Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce flood the ICC with the group’s biggest Awards Dinner ever. Jas Sansi set sail for a celebration of the best in Business.
CEO Paul Faulkner welcomed over 1300 guests at last night’s Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Awards Dinner. He shared a little insight with the hall; it was the second ever largest awards dinner in Birmingham, overshadowed only by Slimmers World.
The Slimmers World event can only get bigger by shedding pounds, and the Chambers can only grow by gaining pounds. So there’s a challenge for regional business next year; make more pounds, book more seats and lets be the biggest. We’ll have better desserts as well.
I spotted Laura Shoaf, MD of Transport for West Midlands. Standing here with the recently appointed High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Chris Loughran.
Chamber President Paul Kehoe CBE wore the full office medal for this picture but opted for the smaller blue one when delivering his speech. Paul who recently stepped down as CEO of Birmingham Airport told me his hobby of flying is an expensive one, adding the best two days of owning a plane is the day you buy it and the day you sell it!
The evening was wonderfully hosted by Stephen Mangan, an actor who amongst other roles provided the voice for Postman Pat; The Movie. I mention that because my son was a huge fan of Postman Pat and I have fond memories of watching it together. He’s now into Grime, which is not something we’ve ever shared any time listening to.
Great to see Deborah Cadman OBE in attendance. Here with Stephen. Deborah is CEO of the West Midlands Combined Authority and one of the most powerful women in the region.
There were many inspirational women in the room. The President’s Award went to The Ice Maidens, a British Army unit of six female soldiers who crossed the Antarctic via the South Pole, by foot.
I met the Ice Maidens before their mission and learned they were given a weight gain diet to prepare for Arctic conditions; White Wine, Chocolate and Ice Cream. All of these were available at the Chamber Awards Dinner though I suspect no one walked home via the South Pole.
Bobby Singh from Love Your Postcode was at the dinner as guest of Elonex Outdoor Media. The only drivers who haven’t have seen the ‘You Deserve Better’ digital screen adverts featuring Bobby are the getaway drivers in HMP Winson Green. A huge campaign and a business shaking up the estate agency market. Great to see him there.
Lots of familiar faces across all divisions of the Chamber which recently expanded to create the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce. This is an exciting venture in the build up to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.
Katie Hale from Plott Creative attended her first Chamber Awards as President of Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce. Looking forward to hearing great things about Sutton Chamber under Katie’s leadership.
The Awards dinner is more than business, there is representation from all fields. Here’s Professor Julian Beer from BCU and MP Liam Byrne representing politics. Brexit was mentioned in Paul Faulkner’s welcome speech with the Chamber recently publishing a Brexit Toolkit. And no, it doesn’t contain a hammer to smash over Nigel Farage’s head.
Here’s Paul Reeves and Mandeep Rajput from @HelloB, a brand new digital banking service that helps you manage your money. Mandeep purchased this signed Messi shirt in aid of Acorns Hospice, the designated charity for the evening.
Aston Performing Arts smashed it with a tribute to Motown which got the front row VIP tables to their feet. Tru Powell may be back on this very stage next month as a Marketing & Communications winner at BYPY. Good luck Tru.
And how about the awards themselves? Well in true Noah’s Ark style, the winners came in two by two. Millennium Point headed up by LoveBrum Trustee Judith Armstrong won two awards, Addfield won two and Curium won two included Business of the Year.
Let’s take a look at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce 2018 winners:
Excellence in Training & Education – Millennium Point
Excellence in International Business – Addfield Environmental Systems
Excellence in Contributing to the Community – Acorns Childrens Hospice
Excellence in Customer Service – CV Library
Excellence in Hospitality Award – Millennium Point
Excellence in Technology & Innovation – Crown Highways
Excellence in People Development – Curium Solutions
Excellence in Manufacturing – Addfield Environmental Systems
Excellence in Sales & Marketing – Selfridges
Greater Birmingham Business of the Year – Curium Solutions
Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all the finalists. Huge thanks to the sponsors without whom, events like these simply would not be possible.
Looking forward to seeing everyone back next year. Consider putting your business up for nomination for next year’s awards. The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce event is a powerful vehicle to showcase all that is great about your company.
Congratulations to Acorns Children’s Hospice on winning the Excellence in Contributing to the Community Award. A great way to celebrate their 30th anniversary. A huge thank you to everyone who helped raise £5100 to support the incredibly important work Acorns provide.
Business is a bridge to reach others in a world where walls and boundaries get too many headlines. Business creates employment, opportunities and a way to channel talent for the benefit of all. Business generates the tax receipts that keep the country’s heart beating.
Business is a human instinct. Our island nation was forged on the ability to reach out and trade with our neighbours, near and far. Our climate here in the UK means we can’t grow everything but our education system, funded by trade, empowers us to grow the people who can do everything. And that’s something worth celebrating. See you in 2019.
The full set of images from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Annual Dinner & Awards 2018: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92331272@N06/sets/72157692706713632
Join the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce: https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com
Information about Acorns Children’s Hospice: acorns.org.uk
Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a trustee for LoveBrum and columnist for The Asian Today newspaper.
@jassansi 07930 837 505