Businesses operated by Conestoga graduates were in the spotlight at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards held on March 22, taking top honours as Businesses of the Year in both categories.

Blendtek Fine Ingredients is focused on developing innovative new technologies, food systems and ingredients to address the need to feed a growing world population. It was named Business of the Year for companies with one to 49 employees. President Steve Zinger, a 2006 graduate from Conestoga’s Business Administration – Marketing program, launched the business after completing his studies. Annual sales now exceed $8 million.

In addition to Business of the Year, Zinger was also honoured with the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Collaborative Structures Limited (CSL), a company that provides construction management, general contracting and design-build services for the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors, was honoured as Business of the Year for companies with 50 or more employees. President David Timlock, the company partners and many of the employees are graduates of Conestoga.

CSL has been honoured with numerous building excellence and design awards and in 2015, was named as Business of the Year by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce for companies with one to 49 employees. Currently, the company serves as general contractor for Conestoga’s Waterloo campus expansion project.

“I am delighted to offer my most sincere congratulations to these exceptional companies and all of this year’s award nominees and recipients,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We are very proud to contribute to the success and prosperity of our region through career-focused education that prepares graduates to embrace real-world challenges, strive for excellence and make a real difference to their communities.”

Conestoga graduates own more than 3,500 local businesses, ranging from single proprietorships to enterprises with hundreds of employees, from professional health services to construction services. The college’s Centre for Entrepreneurship provides opportunities for students from a wide range of programs to prepare for future success through engagement in applied research, innovation and commercialization activities.

For a list of all 2018 Business Excellence Awards recipients, visit the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.