Published: December 1, 2019 | Updated: December 1, 2019

#Dorset Business Awards 2: Read more about this year’s winners and judges’ comments

Mploy Staffing Solutions won the Lester Aldridge Company of the Year Award. (Left to right): Grant Esterhuizen, Lester Aldridge; Mark Nash, Mploy Staffing Solutions; Kat Mieszkowksa, Mploy Staffing Solutions; Matthew Barrow, Lester Aldridge. Picture: Sian Court, SKC Photography.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Twelve of the county’s finest businesses were named winners at the 2019 Dorset Business Awards.

Find out more about the winning entries (provided by the organisers, Dorset Chamber) – and why the judges chose them for the top honours.

Pictures: Sian Court, SKC Photography.

1.Investing in Dorset Award, sponsored by BV Dairy.

Winner: Dorset Cruises

Jon Morgan, Dorset Cruises; Charis Lewis. BV Dairy; Mike Corica, Dorset Cruises.

Dorset Cruises has a unique offering. Its luxury themed cruises, which range from an Afternoon High Tea Cruise to a Champagne and Oysters Cruise, actively promote the area and the region’s coastline. The company serve locally produced food and drink while promoting local bands to add ambience to the cruises.

It is passionate about the area and actively look at ways to improve how it can showcase Dorset.

Vaughan Heard, Finance Director of BV Dairy, and award judge said: “The enthusiasm for Dorset and all it has to offer from the owners of Dorset Cruises is clearly visible. The team are working with local suppliers and promoting them actively. This is a very impressive business which shows great passion for the local area.”

2. Excellence in Engineering and Manufacturing, sponsored by REID Steel and Atlas Elektronik.

Winner: Field International Ltd

Neil Skelland, Atlas Elektronik; David Booker, Field International; Mark Booker, Field International; Tim Cook, REIDsteel.

This family owned precision engineering company, founded in Dorset in 1995, has gone through a major transformation in the last five years. A sharp drop off in orders from two major customers in the defence and aerospace sector led to an urgent need to find a new focus for the business.

It developed a whole new range of sophisticated tooling and airframe jigs for the aircraft maintenance and repair (MRO) industry and has become the UK’s only official ‘Tier 1’ aircraft tooling supplier to Airbus and the third largest tool provider for Boeing Worldwide, also approved by Rolls Royce.

Judges Simon Boyd, Managing Director of REIDsteel and John Sutcliffe, Director of Business Development at Atlas Elektronik, said: “The company has set up its own manufacturing facilities in China and Singapore to meet the needs of the global MRO market, with all the proceeds coming back to the parent company in Poole, where it is now investing in expansion of its technical and UK manufacturing facilities.“

3. Creative Impact Award, sponsored by Liz Lean PR and Digital Storm.

Winner: Global Brand Communications (STARS)

Lesley Simmons, Digital Storm; Sharon Parker, Global Brand Communications; Darren Mooney, Global Brand Communications; Liz Willingham, Liz Lean PR.

Global was engaged by Dorset Rape Crisis to creatively bring a new approach to a difficult subject.

Dorset Rape Crisis was experiencing issues with engagement and needed to reduce the barriers of people seeking support after an experience of sexual assault, rape or other forms of sexual violence.

Global reviewed the branding with a view to making the charity more approachable and accessible to everyone across Dorset. Its solution was to develop the new brand, “STARS”, which empowered the charity and has enabled a wider group of survivors to engage.

Judges Lesley Simmons, Account Director at Digital Storm and Liz Willingham, Managing Director of Liz Lean PR, said: “The work that Global produced was impressive. Ultimately, they tackled a subject that can be considered harrowing to create a positive and supportive setting for recovery. Global demonstrated that they are a passionate team of creatives who tackled a difficult subject and delivered impressive results.”

4. Team Jobs Team of the Year.

Winner: Ceuta Group Talent Management and Development Team

Jason Gault, Team Jobs; Treacy Webster. Ceuta Group; Nathalie Camus, Ceuta Group.

The Talent Management and Development Team at Ceuta are a team any business owner would be proud of. The sense of commitment, loyalty and purpose was overwhelming, and the judges were captivated.

The team had pulled together to deliver some genuine, ground-breaking projects affecting change in the wider business, that was beyond their traditional job functions. They delivered this together, supporting and collaborating in a way that any great team should.

Jason Gault, Managing Director of Team Jobs and category judge, said: “This team should feel proud, are genuinely inspirational and are worthy winners.”

5. Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by Superior Seals.

Winner: Emily Birkett

Katie Bodman, Superior Seals; Emily Birkett, Outpost VFX; Ian Fellow, Outpost VFX; Ben Clarke, Superior Seals.

In the second year of her Media Apprenticeship with Outpost VFX, Emily has paved her own career pathway in the creative sector by overcoming barriers, removing the stigma of apprenticeships and being proactive in achieving her goals.

At the age of 17, Emily had her first TV show credit and was invited along to the premiere to celebrate her success. In her own words, Emily has proven that you can make “impossible dreams seem possible.”

Judge Ben Clarke, Quality Manager for Superior Seals, said: “Emily is constantly demonstrating the benefits of apprenticeships and has a very successful career ahead of her. She is truly inspirational and a passionate apprentice.”

6. Lester Aldridge Company of the Year.

Winner: Mploy Staffing Solutions

Grant Esterhuizen, Lester Aldridge; Mark Nash, Mploy Staffing Solutions; Kat Mieszkowksa, Mploy Staffing Solutions; Matthew Barrow, Lester Aldridge.

Established in 2001, Mploy Staffing Solutions is an independent recruitment agency in the south west, founded and built on the hard work of exceptional people, a commitment to service excellence and a deep-rooted entrepreneurial spirit.

