On Thursday, June 8, the Alberta mortgage industry gathered to celebrate their hard work and cheer on the AMBACelebrates nominees at the reimagined Awards + Recognition Gala. Over 160 people flocked to the event, their finest cocktail attire shimmering in the bright sunshine. The celebration kicked off at the lively cocktail hour, where attendees sipped on the signature cocktail, snagged a cigar at the cigar station, and jumped into the photo booth (if you mislaid your photo, not to worry – click here to find a digital copy).
AMBA Chair Pam Pikkert began the evening’s program by sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the care and hard work of the Awards & Recognition Committee, the AMBACelebrates Judging Subcommittee and the staff team that culminated in a new vision of the AMBACelebrates awards and recognition program. Before passing the mic to our emcee, she toasted the nominees:
“Tonight’s award nominees are pioneers of excellence in our industry and their commitment to outstanding customer service, innovative solutions, and unwavering professionalism has made them stand out from the crowd. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to each of our nominees for their achievements. Your dedication, hard work, and relentless pursuit of excellence have made a significant impact on the mortgage industry, and our association.”
Comedian Julie Kim then took the stage, announcing the winners of the first three categories:
Mortgage Broker of the Year Award – Tara Borle
Industry Partner of the Year Award – Bhavna Bhasin
New Mortgage Broker of the Year Award – Jessica Yip
Community Impact Award – Brian Gentles
The program took a brief break while guests enjoyed dinner, before continuing the awards by announcing the winners of the mentorship and professionalism categories:
Broker-Owner Mentorship Award – Sarah Strauss
Peer Mentorship Award – Amanda Woolward
Industry Professional Mentorship Award – Braden Gabert
Professional Development Award – Hayley Cross
Association Supporter Award – Jason Provencher
Support Staff Award – Julie Windebank
Our 2022-2023 AMBA volunteers were then recognized on stage for their commitment and service before moving into the final award presentations of the evening.
Bill Patton Memorial Award
Like the award’s namesake, the Bill Patton Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement is bestowed to a member who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the betterment of the mortgage industry. Bill Patton’s granddaughter, Kyla Hunter from Home Trust, presented this prestigious award to the winner – Paula Hutton, who received a standing ovation.
An absolute gift to our industry, Paula shows up to every industry event (and plans plenty of her own, often with a charitable component). She builds a sense of community everywhere she goes and encourages others to do the same.
Volunteer Service Award
While everyone thought the Bill Patton Memorial Award was the final award of the evening, AMBA had one more trick up its sleeve – the announcement of a new award. A video message from Brad Quinn of tng began playing, talking about the special inaugural recipient:
“Serving on AMBA’s Board of Directors for over ten years, and Chair for three, this exceptional individual led the association through a critical period of change, transforming AMBA into the thriving association it is today. In addition to being a well respected and admired industry professional, he is a down to earth and humble human being who spends what little spare time he has seeking adventure outdoors. And, on top of it all, he is a fantastic father to his two amazing daughters.”
With that, Pam called Ryan Spence up to the stage as the inaugural recipient of the 2023 Ryan Spence Volunteer Service Award! Thunderous applause resounded throughout the room as attendees stood in celebration of the special surprise in honour of Ryan’s incredible volunteerism and selflessness.
The evening concluded with dancing, late-night pizza and the draw for the $1,000 Fairmont door prize, won by Max Singh!
Thank you to our sponsors for their generosity and support: Community Trust, CWB, Home Trust, Equitable Bank, MCAN, tng, Manulife Bank, First National, Fisgard, Cedar Peaks, Alta West Capital, Bridgewater Bank, TD Bank, Glengarry Farm Finance, Equifax, MCAP, FCT, BrokerLink and Verico.
Congratulations once again to all our award winners! We are proud to celebrate your hard work, dedication, and success – it is members like you that make our association so vibrant.
We’ll see you on June 18, 2024 for next year’s gala!
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