Best in Business Awards 2014

Best in Business Awards Logo

  The Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards were held in The Annebrook House Hotel on a beautiful summers evening, last Friday 16th May 2014. Guests were welcomed into The Old House by a fabulous red carpet Champagne and strawberries reception, sponsored by the Annebrook House Hotel which gave business people from across the Midlands an excellent Networking opportunity. Mr. Pat Whelan, President, Mullingar Chamber of Commerce welcomed everyone to this, the fourth annual Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards, by stepping into the shoes of his dear friend John Humphries, President of Midlands Gateway Chamber. Pat extended the welcome that John had prepared, but sadly was unable to give as he lost his brave battle with Cancer and was laid to rest just the previous day (Thursday 15th). Pat echoed John’s words from last year’s Awards “Let’s be honest about it, 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, for someone to be successful in that venture is a completely different story and encompasses personal qualities only those in business and their families can understand.” The hugely successful annual event was a sell-out and Mr Whelan continued by telling the business community “These awards recognise and honour that hard work, dedication and perseverance to help promote excellence and innovation in our regional business community” “There is much support for businesses available from the various agencies including the regional authorities, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, the new Local Enterprise Offices, Community Development Agencies, Dept. of Social Protection and let’s not forget your local Chambers of Commerce.” “When the rain comes we shelter under an umbrella, when it’s raining economically the business community can shelter under the umbrella of the Chambers of Commerce and work together to protect ourselves from the rain and prepare ourselves for the advantages that will come our way when the sun returns.” Mr Whelan concluded his speech by saying: “In this room are our brightest and our best; experts across all fields of business where you will find the support you need. We will rise by lifting each other.” Cllr. Peter Burke, Chairperson Westmeath County Council addressed the audience stressing the importance of working together to support eachother. Last to speak before the Awards Ceremony officially got underway was Mr Frank Mulrennan, Chief Executive Officer, Celtic Media Group, who explained how they are now 132 years supporting the community. Celtic Media Group is owned by an Irish management team, they provide jobs for 125 people across 4 counties and bring €5m in salaries each year into the community. He continued by saying that they print their own titles & other national/regional titles and have a centralised pre-press editorial & graphic design. The awards ceremony got under way with Mr. Will Faulkner, Midlands 103 as Master of Ceremonies. The first award presented was to the Emerging New Business Award Category winner ( * <...>), Mullingar. A delighted General Manager accepted the award, kindly sponsored by AIB, from Mr. Miles Gillespie, Branch Manager AIB Mullingar. Other finalists in this category were Fix My i and LighterLife. The next award of the evening was Best Multi-National Business Award, kindly sponsored by the IDA. Ms. Breda O’Toole, Head of Regional Business Development with IDA Ireland presented the award to the winner, Ms Carol Finch representing Cameron Ireland, Longford. The other finalists in this category were Abbott Diagnostics and Covidien. The Best Cultural Tourism Award, kindly sponsored by MidlandsIreland.ie, was presented to winners Ballinahown Craft Village, Athlone. The other finalists in this category who were highly commended were Athlone Castle & Luan Gallery and Mullingar Arts Centre. The winner of the Green Initiative Award was Brendan Dooley, The Print Factory, Co. Offaly. The award was presented by Mr. Paul Riordan, Bord Na Mona’s Head of Stock. The other finalists in this category were Dezynamite and Polar Ice Tech Ltd. The next Award was the first of three new Awards introduced this year and was the Employer of the Year Award, which was sponsored by our Charity Sponsor of the Year Midlands Simon Community. Their CEO Mr Tony O’Riordan presented the Award to delighted winners Mergon Group, Co. Westmeath. The other finalists in this category were The Greville Arms Hotel and Mullingar Credit Union The Retail Excellence Award, kindly sponsored by MUSGRAVE MarketPlace, was presented to the winners Market Point/Green Road/Austin Friar Pharmacies, Mullingar. The other finalists in this category were Colm Quinn BMW & MINI and Woodgrove Interiors. Next up was the Award