(902) 838-3131


Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Business Excellence Awards recipients


Montague, PEI February 20, 2018 –  On February 13th, the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce joined over 150 leaders in business, government and community to celebrate the achievements of outstanding local businesses, organizations and individuals at the EPEICC Business and Community Excellence Awards Banquet.

“The Eastern region is fortunate to have so many great businesses and innovative entrepreneurs,” explains Russell Compton, Acting President of the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce. ” The Business and Community Excellence Awards Banquet gives us a chance to showcase some of the amazing business talent that we have here in Eastern PEI,” noted Mr. Compton.  “This annual event is a great opportunity to recognize and reward outstanding performances of business excellence, while continuing to encourage the entrepreneurial and community spirit Prince Edward Island is known for.”

Recipients of this year’s 2018 Awards were selected from a robust list of finalists and nominees from across eastern PEI and are:

Provincial Credit Union, Excellence in Business Award:
Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge

Grant Thornton, Emerging Business Growth Potential Award:
Seaside Innovation Inc.

MRSB, Pillar of the Community Impact Award:
Scott Annear

Innovation PEI, Employee of the Year Award:
Sandra Smith, Baker’s Corner Express + Petro Canada


The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce was also excited to host and receive remarks from Her Honour the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island and from the Honourable Chris Palmer, Minister responsible for Economic Development and Tourism.

This year’s banquet took place at the St Peter’s Bay Complex in St Peter’s Bay.  In addition to the Excellence in Business Awards, it included a keynote presentation sponsored by CDBC and delivered by Michel Neray on Powerful Storytelling.  Michel shared inspiring stories which kept the audience engaged.

Martina Macdonald, General Manager with CBDC noted, “These awards confirm people want to celebrate the successes in our community and spread the message that eastern Prince Edward Island is a great place to live, work and do business.”  She urges everyone to consider nominations for the next year.  It is a great way to honour those in your business community that go above and beyond.



Winners of the 11th Annual Business and Community Excellence Awards

Eastern PEI Chamber Encourages Members & Individuals to Attend Public Meeting

Eastern Chamber Encourages Members & Public to Attend Public Meeting



Montague, PEI – 8 February 2018  The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce (EPEICC) encourages all members and the concerned public to attend a public meeting between Northern Pulp and the PEI Standing Committee for Agriculture and Fisheries to be held on Friday, Feb. 16th – 10:00 am at the George Coles Building in Charlottetown.

“The EPEICC’s mission is to disseminate the information from all points of view and keep our membership and the concerned public well informed,” said Russ Compton, Vice President of the EPEICC.

“The EPEICC Board of Directors feel that it is important that concerned chamber members and the public be informed of the proposed pipeline that will pump effluent directly into the prime fishing grounds of the Northumberland Straight,” said Russ Compton, Vice President of the EPEICC. “Representatives from the EPEICC board will be in attendance and we encourage everyone to attend.”

The EPEICC requested that the PEI Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA), Friends of the Northumberland Straight and Northern Pulp participate in a public information session. However, Northern Pulp elected to meet directly with the PEI Standing Committee for Agriculture & Fisheries. While this is not the meeting that the EPEICC had originally requested, we strongly encourage the members of our community to attend and be informed.


For more information, contact:

Tara Burke, EPEICC Communications, tara@navigatefoodsafety.com 902 940-1339


Russell L Compton, EPEICC Acting President, rcompton@norcanmarine.com 902 394-2616



For Immediate Release

February 1, 2018 – Charlottetown PEI

Junior Achievement of Prince Edward Island is pleased to announce the 2018 Inductees into the PEI Business Hall of Fame.

Jason Aspin – Entrepreneur In The PEI Technology And Marine Industries

Michael F. Cassidy – Excellence In Business And Community Leadership

Rita & Angus MacCormack – Entrepreneurs In The PEI Real Estate And Construction Industry

The Business Hall of Fame was established by Junior Achievement of Prince Edward Island, to provide a forum to pay tribute to Island business people who have made an outstanding and enduring contribution to business development in the Province.

Inductees are selected for their vision, standards of excellence, determination, willingness to take risks, contribution to their community and to the prosperity of our Province.

Junior Achievement is an international non-profit organization dedicated to teaching young people the principles and dynamics of business and the free enterprise system.  On PEI some 5,500 students are enrolled in JA programs in schools across the Province.

The business leaders will be formally inducted into the PEI Business Hall of Fame on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at a Gala Dinner at the Delta Hotels by Marriot Prince Edward in Charlottetown.  Tickets for this event are available through Junior Achievement PEI.  


