Winners – Gateway to Innovation and Excellence Awards 2011

The winners of the gateway to innovation and excellence awards 2011 are revealed.

The event was held in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Friday 20th May and attended by over 300 business people.  The Prosecco reception along with Regina Mc Carthy’s string group set the tone of the evening where guests got the chance to relax after a hard week at the office.

President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber, Paul O’Reilly spoke about the work of the Midlands Gateway Chamber and in particular the positive changes the gateway status has had on the midlands region for example, securing funding for key projects such as water, sewage and roads. Paul also said ‘one of the key issues for us in the Midlands Gateway Chamber was the formulation and launch of the new brand for the Midlands, which was completed in partnership with the MRA with the launch of ‘’, the new brand for the region. Tonight’s awards have been named ‘ gateway to innovation and excellence awards’ in continuation of this journey’.

Paul highlighted the details of the Patrons programme and that Midlands Gateway Chamber is currently seeking more patrons. He noted that anyone interested in becoming a patron can contact  Angela Rigney or contact us through the website. He went on to say ‘The Midlands Gateway Chamber have a virtual office at please visit this site to keep up to date with all the gateway chamber activities.’

The Guest speaker was Manchán Magan, travel writer for the Irish Times, who spoke in a light hearted tone about the opportunities the midlands had to offer.

Minister Willie Penrose, TD spoke briefly after dinner and following this the awards ceremony got under way.

The First award was the Environmental Responsibility Award, sponsored by Bord na Mona. Mr. Gabriel D’Arcy the current Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassador of the Year and CEO of Bord na Mona presented the award to the winner Molloy PreCast Products Ltd.

The next award of the evening was the Emerging New Business Award, sponsored by the Celtic Media Group. Una Darcy, senior journalist of Westmeath Examiner presented the award to the winners, The Flat Bread Company.

The Best International Trade Award was sponsored by Eirgrid. Mr. Brendan Murray, Regional Manager of Eirgrid, presented the award to the winner, Trend Technologies

Business Person of the Year Award was sponsored by  Cllr, Johnny Penrose, Chairperson of the Midlands Regional presented this award to the winner, Tom Doyle, Cuisine Royale.

The final business award of the evening was the Outstanding Business Award, which was sponsored by Stevens Cooke & Associates and Blackhall Financial Services.

Mr John O’Connell of Stephens Cooke & Associates and George Stephens of Blackhall Financial Services presented this award to the winners, Belvedere House Gardens and Park.

The life time achievement award was sponsored by the Mullingar Park Hotel and Josephine Hughes presented the award to the winner; the man who made Tullamore the “entertainment capital of the midlands” , Christy Maye. Christy’s dedication to his many businesses is unparalleled.  Chrity is an entrepreneur, retailer, publican, farmer, DJ, racehorse owner and historian.  He has made a significant and longstanding contribution to business and the community in the Midlands.

The Mullingar Chamber President, Julie Magan, awarded Mary Hamill with the special recognition award. Mary Hamill, a Parkinson’s disease sufferer raised funds for research into Parkinson’s diseases by playing one hole of golf on 18 golf courses in 18 counties in one day.

The Ambassador of the Year award was sponsored by Bord na Mona. President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber, Paul O’Reilly and Mr. Gabriel Darcy, CEO of Bord na Mona & Ambassador 2010-2011 presented to the winner Mr. John Teeling of Kilbeggan Whiskey and Cooley Distillery. Mr John Teeling is now the Midlands Gateway Chamber  Ambassador for 2011-2012, a role he felt priviledged to have.

Please see below the benefits each winner, (Mary Hamill in this case) receives:

· Profile page on the Midlands Gateway Chamber website and the three Town Chamber websites as well as a profile on the site and sponsors websites.

· The Programme of the awards night will include profiles of all category finalists with the sponsors logo.

· Post awards coverage in all 3 Celtic Media Group titles to include photos taken at the event awards and all main sponsors logos featured.

· In the Midlands Region radio coverage will be included as part of the warm up and news reporting of the event on Midlands Radio 3.

· Free one year membership of all three midland gateway chambers of commerce, i.e. Athlone, Mullingar and Tullamore. Including one-year honorary patron of the Midland Gateway Chamber.

· Rich networking opportunities

· A reason to celebrate the effects of the entire company

· Recognition by other businesses at the exclusive gala gateway to innovation and excellence Awards

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