Celebrate your success in business with the Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post Business Awards 2014 Editors Comments.
The theme of this year’s Birmingham Post Business awards was Brum Bounces Back, and hasn’t it just.
The evidence is overwhelming: exports, job creation, inward investment, business start-ups, this region is leading the pack.
There was much to celebrate as we looked back at 2014, and the city’s business community did exactly that at our biggest ever Birmingham Post Business Awards, with more than 750 guests packing out the ICC in Birmingham city centre.
They were joined by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Paul Sabapathy CBE, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Coun Shafique Shah and Lady Mayoress Sadia Shafique.
Other distinguished guests included Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP – who delivered a keynote address – Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council and Andy Street, chairman of the greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.
The awards ceremony recognised the best of business on our patch with 12 different categories being honoured, plus a lifetime achievement award for Ken Smith of EH Smith.
Before the main event got underway I used my welcome speech to dip a toe into 2015 – and what will surely be a landmark year for this city.
Next year will see the completion of some of the largest regeneration projects in the city centre since the ICC’s conference halls were opened more than 20 years ago; the biggest of these being the rebuilt New Street Station.
Like it or not, first impressions count and as a ‘welcome to Birmingham’, let’s face it, that tired old building couldn’t make this city any less appealing.
All that is about to change and I firmly believe this single redevelopment will be the driving force for a new image of Birmingham as visitors arrive in the city to a rebuilt station and retail mall. In addition we’ll be getting the biggest department store outside London when John Lewis opens its doors, a rebuilt Mailbox, the city centre Metro extension and numerous other large-scale projects in their early stages of construction or nearing completion.
At the Birmingham Post we believe a prosperous city is one that encourages diversity in all professions, at any level.
Created by Karl George MBE, the Effective Board Member programmes equip those people who want to contribute to the leadership of an organisation by becoming board members. The Post launched a Diversity in the Boardroom campaign with a special supplement a few weeks ago, which encourages organisations to commit to making their boardrooms more diverse. The IoD, KPMG and many other leading businesses in the city have already taken the pledge.
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham graduated participants from Lead The Board, the new programme for women who are senior executives and leaders, at a special reception prior to the main event.
Midlands sports stars who have completed or are taking the programme were special guests at the awards.
These included former West Bromwich Albion player Darren Moore, Michael Johnson and Dave Barnett from Birmingham City, Ian Taylor from Aston Villa, Chris Hughton, former manager at Blues and Norwich City, Ben Purkiss from Walsall and Marcus Gayle of AFC Wimbledon.
The awards ceremony’s charity raffle was held in aid of local charity Sense, for deafblind people, and its new Touchbase Building, which will be built here in Birmingham.
I’d like to say a big thank you to my fellow judges: Amanda Lowe from Marketing Birmingham, James Villarreal from Glide and Alan Edwards from Jaguar Land Rover, who spared the time in their busy diaries to discuss the many entries we received this year. More entries than ever, I hasten to add.
Finally, a big thankyou to the ceremony’s headline sponsor, Turkish Airlines, whose support for the Birmingham Post and these awards is invaluable.
— Stacey Barnfield, Birmingham Post Editor