A shortlist of thirty-three companies from all across Waterford were honoured at the third annual Waterford Business Awards, which were held on Friday evening (March 3rd) at Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Resort.
Topping the eleven categories were Waterford Healing Arts Trust in Arts, Culture & Heritage; Liberty Blue Estate Agents for Best Small Business; Solas Cancer Support Centre for Community & Social Enterprise; GIY in the Food & Agri category; FundRecs in Research, Innovation & Technology; Kearney Engineering in Manufacturing & Industry; Blackwater Distillery in the Emerging New Business category, Ardkeen Quality Food Store in Retail, Clem Jacob Hire in Services, Cantec in Customer Service Excellence and in Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality, Waterford & Suir Valley Railway.
This year there was also a new Judge’s Special Recognition Award, which was presented to Tom Brennan and Patsy Carney of EirGen Pharma by Paul Nolan on behalf of sponsors Dawn Meats for their tremendous contribution to the cultural and economic climate of Waterford and for inspiring others through their exceptional commitment, motivation, and vision.
Mayor of Waterford City & County Council, Cllr Adam Wyse concluded the awards ceremony by announcing Ardkeen Quality Food Store as the Overall Business of the Year, sponsored by Waterford City & County Council.
Around 250 guests attended the prestigious event, which was organised and hosted by Waterford Chamber and media partners WLRfm. The top Waterford businesses were celebrated for their successes and their contribution to the local economy.
Commenting at the gala dinner, Cllr Wyse said: “Tonight is about the people in this room keeping our city moving and bringing people onto our streets. In this room we have 33 people, 33 families, 33 stories and we gave a responsibility to make sure that each of their stories are a success.
Mayor Wyse, went on to say, “Now in 2017 the people of Waterford have the opportunity to dream again. The potential of the North Quays is something we didn’t have before and opens up massive opportunity to attract high skill jobs. It is encouraging to see that a plan is in place for an Ireland of tomorrow.”
Each category winner was presented with a custom designed Waterford Crystal trophy and the Overall Winner of the Waterford Business Awards, Ardkeen Quality Food Store was presented with a custom design perpetual trophy. The shortlisted businesses were nominated by the public and also through self-nomination for all eleven categories. An independent judging panel, under the Chairmanship of Frank O’Regan, and including Bill Halley, Liam Moran, Faithlegg House Hotel; Lena Murphy, WLRfm; Tina Darrer, Dooley’s Hotel; TV Honan, Spraoi; John Noonan, Flahavan’s; Louise Grubb, Q1 Scientific and Noel Kelly, NYPRO, carried out the difficult task of selecting the finalist shortlist and category winners after a rigorous judging analysis of each application.
Speaking on the night, Laurent Borla, Waterford Chamber President said, “On behalf of the Waterford Chamber, I would like to sincerely congratulate Ardkeen Quality Food Store on being announced as the Overall Winner of the Waterford Business Awards. It is great to see a family run business being recognised for all their hard work.
“Tonight has seen so many winners come to the fore and their achievements to date have been remarkable.The aim of these awards is to promote and celebrate individuals and businesses who are making a valuable contribution to the economic life in Waterford City and County.”
Waterford City and County Council sponsored the Overall Waterford Business Award, while category sponsors include Dawn Meats, Cpl Resources, AIB Bank, Faithlegg House Hotel, Waterford Gift Voucher, KBC Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Medite Smartply, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford City Enterprise Centre, RIKON and Waterford Airport. Media partners for the event were WLR FM.