Workforce WindsorEssex awards employee-invested company

Workforce WindsorEssex awards employee-invested company

Southland Insurance invests in a world-class workforce

By Veronica Samek

On Friday the Leamington and District Chamber of Commerce held their annual Business Excellence Awards at the Portuguese Club, honouring nominated local companies with special guest speaker Sandra Pupatello.

Eight companies were awarded for their excellence in service, technology, recognizing new business and world-class business practices. New to the ceremony this year was the "Invest in a World-Class Workforce” award sponsored by Workforce WindsorEssex.  

Nick Mastronardi, president of the Leamington and District Chamber of Commerce, said the award was developed after several years of news reporting layoffs, downsizing and possible bankruptcies.

“It is in these times that the top performing companies realize that their greatest asset is their employees,” said Mastronardi.

“The companies that thrive now and in the future put forth an effort and expense to invest in their workforce, ensuring that product knowledge and proper customer service is instilled in each member of their organization.”

This year the award was given to Southland Insurance for recognizing the value of their employees and developing successful training and educational opportunities ensuring career growth.  Stephen Savage, general manager of Southland Insurance Brokers Inc. accepted the award, presented by Workforce WindsorEssex treasurer, Dr. Omer Hageniers.

“Our human resource is our best resource. Many of you have heard this type of lip service before, but at Southland we actually believe it,” said Savage during his acceptance speech.

“We need people that are emotionally engaged in this business, that are passionate about what they do.”

Southland practices in-house training and licensing programs, a policy of internal promotion first, continuing education requirements, and celebrating employee success. Savage said this has significantly improved their bottom-line.  By investing in their people they have created a reliable referral program for prospective employees, maintained employee retention and generated Southland ambassadors, who promote and uphold the companies vision and values.

“We trust that if you’re not investing you should consider doing so; it makes good business sense.”

Included in the night’s festivities, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello, spoke about the importance of local businesses and their contribution to our overall economy.  Minister Pupatello pointed out that Ontario is in a state of gradual recovery, regarding Ontario as the leader in the fight to rebuild themselves economically.

“It’s not how you fell down, it’s how you got up,” said Pupatello, suggested businesses in attendance were good examples of opportunists making full use of global marketing.

“We’re more aggressive to tell an Ontario story on a global scale and I’m delighted to meet those excellent businesses today.”


Watch video of Stephen Savage's reaction to winning the award and Sandra Pupatello talking about EnerQuest Services Inc., a company that went from auto to green energy manufacturing.


Mary Ann Wenzler-Wiebe (Workforce WindsorEssex), Stephen Savage (Southerland Insurance), Dr. Omer Hageniers (Workforce WindsorEssex)


Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello, guest speaks at The Leamington & District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2010.


Yvonne Pilon (Softech Alliance), Stephanie Pilon, Henry Wiebe, Mary Ann Wenzler-Wiebe (Workforce WindsorEssex), Stephen Savage (Southland Insurance), Marilyn Hageniers, Dr. Omer Hageniers (Workforce WindsorEssex), Donna Marentette (Workforce WindsorEssex), Ray Marentette

Short URL:


  • 2015 (13)
  • 2014 (39)
  • 2013 (48)
  • 2012 (54)
  • 2011 (81)
  • 2010 (44)

Popular Tags