2015 Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards
The 2015 Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards were presented at a gala presentation on 11 September at Lindemans Winery, Pokolbin. The fine food, wine, weather and company were complimented by MC Bob Kerr and entertainment by Mark Grant.
The awards were originally known as The Cessnock/Kurri Kurri Small Business Awards and started in September 1993 covering the businesses of the Cessnock Shire only. Over the years they grew to encompass the Maitland and Dungog shires and became known as the Lower Hunter Business Excellence Awards. In 2007 the awards were renamed the Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards and were opened to businesses throughout the Hunter region.
Fairfax Regional Media (The Advertiser and The Maitland Mercury) have been major sponsors of the awards since 2000, with Beyond Bank (formerly Companion Credit Union), Cessnock and Maitland Councils, Eye Design Graphic Design, MA Technology, Alan Stevens, Bottrell Business Consultants, Accountable Recruitment Solutions, Hunter TAFE, Cessnock BPW and Kurri Kurri District Business Chamber and Akuna Pets coming on board since. This year Lindemans joined as sponsors. The trophies have been handmade by Setsuko of Ogishi Glass for a number of years and are much sought after.
There were nearly 200 nominations received with 78 finalists.
The judges worked hard throughout August to come to their final decisions. This task was made more difficult by the exceptional standard of applications, with many categories being extremely tight.
The big winners on the night were Deltawater Pty Ltd who took out the trophy for Innovation and Business of the Year, Stephanie Mortel of Mortels Sheepskin Factory won Business Woman of the Year, Bryce Gibson of LJ Hooker Cessnock and Kurri Kurri secured the Young Entrepreneur in his final eligible year (look out prospective Business Leaders of the future) and Tony Mortel of Mortels Sheepskin Factory was the Business Leader of the Year.
Arts Crafts and Giftware - Magic Starfish
Hospitality and Tourism - Beyond Ballooning
Highly commended - All Australian Journeys
Internet-based business - Jezweb Pty Ltd
Hairdressing/Beauticians - Inspirations Hair Design
Highly commended - Bliss Beauty and Body
Retail - West Tankers Pty Ltd
Business Services - Lifestyle Cleaning Services Pty Ltd
Health Services - Kombat Academy
Highly commended - Body and Mind 2000 - Gym Matrix Pty Ltd
Construction/Trades/etc. – Valley Electrical
Highly commended - Smart Torque Automotive - Jennings Print Group
Financial/Real Estate – Aussie Maitland
Not for Profit – Newcastle MBA Group Training & Personnel
Innovation – Deltawater Pty Ltd
Highly commended - Mortels Sheepskin Factory
Home Based Business – Newcastle Heritage and Ghost Tours
New Start Business – TFC Services
Environmental – MV Solar Pty Ltd
NEIS – Aplus Care4All Pty Ltd
Highly commended - Wildcraft Australia
Customer Service Business – Aussie Maitland
Customer Service Individual - Monique Hope
Highly commended - Fiona Morris
Young Entrepreneur – Bryce Gibson
Business Woman – Stephanie Mortel
Highly commended - Mellissa Gibson - Christine Atkins
Business Leader – Tony Mortel
Business of the Year – Deltawater Pty Ltd