Northern Star Business Awards

The Northern Star Business Awards is the Chamber’s annual awards evening which recognises companies around the North-east for exceptional accomplishments across a range of fields, from energy to innovation, customer service to people development.

Nominations for the Northern Star Business Awards 2018 will open in March.

Interested in being a 2018 sponsor?

The Awards offers a unique opportunity to network with a range of business people across a mix of sectors on our networking tables - providing a great setting to gain new contacts, boost exposure and celebrate local talent.

We have a range of sponsorship opportunities available for the 2018 awards.

To find out more, contact the events team: events@agcc.co.uk.

A total of 42 finalists joined the 600 guests on October 5, 2017 to celebrate excellence and entrepreneurship during the spectacular evening at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Congratulations to all of our 2017 winners and finalists. Take a look at the highlights from the night here.

2017 Winners

2017 Winners



With an audience of around 600 guests, the Northern Star Business Awards celebrate business success across the region and we were delighted to give 14 awards again this year.

We would like to invite you to nominate your organisation as a charity partner at the 2018 event. Nominations are simple and details of how to enter are below. 

Each year we work with five member organisations (registered charities) to be the beneficiaries of envelope donations made on the night. This year Befriend a Child, Charlie House, Denis Law Legacy Trust, Inspire PTL (Partnership Through Life) and NSPCC Scotland all received proceeds from the event, totalling nearly £6,000 (excluding Gift Aid).
As a charity partner, you will purchase a table at the discounted third sector price of £1,300 + VAT (RRP £1,770 + VAT) and we’ve held this price for the third year running.

This includes:

  • 12 guest tickets
  • 3 course meal with tea & coffee
  • Red and white wine
  • Still and sparkling water 

Also, included:

  • An invite to the launch of the awards in March 2018
  • Pre event coverage in our Business Bulletin
  • Exposure via Chamber eNews sent to over 5,000 subscribers
  • An invite to the finalists reception on Thursday September 20, 2018
  • Logo displayed throughout the evening
  • Logo displayed on the charity envelopes at selected tables
  • Logo in the evening programme on the night
  • Mention by our host or chief executive in the opening remarks and a reminder throughout the evening
  • Coverage in the Winner’s Review; published and distributed with the Business Bulletin immediately after the event

On the night, you will be given designated tables to manage; rallying support and collecting envelopes which include details for you to be able to claim Gift Aid. We also ask you to provide charity pens for guests to use.

If you’d like to go ahead and nominate your organisation as a charity partner, please email seona.shand@agcc.co.uk with a note of your interest by 5pm on Friday November 24, 2017.

Priority will be given to those charities who have not already been charity partners in previous years and given the expected level of interest we always have, we have to work on a first come, first served basis. If you are selected, you will need to confirm this with a PO No. and/or invoice details (we can be flexible on the timing of payment if you require this to be used in your 2018 budget).

Winner & Finalists

2017 Winners & Finalists

Achievement in International Business
  • Churchill Drilling Tools - WINNER
  • Iqarus In Association with International SOS
  • Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering Co Ltd
Best Campaign
  • Aberdeen Performing Arts 
  • Fifth Ring
  • Korero PR - WINNER
  • One Stop Waste Solutions
Commitment to Innovative Use of Research & Development
  • Tendeka
  • Wood Group
Commitment to People Development
  • James Laings & Son Limited - WINNER
  • Quensh Specialists Ltd
Excellence in Customer Service
  • Aberdeen Performing Arts - WINNER
  • Eat on the Green
  • Glen Tanar Estate
  • Grampian Transport Museum
Excellence in Health & Safety
  • BrewDog Plc - Highly Commended 
  • Stewart Milne Group - WINNER
  • TWMA
Excellence and Innovation in Procurement
  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Craig International - WINNER
  • Greenwell Equipment
Overall Business of the Year
  • AISUS Offshore - WINNER
  • Bon Accord Care
  • James Laing & Sons Limited
Outstanding Contribution to Society
  • Absafe - WINNER
  • Bon Accord Shopping Centre
  • HorseBack UK - Highly Commended 
  • Aberdeen Sports Village
Rising Star
  • Andrew Johnson, Blaze Manufacturing Solutions - WINNER
  • Craig Rochester, Eat on The Green
  • Rhona MacLennan, People Factor Consultants
  • Julia Heys, VisitAberdeenshire
Student Placement Award
  • Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre
  • Marathon Oil - WINNER
  • Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Ltd - Highly Commended 
The Green Award
  • Dab Den Ltd
  • Deeside Activity Park
  • Douneside House Limited - WINNER

Click here, to read read the summary of all the winners from the night in our Winners Review. 

For information regarding attendance or sponsorship, visit www.northernstarawards.co.uk, call 01224 343901 or follow #TimeToShine on Twitter.



Meet the panel of judges for this year's Northern Star Business Awards.


Fiona Mann, director of operations and safety, Aberdeen & Exhibition Conference Centre

Fiona has 20 years’ experience in the exhibition and events industry, working for corporate clients in a commercial and competitive environment. She joined AECC in 2002 as event manager then in January 2012 was appointed to the AECC Board.

Key Skills include being extremely organised, enthusiastic, flexible in approach, excellent at multi-tasking, great communicator and focused on delivery. She has client experience, and has engaged in budget control and public safety.

Fiona has an IOSH Certificate in Managing Safely in Exhibition & Events Industry, and a NEBOSH Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with Distinction.

