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2023 Canadian Business Leader Award Recipients

2023 Canadian Business Leader Award Recipients

Vancouver, BC

(VANCOUVER) – January 10, 2023 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the honourees of our 2023 Canadian Business Awards:

Canadian Business Leader Lifetime Achievement Award
Karen Flavelle, Chief Executive Officer, Purdys Chocolatier

Canadian Business Leader of the Year Award
Ryan Beedie, President, Beedie

Both awards were established to celebrate and recognize Canadian business executives at the top of their fields, who have distinguished themselves through stellar corporate leadership and meaningful contributions to their communities.

This year’s honourees share a commitment to excellence, innovation, collaboration and leadership, all of which are foundational pillars of our continued efforts to build a thriving business landscape, strong economy and a better life for all Canadians.

As CEO of Purdys Chocolatier, Karen Flavelle’s passion for quality, chocolate and people has been the key to her success in re-invigorating the iconic 115-year-old heritage brand and increasing its reputation for premium chocolates. A native Vancouverite, Karen bought Purdys Chocolatier from her father in 1997. She prioritized listening to Purdys customers and revolutionized many aspects of the business including merchandising, marketing, recipe development, factory and store efficiencies and more. Through her leadership, Karen grew the business from 42 to over 80 locations across Canada including Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and established an E-commerce sales channel.

Karen and Purdys have always been passionate about giving back. As a purpose-driven and family-run organization, Purdys supports communities where they do business: in Canada and the Ivory Coast. Support ranges from paying premiums to source sustainable cocoa to support cocoa farmers, to investing in organizations through Purdys Purple Partnerships that support the 2SLGBTQ+ community; Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) communities; and women & children.

Karen has supported many organizations privately, the major recipients being: BC Children’s Hospital Foundation creating the Flavelle Wellness Park, Take a Hike Foundation and Pacific Autism Family Network Foundation.

In addition to Purdys being named an AON Best Employer nine times under her leadership, Karen has won numerous awards such as being named WXN’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, BC’s top 500 most influential business leaders in Food and Beverage, a Top CEO in Canada by Glassdoor.   

Born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia, Ryan Beedie is president of Beedie, one of Western Canada’s largest industrial and residential development companies. Even greater than the business’ success, though, is Ryan’s personal commitment to give back to the community. He has personally contributed over $125 million to 350 organizations as varied as Simon Fraser University, Ronald McDonald House, the BC Children’s Hospital, YWCA in Vancouver and The One Campaign, an organization fighting poverty around the world and on whose Global Leadership Council he currently sits. 

In 2018, Ryan launched Beedie Luminaries with a personal commitment of $50 million, to provide post-secondary scholarships for promising but disadvantaged students mainly in British Columbia. Most recently, Beedie Luminaries launched its Spark Program (Single Parent Awards for Resilience and Knowledge),providing single parents facing financial adversity with support for full-time or part-time studies.  

Ryan Beedie’s work has earned numerous awards and acknowledgments, one of the most recent being the Order of British Columbia, recognizing Ryan’s dedication to community support and philanthropy. Ryan and his wife Cindy Beedie reside in British Columbia.

We look forward to celebrating these two visionary business leaders at a reception and dinner event on Thursday June 1, 2023 in Vancouver, BC.  

For more information or to attend the award ceremony, please contact Kimberly Gale, Vice President, Member Relations at or 403.614.4681.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce — The Future of Business Success

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most activated business network — representing over 400 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 200,000 businesses of all sizes, from all sectors of the economy and from every part of the country — to create the conditions for our collective success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the undisputed champion and catalyst for the future of business success. From working with government on economy-friendly policy to providing services that inform commerce and enable trade, we give each of our members more of what they need to succeed: insight into markets, competitors and trends, influence over the decisions and policies that drive business success and impact on business and economic performance. 

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Karl Oczkowski

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

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