Video highlights of Belfast Telegraph Business Awards - plus full list of winners
CDE named company of year at glitzy ceremony
Co Tyrone manufacturer CDE was crowned the Outstanding Business of the Year at the 2019 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards, in partnership with Ulster Bank.
The company, which is based in Cookstown, employs a UK and international workforce of 650 and designs equipment and solutions for quarries, mines and recycling operations.
It has operations in eight regions and exports to more than 90 countries with a particular focus on the US following the opening of its North America headquarters in Cleburne, Texas, in September 2018.
Over the last 25 years, it has designed and installed almost 2,000 sets of wet processing equipment across the world. The company also marked a year of record revenues in 2018.
The judging panel praised the business's exceptional growth in international sales and its sustained and strategic expansion into new export markets worldwide.
The Lifetime Achievement accolade was won by Owen Brennan, executive chairman of Devenish Nutrition, for his inspirational leadership and ground-breaking contribution to Northern Ireland's agri-food industry.
For more than 20 years he has grown an organisation that is recognised as a leader in its field - researching, developing and manufacturing innovative animal nutrition products which are sold to international markets.
Almost 500 of Northern Ireland's brightest and best businesspeople attended the black-tie event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, hosted by BBC NI presenter Mark Simpson.
It is the third year the Belfast Telegraph has partnered with Ulster Bank for the Business Awards, with trophies and highly commended certificates presented across 13 categories.
New for this year's awards was an on-stage Dragon's Den-style elevator pitch, with five shortlisted entrepreneurs presenting a live one-minute business pitch as to why they should win a £4,000 prize package to help expand their start-up business. The winner, voted by guests attending the awards ceremony, was Stephen Beck of Zero Waste Biotech.
A synopsis of the Northern Ireland economic landscape was delivered in a speech by Alastair Hamilton, the chief executive of economic development agency Invest NI.
Richard Donnan, head of Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland, said: "Once again, the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards, in partnership with Ulster Bank, attracted a very high calibre of entries from an impressive range of companies, ranging from inspiring start-ups to some of Northern Ireland's biggest businesses.
"The awards demonstrate that not only is there exceptional work taking place in our business community, but that companies are also increasingly aware of the importance of showcasing it through the Business Awards to help them further develop and grow.
"Being on the judging panel was a hugely rewarding experience.
"I would like to congratulate all of our finalists, those who were highly commended and of course our ultimate winners on the night.
"It's clear that local businesses are competing and winning in their marketplaces and delivering real value for their business and for Northern Ireland.
"The awards also showcased our vibrant start-up industry, with five very different companies pitching so confidently to win a cash business development prize. Congratulations go to all of them and especially to the overall winner."
Sarah Little, publishing director of Independent News & Media NI, said: "We're thrilled that such a wide range of businesses from all sectors joined us for a fantastic evening to mark all their achievements.
"We believe it's important to champion and celebrate local entrepreneurs and help spotlight their stories and successes. A huge thank-you also goes to our awards partner, Ulster Bank, and all our category sponsors, as well as our judges, finalists and guests who attended the evening."
Full list of all the winners at last night’s Business Awards
Overall Business of the Year sponsored by Ulster Bank: CDE
Lifetime Achievement Awards sponsored by Ulster Bank: Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman, Devenish Nutrition
Excellence in Marketing sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas: Winner: SPAR
Excellence in Exporting sponsored by NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry: Winner: CDE. Highly commended: Fortress Diagnostics
Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership sponsored by Ulster University Business School: Winner: Henderson Foodservice
Excellence in Innovation sponsored by MCL Insurance: Winner: Wilson's Auctions. Highly commended: Naturo/Mackle Pet Foods Chefs Selection
Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media sponsored by Sparq: Winner: GroundsWell/Neurovalens. Highly commended: Balloo Hire Centres
Young Business Person of the Year sponsored by Direct Medics Healthcare Recruitment: Winner: Declan Murdock, AJC Group. Highly commended: Gavin Annon, Mount Charles
IT Company or Team of the Year sponsored by Carson McDowell: Winner: Version 1
Retailer of the Year sponsored by Retail NI: Winner: Suitor Brothers Tailoring
Excellence in Workplace Health and Wellbeing sponsored by the Public Health Agency: Winner: Outsource Solutions (NI). Highly commended: Progressive Building Society
Best Established Small/Medium Business sponsored by Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast: Winners: Lowden Guitars and Digestors Silos and Tanks. Highly commended: McElmeel Mobility Services
Emerging Business or Start-up of the Year sponsored by Wilson Nesbitt: Winner: Groundswell
SME Healthcare Business of the Year sponsored by Linwoods: Winner: Fortress Diagnostics
Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility sponsored by ASDA: Winner: Grafton Recruitment. Highly commended: NI Water