Presidents Awards 2017  52

An exciting highlight of the Surrey Chambers of Commerce calendar is our Presidents awards reception, which took place recently at the beautiful Horsley Towers de Vere venue. Hosted in the Great Hall by our new President, Yvette Etcell, Director of the Gavin Jones Group, there was a really positive vibe in the room. Charles Russell Speechlys were our headline sponsors and Horsley Towers showed their great hospitality strengths.

From Start-ups to Exporters

Nick White, from Yvonne Arnaud theatre, compered the evening and first up was the Kevin Cantlon start-up award. I personally introduced this award as Kevin, from Surrey Heath Borough Council, had helped the Chamber two years ago by providing financial support to enable 50 businesses a year to receive one to one advice. Very sadly, Kevin passed away suddenly in April and we were delighted to welcome his wife, Natalie, to the awards to make the presentation and show our huge appreciation of him.

The short list was Exodus, Pink Giraffe and The Cabin and the prize went to The Cabin, who are running a really successful bar in Camberley.

Next up was the International Trade award, appropriately sponsored by Your London Airport Gatwick. Three great companies to choose from were Vision Engineering, Veriton Pharma Ltd and the winner of the award, Bisley Office Furniture.

Champions and Connectors

We then moved on to the Chamber Champion award, sponsored by Babbarocks, recognising members of the Chamber who go above and beyond and support the Chamber in a number of ways. Winning the coveted award was Peter Quilter from NatWest but two fantastic runners up were Sam Farrow from Farrow creative and Giles Thomas from Reigate Manor Hotel.

It will be no surprise that one of our categories was Networker of the Year, which recognised not only people who attend a large number of events but also those who make it easy for others to feel welcome at our events. The Chamber is all about connecting people and these three do a great job of making the most of the connections available. Projectfive sponsored the award and Steve Coburn, no stranger to networking, presented the award to Robert Cull from Redbox with Sapna Sharma of Resourcing4HR and Daniel Suddaby from Lookers Audi very worthy nominees.

Social media

The final award recognised members, who work hard in the Social Media space and a public vote was held to decide a winner. All three are incredibly active on Social media and provide really innovative and interesting content. Anyone with a Twitter handle will be very familiar with Cellar Wines, Guildford Shakespeare and The Jockey Club but the winner voted by the public and sponsored by Jack radio was The Jockey Club.

The evening was rounded off with a raffle in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice care, who put down a challenge to Surrey businesses with their Accumulator challenge. They will provide a £50 note and we have 50 days to turn that into as much as possible for the charity. With a room full of businesses there was no doubt that our competitive natures became evident and we look forward to working with Nick Adams and his team going forward.

Surrey Chambers of Commerce can be reached on 01483 735540,, @surreychambers

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