It's official: Elaine Su is New Westminster's top citizen of 2022.
The local librarian and children's book advocate took the Citizen/Business of the Year Award during the 2022 Platinum Awards gala, held Thursday night at the Anvil Centre. New Westminster Record readers will likely recognize her from past stories about some of her many endeavours, including a book-matching project to help families find more representative children's books; her advocacy for library funding; and a project to share the magic of Lunar New Year in her Sapperton neighbourhood.
The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce presents the awards each year to recognize local businesses and citizens for their contributions to the city. Awards were handed out on Nov. 24 in 13 categories at a cocktail-style dinner event.
"It is impossible to do good things in New West without everyone knowing," Su said in her acceptance speech. "You get an idea, and the next thing you know, the Record is calling and then the whole community is on board."
A press release from the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce notes that the theme of a supportive community was felt throughout the evening.
"This event reminded us that New Westminster has the most remarkable community, full of exceptional people," said the chamber's executive director, Angie Whitfield. "Having everyone together again celebrating successes was exactly what we needed after some very challenging years."
The 2022 Platinum Awards showcased nominees who excelled in their field and subsequently "positively impacted the community," the chamber's press release noted. Guests were welcomed with a wall of champagne and an interactive photo opportunity, followed by dinner and then dancing with DJ SWRL.
Among the night's top prize winners were Take THE Cake, which won the New Business of the Year Award; Jennifer Mackie from Kelly O'Bryan's Restaurant, who was recognized as Female Identifying Business Leader of the Year; and the Odihi Foundation, which took home Not-For-Profit of the Year.
And the winners were ...
- Service Excellence — Rain City Games
- Community Spirit Award — Good Omen
- Bernie Legge Cultural Award — Richard Chapman, Northern Electric Sound
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award — Stephanie Vu, Old Crow Coffee
- New Business of the Year — Take THE Cake
- Tourism-Based Business of the year — Inn at the Quay
- Not-for-Profit of the Year — Odihi Foundation
- Environmental Leadership Award — The Refill Stop
- Artist of the Year — S^yowah
- Female Identifying Business Leader of the Year — Jennifer Mackie, Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant
- Industry-Based Business of the Year — Kruger Products
- Citizen/Business of the Year — Elaine Su
- Top Entrepreneur under 40 — Sergey and Irina, Kozak’s Ukrainian Eatery
The winners were chosen from a list of finalists, announced at the beginning of November, that spans a diversity of businesspeople and community leaders in New West. You can find the entire finalist list here.
NOTE: This post was updated with more information and photos from the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Nov. 29.