Leading Northern Ireland hotelier Bill Wolsey has been named Business Personality of the Year at the 10th anniversary UTV Business Eye Awards in association with new lead sponsors Emirates.
The awards were presented at Belfast Waterfront last night (Thursday, 24th November) in front of a record-breaking audience of more than 700 business guests.
Bill Wolsey opened his latest hotel venture, Bullitt, in Belfast city centre recently. He’s also the driving force behind the 5-star Merchant Hotel and also owns a number of pubs around Northern Ireland as well as the Little Wing Pizzeria group.
Cookstown-based building material manufacturers Keystone Group took the coveted Company of the Year title recognising its growth from a manufacturer of roof lintels to a major manufacturer employing more than 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, a unique double Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to County Tyrone brothers Jack and Jim Dobson, the founders of Dunbia, the giant meat processing group based in Dungannon but with locations all over the UK and Ireland.
Other key winners on a glittering night of awards at Belfast Waterfront were Chris Martin of Belfast-based online retailer Ozaroo, who won Young Business Personality of the Year, and dynamic Portadown company The Deluxe Group, a specialist company responsible for high-profile design and fit projects worldwide, which won SME of the Year.
The Employer of the Year title went to one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers, US-owned Allstate.
Dunmurry-based ventilation specialists Brookvent lifted the International Award while Mallusk based WIS Group was named Fast Growth Company of the Year.
The judging for the 2016 UTV Business Eye Awards in association with Emirates took place recently at tallest dedicated hotel in the world, the JW Mariott Marquis Hotel in Dubai.
“These awards are a great partnership for Emirates and help demonstrate our commitment to the Northern Irish market,” said Enda Corneille, Country Manager for Emirates in Ireland.
“Emirates operates two flights daily from Dublin direct to Dubai and onwards to a wide range of worldwide destinations, and Northern Ireland-based business passengers are an important part of our growing customer base.”
Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Television, said that the UTV Business Eye Awards in association with Emirates are an important part of the business calendar here in Northern Ireland.
“UTV has had the opportunity to support the Business Eye Awards since their inception ten years ago and once again businesses across Northern Ireland have showcased their innovation, strengths and credibility not only at a local level but as international players also.
“UTV strives to give the business sector the voice and strong platform to not only bring about change and investment where needed, but most importantly to recognise and celebrate all that has been achieved by the Northern Ireland business community over the last year.”
The UTV Business Eye Awards in association with Emirates will be televised for the second time this year and a special programme on the awards will be broadcast on UTV on Tuesday, 6th December, at 22.40.
Business Personality of the Year – Bill Wolsey
Company of the Year – Keystone Group
Lifetime Achievement Award – Jack & Jim Dobson, Dunbia
SME of the Year – The Deluxe Group
Young Business Personality of the Year – Chris Martin, Ozaroo
International Award – Brookvent
Employer of the Year – Allstate
Agri Food Innovation Award – Musgrave/Supervalu
Business Marketing Award – Danske Bank
Tourism & Hospitality Project of the Year – The MAC, Belfast
Fast Growth Business of the Year – WIS Group
Most Innovative Company of the Year – Bloc Blinds
Waste Reduction Project of the Year – Henderson Wholesale
Outstanding Leadership & Management Award – Gareth Loye, M&M Contractors
Best Digital/Online Company of the Year – The Irish FA
Foreign Direct Investment Project of the Year – Thales UK
Research & Development Project of the Year – Sphere Global