Dan Blakeley Published: Apr 15th, 2022

Courtesy of Barrie 360, with my personal thanks for recognizing the power of pivoting. I am honoured to be selected as the first runner up in the Pivot Point Category. For those of you who are not familiar with Ask For Directions Training (the subsidiary of Grow Vantage): with the help of 19 other instructors, it is an online training program born during the pandemic: 7 self-study modules, weekly live (Zoom) coaching calls and our focus on peer mentorship, that takes a business owner through the steps of set-up (structure, marketing and finances) to growth (websites, video, social, business protection and longer term planning).

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Award Video Snippet

Thank you to the City of Barrie, former Mayor Lehman, Deputy-Mayor Barry Ward, Stephannie Schlichter (Economic Development), Dave Hyde, Sarah Young, Nicole Hankin and Caitlin Williams (Small Business Centre), the judges and everyone who helped shape and deliver this event. Congratulations to Rick Black of Black Controls (winner) and Chantal Baker of Baker Studios (2nd runner up) in our category.

Barrie’s top innovators were celebrated Thursday night at the 2021 Mayor’s Innovation Awards ceremony.

The Innovation Awards is an annual initiative recognizing and honouring the year’s most innovative solutions from Barrie businesses, individuals, and community groups.

The awards were announced at a virtual ceremony.

“Navigating the changing landscape of COVID-19 has presented extraordinary challenges over the past two years, and we want to acknowledge the businesses, individuals, and organizations whose innovative approaches and sheer determination have contributed to a resilient foundation for Barrie,” said Deputy Mayor Barry Ward. “I’m honoured to celebrate the nominees, runners-up and winners tonight, who continue to inspire those around them, including myself.”

More than 40 submissions were evaluated by 15 judges.

The winners and runners-up of the 2021 Mayor’s Innovation Awards, by category, are

Creative Collaboration

  • Theatre by the Bay and Tourism Barrie (co-winners)
  • UPlift Black and the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (first runners-up)
  • Talk is Free Theatre (second runner-up)

Pivot Point

  • Black Controls Company Inc. (winner)
  • Ask for Directions Training (first runner-up)
  • Baker Studios (second runner-up)

Community Impact

  • Michael Agema of AGEMA Work (winner)
  • Ryan’s Hope (first runner-up)  
  • YMCA of Simcoe-Muskoka (second runner-up)

Shift Disturber

  • Marcia Woods of FreshSpoke (winner)
  • Nikki Glahn of Barrie Families Unite (first runner-up)
  • Brotech Precision CNC (second runner-up)

Patricia Dent

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