National Bank reveals the winners of the 13th edition of its SMEs of the National Bank recognition program

Montreal, 30 October 2006 - 

National Bank has unveiled the names of the provincial winners of the 13th edition of its SMEs of the National Bank recognition program.

The gala awards ceremony took place on October 27 at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and was attended by more than 200 people, including the finalists from each category, representatives from National Bank senior management and leaders in the business community. Louis Vachon, Chief Operating Officer of National Bank, took the opportunity to remind those present of the importance the Bank places on remaining a preferred partner of Quebec SMEs and to pay tribute to these incomparable builders of wealth, whose passion and drive are a boundless source of inspiration.

The SMEs of the National Bank recognition program recognizes small and medium-sized business clients of National Bank whose achievements and performance in the past year have made them a cut above the rest. During the awards ceremony, the names of the four provincial GOLD award winners in the Small Business, SME, Agricultural SME and Export SME categories were announced. In addition, Bronze and Silver awards were presented to another six businesses in the Small Business, SME and Agricultural SME categories.

In the Small Business category, the GOLD award winner is Laval-based Processia Solutions Inc., which specializes in implementing business solutions related to product life cycles. In addition to being an official supplier to Renault’s Formula 1 racing team, the company has completed numerous projects in North America, Europe and Asia.

In the SME category, the GOLD award winner is Village Vacances Valcartier.  Located in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, this family vacation destination draws more than 550,000 visitors each year and provides jobs to more than 1,000 students. The company’s marketing efforts over the past few years and its sense of innovation have helped turn it into the main economic engine driving the Quebec City region’s recreational tourism industry.

In the Agricultural SME category, the GOLD award winner is Ferme des voltigeurs Inc., in Saint-Charles-de-Drummond.  The company is a pioneer in raising grain-fed chickens and offers top-quality poultry products.  It is also the only poultry farm in Quebec incorporating the production, slaughtering, processing and marketing functions. 

In the Export SME category, the GOLD award winner is Ville Saint-Laurent-based Genetec, a company recognized for its expertise as a provider of integrated software and computing products for the security industry. Genetec is renown for its innovation, reliability and user-friendly products and is highly active in foreign markets, with 75% of its sales outside Canada.

The four provincial winners will be rewarded in a variety of ways. All of them are benefiting from a visibility campaign in the major dailies belonging to the Réseau Probec. They will also be featured in two special televised reports airing between November 27 and December 22, 2006 as part of the program Salut, Bonjour! on TVA, as well as on LCN and Canal Argent.

The GOLD award winners in the Agricultural SME, Small Business and SME categories received $2,000 to be used for a trip with $5,000 awarded to the winner in the Export SME category for the same purpose compliments of National Bank Financial. All winning companies also received a National Bank Premia MasterCard business card with a $1,000 credit balance. Finally, three laptop computers donated by IBM Canada were raffled off.

Selection process and partnerships

The winners in the Small Business, SME and Agricultural SME categories were selected from among the regional finalists based on a number of criteria, such as : their competence, their drive and the excellence of their human resources management. The Export SME winner was chosen from a list of provincial finalists who were selected for their recent export success. All the winners were selected by a panel made up of individuals from the business community who followed a rigorous selection process overseen by the professional services firm Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche.

Photos of the event are available on request, please contact the undersigned.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. National Bank has close to $109 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 17,183 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at www.nbc.ca.

Information (The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.):                                  

Denis Dubé
Senior Director – Public Relations
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: (514) 394-8644