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Winners of the 6th f2n National Business Awards Announced

The 6th annual F2N National Business Awards took place on Friday 24 November at St George’s Hotel, Llandudno. The awards recognise business excellence, resilience and future growth.

Hosted and judged by Olympic downhill skier, Chemmy Alcott, the glittering event attracted a record number of entries from across the UK. The night was also an opportunity for the F2N network to continue to raise money for their charity of the year Ty Gobaith. The charity was selected by F2N members who pledged to raise £2,017 throughout the year and smashed their target by raising almost £3,000 (£2,926), the majority being raised during the awards.

Addressing the audience before announcing the award winners, Chemmy told the 140 strong audience that it was an honour to judge such inspirational business awards.

She said: “It’s an honour to judge these inspirational business awards. It was a tough task and the pressure to choose the winners was difficult. I went with my heart and chose the businesses that showed honesty and vulnerability. Those that had struggled and persevered to overcome their adversities to end in triumph.”

Chemmy, who is widely regarded at one of Britain’s greatest ever skiers, also shared her own personal stories including that of overcoming seemingly insurmountable hurdles to be selected to compete at the Winter Olympics. This was following her recovery from breaking her leg so badly the shattered bones broke through her hard plastic ski boot. She joked: “I don’t remember too much about it – ketamine is amazing!”

Chemmy also urged people to ‘push yourself every day to be a better version of yourself’, saying: “I spent 20 years chasing my dream to ski in the Olympics. It took passion, perseverance and a lot of heart. Your dreams make you who you are and every day you push yourself to be a better version of yourself. When on the road to following my dreams I never lost, I only won or learnt.”

Nina Sardar, founder of F2N Business Network who organised the awards said:

“Once again we’ve had a lot of nominations from all over the UK which has been demonstrated by the winners of many of the categories. One of the main difference of these awards is that the winner is selected by the host which in many ways makes them unique. Chemmy is an uplifting and motivating person who has overcome so many difficulties on her Olympic journey, so to be chosen by her to be an F2N business award winner really is a massive achievement.”

The winners are:

Winner of the Green Business of the Year partnered by Swayne Johnson is Hydro Veg Kits, a simple way to grow vegetable created by Sue Tonks.

Chemmy Alcott chose Hydro Veg Kits as the winner as it was ‘an exciting project with huge growth potential and a fun vision’.

Sue Tonks of Hydro Veg Kits, based in Coventry, said it felt ‘incredible’ to win. Her kits are a brand new initiative and are a simple way to grow vegetables 365 days a year.

Sue says “We’ve been working on these kits for just over two years and to win this award is incredible. The kits grow vegetables with no digging, weeding, slugs or snails – or even water. They’re organic, easy to use and are great fun. Our aim is to get it working over in India and Africa.”

Winner of the Network Marketing Person of the Year partnered by Handy Office, is Bridgette Handley, Brand Ambassador of Tropic Skincare based in Rhos on Sea, Colwyn Bay.

Chemmy recognised the passion Bridgette showed for the business and the growth she had achieved across the UK in just three years.

Bridgette Handley said: “While I’m thrilled to win this award – it’s all thanks to Tropic Skincare that I’ve achieved so much. Their business ethos is all about enabling people, especially women to become successful. Sir Alan Sugar and Susie Ma [who are behind Tropic Skincare] are both inspirational and extremely supportive.”

Winner of the Rachel Elnaugh Enterprise Award partnered by 20twenty Business Growth, is Marina Kogan of Kogan Coaching an international life and business coach, based in Colwyn Bay.

Chosen for her development of a brand new coaching and mentoring qualification based on a new coaching model co-authored by Marina and published internationally, Chemmy said it was the growth potential of Kogan Coaching that had selected her as the winner as well as the challenges Marina had overcome.

Marina Kogan of Kogan Coaching said:

“I’m very happy to receive recognition of my achievements both in my part of developing a new coaching model [Salutogenic Coaching Model] and especially for the development of my coaching qualification which helps bring the Salutogenic model alive. To be selected by Chemmy as a winner from among so many other amazing enterprises is just incredible.”

The winner of the Business Champion Award, partnered by White Blossom Wellness, is Kerry Evans of Mode Academy a beauty training business based in Prestatyn. Chemmy said of Kerry. “Her work / life balance, her success and growth and most of all her business work ethic shone through making Kerry a clear winner.”

Kerry said: “The f2n awards mean a lot to me and my business. They help boost business as potential students can see the pride and professional approach we take in being a multi-award winning academy. The business champion category was a tough one and a huge surprise to hear my name called out and the winner. I’m over the moon still and on cloud nine. Thank you so much”

Winner of Entrepreneur of the Year, partnered by NatWest Cymru, is Jamie Jackson of 2J Commerce, an eCommerce specialist, whose headquarters are in Sheffield and has offices in Manchester, London, Dublin and India. Chemmy was impressed with Jamie’s organic growth and expansion and also his growth vision.

