Eric Dillon, Valerie Sluth, Evan Ortynsky, McKercher LLP named as 2022 ABEX winners; ABEX Award category finalists announced

August 31, 2022
Regina, SK – The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) has been honouring the achievements of Saskatchewan business with the ABEX Awards since 1984 and is thrilled to be hosting the 2022 ABEX Awards, presented by Conexus Credit Union, in person for the first time since 2019.
The hybrid awards gala will take place at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon on November 5. For those who are unable to attend the gala, there will also be an option to tune in to the event virtually.
As the longest-running business awards program in the province, the ABEX Awards has recognized the innovation, strength, and achievements of the private sector through times of change, prosperity, challenge, and optimism.
“Saskatchewan businesses continue to face challenges in the wake of the pandemic as the province works toward economic recovery,” said Prabha Ramaswamy, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “It is all the more important now that we recognize the leaders and businesses that make up the backbone of our business community by celebrating their remarkable resilience and successes.”
Special Awards:

Valerie Sluth, founder and CEO of Praxis Consulting, is to be presented the 2022 ABEX Business Leader of the Year award, sponsored by the University of Regina.
A leader in the consulting profession, Sluth has successfully built Saskatchewan’s largest management consulting firm by bringing together a high performing and multi-generational team of consultants and analysts.
“Through her expertise in navigating challenging strategic issues, corporate governance experience, and commitment to advancing the consulting profession, Val has demonstrated exceptional leadership in Saskatchewan’s business community,” said Ramaswamy. 
Eric Dillon, former CEO of Conexus Credit Union, will be presented the ABEX Community Leader of the Year award, sponsored by SaskEnergy.
During his 10 years as CEO of Conexus Credit Union, Dillon redefined the financial co-operative as an organization of the future. He harnessed his passions for leadership, innovation, community, and finance and has left a long-lasting mark on the business landscape in Saskatchewan. Outside of his work with Conexus, Eric mentored more than 100 business leaders and has served as a board member to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club, Concentra Bank, Economic Development Regina, and some health foundations.
"Eric is the definition of a community champion,” said Ramaswamy. “His purpose-driven commitment to building communities, mentorship, and making a difference in Saskatchewan is commendable.”
McKercher LLP, one of Saskatchewan’s oldest and largest law firms, will be the 2022 inductee into the Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame.
McKercher LLP is well versed in the economic, social, and regulatory environment of Saskatchewan. Its regional experience, with offices in both Saskatoon and Regina, had been a tremendous asset to the firm’s clients – many who are leaders in the industries that drive the province’s diverse, growing economy.
“McKercher LLP has been providing support for businesses in the province since 1926, and we are honored to recognize their dedication to the Saskatchewan business community by inducting them into the Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame,” said Ramaswamy. “This firm has been involved in many of the important projects, cases and matters that have shaped our communities into what they are today.” 
Evan Ortynsky will be awarded the Roger Phillips Chamber Builder Award for his dedication to Saskatchewan’s chamber network.
Ortynsky, a highly successful entrepreneur, is the principal owner of Key Auto Group. Demonstrating passion for his community, he has served as director and/or chair of a variety of local and provincial organizations, including the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
“Mr. Ortynsky has been a vocal advocate for the strength of the chamber network for decades,” said Evan Doepker, Chair of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “I am pleased to present this award to demonstrate our appreciation for the work he continues to do to strengthen the chamber network in our province and across Canada.”
Award Category Finalists:
This year, the ABEX Awards saw a significantly higher number of applications for the category awards compared to 2021. As numerous notable businesses applied, the ABEX Awards judges have selected five finalists for almost all categories.
ABEX applications are independently judged by a group of business experts who review the quality of the application and supporting documents, including a Safety Plan. The Safety Plan is an important aspect of each application, and the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board is the Safety Partner for the 2022 ABEX Awards. 
The following businesses have been selected as finalists for the 2022 ABEX Awards:
  • Export Award category finalists, sponsored by Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP)
    • Canadian Organic Spice & Herb Co. Inc. (Watson)
    • Three Farmers Foods (Saskatoon)
    • SalonScale Technology Inc. (Saskatoon)
  • Community Involvement Award category finalists, sponsored by Saskatchewan Blue Cross:
    • Royal Bank of Canada (Regina)
    • Synergy Credit Union (Lloydminster)
    • The Atlas° Hotel (Regina)
    • Westridge Construction Ltd. (Regina)
    • Wow Factor Media (Moose Jaw)
  • Growth and Expansion Award category finalists, sponsored by PFM Capital Inc.: 
    • Deveraux Group of Companies (Regina)
    • Farmer Jane Cannabis Co. (Regina)
    • Greenwave Innovations Inc. (Regina)
    • Maven Water & Environment (Saskatoon)
    • Sandy Shores Resort and Marina (Sandy Shores Resort)
  • Innovation Award category finalists, sponsored by Saskatchewan Polytechnic:
    • Andgo Systems (Saskatoon)
    • Custom Agricultural Intelligence (Regina)
    • Harbour Landing Village (Regina)
    • Maven Water & Environment (Saskatoon)
    • VeriGrain (Saskatoon)
  • Marketing Award category finalists, sponsored by Discover Saskatoon:
    • Ehrenburg Homes (Saskatoon)
    • Harbour Landing Village (Regina)
    • Regina Plumbing and Heating (Regina)
    • Sandy Shores Resort and Marina (Sandy Shores Resort)
  • New Venture Award category finalists, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export Development
    • Custom Agricultural Intelligence (Regina)
    • Farmer Jane Cannabis Co. (Regina)
    • Maven Water & Environment (Saskatoon)
    • Saskatoon Clayworks (Saskatoon)
    • Trestle River Homes Inc. (Lloydminster)
  • Service Award category finalists, sponsored by KPMG LLP:
    • Abco Elevator (Regina)
    • Lakeview Fine Foods (Regina)
    • Manila Cleaning Services Ltd. (Saskatoon)
    • Pet Planet Prince Albert (Prince Albert)
    • The Atlas° Hotel (Regina)
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award category finalists, sponsored by Cameco:
    • Mitchell Willie - Axis Vac and HDD Services Ltd. (Saskatoon)
    • Jillian Ripplinger - Honeycomb Hair Lounge (Regina)
    • Tayler Korycki - Korycki Mechanical Inc. (Prince Albert)
    • Amber Deschner and Kara Montieth - Nova Physiotherapy (Warman)
    • Alicia Soulier - SalonScale Technology Inc. (Saskatoon)
The ABEX Business of the Year, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP, will be announced live during the ABEX Awards on November 5. 
The ABEX Awards, presented by Conexus Credit Union, is a celebration of the success of Saskatchewan businesses. Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, September 6 at 8:30 AM CST. To secure your tickets, visit 
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. Learn more about the 2022 ABEX Awards by visiting or @ABEXAwards on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.
Prabha Ramaswamy
Chief Executive Officer
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
Laurèn Neumann
Director of Marketing & Communications
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

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