2023 Business Excellence Award Judges

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Here are a few tips from our judges

  • Choose the category that will best showcase your business or organization.
  • Fill out the nomination form with as much detail as possible, within the allotted space.
  • Complete every section.
  • Be specific. Include measurables and results (facts and figures).
  • Make sure your answers directly relate to the specific criteria.
  • Pretend that you are writing this for someone who has never heard of the nominee. Judges can only consider the information you provide on the nomination form. Help us get to know your business.
  • Judges will assign a score for each section. The more thorough, comprehensive and/or informative the application, the higher the potential points score.
  • Win or lose, submitting a nomination is time well spent. It's a great opportunity to reflect and celebrate the contributions and success of your team with your team!

Business Excellence Award Judges

Krista Robinson

Krista Robinson

Head Judge

Krista first discovered the possibility of a career in libraries when helping out in her public school library. After obtaining her Master of Library and Information Science, Krista joined the Stratford Public Library in 2001 and in 2023, became Interim CEO. During her time at SPL, Krista has focused on developing a culture of learning and innovation as well as maintaining a robust technological infrastructure for SPL and the Perth County Information Network. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Library’s Strategic Plans, the rebranding of SPL, website redesign projects, various building initiatives, and the development of the Library MakerSpace.

Krista is passionate about cultivating a creative and vibrant Stratford through collaboration and partnerships and discovering new and unique ways to position the Library as a major community asset. When she's not passionately working on Library things, she can be found with her husband, son, and two dogs at their family cottage, most likely sitting on the dock with a good book. 2019 - Innovation Award Recipient - Stratford Public Library

Bill Boon

Bill Boon


I currently am the General Manager of Administration at Aisin Canada Inc. I oversee Human Resources, Finance and Health and Safety.

This is my 45th year in the automotive sector beginning working on the plant floor as a production team member and a union representative at Blackstone Industrial Products and then moving into a Supervisory role at Dana Canada Inc. in 1999 where during that time I was promoted into Human Resources. In 2007 I accepted a position as the HR Manager at Aisin Canada Inc. and in 2013 I was promoted to GM of Administration.

Having worked on the plant floor to begin my work career basically set my career path to be successful up to and including my current role. My whole career has been about working with people and understanding the day-to-day grind that they go through not only at work but home life. One thought that I share with the management staff is never forget where you came from and remember you have walked in those shoes. I pride myself on being fair, firm and consistent in daily activities at work and home and taking the time to listen.

In a long career and with the change in society's work and home life balance I have had to adjust from the 80's mindset to the current 2023 mindset. I am an avid sports person having played minor sports in Stratford along with junior baseball and Sr A hockey. I later became involved in coaching travel teams in minor hockey, baseball and soccer in Stratford.

Stratford and area is such a great community and anywhere I travel in the world for business or pleasure I am always promoting people to come and visit. The Aisin group enjoy every opportunity to visit our city, and some come have returned on a vacation with their families. My two main passions in life are my family and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Leafs have caused me some grief!

In the Netherlands, horticulture has long been not just an important industry, but a way of life. Johan immigrated to Canada in 1981 and set to work using the skills he had honed growing up in Holland. Johan officially launched A Touch of Dutch Landscaping & Garden Services in 1985 and our team and range of services have steadily grown ever since. Dawn, an integral part of the A Touch of Dutch team, has been working with Johan since the beginning In recent years, the demand for landscaping services has increased significantly, providing steady work for our team of designers and hard-working crew members. We are proud to take part in the Ontario Living Wage program, which ensures every one of our team members is compensated sustainably and competitively. On a personal note, Johan and his wife, Ann are proud parents and grandparents, spending lots of quality time with their kids and spoiling their grandkids. Johan and his team are so pleased to have served Stratford and area with professional landscaping services for the last 38 years, and look forward to carrying on the tradition for many years to come.

A Touch of Dutch Landscaping & Garden Services Business Excellence Award (Service segment) 2019

Lesley Spencer-Cooper

Lesley Spencer-Cooper


Lesley is the proud owner of Malt Management Inc. otherwise known as MALT Staging & Design located in Stratford. Her management and event career has included the Stratford Festival, Stratford Summer Music, United Way Perth-Huron, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, MISA (Municipal Information Services Association) and The Lung Association just to name a few. Lesley has had the privilege of holding positions on a number of boards including Meals on Wheels, The Friends of the Library, Stratford Tourism Alliance, the Stratford Economic Recovery Task Force and Chair of Stratford Winterfest. Lesley lives in Stratford with her husband Dan and their two children, Andrew & Emily 2022

- Entrepreneur Award Recipient - Malt Staging & Design

I currently own and operate the UPS Store #175, a business solutions center located in Stratford, Ontario. I took over the store after my husband Malcolm passed away in the Fall of 2018. We had been working together since 2006. His loss put me in the position of having to manage the store on my own, which proved to be a complex task. Albeit a difficult experience, this new role has giving me the opportunity of learning new skills, as well as allowing me to re-invent myself as a business owner.

Above all, and through the hard times, having the privilege to serve the beautiful community of Stratford has been a blessing. In October of 2022, we won the Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce business excellence award in service, and in 2021, we achieved the bronze level for outstanding sales award at the corporate level.

A little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Venezuela. My former training as a Physician and Psychotherapist presented me with a broader understanding of human nature. As such, I embrace communication, empathy, stress management, and conflict resolution. These qualities serve as the foundation of how I run my business and reflect the values and effectiveness I have been bringing to my customers over the years.

In addition, I’ve learned that business is about taking risks, facing uncertainty, making tough decisions, and that excellence is found through Knowledge, discipline, and resilience.

If I am not at the store, you can find me spending time with my family and friends or reading anything from Carl Jung and Pablo Neruda. I also enjoy cooking, interior design, and visiting museums.

It was an honor to have been selected as a judge. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Wendy Bachert

Wendy Bachert


Wendy Bachert, co-owner of the Wild Hog Country Market in Stratford, Ontario, brings her rich heritage of family entrepreneurship and excellence in customer service as a judge for this competition. Wendy attributes the success of The Wild Hog Country Market to the support, dedication and commitment of the entire Wild Hog staff/ family!

With a lineage of three generations in farming and butchery, Wendy's passion for quality and tradition underpins her approach to business. Her experience in co-navigating entrepreneurship alongside her husband and partner Marvin while nurturing a family venture into a celebrated local institution exemplifies her commitment to excellence. Wendy is excited to review all the incredible applications and is eager to support and inspire new talents that embody the innovation, dedication, and community spirit that are at the heart of her own success story.

2023 Business Excellence Award - Retail Award Winner

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