Celebrations all round at the 2014 Oxfordshire Business Awards
PUBLISHED: 17:30 04 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:50 04 September 2014
Clark Wiseman / Studio 8 Ltd
Over 500 guests crowded into a huge marquee at the 2014 Oxfordshire Business Awards to celebrate the county's brightest businesses.
Held at the Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel on a warm summer evening, this was the 20th Oxford Business Awards and as awards evenings go, it was one of the best. Guest speaker was Martin Bayfield, as brilliant and funny a speaker as he was effective as an international rugby player and the award winners and finalists represented a thriving and diverse Oxfordshire economy.
THE OWEN MUMFORD BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
The UK’s leading supplier of motorcycle and cycle accessories. The business is also an international success story, exporting to over 60 countries including its own US subsidiary in Jacksonville, Florida.
THE CARTER JONAS EXPORT AWARD
The world’s leading supplier of cooling devices for the niche scientific market of X-ray diffraction.
THE HAYS CUSTOMER CARE AWARD
Now with 19 partners, this law firm has been part of its community for 200 years.
THE HEART FM MARKETING EXCELLENCE AWARD
Hook Norton Brewery
A successful independent family brewer that has undergone a successful rebrand this year.
THE OXFORDSHIRE APPRENTICESHIP OF THE YEAR AWARD
Over a period of five years Airbus’s in house apprenticeship scheme takes school and college leavers and develops them into licensed aircraft technicians qualified by EASA, the European Aviation regulator.
THE SHAW GIBBS YOUNG BUSINESS
PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD
Dave Fletcher, White October
Dave founded White October when he was 24, after completing a mathematics degree at Nottingham University and a stint at RM Education as an analyst programmer. White October is now a successful digital agency, creating digital and web applications for organisations such as Foyles, Lambeth Council and the Open Data Institute.
THE OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY INNOVATION AWARD
This business has grown from an extraordinary philanthropic initiative into a global enterprise leading the development and sale of variable focus eyewear. It has offices in Tokyo, Japan, Hong Kong and Boston, USA and a headquarters and research and development facility in Oxford.
OXFORDSHIREFOCUS Woodstock AbingdonHeadington HeadingtonTHE OXFORD TIMES CHARITY & COMMUNITY AWARD
This is a not for profit organisation based in Witney, West Oxfordshire that helps vulnerable young people find life changing directions.
THE RIDGEWAY DIGITAL INNOVATION AWARD
The company rewards people for everyday green actions. Through collaboration and incentive schemes, it aims to inspire communities to create a better future.
THE FOUR PILLARS CULTURAL EVENTS & TOURISM AWARD
Chipping Norton Literary Festival
Just three years’ old but already a fixture in the UK’s literary calendar. Held over four days in April, a team of 20 volunteers work year-round to organise the events.
THE OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT AWARD
One of the leading book distributors within the UK, Bookpoint has been supplying businesses for more than 35 years and employs approximately 300 staff.
THE SHAW GIBBS BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD
Managing Director, Oxford Products
THE OXFORDSHIRE LEP NEW BUSINESS AWARD
Oxford Space Systems
A space technology business developing hardware solutions that are lighter, less complex and lower cost than those currently available.
THE MILTON PARK SMALL BUSINESS AWARD
Specialists in monitoring instrumentation to hire or buy in the health and safety, occupational hygiene and environmental markets.
THE NATWEST LARGE BUSINESS AWARD
Darke & Taylor
This company can trace its history back nearly 120 years, as Oxford’s first electrical engineering company.
THE BLUE LAW BY DARBYS EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
A travel company that tailor-makes fantastic holidays. 2014 has been another milestone year for Audley with the opening of new offices in Boston, USA and London to compliment the 300 strong staff at it Witney offices.
Tied up with a piece of string
We have to mention one business that made the finals but was beaten to the marketing excellence award by Hook Norton Brewery.
A Malory Band is a soft, narrow, polyester cord worn around the wearers’ waist to help them lose weight and maintain weight loss. In simple terms, it does the same as a piece of string which, when you eat a lot, will feel tight and it is a triumph of marketing. Since its launch last year the business has sold around 8000 bands retailing at around £25 each. The brain behind the business is Penny Mallory, a former World Rally Driver, TV motoring presenter and motivational speaker. Penny thought up the concept after meeting a man on holiday who was wearing a piece of string around his waist to remind him of his youthful misery as a fat kid. Penny’s weight had yo-yoed all her life, so she knew how he felt.
She also knows that her product sounds ridiculous, but after crash dieting, liposuction or wrapping yourself in cling film, a piece of string tied around the waist starts to sound almost sensible.
“A Malory band won’t make you loose weight, but if you are psychologically ready to diet, it can help,” she said. Her product is a triumph of packaging over product. “I knew that if I put a piece of string in a bag it wouldn’t be appealing, it has to be well packaged.”
We salute you, Penny Mallory. Few others would seize the initiative. How long is a piece of string? Long enough to make money out of we say.