Aer Lingus Viscount Awards reward NI high flyers

Six of Northern Ireland's best companies and two outstanding individuals have been honoured at the 2016 Aer Lingus Viscount Awards at the prestigious IoD headquarters on Pall Mall in London.

Monday, 30th May 2016, 3:39 pm
Updated Monday, 30th May 2016, 4:43 pm
Connaire McGreevy, MD of CTS Projects and Mourne Mountains Brewery, Ray Hutchinson, MD Gilbert-Ash, and Mukesh Sharma MBE, MD of World Travel Centre.

The awards, which take place in association with Ulster Business, were presented across eight diverse categories to businesses that have excelled in areas such as innovation, export, employee engagement and entrepreneurship.

“The Viscount Awards have grown over the years to become one of the most respected events on the business calendar and we are proud to continue to reward and support those organisations that represent the absolute best in their respective fields,” said Andrea Hunter, business development manager for Aer Lingus in Northern Ireland.

“This was a true celebration of business excellence and on behalf of Aer Lingus I would like to congratulate each of the winners for their tremendous successes.”

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This year’s winners are as follows:

Best SME Award: Kestrel Foods

Best Business Start-Up Award: Titanic Creative Management

Employee Champion Award: Firstsource Solutions

Exporter of the Year Award: Sandvik Mobile Crushers & Screens

Innovator of the Year Award: Hunter Apparel Solutions

Business Person of the Year: Connaire McGreevy, CTS Projects & Mourne Mountains Brewery

Overall Excellence: Gilbert-Ash

The ceremony also recognised Mukesh Sharma MBE for his outstanding contribution to business life in Northern Ireland.

MD of Northern Ireland’s largest independent travel firm, Selective Travel Management, Mr Sharma is a highly experienced and successful travel professional who has been instrumental in pushing the province as a destination for airlines to come and set up new connections.

Business Person of the Year Connaire McGreevy, MD of two Warrenpoint-based businesses, CTS Projects and Mourne Mountains Brewery said: “I’m delighted to win this award, to be honoured amongst the best of NI businesses at such a prestigious ceremony is truly overwhelming. Although it’s an individual award, the business successes would simply not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the fantastic teams I have at both CTS Projects and the brewery.

Ray Hutchinson, Gilbert Ash MD, which won the award for Overall Excellence said: “This year has been very exciting for the company and we are proud that the hard work has been recognised with the news that we have won the Overall Excellence Award at the Aer Lingus Viscount Awards.

“We substantially increased our workforce in 2015, a decision which was driven by a series of high profile contract wins across the UK. We successfully increased our turnover in 2015 to £115m and are on target to achieve a turnover of £160m+ in 2016.”