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Excellence in business was celebrated in style in Dunedin last night.
The Westpac Otago Business Awards, which are held every two years, were presented at the Dunedin Town Hall.
Amid what had been an "incredible" year, Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan said the function was a fantastic opportunity to both share and hear many business stories — not only of recent events, but also their history.
Mr McGowan was thrilled with the number and quality of entries in this year’s awards, saying it was the "best we’ve had yet".
He also congratulated those who entered and were not finalists, during what had been a particularly difficult year. Hopefully that pause to reflect would aid each business that took part, he said.
Mercy Hospital Dunedin Ltd won the excellence in service award, before going on to be named supreme winner.
Judges said all the category winners were of such a high calibre that it was hard to pick one supreme winner.
But, in the end, Mercy Hospital Dunedin’s strong business operating model and high commitment to empowering staff and stakeholders provided it with a slight edge over the other finalists.
The company had submitted an excellent entry.
"They have a systemised and deliberate approach, empowering staff and stakeholders to bring their best selves to work," the judges said.
Contego Systems founder Justin McEntyre won the Future Business Leader Award. Judges said he showed a varied range of leadership at a local and national level and it was also encouraging to hear of his influence as a business mentor.
Mr McEntyre founded the business in 2016 with the aim of changing the way in which passive fire protection systems were designed and installed in New Zealand’s commercial buildings. Contego won the emerging business award at the business awards in 2018.
Business personality winner Sarah Hussey owns three central city hospitality businesses with her husband, Patrick: The Swan taproom and eatery in Bath St, and The Perc Central and The Perc Exchange cafes.