This is the 13th year the Awards have been presented, and a sell-out crowd of 1330 at Horncastle Arena was treated to a showcase of the very best Canterbury business talent alongside some of Canterbury’s top performers.
This year, the Awards attracted a record 196 entries across 16 categories and 51 finalists making it a big job to choose winners for the 35 judges.
Rising business star, and world leading LED and street lighting innovator Solar Bright scooped three Awards at the biggest ever Champion Canterbury Business Awards last night. Solar Bright won The Press Champion Canterbury Supreme Award for Small Enterprise after earlier winning the Producer/Manufacturer Small Enterprise Award and the CDC Innovation Award.
The Press Champion Canterbury Supreme Award for Medium/Large Enterprise went to Central Plains Water Limited, who also won the Infrastructure/Trades Medium/Large Enterprise category. The 2015 Supreme Awards were presented by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. John Key alongside Joanna Norris, Editor-in-Chief of the Press and the Awards lead sponsor.
“Our winners and finalists illustrate the depth and breadth of the business talent we have in Canterbury. We have extremely strong performing businesses across a range of sectors, and it’s that diversity that positions us well to grow and prosper as a region in the long term.” said Leeann Watson, Director of Champion Canterbury Limited and the General Manager of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.
“The innovation Canterbury is renowned for really shines through in our winners. Whether it’s developing world beating products, adapting business models for our ever changing operating environment or creating and implementing innovative marketing strategies, the Awards has been a showcase for business innovation in all its forms.” said Ms Watson.
The 2015 Special Commendation was awarded to Anthony Leighs, the founder and Managing Director of Leigh’s Construction for his contribution to Canterbury business. Leigh’s played a key role in stabilisation and demolition work immediately following the earthquakes and has been involved in the construction of a number of Christchurch’s first post-earthquake buildings.
“Anthony exemplifies the best of strategic leadership. His ability to look ahead and position his business to weather challenges and take advantage of new opportunities is second to none. He’s a driving force for the development of his sector nationwide and continues to be a significant supporter of the arts and other causes in Canterbury. His example is something we can all aspire to.” says Watson.
The vital role the region’s Charities play in creating and maintaining a healthy community was also acknowledged with Camp Quality winning the Charity Award for Small Enterprise, and Kilmarnock Enterprises, a finalist in the 2014 Charity Award for Medium/Large Enterprise, returning to win the Award in 2015.
First time entrant and Kaiapoi based Men at Work Ltd won the ACC Workplace Safety Award recognising their exemplary workplace safety systems and procedures.
“The growth of the Awards programme, both in terms of entry numbers and the number of people attending the ceremony is very pleasing. It’s a good reflection of the positivity and confidence we are seeing across the business sector.” said Watson.
Bayleys Canterbury has sponsored the event since its establishment in 2003 and was attended this year by ten members of the Bayleys Canterbury Commercial team and their guests, including general manager Pete Whalan.
Source: Media Release from Champion Canterbury Business Awards