2024 Business Person of the Year Nominees

Learn more about our nominees! Click below to read their profiles.

Sarvsaresth Sharma

I’m HVAC expert who introduces and fixes different home warming and cooling frameworks all year. I work with heaters as well as indoor regulators and cooling frameworks to guarantee everything moves along as planned all through a client’s home or place of business.

Margorie Grime

Thank you for the nomination! We moved to Orangeville in 1972 and I started as a High School Math teacher at ODSS. Loved teaching however knew it was not my ‘forever’ job. Thought I’d try real estate (Orangeville was about 8,000 population) for a while in 1975 …then do something else …and still at it (more on a part time basis today at 76 – my son Dave is now the lead at The Grime Team).

Sarah Abate

My name is Sarah, I started my business 4 years ago. I have grown to being an Incorporated company with 8 lovely teammates. I am passionate about cleaning and providing the best service there is. I have formed great relationships with my clients as well as with my fantastic team. I am honored and humbled to be nominated as I am passionate and have worked so hard to get Attention to Detail where it is.

Kimberly Van Ryn

Kim is a neuro diverse human and the founder of Branching Out Support Services Inc, a yoga teacher and trauma informed practitioner. Blending her background in Child and Youth Work, energetic practices, and trauma informed principles she is constantly curious about the human mind, brain and heart. Kim started her career as a “boots on the ground” Child and Youth Worker with a 3-year diploma from Humber College in Toronto. The first part of her career was spent in the field of foster / adoptive care and case management. This is where she first studied trauma and childhood attachment leading to a life long specialty in the subject of Trauma Informed Leadership. Kim gained and Honors BA in Human Services form Athabasca University in Edmonton, Alberta. In her post grad work Kim studied Trauma Informed Care and Counselling at the University of Buffalo. Kim also is a yoga and meditation teacher specializing in trauma informed yoga for people with neuro diversities. In addition to her energetic practices Kim is also a teacher in Conestoga College’s Liberal Arts program teaching Human Sexuality and engaging with students on their college journey. After years of frontline and community development leadership work in human services, Kim founded Branching Out Support Services Inc (BOSS) in 2019; a community grass roots support organization for people across the lifespan with neuro diversities, developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries and other brain differences. Kim has developed a strong advocacy and education department at Branching Out Support Services and has created and implemented training on Trauma Informed Leadership and The Dimensions of Neuro Diversity to organizations such as: Family Transition Place, The Lotus Center, The Bluebird Restaurant, The Town of Orangeville, The County of Dufferin, STREAMS Hub, Bluebird Café and Grill, Dufferin Area Family Health Team, The Town of Orangeville Camp Staff, The Region of Peel (upper management and leadership/HR teams), The National CLAC Union and more… Kim’s passion for change lies in leading and educating people to holistically shift their mindset and practice to focus on trauma informed inclusivity and safe community empowerment for all. More about Kim, her team and their unique style of practice can be found at www.branchingoutsupportervices.ca

Julie Thurgood-Burnett

Julie Thurgood-Burnett is the Founder + CEO of Hereward Farms, who went from a marketing maven to a lavender queen in where she discovered her true passion and built a thriving business. Her journey has been nothing short of a fairytale, blossoming from the marketing world to a flourishing lavender farmer in merely three years. Her take features a twist where she didn’t just uncover a new profession but stumbled upon her true life’s passion. In a display of audacious ambition, what began as a flight of fancy – planting just 40 lavender plants on their sprawling 250-acre farm – has now burgeoned into an aromatic empire of 6,000 lavender plants, most recently adding 200,000 sunflowers to their fields. But Julie’s vision wasn’t limited to farming or agri-tourism alone. An all-natural skincare and home products line, birthed from her labour of love, has proudly paraded the prestigious pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair. But Julie’s reign isn’t about blossoming beauty or bountiful harvests. Her core values stem from an unwavering commitment to sustainability, a nurturing sense of community and a potent desire to empower individuals. Truly, she does it all, proving that dreams can grow wildly, just like lavender in a field.

Miranda O'Connor

Miranda is the Producer, Business Development Manager and Co-Founder of The Art of Storytelling Inc. (AOS), a corporate video and photography production company that specializes in stakeholder storytelling. With over fifteen years of experience, she has grown and nurtured the client base in North America, working with organizations in various sectors, such as Manufacturing, Healthcare, Education, Tourism and Economic Development, Agriculture, Energy, and Municipalities. She manages the entire production process, from outreach and relationship building, to conceptualization and planning, to script writing and interviewing, to editing and delivery. She gives credit to the business success to her partner James and their team member Calista who are the creatives that make the magic happen and deliver top-notch work. She collaborates with managers and leaders to develop proposals, scopes of work, and project management for all projects. Miranda and her partner James, moved to Canada in 2017 and started The Art of Storytelling. They had years of experience overseas but Miranda made it her mission to build a local network and connect with the Dufferin County community, which she has successfully done, and is now a well respected business owner with a highly recommended video production studio. While their business suffered through covid they are now attracting clients in the GTA. Miranda has a Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Edinburgh Business School. She is passionate about helping organizations communicate their values, mission, and purpose through storytelling, and foster critical partnerships with their stakeholders.

