PHOTOS: Lismore business awards 'an evening of surprises'

Winners of The Lismore Property Managers Business Excellence Awards, Summerland Credit Union. Graeme Herne, Kelly Burns, Christina Emilio and Vicki Hunter with Rachel and Rodney Jenkins of Lismore Property Managers.
Winners of The Lismore Property Managers Business Excellence Awards, Summerland Credit Union. Graeme Herne, Kelly Burns, Christina Emilio and Vicki Hunter with Rachel and Rodney Jenkins of Lismore Property Managers. Sophie Moeller

IT was an evening of surprise winners and special awards last night with Summerland Credit Union winning Business of The Year at the 2017 Lismore Property Managers Business Excellence Awards.

The much loved credit union took out three awards on the night, including the Employer of The Year Award.

In accepting the award, Lismore Branch Manager, Graeme Herne, praised the effort of his team saying the relationship shared between all the employees at Summerland was one of the keys to their success and service.

Summerland Credit Union chief executive, Margot Sweeney said yesterday: it was "wonderful to be recognised" by the Lismore business community.

She credited the big win to her dedicated team of staff and in particular their efforts to be the first financial institution open after the March floods to support the community, customers and those with other banks.

"I'm absolutely blessed I work with so many great people," Ms Sweeney said.

"It's not about competition its about the community."

Universal Medicine took out The People's Choice Award sponsored by The Northern Star and Lismore Echo.

It had not been an easy road, said Hayley Brown of Horn's Gas & Plumbing, who accepted awards for both Entrepreneur of The Year as well as Trade, Construction, Manufacturing & Trade.

"It was a matter of breast feeding and servicing brass fittings,” she said. But it had all been worth it. She said she had nearly gone broke twice, did not know much about plumbing and had to refinance her home but "if you put your mind to it you can do anything”.

Winner of the Excellence in Small Business Category, Sharon Restall, told the audience she had not prepared a speech as she had not expected to win an award, let alone two, and implored the community to "support small business”.

"If I'd known, I wouldn't have left my husband at home with the babies. I would have insisted he come,” she said.

But one of the most emotional accolades of the night went to Lismore Helping Hands. They won The Darcy Goodwin Community Service Award for the incredible part they played in the flood recovery.

Thomas George MP also gave an emotional tribute the The Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for its "outstanding contribution to the community” in month's since the flood.

Lismore City Council's Gary Murphy then presented LCCI president, Deborah Benhayon, with a NSW Government Community Service Award, signed by Gladys Berejiklian.

Ms Benhayon told The Northern Star she "was blown away” by the award and "had no idea it was coming.”

2017 Lismore Property Managers Business Excellence Awards

  • Business of The Year, sponsored by Lismore Property Managers - Summerland Credit Union
  • People's Choice Award, sponsored by The Northern Star and Lismore Echo - Universal Medicine
  • Entrepreneur of The Year, sponsored by Southern Cross University - Horn's Gas & Plumbing
  • Employer of The Year, sponsored by Tursa - Summerland Credit Union
  • Excellence in Social Enterprise, sponsored by LCCI - Realising Every Dream Inc
  • Excellence in Small Business, sponsored by NSW Business Chamber - Dalley Street Butchery
  • Young Business Executive, sponsored by Flawless Imaging - Melanie Serone
  • Start Up Superstar, sponsored by WIN television - Connect Accountants & Advisors
  • Workplace Safety, sponsored by Safework Australia - Tattersalls Hotel
  • Health Services, sponsored by LCCI - GSAC
  • Home Based or Online, sponsored by LCCI - Mr Search
  • Trade, Construction, Manufacturing & Innovation, sponsored by Norco Co-operative - Horn's Gas & Plumbing
  • Professional Services, sponsored by LCCI - Southern Cross Credit Union
  • Retail, sponsored by Lismore Business Panel - Lismore Toyota
  • Visitor Experience, sponsored by TAFE NSW North Region - The Pie Cart
  • Darcy Goodwin Community Service Award - Lismore Helping Hands

Topics:  lismore lismore business excellence awards northern rivers business northern rivers community summerland credit union

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