that received the most number of nominee’s, making it a difficult one for the judges to choose, the Best Business Website Award, newly introduced this year was kindly sponsored by BB Awards & Promotions (who incidentally supplied each of the beautiful quality Awards the winners received on the night). Niall Maher, MD presented the Award to a delighted Matt Buckley of Quality Tractor Parts, Mullingar. The other finalists in this category were Birr Theatre & Arts Centre and Hip Baby. The Best Customer Focus Award, was kindly sponsored by Motivation Weight Management. The Award was presented by Ms Stephanie Clayton to Mary Hensey, Manager of Tullamore DEW Visitor Centre. Both Preston House and Red Earth were runners up in this tough category. The Outstanding Business Award, kindly sponsored by Celtic Media Group was next. Dale Greenwood, Group Business Manager presented winners Colm Quinn BMW & MINI with their award, which they delightedly took back to Athlone. The other finalists in this category were O’Donohue’s Bakery and Red Earth. The final business award was the Business Person of the Year Award, kindly sponsored by Westmeath Independent. The winner was Cathal O’Donohue, O’Donohues Bakery, Tullamore. Unfortunately, Cathal was unable to make the evening so his daughter Louise accepted the Award on her Father’s behalf from Padraic Martin, Sales Manager with Celtic Media Group . The other finalists were Mr. Bertie Dunne, Annebrook House Hotel and Ms. Alison Ritchie, Polar Ice. The Life Time Achievement Award was kindly sponsored by Westmeath Examiner and the Editor Mr. Brian O’Loughlin presented the award to the astonished winner Mr. Paddy Murphy, Chairman, Mullingar Credit Union. Paddy joined the Board of Mullingar Credit Union in 1971 and continues to be a member of the Board to the present day. He was appointed Chairman of Mullingar Credit Union in 1977 and held the position continuously until he stepped down in 2013.Paddy was joined on the night by many colleagues and family members. The Midlands Ambassador of the Year Award was kindly sponsored by Midlands Gateway Chamber. The winner of the award, Ms Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources , unfortunately couldn’t be there in person to accept the award, due to a prior commitment. Anne is one of the most prominent and wealthy women in Irish business, she co-founded recruitment agency CPL in 1989 and went on to become the first female CEO of an Irish company floated on the Irish Stock Exchange. She hails from Longford and holds a BA in maths and economics from UCD. Anne is looking forward to working as Ambassador for the Midlands region in the coming year. Anne’s award was accepted by Mr. Albert Fitzgerald, Managing Director of Midlands 103 on her behalf. Mr. Will Faulkner invited Kathy Sheridan (a native of Westmeath) to the stage to speak to the audience. Kathy is an Award-Winning journalist with the Irish Times and co-author with colleague Frank McDonald, of The Builders, a book about the small group of developers who fuelled the building boom. Kathy congratulated all involved with the organisation of such an event and said how delighted she was to join in celebrating all that is good in business in the Midlands. She said that “Awards like these are important. They are important because they give well deserved recognition to the entrepreneurial efforts of the men and women running locally traded companies. They also showcase to the public the hard work, drive, commitment and innovation of those involved in the regional business community”. Jennifer Meehan, Operations Officer and Event Organiser, Midlands Gateway Chamber said ”We were delighted to welcome over 250 business people to celebrate and showcase the best the Midlands has to offer. We want to thank all the finalists who put themselves forward for the Awards this year. It’s not an easy thing to do as you are putting your business in the spotlight to be judged, so it just shows the confidence these businesses have in their products, staff and their business capabilities. Each of them should be proud of their achievements to date, they are all winners in the Midlands and beyond and we wish them all the best of luck in the future.” MC Will Faulkner wrapped up the formalities by thanking all who made the evening possible and encouraging all attendee’s to use the rest of the evening to network. The Awards concluded with a tribute to the late John Humphries, President, Midlands Gateway Chamber. Click here to view the Awards Video: http://vimeo.com/96571021  
Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Award Winners 2014 photographed together with Mr. Pat Whelan, President Mullingar Chamber and Mr Frank Mulrennan Chief Executive Officer of Celtic Media Group, Main Sponsor of this years Awards Ceremony

Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Award Winners 2014 photographed together with Mr. Pat Whelan, President Mullingar Chamber and Mr Frank Mulrennan Chief Executive Officer of Celtic Media Group, Main Sponsor of this years Awards Ceremony

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Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards Ceremony this Friday in Mullingar

This Friday evening, 16th May will see the business communities of the Midlands congregate in the Annebrook House Hotel for the fourth annual Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards. Proceedings will commence at 7.30pm with a drinks reception followed at 8pm by a locally-sourced four course meal and wine, during which the awards ceremony will take place. The awards pay tribute to the talent, drive and innovation of the business community right across the Midland Counties of Westmeath, Offaly, Laois & Longford. Networking will be the theme of the evening with all those shortlisted promoting their business through displays and brochures. Mr Will Faulkner, Midlands 103 will once again be our Master of Ceremonies. We are delighted to announce that Kathy Sheridan will be our Guest Speaker on the night. Kathy Sheridan is an award-winning journalist with The Irish Times and co-author with colleague, Frank McDonald, of The Builders, a book about the small group of developers who fuelled the building boom. She is a native of Westmeath and now lives in north Kildare. Jennifer Meehan, Operations, Midlands Gateway Chamber said ‘I am delighted that this year’s Awards have been a sell out, it really shows the importance of honouring those businesses that operate in the Midlands. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors of the awards this year; these include our Main Sponsor Celtic Media Group along with IDA Ireland, Bord Na Mona, AIB, Musgrave MarketPlace, Motivation, BB Awards, MidlandsIreland.ie & Midlands Simon Community (who were chosen as a special Charity Sponsor this year). Our sponsor’s contribution shows their commitment to business in the Midlands Area as well as assisting in making the awards a very special and prestigious event’. The following are those shortlisted for the various categories: The Emerging New Business Award finalists kindly sponsored by AIB are:
  • Fix my I (Offaly)
  • ( * <...>) (Westmeath)
  • LighterLife (Westmeath/Longford)
The Best Multi-National Award finalists kindly sponsored by IDA Ireland are:
  • Cameron Ireland (Longford)
  • Abbott Diagnostics (Longford)
  • Covidien (Offaly)
The Business Person of the Year Award finalists kindly sponsored by Westmeath Independent are:
  • Mr Bertie Dunne, Annebrook House Hotel (Westmeath)
  • Mr Cathal O’Donohue, O’Donohue’s Bakery (Offaly)
  • Ms Alison Ritchie, Polar Ice (Laois)
The Outstanding Business Award finalists kindly sponsored by Celtic Media Group are:
  • Colm Quinn Motors (Westmeath)
  • Red Earth (Westmeath)
  • O’Donohue’s Bakery (Offaly)
The Employer of the Year Award finalists kindly sponsored by Midlands Simon Community are:
  • The Greville Arms Hotel (Westmeath)
  • Mergon (Westmeath)
  • Mullingar Credit Union (Westmeath)
The Green Initiative Award finalists kindly sponsored by Bord Na Mona are:
  • Dezynamite (Offaly)
  • Polar Ice (Laois)
  • The Print Factory (Offaly)
The Best Cultural Tourism Award finalists kindly sponsored by MidlandsIreland.ie are:
  • Ballinahown Craft Village (Westmeath)
  • Mullingar Arts Centre (Westmeath)
  • Athlone Castle & Luan Gallery (Westmeath)
The Retail Excellence Award finalists kindly sponsored by Musgrave MarketPlace are:
  • Colm Quinn Motors (Westmeath)
  • Woodgrove Interiors (Offaly)
  • MarketPoint, Green Road & Austin Friar Pharmacies (Westmeath)
The Best Business Website Award finalists kindly sponsored by BB Awards are:
  • Birr Theatre & Arts Centre (Offaly)
  • Hip Baby (Westmeath)
  • Quality Tractor Parts (Westmeath)
The Best Customer Focus Award finalists kindly sponsored by Motivation Weight Management are:
  • Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre (Offaly)
  • Preston House (Laois)
  • Red Earth (Westmeath)
The Award for Lifetime Achievement (kindly sponsored by Westmeath Examiner) will be presented to an influential Mullingar Business person on the night and also the Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassador Award will be presented to someone who has made considerable contributions to business in the Midlands. There will also be an excellent Business Card Draw taking place on the night with a top prize of a €2,000 Marketing Campaign for your business to be won with thanks to Midlands 103. The Annebrook House Hotel is offering a special rate to anyone lucky enough to be attending the Awards. Call the hotel reservations on 044 9353300. For further information, or tickets please contact info@midlandsgatewaychamber.ie Jennifer Meehan 086 8180956.

