Shared services provider SouthWestern named Cork company of the year

The Clonakilty-based SouthWestern is the winner of the Cork Chamber/ Vodafone Cork Company of the Year Award.

Employing 700 people in Clonakilty, Bandon, Dublin, London, and Lodz in Poland, SouthWestern is a shared services provider for domestic and international clients.

At the ceremony at the Cork Chamber dinner in City Hall last night, SouthWestern chief executive Jim Costello said the award was a great honour.

“We’re a very proud Cork company and winning such a prestigious award is an endorsement of the customer -focused and innovative way we do business. In these times, it is more important than ever to promote a winning mentality and Cork Chamber and sponsors Vodafone deserve great praise for helping to foster that in this region,” he said.

SouthWestern also won the large company award for firms with more than 100 employees.

The Cork SME Company Award (fewer than 100 employees) was won by the O’Connell Group, a logistics company offering transporting, warehousing, container facilities and pallet manufacturing. Managing director Edward O’Connell described the award as testimony to the hard work of its employees and in particular the management team.

“It is extra special because it represents recognition in the highly competitive SME sector. This award is not possible without our great portfolio of customers that the O’Connell Group have gained and retained over the past number of years.”

The Emerging Cork Company Award (less than five years in business) went to ePub Direct, which provides online ebook management services to book publishers and distributes ebooks to over 115 retailers and 15,000 libraries.

Its managing director Gareth Cuddy said the award was “great recognition for both the company and our team and tops off everything we’ve achieved in the last 18 months. I am excited to be leading the company into new markets and becoming a force in the rapidly growing eBook phenomenon.

“Although our customers are worldwide, being based in Cork allows us access to an extremely talented workforce, along with great support from organisations such as the Cork Chamber.”

Presenting the awards, Vodafone Ireland business and enterprise director Anne O’Leary said: “Something I’m particularly excited about is how much the winning businesses are utilising technology to forge ahead in the marketplace.

“The awards have demonstrated the wealth and depth of talent in this country and have reassured me how much Irish businesses are out there going head-to- head with the best in the international marketplace.”

Picture: Anne O’Leary, business and enterprise director Vodafone, presents the award to Jim Costello, SouthWestern chief executive.

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