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For the second year in a row Bassett & Walker International has won the HSBC International Business Award for excellent in doing business in Latin America. Bassett & Walker was joined on stage by other award winners, including Montreal’s Targray Technology, a supplier of high-tech materials used in solar panels, DVDs and other products; Boréalis, a Magog, Quebec-based supplier of software and systems that help companies fulfill their corporate social responsibility mandates; and Broadgrain, a Toronto broker of grains and legumes.
Held in Toronto October 23, the second annual awards recognized some of Canada’s best performers doing business beyond this nation’s borders. The 250 attendees were entertained by singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk.
Bassett and Walker’s win was particularly gratifying for Nick Walker, the food trader’s CEO—his company won the Latin America category, for the second year in a row. “This is absolutely unexpected. But we’ve got great talent in our team, great diversity and our revenue has been steadily increasing and so have our margins. It’s all great.”
Targray chief executive officer Andrew Richardson, whose company won in the Asia Pacific category, said, “Winning the award justified the efforts the team has put in, working on things that sometimes seem really difficult, especially for a Canadian company in Quebec trying to go into new markets. Sometimes it’s difficult for the staff to see how we are going to a place for us. To be recognized by others is very rewarding for everybody.”
BroadGrain Commodities CEO, Zaid Qadoumi, whose firm won in the large business category said: “The award is great and I feel very proud to have won. It’s really for the team: it pumps them up. Sometimes people like to see the recognition.” Glancing over at his colleagues from BroadGrain who were also in attendance at Toronto’s Carlu event venue, he said, “I can see them right now, they’re all pumped. It’s a fantastic feeling.”
Meanwhile, Boréalis’s youthful partners, Jules Paquette and Patrick Gregoire, said winning the small business award was important to the company. “For us, it’s a significant step because it’s a national award and one recognized by our clients internationally,”Paquette said, “because HSBC is present in the markets in which we work. Having an award at this level will help us go to the next level with our clients.”
On behalf of HSBC Bank Canada, Lindsay Gordon (the bank’s CEO), said of the international awards program: “What it’s really about is connecting Canadian companies with international opportunities, particularly outside North America. Most of the world’s growth is going to come from emerging markets. What we’re about is trying to connect Canadian companies to those opportunities. The Business without Borders program and the international awards event draw attention to that opportunity.”
And Duncan Hood, editor in chief of Canadian Business magazine, in whose offices Business without Borders Canada is produced, stated: “It’s been extremely gratifying for Canadian Business and its parent, Rogers Publishing, to work closely with HSBC on a sparkling celebration of talented Canadian firms working beyond our borders.”
Also in attendance were other finalists in the 2012 awards competition. These included, David Watson from Plaintree Systems and Fred Davidson, CEO of Energold Drilling Corp., both of whom were finalists in the Latin America category. For Energold it was the second year it had been a finalist in the HSBC International Business Awards.