Busi­ness Awards

Belfast Telegraph - Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies - - CONTENTS -

It’s the most pres­ti­gious night of the year for busi­nesses and busi­ness­peo­ple in North­ern Ire­land. And this year, the Belfast Tele­graph Busi­ness Awards in part­ner­ship with Ul­ster Bank were big­ger and bet­ter than ever. Around 450 of the busi­ness world’s bright­est and best at­tended the glit­ter­ing cer­e­mony at the Crowne Plaza Ho­tel in Belfast.

This was the third year in a row that the Belfast Tele­graph was hon­oured to part­ner with our over­all spon­sor Ul­ster Bank to hold the awards.

Com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als were hon­oured across 15 cat­e­gories through­out evening.

This year also brought the ad­di­tion of a live pitch­ing ses­sion in which the au­di­ence heard one-minute pitches for in­vest­ment from five high-achiev­ing en­trepreneur­s. The au­di­ence then got to vote for the best pitch in a nail-bit­ing mo­ment — not just for the five en­trepreneur­s, but for the en­tire room.

Stephen Beck of Zero Waste Biotech won the prize of £4,000 and a full place on Ul­ster Bank’s renowned Ac­cel­er­a­tor Pro­gramme for start-up busi­nesses. Sadly this meant that Harry Eves of Ro­ta­pal, Tricia Mc­neilly of Otz­i­brew, Paudie Fearon of Wib­ble and Jes­sica Wil­son of Stand left empty-handed on the night, though it’s safe to say their ac­u­men and ea­ger­ness made a last­ing im­pres­sion on the crowd of po­ten­tial in­vestors.

The night was hosted by BBC NI jour­nal­ist Mark Simp­son, who rem­i­nisced about his time work­ing in the Belfast Tele­graph.

Richard Don­nan, the Ul­ster Bank head in North­ern Ire­land, wel­comed the crowd and

con­grat­u­lated all the nom­i­nees.

And Alastair Hamilton, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of In­vest NI, gave an ad­dress on the econ­omy. Mr Hamilton also re­flected on al­most a decade at the top of the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment agency, as he will be leav­ing the post later this year.

He said that over 160 com­pa­nies have come to North­ern Ire­land in the past 10 years with com­mit­ments to cre­ate 10,000 jobs. “In the past five years, Belfast has at­tracted more FDI jobs than any other UK city, in­clud­ing Lon­don,” he said.

This year marked a new era for the Belfast Tele­graph Busi­ness Awards.

Af­ter a long his­tory of chair­ing the judg­ing panel for the awards, econ­o­mist Pro­fes­sor John Simp­son re­tired from the role last year.

This year was there­fore the first in the hot seat for new chair­man of the judg­ing panel, Pro­fes­sor Mark Durkin, Ex­ec­u­tive Dean of the Ul­ster Univer­sity busi­ness school.

The re­main­der of the panel was made of John Simp­son — who re­mains as a judge — as well as Richard Don­nan of Ul­ster Bank, Pro­fes­sor Ian Mccon­nell of PWC, Pro­fes­sor Ge­off Sim­mons of Queen’s Univer­sity, Roger Pollen of the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses, Clare Guin­ness of the War­ren­point Har­bour Au­thor­ity, Ann Mcgre­gor of the NI Cham­ber of Com­merce, Jennifer Mckeever of Air­porter, and Ciara La­gan from Tughans Solic­i­tors.

De­spite the un­cer­tainty of Brexit, the night was over­whelm­ingly one of pos­i­tiv­ity and cel­e­bra­tion for North­ern Ire­land busi­nesses and busi­ness­peo­ple who will let noth­ing stand in the way of their success.

The Life­time Achievemen­t Award was presented to Owen Bren­nan of Devenish Nu­tri­tion by Richard Don­nan, head of Ul­ster Bank NI, and Belfast Tele­graph pub­lish­ing direc­tor Sarah Lit­tle at the Busi­ness Awards in as­so­ci­a­tion with Ul­ster Bank

Out­stand­ing Busi­ness of the Year, spon­sored by Ul­ster Bank, presented to Tony Con­very and Bren­dan Maynes from CDE by Richard Don­nan, head of Ul­ster Bank and Gail Walker, Belfast Tele­graph Ed­i­tor

Declan Magee, Joint Head of Lit­i­ga­tion, Car­son Mcdowell, presents IT Com­pany or Team of the Year to Lorna Mcadoo and John Har­rower from Ver­sion1

Re­tailer of the Year Award win­ners Wil­liam and Chris Suitor from Suitor Brothers Tai­lor­ing, with Re­tail NI Pres­i­dent, Peter Mcbride

Sara Murphy and Brenda Mul­li­gan from SPAR col­lect the Ex­cel­lence in Mar­ket­ing award from Jonathan Martin­dale of Phoenix Nat­u­ral Gas

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