For More Information, contact:

Betty Ferguson, CEO, Junior Achievement, PEI, 902 892-6066



Jason Aspin co-founded Aspin Kemp and Associates (AKA) in 1996. Since graduating in marine engineering from the Canadian Coast Guard College in 1987 with specializations in power engineering and systems integration, he has built over 30 years of progressive experience in systems engineering in the Marine, Offshore and Industrial environments. As an innovator, he dedicates his time to designing solutions which are both socially and environmentally responsible. He has collaborated with other global innovators to develop new technologies of which several have been patented and have made a significant contribution in reducing the environmental footprint, increasing reliability and reducing operating costs for marine and power generation systems around the world.

Jason plays an active role in support of several other Island businesses and when possible shares knowledge, financial support and time with various organizations, educational institutions and community initiatives. Although Jason spent almost 20 years off-Island working in various parts of the world, he grew up on a farm in Eastern PEI and went to high school in Montague. In 2007, Jason returned to PEI and established this as AKA’s base for engineering and manufacturing for the company. In addition to Jason and his wife making PEI their home and raising their family here; their company has been responsible for similar stories for many other families from around the world that now call PEI home.

It is with great pride that we include Jason Aspin into the Junior Achievement PEI Business Hall of Fame.  

Eastern Chamber Celebrates Business Excellence in Eastern PEI

MONTAGUE – Jan. 16, 2018 – The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce will host the Annual Business and Community Excellence Awards sponsored in part with CBDC.  This the 11th year for this outstanding event that will be held Tuesday, February 13th, at the St. Peter’s Bay Complex, 1968 Old Cardigan Road, St Peter’s Bay.

The evening kicks off at 6PM with a stand-up reception and three-course meal followed by keynote presenter, Michel Neray.  Michel is a professional speaker, consultant and founder of momondays who will engage and entertain you in the art of story telling.  Michel has helped thousands of individuals craft and perform ‘purposeful’ stories to become more effective leaders, salespeople, coaches, teachers, trainers, speakers, and influencers of all types. He also uses Purposeful Storytelling to more effectively differentiate, position and brand organizations in the market.

The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce will celebrate members’ successes, innovations and contributions to the Eastern community. This wonderful event recognizes businesses, entrepreneurs and community leaders who have demonstrated excellence in four different categories:

The Provincial Credit Union Business Excellence Award, which recognizes those companies who have demonstrated excellence in business operation. This year’s nominees are Kings County Construction (Montague), Bohemian Findings (St. Peter’s Bay) and Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge (Belfast).

The Grant Thornton Emerging Business, Growth Potential Award, which recognizes companies that have achieved outstanding business performance in a short period of time and have demonstrated exceptional promise of continued growth. This year’s nominees are East Coast Paddle Adventures (Souris), Shiny Paint Art Company. (Montague), and Seaside Innovation Inc. (Souris).

MRSB Pillar of the Community – Impact Award, which recognizes the organizations or individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to the economic, social and cultural well-being of one or all the communities in Eastern PEI. This year’s nominees are the Eastern Kings Sports Council (Souris), Town of Montague (Montague) and Scott Annear (Brudenell) and the Southeast Environmental Association.

Innovation PEI Employee of the Year Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated community pride and a commitment to making Eastern PEI a positive place to live and work. This year’s nominees are Loretta Campbell of Chef Michael Smith’s Flavour Shack, Ayden Clinton and David Stewart of Main Street Pharmasave and Sandra Smith from Baker’s Corner Express, Montague.

The Business and Community Excellence Awards is an important community-building and social event for local businesses.   “It’s exciting,” said Martina Macdonald, General Manager, Active Communities East , “Nominations in each category will have to be narrowed down to only one very deserving candidate, and seeing the nominations involved, it will be a tough task for the selection committee”.

“We are proud of all the nominees and entrepreneurs who are doing business at home,” says Paul Lypaczewski, President of the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce.  “It is a demonstration of giving back to those who have worked so hard to make vibrant communities in eastern Prince Edward Island.”

Everyone is invited to attend what is expected to be the premier business event of the year. You are encouraged to reserve your tickets early by going online  www.epeiccawards.eventbrite.com or by contacting the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce office at (902) 838-3131 or info@epeicc.ca.

Let’s Talk Energy with Maritime Electric

There is no charge for the event, but pre-registration is required. Please register early to guarantee your spot.

