Junior Achievement N.B. Names Three to Business Hall of Fame

James Crosby, Gordie Lavoie and Mike Timani will be inducted in November. Image: submitted

FREDERICTON – Junior Achievement New Brunswick (JANB) has named three new members to its Business Hall of Fame.

It was announced over the weekend that James M. Crosby Jr., Gordie Lavoie and Mike Timani will be inducted at the 22nd annual gala at Casino New Brunswick in Moncton on November 1.

President and CEO of JANB Connie Woodside said in an interview with Huddle that the recognition aims to encourage other New Brunswickers to forge their own path of success.

“It’s meant to encourage and motivate others in New Brunswick to say, you know what, you can be on the Hall of Fame stage one day too and to motivate them to keep going through tough times,” she said. “Just because we’re in a small province on the east coast it doesn’t mean we can’t compete nationally. We do that every day.”

The three business leaders were chosen through a nomination process in which the key criteria are that they are born or live in New Brunswick and conduct a bulk of their business in the province.

A selection committee selected them based on their businesses’ success and longevity,  as well as their contribution to the communities in which they live.

“They’ve been here and they continue to employ New Brunswickers, and they’re far-reaching and international in scope,” Woodside said about Timani, Lavoie and Crosby.

Saint John’s Crosby has been president of Crosby Molasses, a 100-year old family business, since the age of 28. He is the fourth generation of the Crosby family to lead the company, which imports, processes, packages and distributes molasses across Canada and in New England. The company also runs a third-party bulk food grade liquid storage facility. Crosby has served on various boards including the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation, Rothesay Netherwood School and the Rothesay Area Heritage Trust.

Lavoie, from Miramichi, has served as the President and General Manager of Sunny Corner Enterprises since 2007. The industrial services company with hundreds of employees in the construction, manufacturing and supply sectors has been around for 53 years. Lavoie has been a partner for 27 of those years.

The Miramichi company, with offices in Saint John and Labrador, serves the oil & gas, power generation, mining and manufacturing sectors in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. Lavoie is also a member of the New Brunswick Business Council and has served as a past Chair.

Timani is the President and CEO of Fancy Pokket in Moncton. He established the bakery 13 years after he arrived from Lebanon and landed in Toronto. Fancy Pokket has grown from a 1,000 square-foot facility with three employees to 45,000 square feet of space and 70 workers. It’s the largest producer of pita bread, bagels, tortilla wraps and flatbread in Atlantic Canada.

Timani has gone on to receive the “Excellence in Business” award from the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce (2010),  the 2010 Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award (manufacturing sector for the Atlantic region) and the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award “Immigrant Entrepreneur“ (2015). He is the current president of the board of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council.

JANB is part of a national non-profit organization that aims to prepare and inspire youth to succeed in a global economy. It offers business education programs related to work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy for free to elementary, middle and high schools.

One of its key pillars to encourage youth to be more entrepreneurial is mentorship. Woodside says that’s where the Timani, Lavoie and Crosby have also contributed.

“They recognize they’ve gotten to be where they are and that their continued success is because they’ve had mentors themselves,” Woodside said. “And all three of them are mentors in the community.”