Alderwood Estates’ owner Deborah Dunne is being counted among the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) 2020 women of honour roll.
Dunne was awarded the Economic Impact Award during the 23rd annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards held on Thursday, November 26 which was streamed live from the Delta Hotel’s St. John’s Conference Centre.
“I was quite humbled, and shocked initially, because I just go about my day doing my thing, and you don’t really realize the impact of what you do until someone puts it out there,” said Dunne.
Alderwood Estates, a staple of Witless Bay for decades, is run by Dunne, who bought the business from her parents. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunne, who also operates a nursing home in central Newfoundland, carried on with plans for an extension on the Witless Bay facility, hiring local contractors and using material from local supplier Witless Bay Home Hardware.
The 20 new suites will open in June and create work jobs for another four or five local workers to Alderwood’s team of over 20 employees.
Dunne said residents of Alderwood are members of the community, and that the whole Irish Loop is like an extended family. Keeping COVID-19 restrictions in mind, Alderwood has an open-door policy, and schools and community groups are often invited over to participate in different activities and celebrations.
“Everyone is welcome at Alderwood,” said Dunne.
In total, six women from across the province received awards at the NLOWE event.
“Every businesswoman should support NLOWE, because NLOWE is great for mentoring women,” said Dunne. “It’s harder, sometimes, for women in business. NLOWE is a steppingstone, and they’re very knowledgeable and helpful.”
Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News