Media Release: Celebrating the Best of Saskatchewan Business at the 2021 ABEX Awards

October 22, 2021
Celebrating the Best of Saskatchewan Business at the 2021 ABEX Awards

The ABEX Awards Presented by Conexus Credit Union are Saskatchewan’s largest and longest-running business awards program, celebrating business excellence since 1984. This year’s awards were live streamed virtually on October 22, 2021

While this year marked the second year of a virtual ABEX Awards, the selection process followed the traditional format of previous years where businesses submitted applications that were independently judged by a group of business experts. The judges reviewed the quality of the application and supporting documents and selected finalists. The winners were announced during the live stream event on Friday night.

This year’s awards theme was “Denim and Diamonds” – a fun nod to the hardworking, tough-as-diamonds Saskatchewan businesses. The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce encouraged finalists, recipients and the public to come together to celebrate in their best denim and diamonds attire by hosting their own viewing parties across Saskatchewan.

Vendasta took home top honours of the night with the ‘Business of the Year’ Award, sponsored by the David Aplin Group, as well as the Priority Focus Award for Digital Integration, sponsored by Nutrien.
“There are many excellent businesses who were finalists at this year’s ABEX Awards. Vendasta stood out because of its dedication to innovation and ability to help the business community navigate the digital world we live in today. We’re pleased to honour their great work with this award,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

Novlan Bros, based in Paradise Hill, was inducted into the ‘Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame’ for their long-term contribution to the economic well-being of the people and the province. This award is proudly presented by Conexus Credit Union.

“We are very excited to induct Novlan Bros into the Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame. The business has demonstrated resilience, growth and an innovative spirit since it first opened its doors in 1929,” said McLellan.
The Roger Phillips Chamber Builder Award was presented to Rob Clark, CEO of the Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce, for his commitment to the city of Moose Jaw, and for his significant contributions to the Chamber network in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

“Rob is a true champion of local business. Though his dedication to his city and local economy, he has helped the Moose Jaw business community remain diverse and well-supported over the past decade,” said McLellan.
Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., is the 2021 ABEX Business Leader of the Year, sponsored by the University of Regina. Murad is widely known for his leadership and entrepreneurship in the global agri-food market.

“Murad has made a remarkable contribution to the business community and Saskatchewan’s economy through his work in the agri-food sector, board governance and passion for supporting entrepreneurs,” said McLellan.
The 2021 ABEX Awards also honoured Pamela Klein, president of the Phoenix Group and Chancellor of the University of Regina, as the Community Leader of the Year, sponsored by SaskEnergy.

Pamela has a long history of community service and has dedicated her time and heart to numerous organizations in Saskatchewan, such as the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation, Camp Circle O’ Friends, North Central Family Centre Advisory and the Hospitals of Regina Foundation. She also founded the highly successful Power of Pink fundraising event, which raised $750,000 to benefit breast health.

Said McLellan, “Pam’s exemplary commitment to her community over the years through her outstanding leadership, volunteerism and mentorship is an inspiration.”

The STEP 25th Anniversary Export Award, sponsored by Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership (STEP), was presented to XPT Grain Inc. A Regina-based specialty crop exporter of Canadian pulses and grains, XPT Grain Inc. has demonstrated exceptional performance in exporting agri-food internationally, specializing in Asian markets.

2021 ABEX Awards Recipients

Innovation Award, sponsored by Saskatchewan Polytechnic: Greenwave Innovations Inc. – Regina 

Marketing Award, sponsored by Xplornet Enterprise Solutions
: Dandy’s Artisan Ice Cream – Regina

Community Involvement Award
, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP: Avana – Regina

Priority Focus Award (Digital Integration), sponsored by Nutrien: Vendasta – Saskatoon

Young Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Cameco: Cody Demerais, Limitless Gear Clothing – Prince Albert

Growth and Expansion Award, sponsored by PFM Capital Inc.: 9 Mile Legacy Brewing – Saskatoon

New Venture Award, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export Development: Curbie Cars – Saskatoon

Service Award, sponsored by CN: Clarity Coaching & Development – Regina
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice of business and represents the interests of over 10,000 individual businesses, industry associations, and local chambers across the province through its chamber network. Information on COVID-19 and all other business issues can be found on
Steve McLellan

CEO, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
Cell- 306-533-7686