February 17, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BROCKVILLE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES LIFETIME BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce is very pleased to announce Mr. Hunter Grant as the first of two recipients of the 2022 Lifetime Business Achievement Award. Two awards will be given this year to compensate for there not having been a recipient in 2021 due to Covid restrictions.
Mr. Grant is the tenth to receive this award following previous recipients Gord Brown, David Beatty, Bob Runciman, Al Smith, Dave Sheridan, Don Green, Sherri Simzer, John & Steve Mazurek and Dave Jones.
Since 2017, this award has been sponsored annually by the 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation. Recipients are chosen by an independent committee of judges following review and assessment of multiple criteria including community involvement, mentorship, economic impact, job creation, volunteerism, longevity and personal/corporate generosity.
Hunter Grant is a successful entrepreneur, widely respected philanthropist, and tireless community champion. Most prominently known as the decades long co-owner and co-publisher of The Brockville Recorder & Times newspaper, Mr. Grant has devoted himself to improving the lives of Brockville and area residents through his professional and personal endeavors.
Under his leadership, the Recorder & Times was one of Canada’s first newspapers to abandon hot lead type setting, a move which revolutionized the production of daily newspapers. It was also one of the first Canadian newspapers to computerize and it was the second in Canada to go on-line. Each of these moves was a game changing innovation for a small town, family-owned newspaper and the business flourished as a result. Mr. Grant’s family acquired the Recorder & Times in 1892 and retained ownership for 106 years, employing many hundreds of people along the way.
Appropriately, the Recorder & Times was named “Business of the Century” by the Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce in the year 2006. The company was recognized on numerous occasions during Mr. Grant’s tenure, including being listed by the Globe & Mail as one of Canada’s Top 50 best managed companies and as the Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce “Industry of the Year” in 1992.
Hunter Grant’s keen business acumen allowed him to recognize the early potential of the Internet to extend the reach of the Recorder & Times and to bolster its connection to the community. This ultimately resulted in he and his son Kingsley creating RipNET Internet Services in 1994 as one of Canada’s first independent Internet Service Providers. Under Mr. Grant’s leadership, RipNet invested millions of dollars to build a wireless network to deliver high speed broadband to the rural residents of Leeds & Grenville during a time when such services only existed in major cities. The long-lasting local economic impact of this early investment has been enormous.
Mr. Grant has always recognized the importance of community leadership and personal commitment. Through the years he has led numerous fundraising campaigns and financially supported such important initiatives as Palliative Care, Hospice Care, Brockville General Hospital, YMCA, Theatre Brockville, Aquatarium, Rockport Customs Revitalization, Ookpik Winter Carnival and so many others. He and his family have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthwhile local causes, including the donation of a $250,000 building to the YMCA and a very recent contribution of $25,000 to the Brockville & District Hospital Foundation’s “Under One Roof” campaign.
Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce President, Mr. Orlando Spicer, expressed his appreciation by noting that “Mr. Grant has earned our respect and appreciation for all of his many contributions to our community. We are forever grateful.”
The 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation sponsors this award annually and is actively involved in the recipient selection process. The corporation’s Executive Director, Mr. Tom Russell, offered his congratulations by stating “I have known Mr. Grant for the entirety of my adult life and can safely say that he is long overdue for this recognition. His contributions rival any in the history of our region.”
Mr. Grant will be celebrated during a special ceremony following the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting and breakfast at the Brockville Convention Centre on Thursday, March 31st.
Those interested in attending can register by click this link or call 613-342-6553 by March 25th.
The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce represents more than 450 members and has been the community's business advocate since 1906. Our mission - we support and grow business to build a strong economic community through proactive leadership in advocacy and relevant programming.