Photos by Vicky Comerford
From award-winning businesses to award-winning individuals, excellence has always been high on the agenda for Kilkenny Chamber Business Awards Gala night. It’s an evening where 600 business people network, wine and dine and acknowledge what makes Kilkenny a great place to do business in.
I especially love this award’s night, everyone is in high spirits and it marks the wind down for the festive season ahead. It’s a massive ‘pat on the back’, for sole traders and business executives. All chatting about the tough year behind and looking forward to doing it all over again. That’s the buzz of an entrepreneur and this is their playground for one night only, where they can celebrate their achievements and mile stones with family and friends.
Helen Carroll from RTÉ’s “Ear to the Ground” was on MC duty for the night. It was Helen’s first year to present the awards and she did an excellent job, making all the award winners feel special and deserving. Hats off to Sally Leadbetter, Purcell Masterson and the Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce for pulling off another successful Gala. The team at Lyrath worked professionally all evening, serving up a wonderful four course meal with fine wines.
These awards are always extra special for the nominee categories and winners. All 20 category winners were announced at the black-tie gala awards’ ceremony and notable among them were Goatsbridge Trout who received two awards for Food & Drink Producer of the Year and Agri Business of the Year. The Kilkenny Civic Trust was a double-winner on the night picking up the Excellence in Hospitality award for Butler House and the Culture Heritage & Tourism award for The Medieval Mile Museum.
CF Pharma was revealed as Kilkenny’s Business of the Year for 2019, announced by main sponsor, Cathal Smyth of State Street. CF Pharma also picked up the award for Innovation in Business.
Antonio Cavaliere of Ristorante Rinuccini was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The President’s Award was given to Nicky and Susan Mosse of Nicholas Mosse Pottery.
Craft Producer of the Year went to K Kajoux Jewels, while Johnston Funeral Directors took home Family Business of the Year and Ireland Posters won Emerging New Business. Nuala Furlong of Donohoe Town & Country won Employee of the Year and Modubuild was named Employer of the Year.
Red Sky Europe won Information & Communications Technology, while Threesixty Branding & Communications got Excellence in Communications. Mechanical Modular Solutions was Exporter of the Year with Envirico picking up the Environment Award. Newpark Hotel won Customer Service Excellence, and Hotel Kilkenny – Active Club was Service Provider of the Year.
Kilkenny Design Centre was named Retailer of the Year, with Little Mischief Day Nursery winning Small Business of the Year and Campion Insurance won Investment in Skills, Training & Development of Staff.
The Good Shepard Centre was given the accolade of Social Enterprise of the Year. The chosen charity this year for the Kilkenny Business Awards was Teac Tom and a sum of €5,550 was raised for them at the event.
HERO OF THE WEEK
Nuala Furlong who deservingly won Employee of the Year at the Business Awards is my Hero of the Week. This is on a personal level as she works for my dear husband Ed Donohoe in Donohoe Town & Country. Nuala is Ed’s ‘Woman Friday’, I also call her his ‘work wife’ as she knows exactly what he is thinking before he even speaks!
She has been working with Ed for 17 years, longer than we have been together! She is the glue that holds the business together and has helped housed many homeless families over the recent number of years. We would be lost without her, so thank you so much Nuala.