The MidlandsIreland.ie Best in Business Awards were held in The Tullamore Court Hotel last Friday.
Welcoming the attendees to the third annual awards, president of Midlands Gateway Chamber, John Humphries, said, “Business in today’s environment is tough. Taking the decision to start up a business is one of the hardest choices a person can make; it takes a certain type of person to take that initial leap of faith to start a business, and for someone to be successful encompasses personal qualities only those in business and their families can understand.”
Will Faulkner of Midlands 103 was MC for the event. The first award presented was the Emerging New Business Award, which went to Preston House, Abbeyleix. A delighted Breda and Danny Stackpool accepted the award, sponsored by AIB, from Christy Byrne, representing AIB Midlands. Other finalists in this category were DG Ventures and Pyxis Software.
The next award was Best Multi-National Business Award, sponsored by the IDA. Breda O’Toole, IDA Midlands regional manager presented the award to Vincent Cox representing Cameron Ireland. The other finalist was Abbott Diagnostics.
The Best Cultural Tourism Award was presented to Birr Castle Demesne by Cllr Fintan Cooney representing CHARTS. CHARTS is a regional initiative co-financed by the European Regional Development to promote culture, heritage, and landscape tourism. The other finalists in this category were Ballinahown Craft Village and Clara Bog Visitor Centre.
The winner of the Green Initiative Award was Cynar Plc, and the award was presented by Paddy Rowland of Bord Na Mona. The other finalists were KMK Metals and Polar Ice Tech Ltd.
The Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by The Bridge Centre, Dolans Pharmacy, and Guy Clothing, was presented to Red Earth Mullingar. The other finalists in this category were Leavys Centra, Tullamore and Telfords, Portlaoise.
The Outstanding Business Award, sponsored by Glenisk went to Green Farm Foods of Rathowen. The other finalists were Midlands 103 and the Flat Bread Company.
The final award was the Business Person of the Year Award, sponsored by Lir Investors. Martin Nally presented the award to the winner, Albert Fitzgerald of Midlands 103. The other finalists were Kenneth Green, Green Farm Foods and Alison Ritchie, Polar Ice.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was sponsored by Element Power Ireland, and Tim Cowhig, CEO presented the award to Trevor Brown, Irish Casings. Trevor has given many years’ service to Irish Casings in Tullamore.
The Midlands Ambassador of the Year award was kindly sponsored by Tullamore Dew. The winner of the award, Conor Brady, unfortunately couldn’t be there in person to accept the award. Conor previously held roles as editor of The Irish Times and the Sunday Tribune. Conor’s award was accepted by Pat Gallagher, Offaly county manager on his behalf.
Minister for State for Small Business, John Perry, congratulated all involved. “Awards like these are important because they give well deserved recognition to the entrepreneurial efforts of the men and women running local companies. They also showcase to the public the hard work, drive, commitment, and innovation of those involved in the regional business community,” he said.