The North-east’s entrepreneurial spirit was celebrated last night as some of the regions most successful firms were unveiled as winners during a prestigiouslocal business awards ceremony.
More than 400 business representatives gathered for the Elevator Awards 2015, run by Elevator along with headline sponsors The Royal Bank of Scotland, which took place last night (Thursday June 25) at The Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa. The audience was addressed by key note speaker, NASA Astronaut and US Navy Captain, Steve Bowen.
Winners at this year’s Elevator Awards included up-and-coming businesses, innovative organisations and firms from a diverse range of sectors including energy, technology, hospitality, beauty and property.
Graeme Bone, managing director of Drum Property Group, a specialist commercial and residential development firm with a vast portfolio of sites across Scotland, from Stranraer to Aberdeen, was named Entrepreneur of the Year. Mr Bone founded Drum in 2004 after leaving a career as a solicitor and the firm is now responsible for a range of high profile sites, including the biggest commercial development in the UK outside of London – the £500million Prime Four business park at Kingswells - and will join other notable local entrepreneurs in the Elevator ‘Hall of Fame’ in recognition of his dedication to the property sector.
Legendary North-east businessman, Dr James Milne CBE of Balmoral Group, was presentedwith the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to innovation and engineering in the North-east energy sector. Mr Milne’s grit and determination has made him one of the region’s most inspirational entrepreneurs and, aged 74, he continues to lead one of the North-east’s most successful businesses.
Professor Gary McEwan, chief executive of Elevator, said: “The Lifetime Achievement award is presented to a notable figure from the North-east business community, and Mr Milne received the accolade for his inspirational determination to succeed and for the enormous contribution he has made to the engineering and manufacturing sector in theNorth-east. The Entrepreneur of the Year accolade is presented to a businessperson who goes above and beyond to make their firm a success and Mr Bone, whose firm has one of the most impressive portfolios in the country, will join seven othernotable entrepreneurs in the Enterprise ‘Hall of Fame’ in recognition for his work in the area.
“Year after year we are thoroughly impressed by the high standard of the entrants in the awards. Our final decision about the winners of each category was extremely difficult, but each and every individual who reached the finals stages should be proud of their achievements, and we encourage them to continue to be successful in their field.”
Russell Whyte, director of commercial and private banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to continue to support the Elevator Awards as it plays an important role in promoting and supporting new business and entrepreneurialism in the North-east of Scotland.
“Once again, the quality of the finalists have been superb and the judging panel had to work hard to decide on the eventual winners. Each winner is a proud reflection of the skills, talent and diversity that exists within the Scottish business community and ecosystem.”
Winners are as follows:
- Most Promising New Business - sponsored by Business Gateway: Bagels& Stuff
- Business Success Under Three Years - sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland: Zenith Energy
- Business Success Over Three Years - sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland: EFC Group
- The Grampian Award for Innovation – sponsored by Murgitroyd: Equalizer Flange Integrity
- The ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ Award – sponsored by partner Aberdeen City Council: Definition Skin and Laser Clinic
- The Alick Buchanan-Smith Enterprising Communities Award – sponsored by partner Aberdeenshire Council: North East Sensory Services
- Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year - sponsored by ACE Winches: Murray Kerr (SengS – Subsea Engineering Services Ltd)
- Employer of the Year - sponsored by Empire: Grampian Fasteners
- Entrepreneurial Supporter of the Year - sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses: June Burnett (Aberdeenshire Council)
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Graeme Bone, of Drum Property Group
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Jimmy Milne, CBE of Balmoral Group