| Jun 01, 2006

Feature Article - June 1, 2006

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Feature Article - June 1, 2006

Entrepreneurs of theYear

by JeffGreen

Three newer businesses in Addington Highlands will be honoured by the Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC) at a luncheon in Napanee on June 6.

Rob and Vennessa Lemke (Lemke Electric) won the Entrepreneur of the Year award for Prince Edward and Lennox and Addington, with Grace Edwards (Lausha Lady), and Tara Shiner (Cheques and Balances) being two of three runners-up.

Rob Lemke worked as an apprentice at Ronfeld Electric in Northbrook , eventually getting his electrician’s certificate. He was working at the Darlington Nuclear plant in 2004 when the idea of setting up his own business started developing.

Rob took advantage of the Self-Employment Benefits Program and took a six-week self-employment course, which were both delivered by the PELA-CFDC, and in November of 2004, Lemke Electric opened for business.


Since then Rob and Vennessa Lemke have been busy servicing residential and commercial clients in Addington Highlands, North Frontenac and further a-field, doing jobs in Tweed and Sharbot Lake as well. Business has been so good that Rob has been working 15-hour days on occasion. Vennessa has been juggling the care of their two young children with running the business office, and helping Rob on jobs.

Once they see how this summer goes, Rob might be looking at hiring an extra hand.

The success of Lemke Electric bodes well for the local region, demonstrating that the real estate and building booms have made it is possible for people to work hard and build a family business in the Land o’ Lakes.

Grace Edwards The Lauscha Lady. Grace Edwards became enthralled with beads several years ago and started up Beads by Chance, selling her work at craft shows and bead shows and over the internet.

She was nominated for entrepreneur of the year for an offshoot of her original business, the importing of high- quality Lauscha glass beads. Through her website, lauschalady.com, Grace is able to provide a range of coloured glass beads to customers across the country, building on the solid base of her Beads by Chance business.

Tara Shiner Cheques and Balances: For the small business community, keeping up with bookkeeping needs is a constant hassle, and Tara Shiner has made a business out of taking this task out of the hands of business people, while assuring that they maintain a handle on where their business is headed. As an experienced practitioner of many types of accounting, Tara Shiner has been able to adapt her services to the needs of her clientele, and in her first year of business has already established a reputation for service, exceeding her own projected profitability margins.

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