Jamie said: “I’m over the moon. To be recognised for anything you do is a massive achievement and to be recognised in Wales is phenomenal.”

Jamie’s growth plans include further expansion by opening up in more locations and move the company into a PLC in 2018.

Winner of the Margaret Carter Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, partnered by ION Leadership, is Michael McDonnell of Michael McDonnell International, an international mindset coach based in Manchester.

Chemmy chose Michael for the award saying: “Michael has overcome his own challenges and is now coaching people from all around the world including Australia and America.”

Michael said: “It was a shock to be announced the winner but a pleasant shock! As I work on my own the award helps me realise I’m on the right track, doing the right things in the right way. It’s confirmation that I’m doing the right thing.”

Networking Person of the Year, partnered by F2N Business Network was won by Rachel Jones of A470 Training based in Trawsfynydd. A470 Training provides a range of training courses for the hospitality industry. Rachel is an F2N Networking host, hosting events in Porthmadog.

Chemmy said of Rachel: “Rachel stands out as a fabulous [networking] host. She is warm, welcoming and instils confidence in people.”

Rachel was ‘in shock’ to be announced the winner, she said: “It came as a complete surprise, I’m in shock I think. The most important thing about this award for me is that I was nominated by a fellow networker. That someone has taken their time to nominate me and think me worthy of being nominated has completed blown me away.”

The newly created Chemmy Alcott Leadership Award partnered by Supertemps, was picked up by Andrea Monteith of Bangor. Andrea created the successful Your Local Dragon, a printed directory featuring local businesses.

Chemmy selected Andrea the winner for her “Hard working, vibrant, creative mind who works tirelessly to promote local business. She applies her nurturing nature and supports businesses to succeed.”

Andrea said: “I’m really, really pleased to have been selected as the winner of the F2N Leadership Award. Its recognition and confirmation that our years of hard work have had a positive impact. We always try to go above and beyond for all our clients and it’s nice to have recognition for that.”

Winner of the Khizar Sardar Business Man of the Year award, partnered by Addysg Oedolion Cymru / Adlut Learning Wales, was Jonathan Quinn of Hygienic Innovations Ltd. Jonathon, who’s from the Wirral invented a device that hygienically cleans items using sound waves. Jonathon was spurred on after watching the milk steamer being wiped down with a cloth while at a coffee house. Jonathon also runs two other successful businesses - Blockwalls who produce interlocking ‘lego’ blocks used in construction and Bullion Tech, a metal recovery business.

Chemmy said of Jonathon: “From watching dirty cloths being used to clean milk steamers in September 2016 Jonathon was proactive in creating a solution. He now has four working prototypes and a business that has amazing potential. This is especially rewarding for me as I love coffee!”

Jonathon said: “Winning Business Man of the Year is just brilliant. We’ve won other awards which we’re obviously very proud of but this is a prestigious award that covers all that we do.”

The Saira Khan Business Woman of the Year Award, partnered by F2N Business Network was presented to Helen Swindley of Proactive Footcare. Helen runs a successful podiatry business in Llandudno Junction specialising in orthotics.

Chemmy was blown away by Helen, saying: “Helen’s positive attitude and focus have seen her managing her dreams to create a successful business. She deserves every accolade she receives.”

The New Business of the Year Award, partnered by Tudno TV, was picked up by Daniel Bridgewater of Buckt, based in Birmingham. Buckt (pronounced Bucked) is a ticket and activities subscription box where monthly subscribers receive five mystery activities every month. The activities could be anything from cinema tickets to mediation and yoga.

Chemmy selected Buckt for showing ambition and drive. She said: It’s evident that Daniel’s ambition and drive means that he works outside the box. This in turn has created a great business with massive growth potential.”

Daniel said: “I only started the business in January this year and I genuinely didn’t think I would win, especially as the other finalists were just fantastic. I’m planning on expanding the business north and down to London and with the connections I’ve already made through winning this award, North Wales is also now on the agenda.”

Business of the Year Award, partnered by Face for Business, is Swayne Johnson Solicitors, who have offices in North Wales and Cheshire. The award was collected by Sarah Noton, Managing Director of Swayne Johnson.

Chemmy said of Swayne Johnson: “This is an incredibly successful business with a fantastic internal ethos combined with ambitious growth. They have a positive impact on the local community and beyond.”

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Thank you to our PR Partner, Teresa Carnall TBC Marketing for this article and for all Press and Media articles throughout the lead up and after this year’s f2n National Business Awards. www.tbcmarketing.co.uk

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