Celebrating the best in Kent business
PUBLISHED: 15:30 12 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:31 20 February 2013
The winners of the Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA) celebrated their success in front of a packed audience at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham
Celebrating the best in Kent business
The winners of the Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA) celebrated their success in front of a packed audience at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.
Eleven businesses and individuals were picked by a panel of judges from 34 finalists. More than 200 business and individuals entered the awards, which is in its second year. It is staged and produced by Kent County Council and the KM Group. The winners are:
Large Business of the Year
SCIPAC Ltd, Sittingbourne
SME Business of the Year
XMO Strata Ltd, Marden
Start Up Business of the Year
VirtualGym TV, Rochester
Best Adult Social Care Business
DGSM yourChoice, Dartford
Best Leisure and Tourism Business
English Wines Group Plc, Tenterden
Best Business from the Creative Industries
Wonderful Creative Agency, Maidstone
Employer of the Year
Business Commitment to the Community
Customer Service and Commitment Award
Entrepreneur of the Year
Paul Gardner, Rochester
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Charmaine Alicia Kemp, Dartford
Results were announced in The BIG Space, a building once home to naval ship construction and repair. A Champagne reception was held aboard the 19th-century ship HMS Gannet. The glittering gala was staged at the Dockyard, following its success in last years contest, where it was crowned Best Leisure and Tourism Business.
The winners received a specially created glass trophy, designed by renowned Kent glass artist Annie Ross. Kevin Lynes, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development said: The awards are becoming a key event in the countys calendar. For the second year running the KEiBA has been packed to capacity. It is great to see that, as a county, we have so many outstanding businesses and entrepreneurs. All of the entrants were of a high standard and the winners are truly exceptional. I think this shows that Kent is the place to do business.
The awards also offer a good opportunity for the winners and runners up to boost staff morale and help attract new recruits. Winning an award will also help businesses raise their profile and I look forward to many more entrants next year.
Geraldine Allinson, Chairman of KM Group, said: "This is the second year of the Kent Excellence in Business Awards and I am so pleased that the inaugural event went so well that everyone involved wished to do it again.
Last years KEiBAs raised the game as far as awards schemes in this county are concerned. It truly was Kent and Medways business night of the year and the 2010 event is no different.
My congratulations go to the finalists and worthy winners for achieving so much in a tough economic climate. This is a great county to do business in and, better placed than most to take advantage of the many opportunities ahead.
KEiBA aims to recognise and reward excellence in Kent and Medway businesses of all sizes as well as individual awards.
A man who spent a lifetime working to support Kent was praised for his dedication at the Kent Excellence in Business Awards
Douglas Horner was handed the Outstanding Contribution to the Business Community of Kent award at the ceremony. Judges were impressed with his long career, in which he has worked tirelessly to promote the county. He is currently a Kent Ambassador and Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.
His career highlights include 32 years Maidstone-based law firm Brachers, being an adviser to the National Farmers Union and working as a vice president of the Kent County Agricultural Society. His drive created the Kent Business Expo at the County Show and led directly to Kent 2020 Vision.
He was also the founding member of the Kent Economic Forum, a public/private sector economic partnership that has now been split into two Business Advisory Groups for Kent and Medway, and an active member of the CBI.
He has now retired from Brachers but continues to work with them in a business consultancy role and he still leads a busy life in charitable, businesses and public roles. He is also a Kent Ambassador and Deputy Lieutenant for Kent where he promotes and waves the flag for Kent.