January 15, 2015
Peter van Stralen receives Premier’s Award
Peter van Stralen has found success in both business and as a motivational speaker. He was recognized for that success with a Premier’s Award.
Landscape Ontario member Peter van Stralen was honoured with a 2014 Premier’s Award.

The CEO of Sunshine Brands, which includes two franchise brands, The Grounds Guys and the Sprinkler Guys, was the winner of the business category. His companies have 180 locations across Canada and the U.S.

The Premier’s Awards recognize outstanding graduates from Ontario’s 24 public colleges. The awards are presented annually in six categories: Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate and Technology.

More than 800 people attended the celebration at the Fairmont Royal York hotel on Nov. 24, as part of the Higher Education Summit.

Upon accepting his award, van Stralen said, “It is a huge honour to be chosen from such an impressive list of nominees.” He graduated from Humber College as a Landscape Technician in 1990. “When I first began in business, my experience at Humber gave me the confidence to succeed.”

He went on to thank former Humber professors Tony DiGiovanni, now executive director of Landscape Ontario, and Ian Bruce, now owner of Bruce Tree Expert Company of Toronto. “I continue to deal with both these men in business.”

The acceptance speech caused quite a stir when van Stralen said that he and his nine brothers, who all work at Sunshine Brands, thank their parents for showing them the benefits of good ethics.  

Van Stralen is also the author of C.A.R.E. Leadership. He is regularly invited to speak on leadership and personal and professional growth.

He will give the closing keynote address at Congress 2015 on Build Your Business with Leadership. Each attendee will receive a copy of van Stralen’s book, and have an opportunity ask him questions.

One of van Stralen’s messages is, “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary. A key factor to becoming successful at anything in life, whether personal or business-related is the quantity and quality of hard work that we invest in it.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying ‘work smarter, not harder.’ My experience has been that you have to do both. To get to the next level you need to work smarter and harder.”