The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission*(DDBC) is thrilled to announce the winners of our 3 community awards: BusinessInnovator of the Year Greg Turple, owner of Turple Communications Inc.; CommunityLeader of the Year Sara Napier, president and CEO of United Way Halifax; andthe Gloria Fisher Businessperson of theYear Rhea Ferrolino, RMT, owner of Massage by Rhea. The honourees receivedtheir awards yesterday at the DDBC’s annual general meeting.


The Gloria Fisher Businessperson of the YearAward is given to a downtown Dartmouth business owner who demonstrates anexcellent level of business standards and ethics, plus leadership, creativity,vision, and entrepreneurial spirit. The winner also shows concern and providessupport for fellow members of the business community and the people in ourneighbourhood. Moreover, they foster awareness and promote Downtown Dartmouthwhenever and wherever possible.


This year’s winner, Rhea Ferrolino, is acompassionate and involved member of the downtown Dartmouth community whoembodies all elements of the Gloria Fisher Businessperson of the Year Award.Through Massage by Rhea, Ferrolino has been connecting to clients and to thedowntown Dartmouth community at large for 17 years. Over the years, Massage byRhea has amassed a loyal following who appreciate Ferrolino’s genuine care forher clients’ needs and her vivacious personality.


Moreover, Ferrolino has been a notablepresence at community events like the Alice House Spring Celebration, where shevolunteered free, seated massages and personal care products to women affectedby intimate partner violence, helping to foster an environment of care andcompassion and remove the barriers that keep some from accessing massageservices.


Ferrolino is the 4th winner of the GloriaFisher Businessperson of the Year. Last year, the winner was Kimberley Dares,co-owner of The Trainyard, and the 2020 winner was Samantha Dixon-Slawter ofStyles by SD. The 2019 winner was Jane MacDougald, owner of The Dart Gallery.The winner is chosen by jury and the list of nominees is generated by membersof the community. Several names were brought forward this year, all respectedrepresentatives of downtown Dartmouth businesses.


Old picture of Gloria Fisher



Gloria Fisher opened Fisher’s stationary on Portland Street in 1959. She kept running the business successfully until her retirement in 2014 at the age of 93. Customers remember Gloria fondly as a kind, hard-working shop owner who went the extra mile for her customers and greeted everyone she knew by name.


Sara Napier, Community Leader of the Year, has dedicated her 25-year career to improving the lives of Nova Scotians. In her current position at United Way Halifax, Napier has helped local charities provide vital services to those in need, even through the instability of the pandemic. Napier’s employees United Way Halifax say that she has completely transformed the organization’s impact on the community. Napier is leading the way for a more prosperous future for Dartmouth, Halifax, and beyond.


Greg Turple, Business Innovator of the Year, brings high-tech security solutions to local businesses. When he’s not serving Dartmouth clients, he’s showing his non-local clients the unique charm of our downtown neighbourhood with local meeting venues and gifts. In 2020, Turple spent two months installing 5000 lights to the side of his building, creating the Light Wall mural, just to bring joy to the community during the pandemic.


For more information and/or interview requests please contact:

Tim Rissesco, Executive Director

Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission

902-430-8236 (Cell) 902-466-2997 (Office)



*Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission is a business improvement district with the mission to champion the vitality of downtown Dartmouth with efforts that enhance the capabilities of our member businesses, advocate for the betterment of the district, create a sense of place, and market the district.

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