The finalists are in for the Altona & District Chamber of Commerce 2023 annual award recipients. 

Business Excellence Award with eleven (11) employees or more - Buffalo Creek Mills
Buffalo Creek Mills, an oat milling company has experienced impressive growth rate. They have had a number of years of double-digit growth and currently are at their maximum capacity in the current building. The next move will need to be a newer and bigger building. Buffalo Creek Mills supports local organizations of all types, including some sports teams that they have supported both financially as well as promotionally on their social media. Also, the Kiddie Sunshine Center has been the recipient of a three-year commitment from Buffalo Creek Mills, and YFC Altona has had significant benefits as well.

Business Excellence Award with ten (10) employees or less - Altona Yoga.
Altona Yoga offers numerous classes every week for beginners to more advanced practitioners, kids, and folks with limited mobility. They have partnered with South Central Cancer Resource to offer discounted classes for those undergoing cancer treatment. Each week they have anywhere from 60-120 people walk through their doors for practice! Altona Yoga has four contract employees in addition to Susie Fisher, Owner. They also aim to raise awareness and fundraise or local initiatives including but not limited to Furever Friends Cat Rescue, Curtis Klassen Memorial Fund, Pembina Valley Pride, Genesis House, and Ginew Wellness Centre at Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation, and others.

Entrepreneur of the Year - Marlen Bergen
Marlen Bergen is the owner of KOMB Ag Services, ALT Marketing, Altona/Steinbach Memorials and Top Line Equine Feeds. He is recognized for his staffing and employee quality growth, quality control, marketing strategies, expansions/innovative ideas, overall contribution and impact on the community. Marlen states that entrepreneurship is “risk and drive with not a fear of learning from the challenges that stand in the way of seeing what the future holds. Also not allowing opportunities to go by without exploring the unknown.”

Non-Profit of the Year - Regional Connections Immigrant Services
Over the past 12 months, their Altona office has welcomed 238 newcomers to Canada as well as supported many returning clients from previous years. Regional Connections, along with Altona and area program partners, work towards supporting the success of local residents for a welcoming, integrated, and thriving local community. Their services started with an itinerant, part-time Settlement Worker operating out of a municipal office. Since 2007, they have relocated three times and expanded offices and staffing several times in order to better support local newcomers and work effectively in the community. They currently have 6 fulltime staff and 3-4 part time instructors supporting hundreds of newcomers each year through their Altona office.

The awards will be handed out during the Chamber's 2023 Annual Awards Gala happening Thursday, April 20th. The event will also feature comedian Andrew Packer.