For more information contact:

Marie Lavie

Managing Director at the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce




Concerns Over Proposed Effluent in Northumberland Strait

EPEICC Supports Efforts of Island Fishers


Montague, PEI – 15 December 2017

The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce (EPEICC) today expressed support for the PEIFA in their concerns over the proposed plans for Northern Pulp to discharge effluent into the Northumberland Strait.

“The fishers of the Northumberland Strait and the Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence that make their living in these waters have legitimate concerns over this plan,” said Paul Lypaczewski, president of the EPEICC.  “The fishery is one of the economic backbones of the Prince Edward Island economy. Any potential threat to this activity should be carefully considered, and we share the concerns of our fishers around the effluent plan and the limited environmental review. This decision will have a direct impact upon both sides of the Strait, the Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence and connected waters.“

Mr. Lypaczewski noted that every fishing operation represents an independent business. “The EPEICC is the Chamber representing the region of PEI directly across from this mill, including our many fishers. We fully support our local businesses when they are exposed to an avoidable threat.”


For more information, contact:

Paul Lypaczewski, EPEICC President plpacz@gmail.com 902 393-4749


Russell L Compton, EPEICC Vice President rcompton@norcanmarine.com 902 394-2616

Great things happening in Eastern PEI

Press Release: December 8, 2017

Renovated Georgetown Timber mill brings jobs, business to Kings County

Creating jobs for Islanders –

In just over a year, the former Georgetown Timber mill has changed from an empty shell to a magnet that is attracting employers and skilled workers to eastern Kings County.

The 40,000 square foot former mill was converted into a multi-tenant facility in August 2016. Stainless-steel equipment manufacturer Eastern Fabricators moved in as the founding tenant.

Wind turbine maker Frontier Power Systems became the second tenant in December 2016, signing a 10-year lease for a 10,800 square foot building to manufacture wind turbine blades. Between the two companies, the facility could see upwards of 50 workers on site.

 “There’s a lot of activity happening at the Georgetown Timber yard and it’s very exciting. Employers are finding skilled workers here looking for jobs – people like red-seal welders,” says Perry Gotell, a board member of Georgetown Port Inc.

“It’s good timing in a way. With the slowdown in Alberta we had a lot of people come back home who had been working in the oil business, and now they’d like to stay. The companies opening at Georgetown Timber are letting them do that.”

As part of its commitment to creating jobs for Islanders, the Government of Prince Edward Island partnered with ACOA to help Georgetown Port Inc. (GPI) revitalize the Georgetown Timber property in August 2016. Finance PEI owns the property and has leased the property to GPI.

Gotell said he has been happy to see activity and work at a site that had been languishing.

“It’s good work, hands-on work and there has been steady growth,” he said. “It’s great to see a lot of cars at that building, because people are there working every day.

“That shipyard is the big one, we want to see that operating and we keep our eyes open for opportunities. But we are also being creative about the possibilities for jobs and development here in Georgetown,” Gotell said.

 “We want to be diverse and strong to contribute to the economy of this region.”

The provincial government loaned GPI $1.9 million through the P.E.I. Century Fund to help renovate the facility, while Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided $750,000 through its Innovative Communities Fund.

Learn more about Finance PEI.

Eastern PEI Business Christmas Party

Press Release

November 21, 2017



The Eastern PEI Business Christmas Party with Mark Haines

Celebrate with Island East Tourism Group, Rural Action Centres and the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce

MONTAGUE, PE – On December 13th the Eastern PEI Business Christmas Party will take place at Lot 45 Pub and Eatery at 41 Breakwater St, Souris from 5 to 7 pm. Musical entertainment by Mark Haines, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will ensure a festive evening for all.

Hosts Island East Tourism Group, Rural Action Centres and the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce invite all entrepreneurs, businesses and staff to attend. To RSVP or for more information contact Chantale Ansems at 902-838-4030 or chantale.ansems@cbdc.ca.





Martina MacDonald               Rural Action Centre                                (902) 838-4030

Patsy Gotell                              Island East Tourism Group                   (902) 838-4030

Marie Lavie                              Eastern PEI Chamber                              (902) 838 3131


Eastern Chamber shouts about the success of Explore Economics East!

Eastern Chamber shouts about the success of Explore Economics East!

 Montague, PE, November 8, 2017

The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2nd Annual Explore Economics East Conference November 4th at the King’s Playhouse in Georgetown, sponsored by Credit Unions of PEI, NorCan Marine Ltd, Aspin Kemp Associates and Innovation PEI.

