamber’s role was reaffirmed last week, during its AGM. Members gathered at the King municipal complex for a networking time, followed by a tour of the facility.

President Tom Allen, who was once again voted in to lead the group, (CORRECTION Tom Allen has not been voted in as President, elections have not taken place at this time) asked members to let the board know what matters most. Members are encouraged to be engaged and actually help the Chamber drive forward.

Making things exciting this year will be the federal election.

Some economists note it’s been 10 years since the last recession, and one is overdue. Allen said he’s not convinced the economy is fragile, but rather seems to be robust. He also asked local businesses to let the Chamber know if they’re feeling any signs of an economic slowdown.

One member wanted to know where the majority of revenue for the Chamber comes from, and how this can be increased. Allen said it’s the membership fees that carry the Chamber. A steady number of roughly 150 members provides the funds needed to operate. He said most of the events the Chamber puts on are on a break-even basis. He did point out that there’s a sub-committee, led by Zach Shoub of London Publishing, that’s trying to drive membership.

“I’d like to see us grow,” Allen said, “to improve the cash flow. But  steady is good.”

The Chamber is also constantly trying to get people and businesses connected throughout the township.

Another major role is that of business advocate. The group has credibility in its lobbying and advocacy roles, given its strong membership.

One member wanted to know about the opportunities for cross-promotion, and getting some visibility on the Chamber’s and King’s websites. Allen said business openings and similar events can be put on the website. Someone wanted to know about posting help wanted ads on it, too.

Allen said it’s never come up in the past, but is something to look into. Allen said there’s nothing wrong with promoting local opportunities to local workers.

Jamie Smyth, King’s economic development officer, said he does send out e-blasts about business events. He’s happy to join forces with the Chamber and local businesses to promote them any way he can.

The board said goodbye to a few members, and welcomed new ones. Leaving the board were Rose Dodaro, Margarida Ramoa D’Alfonsi, Tara McCarthy and Rob Payne.

Joining the board for 2019 are David Cross, Brian Speers, David Huckvale. Huckvale, of The Country Day School, said he’s been at the school for 10 years and is also a King resident. He wanted to join the Chamber because CDS is a proud member of the community and often gives back as well. “We benefit from a successful township,” he pointed out.



King Township, THURSDAY JANUARY 10. 2019

In December of 2018 the Ontario Provincial Government introduced draft legislation, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 (“Bill 66”). This omnibus legislation is being proposed for the express purpose of reducing regulatory burdens and cutting “red-tape” for businesses seeking to enter or expand in Ontario, creating new jobs and much needed economic development of Ontario’s industrial base.

One key facet of the proposed legislation is an amendment to the Planning Act that, if passed, will allow local municipalities to enact “Open For Business” (“OFB”) by-laws. Any such proposed by-law is to be subject to approval by the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Essentially, where a local municipality can establish that there is significant potential for relatively large scale commercial/industrial development creating a significant number of new jobs in the community, it can use its own by-laws and planning processes to fast-track the project approval process by by-passing certain existing regulatory requirements.

The King Chamber of Commerce (“KCC”) is the “Voice of Business” in King Township. The KCC represents over 150 small, medium and large sized businesses in King Township, and has done so as the united voice of businesses in King Township for over a decade.

The KCC supports the OFB by-law provisions being proposed in Bill 66. The proposed provisions do not require Council to act, nor can an OFB by-law be enacted without ministerial approval. Rather, Bill 66 empowers Local Council, acting reasonably, with an important planning tool to attract, secure and facilitate significant economic development opportunities and much needed job growth in King.

It is also important to emphasize that the Planning Act amendments proposed in Bill 66 apply exclusively to commercial/industrial, and not to residential, development opportunities. All of the existing rules and regulations, municipal, regional and provincial, pertaining to proposed residential development, will continue to apply.

As many are aware, King Township faces a significant existing “jobs deficit” and is definitely not on track to meet the preferred Growth Scenario of 16,000 jobs (i.e. 8755 new jobs representing a 120% increase in total employment) in King by 2041 contained in King’s approved Economic Development Strategy Plan (for further information please see attached the KCC’s previous Statement on Economic Development in King and link to King Township’s approved Economic Development Strategy Update (2018-22) http://www.king.ca/Government/Departments/Economic%20Development/Publications/Documents/Economic%20Development%20Strategy%20Update%20-%20FINAL.pdf ).

In King Township opportunities for relatively large-scale industrial and economic development and the creation of new well-paying jobs for King already exist, in both the near term and foreseeable future. For example, in the near term there may be an opportunity to attract Toromont to develop the strategically located land it presently owns at Hwy 400 and King Road. In future, there may also be opportunities to develop the strategically located lands at both Hwy 400 and Aurora Road and Hwy 400 and Davis Drive. 

The strategic location of these employment lands contiguous to interchanges on Hwy 400 provides King Township with a unique opportunity take advantage of infrastructure investments being made by higher levels of government. Further, development of the employment lands at the Hwy 400 interchanges would not, in our view, impair the movement of goods and people through our municipality in any material way and such development aligns closely with the recommendations contained in King Township’s Economic Development Strategy Update (2018-22).

If Bill 66 is enacted, all three of these land parcels could potentially be the subject of a request by Council to the Province for approval of an OFB by-law. We are confident that Council would only do so after public consultation and after carefully balancing the potential for economic development and jobs creation with the potential impacts on issues like the environment, character of the community and quality of life (e.g. increased traffic) in King.

In summary, the King Chamber’s view is that the OFB by-laws envisioned by the Bill 66 proposals enhance the potential for future economic development and quality jobs creation in King Township while ensuring that Council maintains local control over all important issues surrounding economic development, land use planning and environmental stewardship. 

What, we say, is wrong with that?

Tom Allen 

President, King Chamber of Commerce

King Chamber of Commerce - Box 381 Schomberg, L0G 1T0                                905-717-7199           info@kingchamber.ca               

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