· by m.hardill@hamiltonchamber.ca

Rebecca Wissenz to receive Hamilton Citizen of the Year award, while Creative Guild’s Tiffany Simkins named Hamilton CEO of the Year.

Complete list of Outstanding Business Achievement Awards finalists to be announced next week.

Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is excited to name Hamilton’s ‘CEO of the Year’ and ‘Citizen of the Year’, ahead of the 40th annual Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, presented by RBC Royal Bank. Tickets to the Wednesday, April 10th awards gala at Carmen’s Banquet Centre are on sale now.

Award-winning Hamilton lawyer and community advocate, Rebecca Wissenz, has been named ‘Hamilton Citizen of the Year’. Tiffany Simkins, Founder and President of Creative Guild, a Hamilton-based creative and digital agency and small business success story, has been named ‘Hamilton CEO of the Year’.

In total, nine winners will be honoured at the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala on April 10th. These awards celebrate and recognize key contributions to Hamilton’s business community.

Final nominees in the seven remaining categories will be announced next week:

  • Hamilton Citizen of the Year – Rebecca Wissenz, presented by RBC
  • Hamilton CEO of the Year Award – Tiffany Simkins
  • Small Business (1-10 employees) Award, presented by City of Hamilton
  • Mid-Sized Business (11-50 employees) Award, presented by CN
  • Large Business (51+ employees) Award, presented by Taylor Leibow LLP
  • Young Entrepreneur (Under 40) Award, presented by Cogeco
  • Not-for Profit Award, presented by Bell
  • Century Award, presented by RBC
  • IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility) Award, presented by OLG

Quotes from Greg Dunnett, President & CEO of Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
“As the recipient of this year’s Citizen of the Year award, Rebecca embodies the spirit of selfless dedication, tireless community service, and a profound commitment to making a lasting impact on our great city. Her contributions have woven an invaluable thread of compassion and positive change throughout our community, leaving an indelible mark on the city she calls home.”

“Tiffany’s self-made success story is inspiring on multiple levels. Scaling Creative Guild from a true start-up to a thriving, mid-sized company is an impressive achievement. Tiffany’s commitment to her team, clients, and community showcases the true essence of what it means to be a leader in our community. She is a very worthy recipient of our second-ever CEO of the Year award.”

About Rebecca Wissenz – Hamilton Citizen of the Year
Dedication to her clients and dedication to her community are the hallmarks of Rebecca Wissenz’s impressive career. Born and raised in Stoney Creek, Wissenz is an award-winning Hamilton lawyer of 37 years who has been a forceful advocate and promoter for a wide variety of organizations and causes that have strengthened Hamilton.

Rebecca founded Wissenz Law in 2008 based on the principles of dignity, compassion, and fierce representation of her clients. Twenty times she has been named Reader’s Choice Best Lawyer, in addition to Wissenz Law receiving Best Personal Injury and Wills & Estates Law Firm honours.

While growing and maintaining her successful law practice, Rebecca has also made significant contributions to organizations across the community. She was a Team Captain in the YMCA Capital Campaign, raising $250,000. She was Treasurer, VP and President of Scleroderma Ontario. She served on the Executive and was Chairman of Granting for the Trillium Foundation. She was also the Chair of the Brain Injury Services board, served as a Director for the Kidney Foundation of Canada and was a director for Bright Futures Family Centre.

Rebecca spent six years on the Board of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, serving as President of the Chamber. Rebecca also served on the Hamilton International Airport Advisory Committee and was Co-Chair of the Bay Area Economic Summit in 2013. She was the inaugural Provincial Appointee to the Green Belt Advisory Council, serving five years in that role. She was also the Chair of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Executive Advisory Board, charged with creating strong links between the business community, the city and the football club.  

Rebecca’s track record of dedication, service and involvement in the greater Hamilton community solidifies her as a worthy recipient of Hamilton Citizen of the Year.

About Tiffany Simkins – Hamilton CEO of the Year
Tiffany Simkins founded Creative Guild in 2007 as a modest, independent, four-person design studio based in Hamilton. Over the last 15 years serving as President, Simkins has grown Creative Guild into a full-service marketing, creative, and digital agency with 30 employees and an impressive list of national and local clients. Tiffany’s indomitable spirit and hands-on leadership have been pivotal to the continuous success of the company, orchestrating Creative Guild’s evolution into a prominent player in the marketing and advertising industry.

At the core of Tiffany’s role is her multifaceted engagement in both the strategic and operational aspects of the business. She is the driving force behind the company’s day-to-day triumphs, actively and passionately collaborating with her team and clients. Tiffany’s hands-on leadership permeates all areas of the business – from devising innovative concepts and solutions to delivering projects on time and on budget.

Tiffany participates in conferences, networking events, and serves as a guest speaker, sharing insights into her journey of launching an agency, industry trends, and mentorship. Tiffany remains devoted to contributing to the local economy by maintaining office space in Hamilton, hiring local talent, and supporting nearby businesses through team events and dinners.

Her journey from a Hamilton-based small business owner, to now leading a mid-sized company, showcases Tiffany as a female leadership success story. Over the past 15 years, she has taken risks to expand her business independently and fostered an environment that emphasizes community involvement. Creative Guild’s 200% growth in revenue and team expansion stands as a testament to her resilience and dedication. For more on Simkins and Creative Guild, visit creativeguild.ca.