Downtown London AGM Business Awards

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 AGM Business Awards:

Business Excellence Award

Jill Wilcox and Jill's Table

Jill’s Table has been a downtown destination since 1999. Starting out in the Covent Garden Market, Jill soon moved her business to the other side of the street at 115 King Street. Her expertise and knowledge in the niche business of specialty foods, housewares, and cooking classes has been a major factor to her continued success. Not only does her shop offer customers a unique shopping and learning experience, but Jill and her staff provide patrons with excellent service. Their actions are a true reflection of their business values: respect, trust, kindness and loyalty for their customers, suppliers, and colleagues.

In 2012, Jill created the Jill Wilcox Foundation with the goal to support women and children in our community. 100% of the funds raised by the Jill Wilcox Foundation goes directly to local charitable organizations that help women and children in food related initiatives, such as Investing in Children, Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre, and YOU’s Joan’s Place, to name just a few.

Her desire to help people doesn’t end with her foundation, though. Often, you can find Jill sharing her knowledge and expertise with new business owners, always eager to be a mentor for our community. She never shies away from giving advice to those embarking on the nerve-wracking but exciting journey of starting a business.

Gerald Gallacher Heart of Downtown Award

Jim Yanchula

Jim Yanchula is the Manager of Core Area and Urban Regeneration for the City of London. Jim’s academic knowledge as a Planner and Urban Regenerist, as well as his degree in architecture provides a unique understanding and appreciation of development and urban design. This coupled with his strong love of BIAs and his desire to improve the downtown make him the perfect person to fill his role at the City. Jim’s knowledge and skill has been sought after by other communities, both in North America, as well as internationally, to speak about revitalization.

Jim has sat on the MainStreet London board for many years, as well as being at the table as a guest to the LDBA board in order to provide a City perspective on many issues.

Over the years, Jim has been a strong advocate for downtown businesses as well as for the community that makes downtown what it is. When Dundas Place was first approved, Jim’s leadership in keeping the Dundas Street building and store owners involved continued from the planning stage through to the completion of the construction phase. Jim became known as ‘Downtown Jim’ and was available to listen to the merchants. He worked to address the concerns that were brought to him. He was also instrumental behind the scenes, such as in the creation of the Core Area Steering Committee which brought the different departments of the City together in order to best use resources. While many of these aspects could be seen as part of the job, it is apparent to all that Jim’s passion, involvement, positivity, and pride in the state of the downtown go above and beyond that of a mere job. As was stated in the nomination submission: ‘Some individuals quietly go about their business and effectively make things happen to influence outcomes.’ Jim is one of these individuals, and we know that Gerald would approve of Jim as the selection for the inaugural Gerald Gallacher Heart of the Downtown Award.

  • Business Excellence Award

    Criteria for the Business Excellence Award can include:

    • Available to both storefront and offices
    • Minimum of 2 years of operation in the downtown
    • Eligible businesses include (but are not limited to) independent businesses, franchise businesses, corporate businesses, and property owners.
    • Excellence in customer service: overall reputation and high customer reviews (from Google/Yelp/Trip Advisor reviews)
    • Creates a positive company culture with high employee satisfaction and engagement while exhibiting genuine care for their staff
    • Reinforces positivity and helps promote downtown to other businesses as an ideal place and location to set up and do business
    • Leads and/or partners with other businesses and organizations to deliver downtown events and activations
    • Leads and/or participates in partnerships/cross promotions with other downtown businesses
    • Is well respected by their peers, and mentors and supports other downtown businesses to help them succeed
    • Has made significant investments in downtown by expanding their business, and/or purchasing and upgrading their property, and/or enhancing their building and storefront (eg. facade improvements, building improvements/renovations, etc.)
    • Participates in DTL programs and promotions (accepts DTL gift cards, participates in DTL contests, shares DTL social media posts, etc.)
    • Contributes in other innovative ways to create a positive experience and impact for downtown
    • Current LDBA or MSL board members and staff are not eligible to be nominated
    • Applicants should provide 1 - 2 examples of how they meet each criteria
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  • Gerald Gallacher “Heart of Downtown Award”

    Gerald Gallacher

    The Heart of Downtown award is named in memory of Gerald Gallacher, in recognition of his dedication and commitment to the Downtown London BIA, its members and to the downtown as a whole. Gerald was LDBA’s chair from 2015 to 2019. He was a devoted Downtown London volunteer and a fierce advocate for positive change for the downtown. Like Gerald, recipients of either award will be organizations or individuals who have demonstrated a strong desire to improve our downtown community as a place to do business, live, learn and play. Award recipients will also share Gerald’s ability to recognize and act upon their own strengths and capabilities to creatively improve London’s downtown and work collaboratively to make things better. They also share a commitment to promote downtown positivity, confidence, vitality, love and pride, just as Gerald did.

    Criteria for the Heart of Downtown Award can include:

    • Available to organizations or individuals with a storefront, office, or property located in the Downtown London BIA, event organizer and/or downtown promoter
    • Minimum of 2 years interacting within the downtown
    • Recognized by their peers as a strong downtown ambassador and advocate
    • Exhibits a strong sense of "Downtown Pride" and helps influence others to do the same
    • Contributes to place making/public realm investments to help improve their store and downtown (adding murals, etc.)
    • Volunteers their time to carry out downtown initiatives and projects
    • Embodies a positive and forward-looking spirit and resolve to make London’s downtown (beautification, activations, events, etc.)
    • Reinforces positivity and engages others in creating vibrancy and excitement downtown
    • Acknowledged by peers as a strong community promoter and publicly shares positive messages and stories about downtown London through social media, at events, in the media, etc.
    • Helps to create an atmosphere that promotes the appeal of living, working, and playing in downtown London.
    • Strong commitment to community building and partnerships in downtown, making a real difference and helping to set a positive example for others to follow
    • Contributes in other innovative ways to create a positive experience and impact for downtown
    • Current LDBA or MSL board members and staff are not eligible to be nominated
    • Applicants should provide 1 - 2 examples of how they meet each criteria