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Powercor Moira Shire Business Excellence Awards 2015

The awards hold a valuable place within the Moira Shire business community. The awards provide the opportunity for local businesses to be recognised for their dedication in delivering excellence and business enterprise within their chosen industry and strive for success. Participation also allows owners and managers a means of examining the health of their business, identify opportunities for growth and rewards staff for the commitments.

2015 Winners

Apprentice / Trainee of the Year: Michael Lumsden - Padman Stops
Category Sponsor: The Apprenticeship Factory

The standard of all finalists in this category was incredibly high and demonstrated the talent throughout the Moira Shire.

While it was difficult to separate the finalists, Michael Lumsden stood out for his extraordinary dedication to his goals of achieving a formal engineering qualification.

Throughout Mick’s journey towards his goal he was prepared to work in a variety of roles whilst striving to reach his objective. Mick clearly values training and was prepared to work exceptionally hard to realize his dream. Mick showed that he has great pride in both his work and workplace, by ensuring he  accelerated his training by a year and by always demonstrating a can-do attitude.

We wish Mick and all the other finalists all the best in the chosen profession.

Excellence in Customer Service: Jacinda Barnes – Nathalia Boarding Kennels & Cattery
Category Sponsor: Yarrawonga Chronicle

Jacinda Barnes offers exceptional customer service in her job at Nathalia Boarding Kennels and Cattery. Jacinda has demonstrated her commitment by going to extreme lengths and often in her own time to ensuring the animals in her care are given the love and attention while they are separated from their owners.

Beloved by dogs, cats and humans alike, Nathalia Boarding Kennels & Cattery provides a home away from home for people's fur kids - allowing the humans to rest easy whilst on holiday or off doing human things, knowing their animals are well cared for. 

You need only to read the many thank you notes to know that Jacinda, her boss Maddie and the team Nathalia Boarding Kennels & Cattery understand their customers and are providing a great service to their local and regional community.

Excellence in Industry: Cobram Kitchens and Cabinets
Category Sponsor: Bendigo Bank

Cobram Kitchens is owned and operated by Michael and Joanna Hayler. This successful team has a sound business model and plan for the future across all aspects of its business. It has reviewed its practices throughout the business, and streamlined customer service and attention to detail to meet with client needs.

Michael and Joanna have a modern approach to embracing best practice and implement sound principles of business planning; while being careful to ensure that their business plan remains flexible to achieve the best outcomes for their clients. With attention to detail, a high quality product, and the way they value and interact with their staff, this business has become known for outstanding workmanship and creative kitchen design.

Excellence in AgriBusiness: Riversdale Organic Farm
Category Sponsor: Murray Goulburn

Sue McKenzie and Kevin Pace of Riversdale Organic Farm have developed a range unique organic citrus drizzles, jams and sauces from their organic crop of oranges and lemons, grown on the banks of the Murray River at Koonoomoo.  The pair has gone to great lengths in exporting these gourmet products to five star restaurants and to high-end markets in Asia and the Middle East.

The ongoing market potential for the product appears to be very lucrative - both overseas and domestically, with the energy and enthusiasm of very driven and focused owners. The Riversdale story is a terrific story of how the business has grown and evolved from a basic horticultural background - which elsewhere is in decline - to producing new products that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Excellence in Professional Services: First National Real Estate O’Meara Kennedy
Category Sponsor: GrainCorp

O’Meara Kennedy First National Real Estate is not only committed to excellence in their dealings with buyers and sellers of real estate, but also to ensuring they have a cohesive and motivated team. Danielle Kennedy is driven by continuous improvement in her business; and ensures that she involves all staff in the vision and growth of the company.

The team is dedicated to their clients and their vision includes breaking sales records every month.  The judges observed that “Danielle is all about her team and it was a pleasure to judge this professional and successful business”.

Excellence in Tourism and/or Hospitality: Rich Glen Olives and Café
Category Sponsor: Sun Country on the Murray

The judges were absolutely impressed with Ros and Damien Vodusek’s Rich Glen Olives and Cafe in every facet of the business. This business has evolved from a small farm gate store selling wonderful range of gourmet products produced from the family owned olive grove to a delightful café and produce store. All recipes are the creation of the very talented Ros, a qualified chef. 

The expansion of the business included renovating the century old family farm-house into a warm, inviting café where friends and family can catch up over coffee and enjoy fantastic regional foods and home made cakes.

The edible gardens are an absolute delight, and showcase the seasonal vegetables used in the dishes produced in the café. Children are free to explore the gardens and the hand made scarecrows just add to the family friendly atmosphere.

This business has been well planned, and the judges remarked that they are “very envious of Moira Shire having such a wonderful attraction and tourism offering in the municipality!”

Best New Business: Bella Pelle Body Clinic
Category Sponsor: Moira Shire Council

Carly Knowles is an outstanding young business-person, with a clear vision of how her business is unique in a fairly crowded market. Having established a highly successful clinic on the Gold Coast, Carly did two years of in depth market research on where to place her next clinic.

Amazed by the growth rates and finding the right demographic for her range of advanced skin treatments, up market hair bar, along with traditional beauty services, she opened her second clinic in her hometown of Yarrawonga. Carly has outstanding business systems in place, provides her staff with ongoing professional development opportunities, and is an astute marketer.  This has resulted in her doubling her business from year one to year two. Well done to Carly and her team!

Excellence in Retail: Action Bike and Ski
Category Sponsor: The Cobram Courier

Action Bike and Ski is an outstanding retail success story. From small beginnings, and with hard work and a culture of risk taking, Julie and Shayne Preer built their own retail premises in Hume Street Yarrawonga.  The business stocks a huge range of products for those who love the extreme sports and the great outdoors.

With this new store came improved layout and the opportunity to hold more stock - for both their in-store sales and a booming globally competitive internet business.   They team has improved the management systems and are always on the lookout for ways of doing things better. 

In addition to running Action Bike and Ski Julie and Shayne are active in the local community.  This is an incredibly well managed, growing local business that stands out from the crowd! 

Excellence in Innovation: Plastic Forests
Category Sponsor: GO TAFE

Plastic Forests epitomise what it means to be innovative. This business takes plastic waste and creates new and useful products for the home and garden at its factory in Strathmerton. Not only has the company developed the new products, it has developed the processes and machinery to turn old plastic garbage bags and farm silage bags into plastic pellets and other products.

The judges said “It was a pleasure to meet these very committed and enthusiastic business people. They all have very unique products and provide very valuable service to their customers. I believe that the Moira Shire is well placed, if these are any indication of the diversity of innovation and business acumen that exists within the shire”.

Business Champion: Rich Glen Olives

This prestigious accolade is awarded to the business that demonstrated overall business excellence in terms of sustainable business practices, community engagement, business planning, quality customer service, staff development and innovative problem solving.

Over the last six years, Rich Glen Olives and Cafe has planned and grown an outstanding business that is known locally, nationally and internationally. In the past three years, the business has tripled in size and increased employment from three employees to 29 employees.

The team at Rich Glen offer outstanding customer service and are dedicated to making their community a better place.

This business has created a strong and recognizable brand that builds on our region’s reputation as the food bowl of Australia, and embraces local providence and promotes all that is wonderful about regional and rural living. 

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