Parag Makwana

Hi. My name is Parag Makwana. I have been in this industry over +20 years. My knowledge and experience have been achieved by working with top leading industry leaders . I offer you a one stop shop to help customize your vehicle according to your vision and dream. My main goal is to make my clients dreams a reality. I always put my clients interest first and offer the best solutions. I take pride in what I do and my workmanship speaks for itself.

Michelle Chidwick

My name is Michelle Chidwick and I currently live in Amaranth with my husband and 2 young children. We have lived in Dufferin County for 8 years and love everything about this tight knit community. I have been a local Realtor for 6 years and along with my husband, are owner operators of Team Apex Real Estate based in Orangeville and we service all of Dufferin County. Living, working and raising a family in Dufferin County I believe it is very important to support the local community. Outside of work, I am a member of the Shelburne Rotary Club which gives me the opportunity to give back to the community we live in and support other local businesses, initiatives and growth. Further local initiatives that I am involved with include; The Team Apex Learn to Play Hockey program where we assist children under the age of 5 learn the game of hockey and along with other local businesses, provide free yoga classes within the community to both adults and children. Staying active is very important to me so when I am not working or spending time with my family I play hockey with the Honeywood Women’s League.

Tia Sutherland

Tia is a visionary entrepreneur with a passion for crafting exquisite jewelry and lifestyle products that embody the essence of creativity, love and light. As the Owner and Operator of Love & Light Jewels, Tia has established herself an expert in gemstone jewelry industry, renowned for her unique designs and commitment to quality craftsmanship. From a young age, Tia was drawn to the artistry of jewelry-making, finding solace and inspiration in the intricate details of gemstones and metals. Her journey into the world of jewelry began as a hobby, where she would spend countless hours experimenting with different techniques and materials to create pieces that reflected her creativity and inner light.

Johnny Yeaman
I’m Johnny Yeaman and have been a resident of Dufferin County for over 35 years. I currently reside in Mono with my wife Karen and have 2 great sons and two very active grandchildren. I have great passion for anything that encourages anyone to enjoy the outdoors in anyway they desire.
Lauryn Nagy

We are a health and wellness clinic nestled in the heart of downtown Orangeville. Our goal is to create a holistic sanctuary to help our clients achieve their wellness goals.

Mark Jamieson

Mark Jamieson is a well-respected and proven community leader having owned and operated multiple mid-sized businesses as well as having run the Canadian operations for a billion-dollar global company. He currently owns Mono Printing as well as working for the Town of Orangeville, providing consulting services to businesses of all sizes, and overseeing the entrepreneurship training programs, Starter Company Plus, and Summer Company.

Dana Copeland

Dana Copeland Owner of Flaunt Salon and Spa in Orangeville, Ontario. I have been a stylist for 19 years, I am a mother of three boys, and was raised here in Dufferin County.

Laura-Lee and Grant Laverty

For the past 11 years my husband (Grant Laverty) and I (Laura-Lee Laverty) have been franchisee partners of M&M Food Market at 47 Broadway Orangeville, ON. We both grew up in Orangeville and continue to live and work in this area. We are proud and humble to have won “Store of the Year” in 2018 out of all the M&M Food Market stores across Canada. We offer a warm and welcoming shopping experience so customers will say “I will be back.”

Brian and Jeannette French

Brian and Jeannette French own and operate Lennox Farm, a market garden farm in Melancthon, Ontario. Growing up in rural Ontario, Brain and Jeannette developed an early appreciation for agriculture and strong community connections. They strive to model good stewardship of the earth using regenerative farming practices and are passionate about supporting the local community. Through agri-educational experiences, they empower others to become conscientious food consumers and caretakers of the earth. Brian and Jeannette are committed to cultivating not only crops, but also healthy, vibrant, and resilient communities.

Amrita Baraya

Hello! I am so honoured to be nominated for such an incredible award. My name is Amrita and I am a small business owner located in Grand Valley, specializing in group fitness and nutrition support. I started my own fitness journey 7 years ago when I was at my lowest of lows. I was grasping for something to have some sort of control over, and I realized that my health was it. Over the last few years I have developed a deep love for movement, and decided to turn this passion into a career. For the last 5 years I have been servicing my community and have been helping to improve lives, one person at at time.

Sam Young

While Sam is a successful business man, he is best known for being a CPGA Professional since 1961, including the presidency of both PGA of Ontario and PGA of Canada. He built and developed Shelburne Golf and Country Club from a 9 to an 18-hole golf course, complete with a practice facility which he uses to produce his national award-winning junior programs.

Devin White

Devin White first opened the shop More Than Just Baskets in 2015. After working in the retail industry for 20 years, he felt it was time to open his own store and combine his retail experience with his passion for his local community. Prior to opening the shop, Mr. White spent six months teaching English in Asia, and has a passion for travel. He has visited 49 countries now! And when he gets a free moment, he’s planning his next adventure.


Browzen is a local brow studio that specializes in a wide range of brow services. I, Sarita, am the owner and esthetician at Browzen. After taking a break from esthetics to pursue a different career, I eventually found my way back to my true passion for brows. With over 15 years of experience in esthetics, I have witnessed the tremendous growth of the brow industry and recognized the high demand for brow services in our local area. This realization affirmed that it was my calling to provide exceptional brow services. My ultimate goal is to ensure that every client feels amazing when they leave Browzen, whether it’s through the confidence of their new brows or simply by having a meaningful conversation where they feel heard. As your local brow artist, I am dedicated to understanding and meeting your specific needs.