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Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Bill and Rochelle Tepperman Honoured at Chamber Ball

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The Windsor & Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce reported honoring Rochelle & Bill Tepperman with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing them for their joint life of service to Windsor and Essex County Ontario.

The Teppermans have made service to the community their personal mission for the entirety of their life together. “Community is what has supported our business and in turn we have a debt to our community, just like we have a debt to Canada,” said Bill Tepperman. “Anybody can open a store; anybody can be a lawyer or a doctor. If you do it just to make money, that’s not success. But to do it in a way where you treat every human being the way human beings deserve to be treated… that I believe is success.”

“Our parents were married around the time of the Great Depression and life went on during those difficult times,” said Rochelle. “Our parents had very little and some relatives had even less but we both grew up in homes where helping people was very important. We both learned by example. It was accepted that we all had a communal responsibility to help the rest of our community.”

Rochelle & Bill Tepperman celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 2012. They are proud parents to Andrew (Tina), Jonathan (Alexis) & Noah (Julie) and prouder grandparents to Lia & Nathan, Gerome & Novi, and Lily & Benjamin. Andrew & Noah are the third generation of Tepperman family owner-operators in the business. Jonathan is Managing Editor for Foreign Affairs, the leading magazine for analysis and debate of foreign policy, economics and global affairs.

Currently Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bill was President of Tepperman’s from 1972 until his retirement in 2006. After many years of service to the customers & staff of Tepperman’s as Vice President, Rochelle, also retired, now sits as Vice Chair of Tepperman’s Board.

In the public sector, Rochelle served as an elected Trustee of the Windsor Board of Education where she championed the equality of female staff as well as the introduction of the Race Relations Committee, one of the first in the Province. Additionally she has served on the Advisory Committee for National Bank of Canada; the Windsor Police Services Board (as Chair), the Ontario Association of Police Service Board (as Chair), and the Casino Monitoring Committee.

As a community leader she has been heavily involved with many organizations, including the West Side Children’s Breakfast Program; the Windsor Group Therapy Project; Metropolitan Hospital Foundation (as Chair); Board Member of Metropolitan Hospital; Windsor Symphony Orchestra (as Vice Chair); the Art Gallery of Windsor (as Vice Chair). She was also a Honourary Board Member of the Alzheimer Society of Windsor & Essex County, in addition to serving on the Community Relations Committee for the Windsor Jewish Federation.

In 1992, Rochelle received the Governor General of Canada the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada and the Windsor-Essex Leadership Award in 2005.

Bill was the federal candidate for the New Democratic Party in 1962, the first in this area. His past involvement includes Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation (National Board Member and Executive V.P.); C.S.T. Consultants Inc. (Chairman); Jewish National Fund of Canada- Windsor (President); United Way of Windsor & Essex County (Board Member, Fundraising Division Chair); Social Planning Division of Windsor (Chair); Art Gallery of Windsor Foundation (Board member); Windsor Media Council (Board member); Marketing Committee of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (Chair); President, Allied Furniture Distributors of Canada.

In 2003 Bill was named Canadian Retailer of the Year by the Ontario Furniture Manufacturer’s Association. In 2004 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Windsor- Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2013 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to family, community and country.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award was conceived in 1999 as a special achievement award to be bestowed on someone who has shown vision, commitment, dedication, spirit and leadership which has resulted in an extraordinary contribution to the quality of life and the overall good of the Windsor-Essex community.

The award is not presented annually- it is awarded only when the Chamber’s Board of Directors deems there is a thoroughly deserving recipient who has made an exceptional contribution above & beyond the Chamber’s annual Business Excellence Awards.

“Extraordinary people don’t come along every day. We, as a community, would be indeed fortunate if such a person came along once a decade. Recognizing that there was such deserving individual in our midst, the Board of Directors of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the Lifetime Achievement Award.”

About Tepperman’s: Founded in 1925, Tepperman’s is the largest independent retailer of home furnishings in Southwestern Ontario, and one of the strongest regional chains in Canada. Now in its 88th year, Tepperman’s has a staff of over 350 people and stores in Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia & London, Ontario. In April 2013, Tepperman’s was awarded the Large Company of the Year Award from the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.  For more information, visit  www.teppermans.com

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