THE Cheshire Business Awards gala presentation ceremony at Chester Racecourse paid tribute to the best innovators and entrepreneurs in the county.
Now in its eighth year, it was the first time the event has been held at the Roodee where The Pavilion was packed with representatives from the Cheshire business community.
Friday night began with an introduction from Rob Irvine, publishing director Trinity Mirror North Wales and Cheshire, who described the awards as growing in importance every year.
“It was a tough but rewarding job for the judges to draw up a shortlist and pick the winners,” he said.
“The awards represent the pick of the crop of Cheshire talent who are helping to get Britain back on track.
“Tonight you will hear examples of people who have launched start up companies, developed small businesses into bigger organisations, done sterling work in their communities and helped staff to reach their full potential.”
Returning as host for the occasion was Granada and ITN news presenter Lucy Meacock, a former Chester Chronicle journalist with a life long commitment to Cheshire and its business community.
Paying tribute to the businesses represented at the event, she said: “You create the jobs so that people can enjoy the opportunity to stay in this wonderful county and start their careers here.”
A total of 10 awards were presented on the night culminating in the announcement of the Bank of America Business Person of the Year.
The immensely popular winner of the prestigious title for 2011 was Dawn Gibbins, founder of the globally successful Flowcrete company which she created with her father Peter in South Cheshire in the early 1980s.
Guests and VIPs heard not only about her incredible business career but also her committed charity work with disadvantaged communities in Britain which was inspired by her experiences on the Secret Millionaire TV show.
A clearly flabbergasted Dawn gave an exuberant acceptance speech in which she admitted the award had come as a real shock.
She said: “My life is just so magical. I have been working with communities rather than running a business and I have great things planned for next year which I’m keeping secret.”
Referring to herself as “Dare to be Different Dawn”, she added: “I am going to be Feng Shui-ing my way through Cheshire and then I’m going to hit the UK. It’s going to be so successful!”
The other nine award winners were:
CHESHIRE WEST & CHESTER IN ASSOCIATION WITH BLUE ORCHID BUSINESS START UP AWARD
WINNER: BlueCoffee Networks
SCOTTISHPOWER SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
SAS DANIELS MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
WINNER: MPM Products
EA TECHNOLOGY LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Click Consult
CHESTER RENAISSANCE EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR
CHESHIRE EAST COUNCIL COMMUNITY AWARD
WINNER: M&S Money
BENTLEY MOTORS YOUNG BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Matt Bullas of Click Consult
SAS DANIELS WOMEN IN BUSINESS AWARD
WINNER: Anne McIntosh from EA Technology
MERSEY FOREST GREEN AWARD
WINNER: Chester Zoo
Trinity Mirror Cheshire would like to thank main awards sponsors SAS Daniels LLP and all the category sponsors for their support for the Cheshire Business Awards.
Don’t miss Thursday’s Chester Chronicle when we will feature a four page special report with pictures on the awards ceremony and the category winners. On sale September 22.