The National Bank "PME" Awards for 2000: Worthy Winners
Montreal, 4 December 2000 -
The National Bank of Canada unveiled the nationwide winners of "Les PME de la Banque National" (its program to recognize excellence among small and medium-size businesses) at the awards night last Friday, December 1.
- In the Small Business category, the winner was Epsilon Inc. of St-André-Avelin in the Outaouais. Epsilon Inc. designs and manufactures ladies' winter coats under its own trademark.
- In the "PME" category, Hemera Technologies Inc., a Hull-based business, won the grand prize. Hemera Technologies Inc. is active in the information technology sector. In 1997, the company launched a product that revolutionized the computer graphics market by offering designers a tool that greatly simplifies the use of images.
- The Farm of Gérard and Marie Charbonneau, located in Saint-Charles in the Chaudière-Appalaches/Rive-Nord region, was ranked at the top in the Agricultural PME category. This farm business is divided among pork and fowl production, operating a livestock business that includes 250 sows and 2,200 hogs, and producing 247,000 chickens per year.
This year the "Les PME de la Banque National" program is also awarding, in cooperation with airline company Air France, an Export Special Mention to a company that has particularly distinguished itself in foreign markets. The company Microslate Inc., located in Brossard on Montreal's South Shore, earned this distinction. Microslate Inc. develops mobile information technology tools that respond to the needs of a clientele working on the road. Microslate has developed and patented the world's first pen computer. The company is now established in Montreal, Tampa, Los Angeles and Toronto.
André Bérard, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank, reminds us that the "Les PME de la Banque National" program seeks firstly and above all to provide small-to-medium Quebec companies with the visibility they deserve, and also to spotlight the extraordinary vitality of this sector, which remains the engine of the Quebec economy. "The talent and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by the managers of these companies are continually gaining greater recognition abroad, a reality that we would like to recognize this year by awarding a special mention for exporting companies, for the first time in the seven-year history of these awards" Bérard noted.
"For the National Bank, the recognition program is also a tangible way of expressing its gratitude to all of these small and medium-size businesses that grant us their confidence, and that contribute to the expansion of all of Quebec's regions" he added. "Honoring their managers and making them known in economic circles is the best way to thank them and, more importantly, to foster their development", the bank's President concluded.
In spotlighting excellence among these winners, the National Bank is privileged to count on the valued cooperation of partner companies such as IBM, Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche, TVA, Probec and its dailies, National Bank Financial, National Bank Insurance and Air France.
Winners in the Bank's recognition program are ensured of significant visibility in the Quebec media. Among others, the grand prize winners are being presented on the program Distinction PME, which will be broadcast on the TVA network next January 5. In addition, the provincial winners for Small Business, Small-to-Medium Size Business (PME) and Agricultural PME will receive a Research & Development grant from National Bank Financial, and a pair of Montreal-to-Paris airline tickets courtesy of Air France. The winner in the export category will receive a value of $10,000 in airline tickets to Air France destinations around the world, as well as expertise on one of the markets served by the National Bank's 2,500 correspondents overseas.
Ranking sixth among Canada's chartered banks, the National Bank is the leading banking institution in Quebec and the bank of choice for small and medium-sized enterprises. It has branches in every province of the country. Through its representative offices, subsidiaries and alliances, it is also represented in the United States, Europe and elsewhere in the world. Founded in 1859, National Bank of Canada is the product of a series of mergers and acquisitions. It has assets of over 75 billion and, together with its subsidiaries, it employs over 16,600 people. The Bank's head office is in Montreal and its shares are listed on the Toronto stock exchange.
Media Relations and Financial Communications Officer
Public Relations Department
Tel.: (514) 394-6990
*The telephone number and e-mail address are for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.
Contact information for award winners:
Claude Ricard, President
191, chemin St-André
St-André-Avellin (Québec) J0V 1W0
Hemera Technologies Inc.
Marc-Antoine Benglia, President
490, boul. St-Joseph
Hull (Québec) J8Y 3Y7
Ferme Gérard & Marie Charbonneau
Gérard Charbonneau and Marie-Claire Lafrenière, owners
2221, rang Nord-Ouest
Saint-Charles (Québec) G0R 2T0
3615-A, Isabelle St.,
Brossard (Québec) J4Y 2R2