A Galaxy of Stars Honoured at Haverhill Business Awards
Saturday, 11th June 2005.
Posh frocks, tuxedos and champagne were very much in evidence at Haverhill’s first Business Awards Gala Ball held on Saturday 21st May at Chilford Hall. Nearly 400 key members of the area’s business community and representatives from organisations across the region, gathered to celebrate the excellence, creativity, innovation and Spirit of Enterprise that exists in local commerce.
For the first time, Haverhill’s business stars basked in the spotlight at a glittering awards ceremony that rivalled the Hollywood Oscars for glamour, glitz and panache.
The town’s new Chamber of Commerce supported the initiative, which was acclaimed a tremendous success by guests, finalists and the media. Formal presentations were made by Paul Donno, of Paul Donno Accountants, chairman of the Haverhill Chamber and Elaine Collins, of Gold PR, vice chairperson of the Haverhill Chamber and Director of the Business Awards. Paul paid tribute to all those involved in organising the project, referring to their vision and passion. Elaine thanked the sponsors of the awards programme commenting on their belief, support and generosity, which had helped to make it such a spectacular event. She described the gala ball as “ the jewel in the crown” of a sensational year for the Haverhill Chamber since its launch in February 2004.
Guest speaker was Ron Hickman, designer of the Lotus Élan and Black & Decker workmate, who delivered an entertaining address. Clive Thomas of Anglia IT Recruitment, introduced a presentation of images illuminating the work of St Nicholas’ Hospice, Bury St Edmunds; the charity will benefit from the proceeds of the evening and the entire business awards cycle.
Becky and Selina of local company, The Design Office, created this brief, but powerful and arresting film as part of their contribution to the Hospice Fund. They also designed the Business Awards logo, affectionately known as the swish, and were responsible for the official photography at the Gala Ball, donating profits to the Hospice Fund. The Design Office has presented the Chamber with a visual record of the highlights, which can be viewed at www.haverhillchamber.co.uk
Local businessman and writer, Rob Maidment, added to the Hospice Fund by very generously donating from the sales of his recently published book, Sidetracked, which was also available at the Gala Ball.
Vibe FM co-hosted the event and DJ, Craig Stevens, excelled in his role as MC, sparkling with vivacity, wit and charm. His vitality and aplomb were complemented by the enthusiasm of the audience and impressive special effects.
Haverhill based, software and web design company Pure Energy Multimedia were largely responsible for the breathtaking technical wizardry evident throughout the entire awards ceremony. As well as designing the Business Award trophy, Pure Energy created the compelling big screen video presentation, which contributed so much drama to the occasion, produced the soundtrack for the event, and wrote the fanfare, which preceded the announcement of the winner in each category.
Amongst the many stars of the evening, Steve Darbey of Wicked Wheels, attracted special attention for picking up two awards, ‘Best Small Business’ and ‘Young Entrepreneur’. Wicked Wheels specialises in mobile alloy wheel refinishing.
Internet, lingerie legend Figleaves.com, who have part of their operations based in Haverhill, won the ‘Best Use of Technology Award’ and chairman, Daniel Nabarro, was on hand to receive the trophy.
International Flavours & Fragrances and Thurlow Countryside Management shared the ‘Environmental Awareness Award’ sponsored by Paul McGurl of Risk & Safety Solutions. ‘Best Marketing Strategy’ was awarded to Ardex and ‘Best Large Business’ to Stratos Lightwave, both well-known Haverhill companies.
The health and fitness centre, Atrium Active was recognised for excellence in customer service winning the ‘Customer Care & Service Award’ and ‘Retailer of the Year’ went to Party Animals.
The Yeoman Lift Company, based in Steeple Bumpstead, was a popular choice for ‘Export Award’ and AXA Insurance’s David Fisher, on behalf of the company, was the proud recipient of the ‘Employer of the Year Award’.
Madeleine Vigar, Head of Castle Manor Business and Enterprise College, was honoured as ‘Business Person of the Year’.
Finally, pharmaceutical giant, Genzyme carried off the top prize with ‘Business of the Year’.
Reflecting on the evening, Elaine Collins said:
“ I am delighted that these inaugural Business Awards have demonstrated that Haverhill has some of the most dynamic and innovative companies to be found in the eastern region. Furthermore, I feel all the companies involved were winners, whether they walked away with an award or not. Tonight we are here to celebrate a success story – the success of Haverhill Business.”
Music was provided by ‘42nd Street’ and guests danced the night away until the early hours of the following morning.
© Gold PR
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