Wrightbus boss drives off with Belfast Telegraph's top business award
The managing director of Wrightbus in Co Antrim has been named Businessperson of the Year at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.
Mark Nodder, who has held the post for seven years, has led the business to major international success and landmark achievements, including winning a competition to design the new bus for London.
The Blackpool-born businessman, who is in his late fifties, originally trained as a lawyer before embarking on a career in industry which has also taken him to planemaker Bombardier and Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Defence.
Mr Nodder is also president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, where colleagues, including chief executive Ann McGregor, sing his praises.
Ms McGregor said: "His main achievement at Wrightbus has been to bring the company onto the international stage.
"They always were a business that traded in the UK but in Mark's time they have become a significant exporter to places like Hong Kong and India. And Mark has brought the innovation that's enabled them to do so," she said.
The company's innovations had included the use of lightweight materials in the manufacture of buses, and the use of flatpack buses which can be transported and built overseas.
Mr Nodder, who lives in Newtownards, oversees the entire Wrightbus Group, which embraces the subsidiaries Wrightbus, Wright Customcare, Wright Composites, and Metallix.
He joined the company in 1998, over 50 years after it was founded by Dr William Wright CBE and his father Robert.
Jayne Brady, chairman of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, said Mr Nodder had helped the company towards major achievements in engineering. "His contribution has helped Wrightbus truly make its mark on public transport, not just by building the new bus for London, but even further afield in Tokyo, Singapore and China."
Mayor of Ballymena, DUP councillor Audrey Wales, said: "I would like to send my congratulations to Mark on behalf of Ballymena Borough Council."
Mark Nodder was honoured last night for his contribution to Northern Ireland business during the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards when he received the accolade of Businessperson of the Year, a category sponsored by British Airways. As well as a high-achieving businessman, he is also a keen guitarist, a dog-lover and an aficionado of live rock music.