2017 Business & Tourism Excellence Awards

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Kristen Lovett Accounting Services' (at back) Nicole Rametta, Jess Silver, Laura Lee, Kirsty Ware and Kerri Ford, and (at front) Belinda Paynter and Kristen Lovett have new trophies to add to the stash following the 2017 business awards.

Kristen Lovett Accounting Services' (at back) Nicole Rametta, Jess Silver, Laura Lee, Kirsty Ware and Kerri Ford, and (at front) Belinda Paynter and Kristen Lovett have new trophies to add to the stash following the 2017 business awards.

There’s a palpable feeling of excitement and passion in the business community for advancing Tenterfield, according to 2017 Business of the Year proprietor Kristen Lovett. That was evident at the Tenterfield Business and Tourism Excellence Awards on Thursday night, September 14.

“You can feel the buzz in the business community,” Ms Lovett said.

“It’s really exciting. There are new changes and a new passion and everyone’s getting energised. It’s really good.”

The awards’ nomination process is an opportunity for local businesses to reflect on their performance over the previous 12 months and access future plans. While conceding this can be a time-consuming process, amid the demands of running the business, Ms Lovett said it forces business operators to stand back and take a hard look at the operation, see where its performance can be fine-tuned and reconsider what the business is all about.

She said she hadn’t expected KLAS (Kristen Lovett Accounting Services) to take out Business of the Year given the high quality of businesses within Tenterfield

“We have such an amazing town that is growing in stature and really gaining the attention of those looking for a unique country experience. We have some of the best retail outlets in Australia, some of the best online business.

“Add to this our hospitality offerings which are incredible and we have the complete package for those looking for an escape. 

“So amongst all that, our 'traditional' business with very untraditional methods was a surprise winner indeed. So I am very honoured and so thrilled.”

In addition to being awarded the top gong, KLAS was also received awards for excellence in customer service and excellence in financial and legal services, the latter now putting the business into the awards’ Hall of Fame for winning the same category three years running.

Ray White Rural – run by Ms Lovett’s husband Ben Sharpe – was runner-up Business of the Year, generating some friendly domestic rivalry at the trophy presentations. Mr Sharpe, however, said he’d be gunning for the top spot next year.

Dennis Gascoigne, in accepting the award for excellence in innovation for his business Blue Sky Contracting and its product Civil Pro Software, championed the mix of traditional and new industry in the district. He said technology changes now allow businesses like his to set up in regional areas (although telecommunications remain a challenge), but they still need the strong infrastructure provided by traditional businesses in which to operate. Tenterfield is evolving to incorporate a mix of both.

Highlights of the evening included Wilshire & Co.’s Chaney Rhodes being named apprentice/trainee of the year, and Haddington’s Caitlyn McTaggart is employee of the year. A special recognition award was presented to Col Mann for his service to the community.

Awardees in the 2017 Tenterfield Business & Tourism Excellence Awards line up for a group photo. Photo by Peter Reid.

Awardees in the 2017 Tenterfield Business & Tourism Excellence Awards line up for a group photo. Photo by Peter Reid.

And the winners are...

Business of the Year

·       Winner: Kristen Lovett Accounting Services

·       Highly Commended: Ray White Rural

Event of the Year

·       Winner: Tenterfield Show

·       Highly Commended: Oracles of the Bush

Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

·       Winner: Chaney Rhodes from Wilshire & Co Tenterfield CRT

Employee of the Year

·       Winner: Caitlyn McTaggart from Tenterfield Care Centre

·       Highly Commended: Emma Page, BFIT Health Club

Excellence in Innovation

·       Winner: Blue Sky Contracting (for Civil Pro Software)

·       Highly Commended: Artists Collective Studio

Excellence in Tourism

·       Winner: The Commercial Boutique Hotel

·       Highly Commended: Artists Collective Studio

Excellence in Customer Service

·       Winner: Kristen Lovett Accounting Services

·       Highly Commended: Go Vita Tenterfield

Excellence in Hospitality

·       Winner: The Commercial Boutique Hotel

·       Highly Commended: The MAZE Modern Dining

Excellence in Retail

·       Winner: Artists Collective Studio

·       Highly Commended: Go Vita Tenterfield

Excellence in Agribusiness

·       Winner: Ray White Rural

·       Highly Commended: Arrajay Downs

Excellence in Agriculture

·       Winner: Wilshire & Co CRT Tenterfield

Excellence in Manufacturing/Construction

·       Winner: Brad Holley Contracting – Ranbuild Sheds

·       Highly Commended: Cameron Bolton Interiors

Excellence in Service Industries

·       Winner: Ray White Rural

·       Highly Commended: Niche Creative & Co

Excellence in Financial & Legal Services

·       Winner: Kristen Lovett Accounting Services

KLAS has been inducted into the Tenterfield Business & Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, as this is the third year in a row they have won this category.

Excellence in Health, Beauty & Fitness

·       Winner: Go Vita Tenterfield

·       Highly Commended: Tenterfield Care Centre

Disability, Inclusion & Access Award

·       Winner: The Commercial Boutique Hotel

·       Highly Commended: Challenge Community Services

People’s Choice Award

·       Winner: BFIT Health Club

·       Highly Commended: Best Western Henry Parkes

Excellence in Accommodation

·       Winner: Tenterfield Lodge Caravan Park

·       Highly Commended: The Commercial Boutique Hotel

Recognition Award for Service to the Community

·       Col Mann

Judge’s Commendation Award

·       Tripple C Investments (trading as Tenterfield Cottage, Tenterfield Tours & Tenterfield Escapes & Getaways)

·       Arrajay Downs – received Judges Mentorship prize

·       The Maze Modern Dining – received Judges Mentorship prize