THE local trade and industry community gathered en masse last Friday night for this year’s Letterkenny Business Awards where Alfie Greene of Greene’s Shoes was named Business Person Of The Year and Lance Ball received the Hall of Fame award.
Celebrating the locality’s abundance of business talent and its entrepreneurial spirit, the gala event was the culmination of three month’s worth of nominations, short-listings and voting.
At last, the winners of the eight prestigious categories were announced with Alfie Greene of Greene’s Shoes scooping the coveted Business Person of the Year award.
Organised by the Donegal News in partnership with Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce, the glamorous event was compered by local man Keith Fletcher with guest speakers, Councillor Paschal Blake, Mayor of Letterkenny. Columba Gill, editor of the Donegal News and John Watson, president of Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce.
Cllr Paschal Blake said: “There was a real air of positivity on the night and fantastic to see the business community in Letterkenny being celebrated.
“For us a town council it is vital that we continue to work with the chamber in promoting business in the town with different initiatives such as ShopLK.
“I’m looking forward to 2014; there’s a change in the economy, there are a lot of things happening and all for the better of Letterkenny town.”
Columba Gill, editor of the Donegal News added: “The gala night last Friday was a huge success for everyone concerned with the local business community being acknowledged for its dedication and entrepreneurialism.
“The Donegal News plays a pivotal role in the local community and backing initiatives such as the awards is crucial in helping promote a vibrant business environment.”
John Watson, President Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce, hailed the evening as ‘an outstanding success’, highlighting the business strength, creativity and success that exists throughout the local area.
“ We were delighted with the standard and number of entries this year. It was a much more onerous task for the judging panel. These awards once again demonstrate the quality and determination of Letterkenny businesses that are now growing and investing. This event and these awards show that businesses are more confident about their future, more optimistic about the economy and want to celebrate their success.
“We are delighted to have partnered once again with the Donegal News, the coverage for all the finalists has been excellent. We could not have done it without their support and that of our sponsors.”
A special supplement with 16 pages of Business Awards photos and winners’ profiles from the big night will be published in Friday’s Donegal News.
BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
Donegal News & Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year, sponsored by the Radisson Blu Hotel.
WINNER: Alfie Greene.
Highly commended recipients: Anne Marie Bonnar Hynd & Ciaran Blaney.
CATEGORY AWARD WINNERS
Growth through Export Award sponsored by Enterprise Ireland
Highly commended recipients: Arklu & Oilean Glas Teo
Business Excellence Award sponsored by Watson Hire
Highly commended recipients: Radisson Blu Hotel & Greene’s Shoes
Retailer of the Year Award sponsored by AIB
WINNER: Kelly’s Centra
Highly commended recipients: Menarys & Gary’s Pet World
Best Start Up Business Award sponsored by LYIT & CoLab
WINNER: Watson Menswear
Highly commended recipients: Lorraine Boyce Chartered Physiotherapist & Lone Star State
Excellence in Customer Service Award sponsored by Evolve Menswear.
WINNER: Joe’s Butchers
Highly commended recipients: Earagail Arts Festival & Stateside American Restaurant
Excellence in Marketing Award sponsored by Highland Radio
Highly commended recipients: Silver Tassie & Greene’s Shoes
Hall of Fame Award recipient: Lance Ball of CT Ball Jewellers