Cork awards spur ‘investor interest’

Cork awards spur ‘investor interest’
At the launch of the 21st annual Cork Company of the Year Awards are Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy, EY partner and chair of the judging panel John Higgins, and Vodafone Ireland’s Debbie Power. Entries are open until October 25. See corkchamber.ie/recognisingyoursuccess. Picture: Darragh Kane

By Pádraig Hoare

Winning a Cork Company of the Year award has led to markets being opened in the EU and US, increased investment, and a huge boost to staff morale.

Those were some of the testimonies from previous winners at the launch of Cork Chamber’s annual competition, which is now in its 21st year.

The categories for emerging, SME, large, and corporate are open to businesses in the region — former winners were quick to encourage applications, saying it is a way to add value to a firm in a non-costly manner.

Sean Gayer, vice-president of operations at Boston Scientific, winner of the overall Cork Company of the Year 2018, said the win was not just a source of professional achievement but a huge boost to staff.

“The pride they had was wonderful. Local recognition is best and staff had neighbours and people in their own communities congratulating them on the achievement,” he said.

Mr Gayer said the rigorous application and interview process had led Boston Scientific in Cork to conduct a “holistic review” of its operations. “It really gives you a focus to add value to your business,” he said.

Pat Lynch, founder and chief executive of EviView, which provides smart analytics software for pharmaceutical manufacturers, said winning the emerging company category had given it an extra boost as it talked to potential investors.

The increased profile of the company has since led to business in New York and Poland, he said.

The Irish Examiner-partnered awards, run by Cork Chamber in association with Vodafone, are for the Emerging Cork Company of the Year, less than three years in business; Cork SME Company of the Year, with fewer than 50 employees; Cork Large Company of the Year, with 50 to 200 employees; and Cork Corporate of the Year, with more than 200 employees.

Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said: “We have been able to grow and strengthen these awards, offering companies an excellent platform to champion their success and put themselves in the spotlight.

Over the years we have seen significant growth from both winners and finalists who recognise the opportunity of these awards to increase visibility, reward staff and assess operations.

He said customer experience, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and diversity and inclusion would form a major part of the awards process.

The deadline for entrants is October 25. The winners in each category, along with the overall Cork Company of the Year, will be announced at the Cork Chamber annual dinner on February 1.

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