17 years on, the company places over 1,700 temporary placements per week and has a 60+ strong team of employees, working from seven branches across the south west.

Matthew Barrow, Managing Partner at Lester Aldridge, said: “Mploy Staffing Solutions has excelled in its market, has a very strong financial performance, a huge commitment to Dorset, and a very impressive set of past achievements, including being ranked number 30 for The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.”

7. PFK Francis Clark Family Business Award.

Winner: Hoburne Group

James Robinson, PFK Francis Clark; Rosie Kennar, Hoburne Group.

Hoburne Group was established in Dorset in 1912 by John Burry, a tenant farmer at ‘Hubborn Farm’ (later renamed Hoburne Park), who saw an opportunity to diversify into the new pastime of ‘caravanning’.

Hoburne now owns and operates eight holiday parks, three golf clubs and a residential and commercial development operation.

The group is currently operated by the fourth generation of the Burry family, chaired by John’s great-granddaughter, Rosie Kennar.

James Robinson, Partner at PKF Francis Clark and award judge, said: “We were impressed by recent changes, continued diversification, the use of family skills within the group and their clear succession plan. Very worthy winners.”

8. Employee Health & Wellbeing Award, sponsored by Ouch Training Team.

Winner: Health On Line

Simon Cassin, Ouch Training Team; Vicky Young, Health On Line; Nicky Bowden, Health On Line.

Since its establishment in 2000, Health On Line has become one of the fastest growing independent health insurance companies in the UK. The company is based in Bournemouth, where more than 500 people are employed. All employees have access to the company’s health and wellbeing strategy, HOListic Wellbeing.

Built around the Five Ways of Wellbeing model, the programme involves events and initiatives that will run throughout the year that fit into categories of either connect, active, mindful, learn or give; with the overall aim of improving the personal wellbeing of its employees.

Judge Simon Cassin, Director of Ouch Training Team said: “Building on existing standards, Health On Line have approached this year’s award with a commendable combination of informed wisdom and incredible passion. Utilising an evidence-based approach to guide the short, medium and long term strategy and implementation of health and well-being has resulted in an effective program to be proud of.”

9, Dorset Environmental Award, sponsored by Dorset Wildlife Trust and Kingston Maurward.

Winner: English Oak Vineyard

Luke Rake, Kingston Maurward; Andrew Pharoah, English Oak; Sarah Atkins, English Oak; Alistair Cook, Dorset Wildlife.

Planted by Andrew and Sarah Pharoah in 2007, English Oak is a boutique family vineyard, thriving in Dorset’s beautiful countryside.

This company has taken sustainability to a high level and made it the central focus of the business. The vinyard is completely off-grid for water and electric, it minimises the use of chemicals, and minimises negative impacts on wildlife.

Award judges, Ester Baker and Luke Rake from Kingston Maurward, said: “We were impressed with English Oak Vineyard’s commitment to involving the local community in all aspects of their environmentally friendly business. It shows that the company can produce an excellent quality product, efficiently whilst looking after the environment.”

10. Business Leader of the Year Award, sponsored by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.

Winner: Jamie Sergeant, Crowd

Jim Stewart, Dorset LEP; Jamie Sergeant, This is Crowd.

Jamie is an excellent ambassador and representative for Dorset in a key sector. As the founder of creative agency, Crowd, he has started and grown the business locally and across the globe, with offices across Europe, Asia, UAE and North America.

Crowd has been built on Jamie’s belief and investment in young, local (UK and international) talent; the company has 22 different nationalities on the payroll. While he has retained the head office in Dorset, his vision for the business has always been global and that is evident in its impressive portfolio of clients.

Lorna Carver, Director of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “What set Jamie apart, from what was an extremely strong field of nominees, was his unwavering commitment to the region, local talent and his ambition to establish Dorset as a global centre for creativity. He is a true industry champion and has demonstrated a wider commitment and contribution to the business community and the Dorset economy.”

11. Excellence in Exporting Award, sponsored by HSBC and PSP Worldwide Logistics.

Winner: Aviation & Defence Spares

Nicky Busst, HSBC; Matthew Gordon, Aviation & Defence Spares; Nick Gordon, Aviation & Defence Spares; Frank Dixie, PsP Worldwide Logistics.

Aviation & Defence Spares (ADS), based in Poole, has over 30 years’ experience and is a global leader in aviation product supply, providing essential spares across all aspects of the aviation industry. The company has an impressive list of global customers, exporting over 95% of its sales globally.

Adept at managing relationships and supply chains between OEM’s and its overseas military customer base, ADS sell to India, south east Asia, Europe and the UAE, executing in-depth compliance handling processes to deliver its exports.

Frank Dixie, Managing Director of PSP Logistics, and judge commented: “Outstandingly, ADS have grown its business by 82% over the previous two years. With recent incorporation in the USA, the business has a platform for significant growth into North America as the next chapter.”

12. Enhanced Business Growth Award.

Winner: Venture Engineering Group

Simon White, Enhanced; Katie Mellar, Venture; Drew Mello, Venture; Tony Ellington, Venture; Dawn Salisbury, Venture.

Established in 2015 the Venture Engineering Group has achieved spectacular growth over the last three years.  Through organic growth and acquisitions, Venture enjoys an excellent reputation as both a sub-contractor and exporter of its own engineered products worldwide.

Venture  believes that building well-run small and medium size businesses creates wealth, sustainable employment and long-term prosperity. It provides a straight talking, entrepreneurial approach to buying and building businesses whilst crystallising value for its owners.

Simon White, Chief Executive Officer of Enhanced, and award judge said: “Venture Engineering Group is a young, ambitious company who have proven excellent growth and who have created the capacity to enable them to further grow their business over the next five years. A worthy winner”