An academic group, an architectural firm and a local car dealership are among the winners of the LincolnshireLive Business Awards 2020.
The annual awards – held in association with the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce – took place virtually tonight after being postponed from last year due to the pandemic.
LincolnshireLive editor-in-chief Natalie Fahy said following the huge impact of covid-19 it was a pleasure to celebrate the best businesses in the county.
She told guests watching on The Awards Room event platform: “The past year has presented a struggle for businesses, large and small, like no other.
“I’m sure we’re all grateful to be here and to be able to come together and recognize the monumental battles for survival that most of us have faced in a world full of uncertainty.
“These awards give businesses of all sizes – from pioneering start-ups to the powers that drive the region’s economy – a chance to be recognized and be proud of the work they do.
“The categories represent companies from all sectors and industries, from food and agriculture to innovation, education and export.
“And it’s not just the companies that are celebrated. The Company Awards also recognize individual talent – whether you’re an entrepreneur who has started a business and successfully developed it, or a star employee who has stood out above all the rest.
“The awards also remind us that Lincolnshire is a great place to live, work and do business. They toast success, celebrate accomplishments and highlight successful and innovative businesses that are doing great things here in our region.
She dedicated the awards to the University of Lincoln’s director of research and enterprise, Andrew Stevenson, who died in December, who she said was “well known, respected and familiar to many.”
She said: “Andrew was a strong supporter of the LincolnshireLive Business Awards and he has also contributed to many economic regeneration projects in Lincolnshire.”
The 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Professor Mary Stuart CBE, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, who was praised for her tremendous engagement with everyone from government officials to students and to staff.
Professor Stuart has a strong track record in academic leadership, having held leadership positions at three different universities.
Since joining Lincoln, she has continued her plans, including the establishment of new schools of medicine and pharmacy, as well as the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology and the National Center for Rural Health and Care.
She sits on several national and regional business, educational and cultural groups and was named Guardian’s “ Most Inspirational Leader in Higher Education ” at their 2018 HE Awards.
In accepting the LincolnshireLive award, she said: “It means a lot more to receive something from your peers and people who know you than more general rewards.
“It’s very, very special to me. As you all know, leadership is never about one person, it’s always a team, and I have to say I’m incredibly blessed with the people I work with at university.
“When I joined the University of Lincoln it was a very different institution, but it’s the hard work and commitment of my team that made it where it is.
“Tonight I’m actually quite speechless. It’s a real honor, thank you very much.
The global activity of the year was Worldwide Fruit, based in Spalding, a marketing and distribution company that sources from more than 3,000 growers around the world, to ensure that high quality fruit is on the market. supermarket shelves 365 days a year.
COO Neal Collishaw said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. Like everyone else, it has been a really tough year.
“When the lockdown started, people’s eating habits changed, so we had to go along with it. The team was fantastic as we had skilled people who needed to protect and protect family members as our volumes increased.
“Sales and volumes are still very high. We agreed to work at a social distance and the staff really decided to protect each other while being in the workplace. It was something very new to them, but now it’s second nature.
“We encourage the country to continue to take the hit at the current pace so that we can hopefully get back to some normalcy and give our staff a much needed time off.”
And the winners are… ..
Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Ellgia – Tom Bullivant, Lincoln City FC
Businessman of the Year, sponsored by Wilkin Chapman LLP – Neil Corner, Siemens Energy
Employee of the Year, sponsored by InYourArea – Costa Kyriacou, of Ringrose Law
Food and Agricultural Excellence Award, sponsored by LJ Fairburn & Son Ltd – Worldwide Fruit
International Business Award, sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants – Castlet Ltd
Innovation Award, sponsored by the University of Lincoln – HIT Energy Guard
Family Business Award, sponsored by Micronclean – Lincoln Security
Environment and Sustainability Award, sponsored by Siemens Energy – HIT Energy Guard
Start-up company of the year sponsored by Bishop Grosseteste University – Wilson Architects
Special Business in the Face of Adversity Award sponsored by Lincolnshire Co-op – St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice
Small / Medium Business of the Year, sponsored by the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce – Dack Motor Group
Great Company of the Year, sponsored by Langleys Solicitors – Lincoln College Group
Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Mary Stuart CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln
Natwest Sponsored Business of the Year – Worldwide Fruit