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JA PEI inducts Hambly and Callbeck into its Hall of Fame PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Knell   

CHARLOTTETOWN (21 June 2011) - Two prominent furniture retailers have been inducted into Prince Edward Island's Business Hall of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the community as well as their success as entrepreneurs. The honourees are Wayne Hambly, chairman of Mega Group and Senator Catherine S. Callbeck, founder of Callbeck Furniture, the local Leon's Furniture franchise here.

The program is organized by the local Junior Achievement organization.

Callbeck was named this year's ‘Business Entrepreneur and Trail Blazer for Advancement of Canadian Women.'

"The Callbeck name has been prominent in business circles since 1899, and at one time they ran the largest country store on Prince Edward Island," the organizers said in a statement.

Callbeck worked in the family from the age of 12 and was the only female in the commerce program as Mt. Allison University. After post-graduate work at Syracuse University, she taught business administration in community colleges in New Brunswick and Ontario before rejoining the family business in 1968.

Senator Catherine Callbeck (centre) is seen here being inducted into the JA PEI Business Hall of Fame by the chairman of its board of governors, Bruce Howatt (right). Looking on is CTV television personality Jeff Hutcheson.

Her focus was on the furniture side of the business which was eventually spun-out into a stand-alone store here in 1982. Several years later, Callbeck Furniture became one of the first franchise stores in the network operated by Leon's Furniture. She is still involved in the business.

In 1974, she was elected to the PEI Legislative Assembly and served in several cabinet posts. She returned to the family business in 1978 and ten years later was elected to Parliament as the member for Malpeque.

She returned to provincial politics in 1993 after being elected leader of the Liberal Party of PEI. Later that year, she was elected Premier of PEI - the first woman to be elected a provincial premier in Canada.

Callbeck left politics in 1996 and returned to the family business. She was called to the Senate of Canada the following year.

In addition to her business and political achievements, Callbeck found time to give back to her community. Her involvement with charitable and public service groups is wide ranging. Among them are:

  • Chairman of the Confederation Centre of the Arts;
  • Member of the Board of Regents of Mt. Allison University
  • Member of Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission
  • Board member of the Institute for Research on Public Policy
  • Director of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association
  • Director of the PEI United Fund
  • Member of the Provincial Committee for the International Year of the Disabled
  • Member of the Advisory Council of Family Resource Programs of Canada
Callbeck is a patron for a number of organizations including the PEI Business Women's Association and the PEI District of the Canadian Bible Society. The Honourable Catherine Callbeck's leadership in business, politics and in women's affairs makes her a very deserving member of the JA PEI Business Hall of Fame.

Hambly was named PEI's ‘Entrepreneur and Community and Cultural Leader' for 2011.

"For years his name has been associated strongly with both business and cultural life on PEI and the Atlantic region," the organizers said.

Under the umbrella of Hambly Enterprises Ltd, Hambly operates a number of businesses including Hambly's Country Home Furnishings & Appliances; PEI Home & RV Centre as well as Hambly Rentals, which operates a number of land lease and other real estate related concerns.

"Besides these major business involvements, Wayne believes that business people should support and fulfill a strong community and cultural responsibility. Entrepreneurs must not only look to their own benefit, but also work for the well being of society.  In this capacity Wayne has been a beacon and an icon," the organizers said, noted that his nomination to the Hall of Fame listed no less than 26 affiliations under ‘service to the community'.

In addition to serving as chairman of the Fathers of Confederation Building Trust since 1993, Hambly has also served as:

  • Governor of District 7820 of Rotary International
  • President of the United Way of PEI and Chair of the Capital Campaign
  • Co-Chair of PEI Catscan Fund
  • Co-chair of the Heart and Stroke Provincial Campaign
  • President of the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce
  • Vice-chair of Holland College Foundation
  • Director of the Capital Commission
  • Director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Hambly is also the current chairman of Mega Group, this country's largest furniture and appliance buying group. He is also past president of the Canadian Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada.

He has also received a number of awards including the Canadian Recreation Vehicle Dealer of the Year Award; the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year; the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce's Entrepreneur of the Year Award; and the Natal Day Citizen Recognition Award.

Wayne Hambly (centre) is seen here being inducted into the JA PEI Business Hall of Fame by the chairman of its board of governors, Bruce Howatt (right). Looking on is CTV television personality Jeff Hutcheson.

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