Six Galway businesses are finalists in Ulster Bank awards

Pictured at the recent Ulster Service Business Awards event were Niall Murray, general manager, Collins McNicholas; Michelle Murphy, regional manager, Galway, Collins McNicholas; Colman Collins, managing director, Collins McNicholas; and Dermot O'Connell, director Galway & Midlands, Business Banking, Ulster Bank.

Pictured at the recent Ulster Service Business Awards event were Niall Murray, general manager, Collins McNicholas; Michelle Murphy, regional manager, Galway, Collins McNicholas; Colman Collins, managing director, Collins McNicholas; and Dermot O'Connell, director Galway & Midlands, Business Banking, Ulster Bank.

Six leading Galway businesses will compete for awards at the national final of the 2011 Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards.

The six companies, Atlantic Language Galway, Let’s Do It Global, Evergreen HealthFoods, Cold Chon, Galway Bay Seafoods, and Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group, progressed to the national final after winning awards at the Connacht final of the competition last February.

The Galway based companies won the following awards:

1. International Business Award – Atlantic Language

2. Social Entrepreneurship Award – Lets Do It Global

3. Family Run Business Award – Evergreen HealthFoods Ltd

4. Green Business Award – Cold Chon Ltd

5. Agriculture, Food & Drink Award – Galway Bay Seafoods

6. Service Business Award – Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services

The provincial winner in each category has already received a specially commissioned award, local and national PR opportunities and a dedicated profile page on the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards website.

Throughout each stage of the competition, companies are judged on a variety of merits including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy for the business, and development of innovative products and services.

Speaking ahead of the national awards, Brendan McDermott, Regional Director, Ulster Bank, said: “The Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards is about recognising and rewarding business success. Throughout each stage of the awards, participants are exposed to a wealth of potential customers and investors. An extensive media campaign will give our winners a platform to showcase their success on a national and regional level. The Connacht winning businesses have displayed exceptional resilience and determination whilst keeping competitors at arm’s length. I would like to wish them the very best of luck at the national final in April and in their future endeavours.”

The awards, now in their 18th year, are in association with the Irish Independent, Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland and aim to recognise and reward business success, regardless of business product, service, size, or sector. This year, over 370 businesses entered across eight categories

The overall 2011 Ulster Bank Business Achiever will receive a comprehensive reward package including a publishing bursary with the Irish Independent, business mentoring, a full service communications workshop, as well as national and regional PR opportunities.

The Galway finalists —

— International Business Award – Atlantic Language Galway

Established in 1993, Atlantic Language Galway’s objective is to provide a quality learning experience for visiting students, combined with a unique cultural experience. The school is attended by approximately 5,000 students each year and is recognised and accredited by the Department of Education and Skills. Known for its friendly and personal atmosphere and its attention to high academic standards of English teaching, Atlantic Language Galway recently adapted its offering to include the Family Package Programme. Responding to recent trends of European families veering towards study holidays, this programme gives parents the opportunity to study alongside their children from ages three to 17. Atlantic Language Galway employs 40 people.

— Social Entrepreneurship Award – Let’s Do It Global

Let’s Do It Global is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organisation focusing on promoting the Maritime, connecting Irish youth with the ocean, leveraging Ireland’s marine resources and linking with Ireland’s diaspora. A core part of Let’s Do It Global’s mission has been bringing the world-renowned ‘Volvo Ocean Race’ to Galway. In addition to this, Let’s Do It Global is also responsible for creating ‘Global Village 2012’ – an Irish expo with a focus on innovation,food, green and marine. Other Let’s Do It activities include the Ocean Youth Trust Charity and the link with the ‘Volvo Ocean Race’ Chinese-Irish team currently navigating the globe. Let’s Do It Global currently employs seven people, and will be recruiting 1,200 volunteers for the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Grand Finale, which takes place from June 30-July 8 2012.

— Family-Run Business Award – Evergreen HealthFoods Ltd

Evergreen HealthFoods is a chain of five health retail outlets operating across Galway city and suburbs. It is a one-stop-shop for health foods, health-related products and health advice. Established by husband and wife team Kieran and Aideen Hurley, the company celebrates its twentieth year in business in April 2012. In 2008, the company set up an online store which now retails over 2,500 products to customers across the UK and Ireland. With over 40 employees, the company invests heavily in training and has put forward more candidates for exams than any other health store in the country. Evergreen HealthFoods has a turnover of €5.3million.

— Green Business Award – Cold Chon Ltd

Cold Chon Ltd, established in Galway in 1927, manufactures and applies a range of emulsifiers, emulsions and binders which are used in road surfacing.

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The company exports its products to over 40 countries worldwide. Major investment has gone into environmental infrastructure improvement, and the company’s research and development team works in collaboration with the customer to develop greener products and services. Cold Chon Ltd is also very proactive in the area of waste management – 96 per cent of its waste has been diverted from municipal waste landfill, while it has reduced its packaging waste by 75 per cent since 2001.

— Agri, Food and Drink Award – Galway Bay Seafoods

Established in 1950, Galway Bay Seafoods is a family-run seafood company. The business comprises of four main elements – retail, wholesale, export and a cookery school. The company underwent massive reinvestment in 2006, with a factory redevelopment and a new range of smoked products. The cookery school is the only school in Ireland dedicated solely to seafood. Galway Bay Seafoods has a turnover of €4.5 million and a staff of 28.

— Service Business Award – Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group

Established in 1990, Collins McNicholas is a recruitment and human resource services company. Headquartered in Galway, the company has a nationwide presence, with offices in Dublin, Cork, Sligo, and Athlone.Over the past 21 years, Collins McNicholas has been instrumental in assisting many multinational companies to establish facilities in Ireland. The company’s main clients include Boston Scientific, Abbott Laboratories, Stryker, Alere, Prometric, J&J, GSK and Bioware. Despite the recruitment industry experiencing decline in recent years, Collins McNicholas has responded to market changes by adjusting its business model. With 20 employees, the company has a turnover of €3.2 million.

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