It was the first big ‘getting out’ occasion for many people in a couple of years – Distinguished Entrepreneurs Award night « Burlington Gazette

By Pepper Parr

October 22, 2022


We did a very short article on the Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Award dinner that was held on Thursday.

There was too much election material to publish.

Jeff Paikin saluting those who came to witness his being named Distinguished Entrepreneur for 2021

The event was the first that people from the construction/development community could attend – there was room for 525 people and they squeezed 531, people were actually turned away.

These events can sometimes be very very dry and prolonged. This one was different. First, the place was crowded and people were in good spirits.

They were there to witness the presentation of the awards to Jeff Paikin as the 2021 winner and Conrad Zurini as the 2022 winner of the Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Award.

Steve Paikin prepares for his part of the evening

Steve Paikin, Jeff’s brother was the MC and Ian Hanamansing of CBC National News fame did part of the introduction. He and Jeff both attended Mount Allison University in New Brunswick at the same time.

CBS’ Ian Hanamansing enjoys a selfie moment with a Chamber of Commerce staff member

The Chamber took an idea from the folks at Gogeco and seated the winners in comfortable wingback chairs where they answered questions and talked about how they saw the industry in which they were involved and deeply engaged.

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It was interesting to see the developers talk about how they see what they do.

Over the past week, the Gazette sent a reporter out into the street asking people what they thought were the important questions.

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More than 80% said – about development.

Conrad Zurini’s mother; proud of a son who has been an entrepreneur since the age of 12

Jeff Paikin said in his comments that his company builds homes for people and at the same time creates a community where children are raised.

Conrad Surini sells these houses to individuals. In his remarks, he made it clear that he fully understands the challenges people are facing in today’s market and what economists and bankers are suggesting we will be going through for some time.

Natacha Piroutz; Strategic Communications and Engagement Manager, Burlington Chamber of Commerce

Developers are the risk takers; they buy the land, pay the mortgages and wait for the right time to start digging holes and building basements and garages.

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It wasn’t just speeches. Marnie and Larry Paikin who were patrons of the Canadian Brass and managed to convince them to do a live performance.

It was an opportunity for the woman to adorn herself in her best. Natasha Piroutz, Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to ensure that the established schedule was adhered to as much as possible for events like this.

Ron Foxcroft, who was presenting Conrad Zurini, had said he wanted people to be in their cars no later than 9:00 p.m. – and that was largely how the evening ended.

This is what a SOLD OUT event looks like.

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