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A leading advocate for Wallaceburg’s hospital took home the top honours on Thursday at the Wallaceburg and District Chamber of Commerce’s 19th annual Business Excellence Awards.

Despite not currently having an active role within the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s governance structure, Sheldon Parsons told the crowd at the Clubhouse at Baldoon he has not given up the fight.

“I am not done,” said the former chair of the Sydenham District Hospital board.

“This is not a swan song moment or a ‘get on your horse and ride into the sunset’ moment. There are challenges on our road ahead and I intend to be a part of the solution to meet those challenges head on.”

Parsons led the Wallaceburg hospital board during this past tumultuous year, which included: an investigator being appointed by the Province to look into the CKHA, a “damning” report released from the investigator, a supervisor being appointed to the CKHA, the CEO and COO leaving the organization, and a re-building effort started by the interim leadership.

Parsons credited his fellow board members while accepting his award.

“If I’m being recognized for my work with the hospital board, then many others need to share in that honour because the job is not a one-man show,” he said, mentioning former vice chair Conrad Noel, past chair Jeff Wesley, and former board members Kris Lee, George Lung, Herb John and Rex Isaac, and the “faithful and very supportive” 539 members of the Sydenham District Hospital Corporation.

Parsons has been committed to the community over the years: serving on municipal administration, Chatham-Kent council and volunteering with multiple groups, including the Wallaceburg Kinsmen, Wallaceburg Museum, Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse and St. James Anglican Church.

Here is a full list of the nominees and winners:

Industrial Award
– Aarkel (winner)
– EMC Ready Mix

Technology Award
– Sydenham Current
– Eternity’s Touch (winner)

Environmental Award
– Wallaceburg Wellness Centre
– River Bell Market Garden
– Wallaceburg BIA (winner)

Business of the Year Award
– No Frills (winner)
– Wallaceburg Wellness Centre
– Sue’s Kitchen

Entrepreneur of the Year Award
– Dave McCready, Subway
– James Bolos, James Street Eatery (winner)
– Paul Deschenes, Paul’s Resto & Renos

Chip Gordon Community Builder Award
– Brian Armitage (winner)
– Dr.Jeff Fox

Young Professional Award
– Dr.Lauren Freeburn (winner)
– Kevin Roocroft
– Eric VanDamme

Volunteer of the Year Award
– Re-Find (winner)
– Wallaceburg Fireworks Committee

Community Inclusion Award
– McDonald’s (winner)
– Wallace-Kent Sprinkler

Citizen of the Year
– Dave Babbitt
– Sheldon Parsons (winner)
– Dr.Jeff Fox

Dresden BIA Award
– Lucille Laprise (winner)

Wallaceburg BIA Award
-Jack Wilford (winner)

Source: http://sydenhamcurrent.ca/2016/11/04/parsons-named-citizen-year/