This year was the 26th anniversary of the Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards, which are one of the longest running ceremonies in the Hunter region.
The awards continue to demonstrate the resilience, confidence and professionalism in the Hunter region’s local economy. The awards are the initiative run by the Hunter Region Business Hub.
Seventy finalists from over 100 businesses across the Hunter Valley competed for the four major awards and fourteen category awards at Cessnock Leagues Club on Friday, 20 September.
The Hub’s manager Kerry Hallett said that the awards are a big celebration of the amazing talent in the Hunter Region.
“We know there are many good businesses in our region through those that enter the awards, however, we also know that is only fraction of the organisations pursing excellence in the region. We can see why the Hunter is a great place to live and work,” she said.
For the second year an entrant from the Professional Services category was not only winner of their category, but also overall winner of the Business of the Year.
Palfreyman Chartered Accountants located in Cessnock, who provide a wide range of accountancy and financial planning services took out the major award of the evening.
Other major awards went to Young Entrepreneur, Jessica Rodgers of Explore and Soar. Explore and Soar is an occupational therapy organisation that works with people to reach their highest potential, but particularly children and young adults.
Hunter Regional Business Woman of the Year was awarded to Sarah-Jane Dunford of Riskology, a boutique safety consultancy.
Sarah-Jane is also involved in the community including founder Hunter Safety Awards, founding chair Hunter Branch of the Safety Institute of Australia, founding chair of the National Safety Awards for the Safety Institute of Australia, founder NSW Regional Safety Conference and Expo and the list goes on.
Business Leader of the Year went to Peter Kirkwood of Kirkwoods Institute of Karate. Not only does Peter support his family through his business but he has numerous awards from ISKA.
He is also passionate about standing up for the underdog and works with domestic violence victims, bullying victims and those with mental and physical disabilities, through various programs, giving much of his time at no cost to help gain (or regain) confidence.
The Hub’s manager Kerry Hallett said each year she is amazed by the quality of businesses that enter the awards, with so many new entrants received each year.
Kerry said the Hunter region are lucky to have so many fantastic businesses on our doorstep.
“All of the finalists were exceptional businesses in their overall operations, service, products, presentation and customer service,” Kerry said.
“On the night, it was great to see everyone – businesses owners, staff, supporters and sponsors – mingling, connecting and supporting each other.”
The Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards are thrilled to be announce they will be back again in 2020 to celebrate their 27th award ceremony.
IMAGE | Palfreyman Chartered Accountants awarded Business of the Year in 2019
The Hunter Region Business Hub, located in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales is one of over 30 community-based Business Enterprise Centres (BEC) operating Australia wide. The Hub supports new and existing micro, small and medium businesses with practical assistance including digital, business planning, marketing, budgeting and cash flow.
Created as a result of an initiative from local businesses in conjunction with Cessnock and Maitland City Council to drive economic development. The Hub services Maitland, Cessnock, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Local Government Areas.
All support is independent, confidential and affordable. The Hub can assist with the establishment of new small business enterprises, as well as existing small to medium enterprises who are experiencing issues, want to grow, or just want to be better. Businesses can also take advantage of our business workshops and information seminars.
The Hub houses 32 units in office, commercial and light industrial premises, offering economical, easy-leasing arrangements.