• ABA_Airdrie-Business-Leader-w350.jpg
  • Airdrie Business Leader Award Finalists

    Submit your vote below by clicking the CAST YOUR VOTE icon. 

  • Glenn Smaha -Davis Chevrolet GMC Buick

    I was born into a farming family in Armstrong, BC, I grew up with a strong sense of community, and family, thanks to first generation Canadians, my grandparents, and a large extended family on both my mother and fathers side. I am the youngest child with three older siblings, my sister and two brothers. I remained in Armstrong until I was 19 when the early 80's recession took me to Calgary for employment before going to SAIT. In February 1984, I began what has now become a 36 year career in Automotive and SAIT took a back seat to my ambition. I began as a lot attendant and have held several positions since with many noteworthy stops along the way; The progression of my career has brought me to my present position as Managing Partner of Davis Chevrolet. My wife, Jessica, and I have been together twenty years with our son, Mykosha, and our daughter, Amaris, joining us along the way. These three are my greatest treasures and why I have worked at building a good life for all of us.

  • Heather Cowie -Airdrie Family Eye Doctors

    I am driven to make a positive difference in the world.  I am an Optometrist with a Master’s in Public Health and one of the passionate owners behind Airdrie Family Eye Doctors.  I have a real love for helping others – whether that be in developing countries or in our local community.  I believe that everyone deserves to have access to exceptional eye care.  Since the inception of our clinic, we started a “Karma Glasses” program.  This program involves our team donating their time for complimentary eye exams and our clinic covering the costs of prescription glasses to community members who are not able to cover the expense.  We have had over 50 people involved in our Karma Program.  I strive to create a supportive, compassionate and fun work environment for my team as I believe that caring for my team is the foundation to ensuring quality patient care.  I take care of my team and my team takes care of our patients.  I wholeheartedly believe that “Love is Action” and our clinic promotes and supports many local businesses, charities, nonprofits and community initiatives.  I believe that it is essential to give back more than you take and I am committed to having our actions match this belief.  It is a privilege to own a local business and I am so grateful to have this opportunity. Eye love Airdrie.

  • Jacqui Jepson -The Pink Wand Cleaning Services Ltd.

    My name is Jacqui Jepson, and I am the President of the Pink Wand Cleaning Ltd. & Licensing Inc. My first job was cleaning my dad’s office in the late 1980’s, little did I know this would begin my future business career and life journey to entrepreneurship. I am proud to say that 12 years later I am living my entrepreneurial dream of supporting over 40 amazing team members. We love being part of the Airdrie business community and embrace a ‘Shine up our Community’ philosophy which encourages each of us to give back to the community that continues to support us. The Pink Wand Cleaning Services takes immense pride giving the gift of clean to people who are facing challenging or difficult times.  Another part of this mentality is to actively support various community agencies in each of the areas we serve and host our very own grassroots “Clean for a Cause”. I consider my greatest achievements to be my family as well as maintaining and adapting my business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Shelley Bitz -BMO Financial Group

    I believe as a leader you should lead by example and giving back to your community is one of many ways to accomplish this.  I have been volunteering  in Airdrie for 30 years in various capacities for many different organizations starting with ringing a bell by a donation bin the first year of the Festival of Lights.  My Greatest achievement will always be my Daughter, always leading by example and showing her the value of community, hard work, honesty and the true value in giving your time. Some of my most valuable volunteer contributions have been done in the last 18 years, as I have increasingly become a more active part of the business community. I have worked with many non-profits on committees, or by lending a helping hand with my time.  I have helped create and lead many events that raise money for non profit organizations that are close to my heart such as Rotary, Airdrie Health Foundation, Thumbs Up and Airdrie Foundation.  I have devoted time and heart into assisting with businesses struggling or in need of direction and/or financing expertise. My leadership is bringing people together, people helping people with the things they need or do not know in their business. Giving a supportive talk on how to overcome challenges, and how to get to the next step as they succeed.

  • Tara Pickford -Ambition Performing Arts Inc.

    We are a Performing Arts School offering Dance, Music, & Theatre classes for all ages & abilities.

    Parents need quality programming that they can feel good about investing in that matches their values. We work hard to provide a family first atmosphere, with a focus on age appropriate development & happy, healthy training that teaches life skills through the arts. 

    We do this while setting the gold standard business practices & technology in our industry.

    Families are able to choose their level of participation from a variety of programming options. The magic here lies in tailor-made schedules and experiences that foster our students today, while creating leaders for tomorrow. We know that less than 5% of our students will become Professional Performers, but all of our students will use the life skills gained throughout their education with Ambition Performing Arts. 

    Simply put: We raise tomorrow's leaders through the arts, and this is important work!

  • Wendy Bates -The Hair Lounge

    My name is Wendy Bates, and I am the owner of The Hair Lounge. For the past 12 years, I have been proud to operate in the community of Airdrie and will continue to strive to support a community that supports us.

    We welcome opportunities to work with our community partners in fundraising and each year participate in local silent auctions through donations. Further to that our team has offered our “$10 Haircut Day” annually for an affordable way to get their children ready and feeling great for back to school with proceeds going to the Airdrie Food Bank, Snack Attack Program and the school Breakfast Program. To date, this event has raised over $38k and offered cuts to over 1,200 school kids!

    Another team initiative is the “Girls Night Out”. Over the years, this event has raised $20k to support the Airdrie Food bank as well as the Airdrie Health Foundation.

    We are so fortunate to be in a position to work and support these local organizations.