Published: 00:30, 27 June 2014
A medical manufacturer was given the all clear to crack open the champagne after making a big impact at the Kent Excellence in Business Awards.
Ashford-based Integrated Technologies Ltd took home two gongs after being named Science and/or Technology Business of the Year and winning the new best manufacturer category.
Now in their sixth year, the awards honoured the great and good of Kent’s commercial world at the Kent Event Centre at the Kent Showground, Detling.
Run by Kent County Council and the KM Group, it recognises businesses leading the way in innovation, leadership and achievement in the county.
The event also presented an award for Outstanding Contribution to the Kent Business Community to Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association.
The social care champion, who lives in West Malling, graciously accepted the honour for her work with numerous organisations, mostly voluntary.
Among her roles she is a board member of Parkinson’s UK and a trustee of the Royal British Legion, learning disability charity MCCH and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services in Gravesend.
A charity prize draw was held in aid of children’s hospices group Demelza and Abigail’s Footsteps, which supports the parents of stillborn babies.
Four fifths of entrants to this year’s awards had never done so before.
Two categories saw their highest ever entry levels and many had significant increases on previous years.
This winners were:
Apprenticeship of the Year: Adam Calver, Allpark Ltd, Gravesend
Business Commitment to the Community: Countrystyle Recycling Ltd, Maidstone
Business Commitment to the Environment: Hadlow College, Tonbridge
Customer Service and Commitment: Sleeping Giant Media, Folkestone
Employer of the Year: European Insurance Services Ltd (EISL Ltd), Tunbridge Wells
Entrepreneur of the Year: Rob Knight, Ecoegg Ltd, Maidstone
Land Based Business of the Year: Fourayes Sittingbourne
Large Business of the Year: The Reynolds Group Ltd, Sittingbourne
Manufacturing Business of the Year: Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL), Ashford
Science and/or Technology Business of the Year: Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL), Ashford
SME Business of the Year: Elsatex Limited, Strood
Start Up Business of the Year: Bush Grub Ltd, Sittingbourne
Success in International Markets: ID&C Ltd, Tunbridge Wells
Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year: Whiting and Hammond, Tonbridge
Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Bal Sandher, Hectic Lifestyles Ltd, Rochester
KCC cabinet member for economic development Mark Dance said: “Each and every winner of a KEiBA award this year deserves the spotlight.
“They do a cracking job in setting high standards, stretching what it means to achieve in business, and acting as a showcase for the strength that Kent has across all the different business sectors represented in the county.
“It is a privilege to have a chance to meet so many of the leaders that will take Kent forwards in the future.”
KM Group managing director Richard Elliot said: “KEiBA is, without doubt, a landmark in the life of the county and an unrivalled opportunity to stand out in Kent’s business community.
“The achievements of the winners really do make them stand out. The gala presentation and its amazing line-up underlined just what a great place Kent is for business performance and growth. I congratulate all the winners and finalists.
“The KM Group is delighted to be involved. I thank my team, the organisers, sponsors and judges for all their hard work and making the 2014 awards such a resounding success.”
Chairman of judges Geoff Miles said: “Many congratulations to all this year’s winners – and indeed to all the finalists who ran them so close.
“After my third year as chairman of judges, and as a regular visitor to other parts of the UK, I am convinced that KEiBA is the nation’s best regional business awards scheme.
“It is robust, testing and all encompassing. Many of the businesses that competed for these prestigious awards have adapted energetically to harsher times and are well equipped to make the most of the better ones.”
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