By Mamta Lulla

Wouldn’t you love to be nominated for an award by a former manager and a close friend? That’s what happened to one Tri-Region resident, Trina Lebrun.

The 44-year-old was one of the several recipients recognized by the Spruce Grove and District Chamber of Commerce recently.

Lebrun, a supervisor at Simply Health, received the Employee of the Year award and was nominated for it by a former work manager. She said she worked with her for close to seven years.

“It was a complete surprise, I had no idea,” she said, about the award.

Tegan Wendel was the recipient of the Community Volunteer of the Year award. And why wouldn’t she be given that she’s been volunteering in the Tri-Region for the last 13 years.

“The award isn’t mine, it’s ours,” said Wendel.

Some other awards given out include the Business of the Year which went to Can-Am Media – Econo-Lube and New Business of the Year was given to Orchard Berry Arrangements. The Marketer of the Year award went to Wilhauk Beef Jerky, Manager of the Year went to Krissy Sharp at Crock A Doodle and People’s Choice Award was given to Gifts and Gadgets.

According to the chamber’s website, the awards night celebrate the region’s best companies and the people behind them. It shines the light on local businesses and individuals, validating their efforts to grow.

Wendel first started volunteering in Stony Plain where she was born and raised. She moved to Spruce Grove this year, but her volunteering services stretch beyond borders.

One of the many lucky organizations that are grateful for Wendel’s help is ACT – the Achieving Community Together Inquiry team. The volunteer members support activities related to mental health, wellness and holistic living in the Tri-Region.

The award is only going to motivate Wendel to do more volunteering in the community. She said the acknowledgement is only going to drive her to do more.

What Tegan enjoys the most about volunteering is the personal connection she develops with new people that she meets.

Building new and personable connections is exactly what Lebrun enjoys about her job as well.

“I take my customers to heart,” she said.

Lebrun, who has been in the retail industry for 13 years, said she builds relationships with her customers. For example, calling to make sure they got home safe. In other instances, she has stayed on the phone with them, talking to them about their diet.

In one instance, one of the customers from Drayton Valley was expecting something for Thanksgiving but when that didn’t work out, Lebrun drove for more than an hour to make sure the package was delivered on time.

She said she likes small town stores where you are greeted and acknowledged and you feel welcome as soon as you walk in, and that’s the kind of atmosphere she has created at her workplace.