Walking the walk



Talk, as they say, is cheap, while action costs time, money and effort.

Many of the businesses and individuals being honoured at the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce this week have proven that when they talk, they back it up.

Barry Fraser, whose resume would fill this entire space, has been named the Chamber’s citizen of the year.

He has given tirelessly to this community, much of his work starting after he formally “retired.”

Victory Ford Lincoln Sales Ltd. has been named corporate citizen of the year. General manager Don “Sparky” Leonard is known as one of the most community-minded individuals on the local business scene.

Both Fraser and Leonard are, not coincidentally, Rotarians, a group whose Service Above Self motto says it all.

Leonard couldn’t do what he does without the blessing of Victory owner Vince Lally, who deserves a tip of the cap.

Bob DeVolder and his daughter Lisa have built a strong agriculture business the right way and have contributed to scores of causes behind the scene.

Other winners Southwest Granite & Glass, Emily Meko and Jessica Weaver are just embarking on their contributions, but are on the right path.

Not on the podium this year but cut from the same cloth is Chatham’s TekSavvy which spent nearly $350,000 defending its customers’ right to privacy when a U.S. film distributor demanded it hand over client info.

While major Internet providers rolled over, TekSavvy fought the matter as one of principle. It succeeded in having some legislation changed but even though it won, a federal court denied TekSavvy’s attempt to recoup its costs, providing only about $20,000.

Undaunted, the firm plans to continue to protect its clients in future actions.

Combine that fight with its ongoing commitment to community causes and TekSavvy has earned the respect of everyone in Chatham-Kent.

The firms named above demonstrate that investing in Chatham-Kent, and doing business the right way can pay off in the heart as well as the pocketbook.



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