Entrepreneurial Achievement award – acceptance speech!

Last night was the 27th Outstanding Business Achievement Awards held by the Saint John Board of Trade.
I was lucky enough to be a finalist in the Entrepreneurial Achievement, and found out last night that I won.

Several people asked if they could read my speech as there was some ‘discussion’ over it and since some of the people that I pay tribute weren’t there – I thought I’d post it.

Some details of course were ‘ad-libbed’ which was where things got ‘steamy’ 🙂

I will post a complete post later in the week with pictures, etc. but for now, here’s what I delivered from the stage:


“First of all, I want to congratulate Thandi’s for their entrepreneurial excellence… to say nothing of their amazing butter chicken! And, warm congratulations too to Peter Stoddard of the Saint John Ale House. Peter – your hard work, your generosity and your unwavering commitment to making this city a great place to live, epitomizes ‘entrepreneurial excellence.’ I look forward to the after party in the Saint John Ale House bar….(ad-libbed – and the many expensive drinks you are going to buy me!)

A very warm shout out to the Saint John Board of Trade for making this event happen. As someone who’s been in the event industry a long time I know these things don’t run themselves. For all the hard work of your volunteers and staff, I thank you.

Thank you, too, to Peter Buckland for nominating PUNCH. I can think of no one I’d rather have offering me the first vote of support for this amazing award.

I am so grateful tonight for your support and the endorsement this award represents. And although I am the one holding this award, it actually belongs to a much larger community of individuals. Truly, this recognition has everything to do with the talented, supportive, creative and intensely passionate people I’ve surrounded myself with over the years. As you heard me say in the film earlier, we are only as good as the individuals we surround ourselves with, and in that regard I have to been very fortunate indeed.

This might sound a bit odd in a corporate | business setting, but my business philosophy really comes down to one word: LOVE

I LOVE this crazy little City of Saint John.

I LOVE the willingness and eagerness of the arts community, the business community, the non-profit communities to work together and support each other.

I LOVE my colleagues. I LOVE my clients. I LOVE my family. I LOVE my friends.

And in the spirit of love, I want now to briefly recognize a few people whose love and support I am particularly grateful for.

Mark Leger and Janet Scott – our crazy years of partnership at here newspaper were amazing;

Chris Lloyd for all your artistic support and friendship in running the Space Galleries;

Peter Smit, my former business partner, former husband and now best friend – I am deeply appreciative of your love and support and so very proud of our little wine bar that could!

Stephen Kopp and Monica Adair – building our dream house with your guidance, passion and vision is nothing short of life-altering. You will always have a key to our new house.

Jack and Suzanne Hill – I’m just so grateful for your love and friendship over the years. You are the best surrogate parents anyone could hope for.

Of course, my biggest thank you goes to Robert Moore, my husband who, although I still can’t quite wrap my mind around it, loves and supports me in ways that I didn’t dream were possible.

(ad – libbed – something like “Talk about Love. Call the Hilton Robert – we better book a room!)

Finally, in closing, I want to acknowledge my parents, BERT and MARY MITCHELL, who were my best friends and biggest fans. It was their love that gave me a place and taught me how to be in this world.
I accept this award in their memory.

Thank you so much.”


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