Mike and CeCe

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR — Mike Guisti was presented with Haywood County Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year award. He is pictured here with CeCe Hipps, the Executive Director of the Haywood County Chamber.

Junaluska Animal Hospital was presented with the coveted Business of the Year award by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner last week.

“We appreciate the support of the community,” said Mike Guisti, a veterinarian and one of the co-owners of the animal hospital.

The Junaluska Animal Hospital recently went through a $2 million renovation in an effort to offer Haywood County and the surrounding areas with an alternative for having to travel for late night emergency veterinary care.

“People from Franklin and from Bryson City, from Waynesville; they were all driving to Asheville,” said Guisti. “Part of the reason we built this is because we felt there was a need in the community to make our place available.”

Prior to the major undertaking, Junaluska Animal Hospital has been in the same building since the 1960s with only minor expansion projects since.

“Here we are in 2019, going strong. Doubled our square footage from 5,000 to 10,000,” Guisti said. “I’m gonna be nervous if we outgrow that.”

With 30 employees, Junaluska Animal Hospital strives to treat everyone who enters their facility just like family, per their founder Dr. Mack S. Setser’s initial focus.

Being the only entity in Haywood County offering such a level of emergency services, the animal hospital quickly realized how inadequate their space was becoming.

“We were in our old building and we started the emergency services, we realized ‘wow, this is not going to work in this building,’” Guisti said.

His comments were made before fellow business and civic leaders during the chamber’s annual dinner held at Laurel Ridge last Thursday.

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce awards Business of the Year to a business that exemplifies significance within the community.

“Business of the Year is an award given to a business who demonstrates all-round excellence in business including but, not limited to financial performance, future objectives, competitive advantage of the business, a commitments to customer service and specific strategies which have driven business growth,” said Steve McNeil, a Haywood County Chamber of Commerce board member.

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