March 28, 2023 Message to the Membership

Posted on March 28, 2023 in

March 28, 2023 Message to the Membership

It was one for the ages.  

Of course, I’m referring to our 26th Annual Business Builder Awards, presented by Nutrien, which pulled double duty as the 50th anniversary, or should I say birthday, of this esteemed organization. Indeed, a record crowd of 635 people joined us to celebrate not only the awards, but to sing Happy Birthday to the NSBA. 

There were many highlights. Among them, the party tone established when entering the room, where Heidi Munro and Soul Sensations rocked and grooved their way back into a time machine filled with 1970s hits. The seven-piece ensemble was on point, on time, and on the mark whether it was a slow ballad or rocking tune. 

There was the ambience, so tastefully yet bold in its presentation. Its impact was felt upon entering the grandiose Hall B at Prairieland, where a small but impactful feature wall with an illuminated ‘NSBA 50’ greeted you. The wall was a hit, based on the social media feeds I saw, with many members choosing to use the wall as a photo backdrop. 

Solid Gold was everywhere, including the ‘70s-look logo designed by our friends at MOTIF. The logo was so, dare I say groovy, that we had it plastered on the electronic backdrop of the stage for most of the night. 

I’ll repeat the special shout out I did at the podium to my team, including the staff at NSBA as well as our contract event planners, Crystal, Karly and Brianne from Brick Loft Event Co. The rolling power point of photos from the past, along with some newspaper clippings and tidbits of ‘Did You Know” about the NSBA was a much-appreciated touch. 

Also appreciated, although perhaps not as obvious to all, was the usage of 1973 LP album covers in the awards program’s PowerPoint presentation when identifying the awards, their sponsors and the finalists. Once the winners were announced, a corresponding hit from said album was played as the winners made their way to the stage to receive their award. 

The opening video that was pulled together in fairly quick fashion by our friends at Aspen Films, was also a crowd-pleaser. The video was a knock off of Karaoke Carpool or Cash Cab, where cameras mounted inside the driver’s vehicle catch the antics of the passengers as they come and go. Rather than go through the details, I’ll let the video speak for itself. You can watch it in the links below. 

The video’s tone set the stage for our MC’s, Bryan McCrea and Clay Dowling, two of my former Board Chairs, who did almost exactly what was expected of them. 

Indeed the evening was not entirely without flaws, and among them was the choice of vocabulary for part of the program. Although encouraged by the audience’s show of applause when asked if they liked vocabulary or not, Clay’s ensuing round of f-bombs were not universally appreciated.  

For many, dare I say most and certainly among those who encouraged him by their applause, it was appreciated for comedic effect, which I’m certain was the intention. For others, it marred an otherwise great, if not spectacular night.  

Despite mentioning it here, we don’t want to draw further attention to it, however, nor do we want to ignore it. So if you’re among those offended, we ask for your forgiveness, and for the opportunity to make amends in the future. We will do and be better. 

There were other flaws as well, which includes the program’s length. We once prided ourselves on being the quick, snappy awards program that wasn’t like the other awards programs. But now it seems we’ve become one of them, by making the event a five-hour odyssey for those who joined from start to finish. 

The Action Office After Party, which went beyond the aforementioned five hours, was a big hit, as were its tunes, thanks again to Heidi Munro and Soul Sensations. People stayed to mingle, to visit, to network, as well as to party and dance, depending upon the mood of the participant. 

We look at every event we do as a work in progress, as we strive to learn from our mistakes. Suffice it to say, we will continue to evolve and improve. We always have and we always will. 

We want to thank everyone who contributed to the evening’s success, including the sponsors, the finalists and all applicants, the MC’s, the dignitaries, the planners, the venue, the photographer, the BBA Committee, and on and on and on. But most especially we want to thank you, our members, for attending.  

We’re going to continue our year of celebration as we move forward with our other major events. If you missed out on the BBA’s, then come out to our Golf Classic, Popcorn and Entrepreneurship presented by EY, or Lessons I’ve Learned presented by KPMG. 

Until next time, be safe, be smart, be considerate, be well, but most of all, be kind. 

Keith Moen 

Executive Director 


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