 

Finalists Announced at Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards

Midlands Gateway Chamber is proud to announce the Finalists in this, their fourth annual Best in Business Awards. This year’s Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards Ceremony will take place in the Annebrook House Hotel, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath on Friday 16th May starting with a drinks reception in The Old House at 7.30pm. Every year these awards honour those who are excelling in various businesses and this year it is bigger and better with the inclusion of more awards attracting entrants from the four Midland Counties of Offaly, Westmeath, Laois and Longford. Mr John Humphries, President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber said “This is such a highly prestigious award to win because it encompasses businesses from the entire Midlands Region and I am delighted to say we had over 100 entries this year. It is great to see such a large number of competitive entries in each of the categories, particularly in the Emerging New Business. In current economic situations it is encouraging to see business people coming up with new innovative ideas. I wish all the finalists the best of luck in the competition” Speaking at the announcement of this year’s finalists, Jennifer Meehan, Operations Manager for Midlands Gateway Chamber said: “There was a huge interest in some of the new categories that we introduced this year, particularly the Best Business Website Award and Best Customer Focus Award. We added these new categories as we wanted to reflect and honour the changes in business today. Businesses have obviously recognized the importance of their website, social media and in particular listening to their customers needs, as these 2 new categories received the most entries making it an even harder decision for the judges” The Awards Committee would like to sincerely thank all the companies who took the time to nominate and also to all the awards sponsors. The following are those shortlisted for the various categories: The Emerging New Business Award finalists are:
  • Fix my I (Offaly)
  • ( * <...>) (Westmeath)
  • LighterLife (Westmeath/Longford)
The Best Multi-National Award finalists are:
  • Cameron Ireland (Longford)
  • Covidien (Offaly)
  • Abbott Diagnostics (Longford)
The Business Person of the Year Award finalists are:
  • Mr Bertie Dunne, Annebrook House Hotel (Westmeath)
  • Mr Cathal O’Donohue, O’Donohue’s Bakery (Offaly)
  • Ms Alison Ritchie, Polar Ice (Laois)
The Outstanding Business Award finalists are:
  • Colm Quinn Motors (Westmeath)
  • Red Earth (Westmeath)
  • O’Donohue’s Bakery (Offaly)
The Employer of the Year Award finalists are:
  • The Greville Arms Hotel (Westmeath)
  • Mergon (Westmeath)
  • Mullingar Credit Union (Westmeath)
The Green Initiative Award finalists are:
  • Dezynamite (Offaly)
  • Polar Ice (Laois)
  • The Print Factory (Offaly)
The Best Cultural Tourism Award finalists are:
  • Ballinahown Craft Village (Westmeath)
  • Mullingar Arts Centre (Westmeath)
  • Athlone Castle & Luan Gallery (Westmeath)
The Retail Excellence Award finalists are:
  • Colm Quinn Motors (Westmeath)
  • Woodgrove Interiors (Offaly)
  • MarketPoint, Green Road & Austin Friar Pharmacies (Westmeath)
The Best Business Website Award finalists are:
  • Birr Theatre & Arts Centre (Offaly)
  • Hip Baby (Westmeath)
  • Quality Tractor Parts (Westmeath)
The Best Customer Focus Award finalists are:
  • Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre (Offaly)
  • Preston House (Laois)
  • Red Earth (Westmeath)
Best of luck to all of the finalists and with only a fortnight to go until the event it is sure to be an exciting night. Will Faulkner of Midlands 103 will once again be tasked with the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Tickets for this year’s Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards are already on sale priced at €40 per person or a corporate table of 10 for €360. There has already been a strong interest in what is widely known as one of the main networking events of the year for businesses in the Midlands. For ticket information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jennifer Meehan on 086 8180956 or email info@midlandsgatewaychamber.ie      

Is Your Business the Best in the Midlands?

The Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards, now in its fourth year, are open to all businesses operating in Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath whether they are a Chamber Member or not. This is your last chance to nominate as nominations are only open until this Thursday 17th April 2014. This Year’s Awards Presentation will take place in The Annebrook House Hotel on Friday 16th May 2014. President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber, Mr John Humphries is encouraging nominations from throughout the Midlands. ”There is great interest in this year’s awards with many nominations already received. The level of competition highlights the outstanding business efforts being made in the Midland Counties of Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath”. The awards categories are: Emerging New Business Award; Best Multi-National Award; Business Person of the Year; Outstanding Business Award; Best Cultural Tourism Award; Green Initiative Award and Retail Excellence Award. The judges found it extremely hard to whittle down the award winners last year due to such high standards so the decision was made to add 3 new categories to this year’s event to give more businesses than ever a chance at winning one of these prestigious awards. The 3 new categories are: Best Business Website Award; Best Customer Focus Award; Employer of the Year Award. Judging of this tightly fought contest will take place next week. Also being presented on the night will be Awards for Lifetime Achievement (Mullingar) and the Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassador Award. Viewed as one of the most enjoyable networking events of the Midlands business calendar, this year’s Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards Ceremony is now only a month away. Tickets will be on sale from Thursday 17th April priced at €40 per person or €360 for a corporate table of ten. The Awards presentation will take place on Friday 16th May in the Annebrook House Hotel starting with a drinks reception on arrival at 7.30pm with a sumptuous four course meal & ceremony following at 8pm sharp. Will Faulkner (Midlands103) will again take to the stage as Master of Ceremonies. With many influential business people from across the Midland Counties of Westmeath, Offaly, Laois & Longford in attendance on the night it is sure to be a productive evening for all in attendance and one not to be missed. Award nominations (including self-nominations) will be accepted via email until 5pm this Thursday 17th April, just before the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. Award nominees can be submitted by sending Business/Person’s Name and contact details to info@midlandsgatewaychamber.ie or call Jennifer Meehan on 086 8180956

MGC Best in Business Awards Poster JPEG

awards logo 2014Nominations are now open for the Midlands Gateway Chamber’s Best in Business Awards 2014

Nominations for this year’s Midlands Gateway Chamber’s Best in Business Awards are now being sought. Hosted by the Midlands Gateway Chamber these annual awards, now in their fourth year, celebrate excellence and innovation in businesses all across the Midlands Region. Along with the continued support from MidlandsIreland.ie and both Westmeath and Offaly County Councils, Celtic Media Group (CMG) have come on board as Main Sponsor. CMG are better known locally as the publishers of the Westmeath Examiner, Westmeath Independent and the Offaly Independent and have a long and rich tradition within the Midlands area. Speaking at the launch of the awards Dale Greenwood Group Business Manager said “the partnership with the Midlands Gateway Chamber is an obvious one and we look forward to supporting these prestigious awards” At the event launch John Humphries, President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber said “We encourage all businesses, whether established or emerging, big or small, to get nominations in for the various categories. There are excellent businesses operating within the Midlands Region and this is the ideal opportunity to showcase them and to get the recognition they deserve. The Midlands Gateway Chamber are proud to represent over 600 Midlands Businesses on a Regional level, but the nominations are open to all business operating within the Midlands. The Awards event itself will facilitate an ideal networking opportunity for all the business people of the Midlands, while also honoring their achievements”. Nominations are open for:
  • Emerging New Business Award
  • Best Multi National Business Award
  • Business Person of the Year Award
  • Outstanding Business Award
  • Best Cultural Tourism Award
  • Green Initiative Award
  • Retail Excellence Award
Due to a huge interest last year, we are also adding 3 new categories to this year’s event:
  • Best Business Website Award
  • Best Customer Focus Award
  • Employer of the Year Award
The Midlands Gateway Chamber Best in Business Awards is the business event of the year for the Midlands. This year the awards ceremony will take place in the Annebrook House Hotel on Friday 16th May. There are still a few sponsorship opportunities available for some of the Award Categories. Nomination forms are available to download directly from www.midlandsgatewaychamber.ie. Completed nomination forms will be accepted via email until 1pm on Thursday 17th April. Self nominations are also accepted. Sponsorship opportunities along with your Award Nominees can be submitted by contacting Jennifer Meehan at info@midlandsgatewaychamber.ie or 086 8180956
Pictured from left to right: Bertie Dunne, Proprietor Annebrook House Hotel; Jennifer Meehan, Operations Officer Midlands Gateway Chamber; Pat Whelan, President Mullingar Chamber of Commerce; Pat Gallagher, Westmeath County Manager and Frank Mulrennan, CEO Celtic Media Group

Pictured at this week's event launch from left to right : Bertie Dunne, Proprietor Annebrook House Hotel; Jennifer Meehan, Operations Officer Midlands Gateway Chamber; Pat Whelan, President Mullingar Chamber of Commerce; Pat Gallagher, Westmeath County Manager and Frank Mulrennan, CEO Celtic Media Group