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.

Thirty-nine finalists joined the 700 guests on September 22 2016 to celebrate excellence and entrepreneurship during the spectacular evening at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Congratulations to all of our 2016 winners and finalists.

To view more images from the evening, visit our image gallery.

"Despite the difficult economic climate, Northern Star entry levels remained high in terms of quantity but most importantly quality, making these awards a true benchmark of business excellence in North-east Scotland."

Russell Borthwick, chief executive of the Chamber
Read the 2016 • winners review
Dates for your diary
  • Nominations close: Friday April 21, 2017 – 12 noon
  • Judging: Tuesday May 30
  • Finalists Reception: Thursday September 28, 2017 – 4.30-6.30pm, Macdonald Norwood Hall
  • Northern Star Business Awards 2017: Thursday October 5, 2017
Interested in being a 2017 sponsor?

If your business is looking to raise their profile in 2017, we have a range of sponsorship opportunities available for next year's awards. 

To find out more, read our Sponsorship Proposal.


2017 Charities

Over £5,600 was raised for local charities through the generosity of the guests who attended our 2016 event.

The five charities chosen to benefit from this year's Northern Star Business Awards are:

Befriend a Child

Befriend a Child provides support to disadvantaged and troubled children growing up across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. We believe every child deserves a happy childhood and the chance to succeed in life. We value resilience and having fun.

Charlie House

The Charlie House vision is that every child with a life-limiting condition in North-east Scotland receives support from the very start of their life journey by enjoying activities, making memories and living life to the full. Because after all, life is precious.

Denis Law Legacy Trust

Streetsport is a non-profit ‘prevention, intervention and diversionary tactics initiative’ that provides free of charge sport & creative activity sessions into the communities of Aberdeen that need it the most and actively reduces instances of youth crime and anti-social behaviour.

Inspire PTL (Partnership Through Life)

Inspire PTL (Partnership Through Life) is a local charity which empowers the life choices of hundreds of adults and young people with learning disabilities and additional support needs in the North-east of Scotland.


NSPCC Scotland aims to end cruelty to children. We provide national services such as ChildLine, the UK’s free and confidential 24-hour helpline for children and young people, support from the Northern Star Business Awards go towards funding of our Aberdeen Childline base.  

Winners & Finalists

2016 Finalists

Lifetime Achievement sponsored by Barclays Bank

  • Rob Wallen, NESCOL

Achievement in International Business sponsored by Alix Partners

  • Churchill Drilling Tools
  • Downhole Products
  • John Ross Jr Aberdeen - WINNER

Best Campaign of the Year sponsored by Frasermedia

  • Aberdeen Festivals
  • Korero PR and SMART, in partnership Robert Gordon University (RGU)
  • Step Change In Safety - Highly Commended
  • Tricker PR - WINNER
Commitment to Innovative Use of Research & Development sponsored by Scottish Enterprise
  • Churchill Drilling Tools
  • Quayside Fabrication - Highly Commended

Commitment to People Development sponsored by Maersk Training

  • Richard Irvin Energy Solutions
  • Scarf - WINNER
  • Swagelok Scotland

Excellence in Customer Service sponsored by James Gibb Residential Factors

  • Aberdeen International Airport
  • Control Valve Solutions
  • Simblox Technologies - Highly Commended
  • Thorpe Molloy Recruitment - WINNER

 Excellence in Health and Safety sponsored by IOSH

  • Aberdeen International Airport
  • Interwell
  • Sodexo Energy and Resources - WINNER

Outstanding Contribution to Society sponsored by Balmoral Group

  • Aberdeen FC Community Trust
  • Aberdeen Performing Arts
  • Score (Europe) Limited - WINNER
  • The Spotty Bag Shop 

Outstanding Contribution to the Energy Sector sponsored by Redwave 

  • FIS Chemicals - WINNER
  • Optimus Seventh Generation
  • READ Cased Hole

 Overall Business of the Year sponsored by Mattioli Woods

  • Balmoral Group Holdings - WINNER
  • FIS Chemicals
  • Hudsons Catering

 Rising Star sponsored by Wood Group

  • Hutcheon Mearns - Julita Stachowiak
  • Mackie's of Scotland - Stuart Common - WINNER
  • Sureclean - Mathew Pirie 

Student Placement sponsored by Robert Gordon University

  • Aberdeenshire Council - WINNER
  • Johnston Carmichael
  • Marathon Oil 

The Green Award sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City Council

  • Deeside Activity Park - WINNER
  • Scarf
  • VG Energy



The winner of the final award, for lifetime achievement, is announced on the night.

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



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


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.


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.

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.