Nicole Verkindt captivated the audience with her keynote, deliberating the myth of the ‘overnight success,’ the importance of resilience in the face of difficulty, and the importance of small business to the Canadian economy.

The First Panel, “Finding a Niche in the Market and Market in the Niche” featured Frances Sands of Eastern Kings Rustic Timber, Starla Wilson of Shiny Paint, Sherri Spatuk and Mark Mahar of M4G Alternative Housing, and Kim Doherty-Smith of Fleece and Harmony.  Prompted by MC, Maureen Hanley, these up-and-coming businesses discussed their ability to find and fulfill niche markets, scaling their work, distribution and success by leveraging the unique skills of both partners in their company.

The Second panel “Being Relevant and Staying Relevant” starred Rose Viaene of the Chuckwagon Farm Market, Jeff Beck of Beck’s Home Furniture, Karen Creighan of Main Street Pharmasave, and Brodie Rice of A.M. Auto Parts.  As more established businesses, they discussed targeting a varied audience, making their business a destination point and the importance of maintaining connections.

Thanks to the strong support of our many sponsors, the event was a huge success due to the presence and strength of the Eastern PEI business community, with over 100 businesses in attendance.

“This conference is growing to be a premier networking and educational event for the Eastern PEI business community,” stated Paul Lypaczewski, president of the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce. “We have a vibrant, growing and dynamic economy in Eastern PEI, with world-class companies. Our goal is to bring together entrepreneurs from the whole region, and encourage them to work together and learn from each other.”


ABOUT EPEICC – The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting its member’ businesses and economic environment of the community.  They are committed to the growth and success of Eastern PEI businesses.

Hot off the press! (Eastern Graphic) – Oct 25, 2017

2nd Annual Explore Economics East Conference to showcase business successes – by Charlotte MacAulay

Eastern PEI is home to world class businesses which is something worth celebrating.

Marie LaVie, executive director of the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce, said the best way to do that is showcase these pillars of the community by coming together to hear their diverse stories at the second annual Explore Economics East Conference.

Two panels of local entrepreneurs will share their stories at the event along with award winning keynote speaker Nicole Verkindt, founder and CEO of OMX and Dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den.

The first panel, Finding a Niche in the Market and a Market in the Niche, will feature Rose Viaene of Chuckwagon Farm Market, Starla and Ryan Wilson of Shiny Paint Company, Sherri Spatuk and Mark Mahar of M4G Affordable Housing, and Kim Doherty-Smith of Fleece and Harmony.

“There is opportunity here and we need to get those good news stories out there so people can see these opportunities,” Ms LaVie said, describing how panel members have taken their unique talents and carved out a place to do business right here.

Tickets are selling fast for the event to be held on Saturday, November 4, from noon to 5:30pm at the Kings Playhouse in Georgetown. The conference is sponsored by PEI Credit Unions, Aspin Kemp & Associates and NorCan Marine Inc.

The second panel, Being Relevant and Staying Relevant, will highlight Doug Nobles of Belfast Mini Mills, Barry and Jeff Beck of Beck’s Home Furniture, Karen Creighan of Main Street Pharmasave, and Brodie Rice of AM Auto Parts, all business owners who with vast experience who are staples in their communities.

“These are folks who have been in business for a long time and they are rolling with the punches,” Ms LaVie said. “They keep reinventing themselves to stay in business.”

When it comes right down to it is about being proud of your community and what is in it, said chamber communications director Tara Burke.

“In this conference we are talking about business, but without businesses in those communities what would we have?” Ms Burke said.

Attending this conference is another way in which residents can support business, she added.

Ms Verkindt’s experience will only enhance the stories of local entrepreneurs.

She first worked with her family’s aerospace business, and went on to found her own company, Offset Market Exchange, in 2011. With OMX, she invented a software solution to match aerospace companies with Canadian technology partners and she continues to grow the company internationally.

She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs learn the power of refusing to accept no as an answer when developing a business.

Just last week Ms Verkindt was the recipient of the 2017 National Start up Canada Women Entrepreneur Award. She believes the root of any success is about attitude – being optimistic and open to new ideas, and about collaboration. She recognizes that PEI is made up of tight-knit communities which she sees as a competitive business advantage because the businesses and individuals collaborate by sharing information and supporting each other.

The conference is an opportunity for just such sharing, Ms LaVie said, noting there is no better way for community members and budding entrepreneurs to derive information from these seasoned business owners.

The Eastern Prince Edward Island Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the businesses grow and reach their full potential.

For tickets, please visit eeeast.eventbrite.ca For more information contact info@epeicc.ca or call 902-838-3131.