Jacqueline van den Akker, director, Redwave (Aberdeen) Limited

Jacqueline has been working in the oil, gas and energy Sectors for the last 16 years in Aberdeen and the Netherlands.

With a focus on employment, skills and development for offshore and shore based industrial and energy sectors, Jacqueline is keen to promote the industries to engage and attract talent to the North-east of Scotland.

Judith Thorpe, director, Thorpe Molloy Recruitment Ltd

Judith has worked in Aberdeen for 20 years, 17 as founding director of professional services company and member of the Chamber.

Working with the full spectrum of organisations within Grampian, she is looking forward to using her network for the benefit of Chamber members.

Jason Moir, business development manager, XIC

Over 18 years at XIC and almost 30 years in the Creative Print Trade. Coming up with ideas and generating solutions is what I do best.

I am very passionate about helping people grow their businesses with the help of our very own creative design team and production facility here in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, producing marketing material that drives sales.

John Brebner, director, Brebner Consulting Ltd

In 2016, John established his own consultancy business Brebner Consulting Ltd focusing on business advisory services, targeting a mix of direct Board appointments (executive and non-executive) as well as project based advisory work.


Mark Lappin, director - Government and Universities, The Oil & Gas Technology Centre

Over 30 years of E&P experience across the O&G business.

Having worked for major companies such as ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Centrica.  As well as having managed a small onshore Operator, Mark has held various technical, management and executive roles.

A specialist in onshore Europe natural gas exploration and development.


Mike Naysmith, managing director, CALA Homes

With more than 20 years’ experience in the property and construction industry, Mike began his career as a development control manager for Gordon District Council.

Following a series of land and planning roles for housebuilders through-out Scotland – including seven years as CALA Homes’ land director – Mike was appointed as regional director for CALA Homes (North) in 2010 – a role which saw him reaffirming CALA’s roots in Aberdeen.

Growing the company from strength-to-strength, in 2014 Mike was responsible for the launch of CALA Homes North of Scotland as a separate division and stand-alone entity for the first time since 1996. 

Securing new land opportunities, bigger office premises and the right people for the job, Mike brought growth plans for the company to fruition whilst securing CALA Homes’ stance as one of the UK’s most upmarket housebuilders.

As well as managing and progressing some of the most luxurious sites and homes in the North of Scotland, Mike is also a board member for Cash for Kids where he spends time fundraising for the worthy charity.

Morgan Cooper, operations director, James Gibb Residential Factors

As operations director Morgan has full responsibility for the growth and development of the business.

Having worked locally in property management and factoring for the last 10 years, her in depth knowledge of the industry combined with her never tiring passion to enhance the service provided to clients has been testament to the staggering growth of the business, 4000 clients to 25,000 clients in 3 years.

Bringing transparency, technology and excellent customer services to the industry is at the forefront of her game.

Pádraig McCloskey, external relations manager, Shell U.K. Limited

After graduating from Imperial College in 2002, Pádraig joined Shell, initially working on the Pernis Refinery in the Netherlands in a technical role. After three years in Holland Pádraig made a significant career move into communications when he moved back to Ireland for the first of two spells working on the Corrib Gas Project. Pádraig has subsequently worked in the US and Canada before moving to Aberdeen in 2012. 

Pádraig believes the North-east has great potential and is excited by the opportunity to support the Chambers vision for the region.

Robert Garnish, head of branch, John Lewis Aberdeen

Robert has worked for the John Lewis Partnership for 17 years, the last two of them as Head of Branch in Aberdeen. Prior to this role, Robert opened the new John Lewis store in York as Branch Manager and has also worked in stores across the UK from Poole to Manchester and from Norwich to Southampton.

He has also spent time in the John Lewis Head Office in London. Away from the Aberdeen branch Robert is the John Lewis lead for the retail business exercise at Oxford Summer School held at Keble College every August. 

Outside of work Robert spends almost all his time as taxi driver for his eight year old's swimming, tennis and Brownies events or encouraging his one year old to do more walking!


Stephen Gibb, group public relations manager, Balmoral Group

Heads up in-house communications department providing global support for Balmoral across a diverse range of B2B sectors including energy, civil and environmental engineering.


Steve Nicol, chief financial officer, Wood Group

Steve Nicol is Wood Group Asset Life Cycle Solutions - Eastern Hemisphere, chief financial officer with responsibility for all aspects of finance and administration including Commercial, IT & S, Real Estate and Legal Services.

Steve has more than 20 years’ oil and gas experience with an in-depth knowledge of reporting, auditing, mergers and acquisitions, and financial management. He is a key member of the Eastern Hemisphere’s Leadership Team and sits on the Board at Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Roddy Matheson, service manager - industry sectors, Aberdeenshire Council

Roddy worked 26 years in transport and logistics before joining Aberdeenshire Council where he leads on digital connectivity within the City Region Deal and the national programme.

He served on Aberdeen Harbour Board for nine years and has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport since 1986.

Roderick Laird, North-east Scotland branch vice chair, IOSH

On leaving the Royal Navy after 12 years service, Roderick's next logical move was to work offshore in the oil and gas industry.

Starting in construction, on to pre-commissioning, maintenance then finally production as a safety officer. He steadily moved up the ladder on to offshore safety supervisor, safety superintendent to senior HSE advisor, and at the same time moving through the grades in the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) from Tech IOSH to Charter IOSH. 

Roderick's safety experience has spanned 32 years in Offshore Production and Drilling, Marine/Subsea, Facilities, Engineering, Construction and Pipeline sections of the industry.