Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Belfast Telegraph Business Awards fitting tribute to talent of Northern Ireland companies, says Ulster Bank chief

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Following on from the hugely successful gala event on Thursday May 2, may I begin by thanking the many businesses and individuals who contributed to the evening and warmly congratulate each of the winners.

Once again, these awards were a fitting tribute to the talent of our local companies and business leaders who exemplify the innovation and ambition of the region so brilliantly. It’s also an important reminder to everyone in the room of the need to celebrate success and tell positive news stories, which you will find in abundance here.

As you read on through the pages of this supplement, you will see examples of this success across almost every sector and industry. Take the opportunity to learn more about some of our most dynamic and exciting firms and business leaders, all of whom are connected by a desire to bring more growth and prosperity to the region and who are continually striving for success. I hope you will find their stories as impressive and inspiring as our esteemed panel of judges did.

Congratulations also to those companies who collected highly commended certificates and of course everyone who made the shortlist. The awards received a very high level of entries this year so to be shortlisted is an honour and one you should be hugely proud of.

Part of our focus at Ulster Bank is to champion potential. We are passionate about supporting entrepreneurship and innovation and are committed to helping businesses start, scale, and fulfil their growth ambitions. To this end, a particular highlight of the evening for me was the live onstage Pitch Competition, organised by the team from our in-house Entrepreneur Accelerator.

It is no small feat to deliver a business pitch live on stage in front of a room full of business leaders and yet the four competitors took to the stage and excited the audience with their ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for all four, especially winner Rory King, founder of Rory’s Travel Club.

Throughout the awards evening, the spotlight was firmly on those collecting awards and the entrants, but credit must also be given to our panel of judges, expertly led by Clare Guinness, CEO of Belfast Chamber. Thanks also to our partners at the Belfast Telegraph, both from the business desk and the events team, who made the gala evening so successful. It is great to have your support and we appreciate all you do to celebrate and elevate local business here.

I hope you enjoy reading more from the winners from across all 19 categories and learning about the great and often pioneering work taking place right across Northern Ireland.

Special congratulations must go to the recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award, Dame Rotha Johnston, and to Almac on being named Outstanding Business of the Year.

We wish you continued success and I am sure we will be reading lots more about your future endeavours in the Belfast Telegraph in the months and years ahead.

end piece: Marks Crimmins is head of Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland

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