Eight outstanding Gold Coast business and non-profit entities were crowned as official local standouts at the Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business Awards.

Southern Gold Coast's Leading Businesses Announced at the Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business Awards

Gold Coast, Thursday September 3, 2009 – Winners of the Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business Awards were announced this morning at a gala breakfast hosted at iconic Gold Coast tourism attraction, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Crowning eight outstanding businesses performers in front of a large audience of local business identities, the awards showcased the dynamic and innovative businesses and not-for-profit organizations on the southern Gold Coast, and rewarded their outstanding achievements and contributions to the wider community.
Event MCs Chamber President Darren Mackintosh and Channel 7 personality Liz Cantor shared hosting duties throughout the morning, announcing the award category winners as follows:


Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce 2009 Award Winners

· Currumbin RSL Under 25 Business Achiever Award
Winner: Melina North - Bendigo Bank Tugun

With no previous banking experience or formal qualifications, Melina started her career with her employer Bendigo Bank at age 19. Starting out as a counter Customer Service Officer, Melina has progressed through the ranks to Senior CSO. After only three years at the Tugun Bendigo Bank branch, Melina is now a Customer Relationship Officer (2nd in charge) and is very passionate about the Community Bank Model, which she strongly believes is a benefit to the communities in which they trade.

· Coldwell Banker Business Achiever Award: Non Profit/Community Organisation
Winner: Gecko Regen

Ensuring our precious local environment is well taken care of, Gecko Regen is an environmental management company that operates a native plant nursery and provides essential environmental services such as natural area regeneration, revegetation, and environmental consultancy. Over the past ten years Gecko Regen has planted over 1,500,000 trees in South East Queensland, and have strived to live up to their mission statement of improving the environment while caring for the community and maintaining a sustainable business.


· Business Achiever Award: Product or Service Innovation
Winner: Swell Sculpture Festival; Recognition as a leading Gold Coast event

Having started out as a humble two day event featuring a handful of sculptures seven years ago, the Swell Sculpture Festival has swelled into a monumental ten day event that sweeps the imagination of over 50 artists into creating world-class works of art to be displayed on the sandy showcase of Currumbin beachfront each September. Drawing thousands of visitors into the area, the event is made possible by a team of volunteers and the support of local council and businesses like the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Swell is a local success story and a shining beacon for culture and arts on the Gold Coast, and also includes school programs and kids classes to promote art to the next generation.


· Connecting Southern Gold Coast Special Achievement Award: Business or Individual
Winner: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - Green Guardian Program

Green Guardian is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s conservation program designed to deliver tangible benefits for native wildlife, the community and future generations. Funds raised through the Green Guardian program directly benefit Australian wildlife through protection and conservation via valuable research and veterinary services delivered by the Sanctuary. Current projects include building a new Conservation Research Centre and Wildlife Hospital to continue the Sanctuary’s vital work. Unlike other major zoos, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is not government-funded and relies on its commercial activities to support its purpose – wildlife education, conservation and research.


· Bayview Enterprises Business Achiever Award: 5 Employees or Less
Winner: Status Technology Systems - Palm Beach

Status Technology Systems is committed to providing the best audio-visual and technology solutions using the latest and most stable components available. The business has been operating for the past 3 years in Palm Beach and focuses on both retail and installation. Their goal is give the best experience whether it is a small surround set up in the living room, multi room audio throughout the house or dedicated home theater or state of the art smart home.

· Business Achiever Award: 6-30 Employees
Winner: Wilson National Currumbin

This Currumbin-based residential and commercial lender is responsibly growing its business. In 2007 Wilson National became Australia's first carbon neutral full-service lender. But recent innovations also include Wilson National White Label, a wholesale program that has been taken up by leading Australian brands like Bartercard and The Australian Stock Report.


· Business Achiever Award: 30-plus Employees
Winner: Currumbin RSL Club

Although it is known as one of the largest and most successful entertainment venues on the Gold Coast, the Currumbin RSL goes a step further by bringing the entire community together – it assists Australian vetrans through its Vetran Support Centre, contributes around $140,000 in cash donations to schools, youth sport and community groups in the region each year via its Community Benefit Fund, and hosts numerous free community events like D'Alliance and Christmas by the Creek.


· Inology Business Achiever Award: Home-based Business
Winner: Monster Baby Clothing – Palm Beach

Palm Beach mother of three Jo Wilcox started Monster Baby Clothing out of a desire to create hip fashion-savvy clothes for her youngsters. Yet what started out as a hobby side-project in her garage has blossomed into an international success. Monster Baby Clothing is a boutique label for children and toddlers with real “rockabilly rebel” influence. The label currently ships to up-market retail outlets across Australia and the globe, and exports to the US, Canada, UK, Spain, France, NZ and Asia.
Operating since 2006 and selling both wholesale and direct retail online, Monster Baby enjoys contributing to the local community and chooses different children’s charities to donate goods to each year, including past recipients Bonnie Babes, Lifehouse, Alola Foundation and the Children with Cancer Charity Morning Tea at the Royal Childrens Hospital.


· Honorary Mention: Outstanding Community Service
Recipient: Margie Gardner – Owner, Sign-A-Rama West Burleigh

With a sharp business sense that has seen Margie Gardner increase her family businesses turn-over by a staggering 217% since taking over Sign-A-Rama in 2004, Margie still finds time to dedicate herself to service to the community and has actively assisted in raising much-needed funds and awareness for over 20 worthy causes and charity organisations, including Paradise Kids, Homeless Connect and the Victorian bushfire appeal.

The Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business Awards were proudly supported by leading local Gold Coast businesses including Currumbin RSL, Coldwell Banker Palm Beach, Inology, Bayview Enterprises, and special awards partner Connecting Southern Gold Coast.

View all the event photos here

For press ready images, finalists profiles and all media enquiries, contact:
Carolyn Ridings Emge
Soul Arch Media & Marketing
Phone: + 61 (0) 7 55358812 / 0415310193
Email: caz (at) soularchmedia.com


About Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce:

The Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce is the peak business body for the Palm Beach, Currumbin, Tugun, Tallebudgera and Elanora region of the southern Gold Coast.
The Creek to Creek Chamber of Commerce has regular monthly events featuring speakers from leading business, special interest and political backgrounds. These events are a chance to meet and network with other business leaders from the local area and formulate opinion on issues facing the region.

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