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Irish Chamber

Irish Australian Business Awards Peoples Choice 2016

IACC Business Awards
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*VOTING FOR THIS CATEGORY HAS NOW CLOSED

Thank you to all our 2016 finalists for their participation and thank you for taking the time to cast your vote in the People's Choice category.  We are pleased to announce the most popular finalist on the 2016 public vote winning the Higgins Award, named after our founding President Gerry Higgins, is....... "Currency Fair"!

We congratulate all the winners and the finalists for participating in the 2016 awards and for sharing their inspirational stories of achievements.  Please take the time to watch some of these inspirational stories below and we look forward to again opening voting in the coming weeks for finalists in the 2017 Irish Australian Business Awards .

If you would be interested in coming on board as an Awards Partner for 2017, please contact us to learn more.

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Pepper Group Limited, a specialist residential mortgage and consumer lender and loan servicer of third-party loan portfolios, spanning a range of asset classes including residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, auto finance, unsecured loans and equipment finance.

Pepper Group operates in targeted market segments in Australia, Ireland, UK, South Korea, Hong Kong and China. Since entering the Irish market four years ago, Pepper has made a significant contribution to the Irish economy and in particular the local economies of Shannon and Dublin where its offices are located.  Employee numbers have more than doubled since 2012 and the workforce stands at 430 today and growing.
 

Importantly, Pepper has had a significant impact on the local economy in Shannon.  Over the last few years, Pepper has expanded its footprint at Shannon’s Westpark Business Campus providing high skilled roles in a regional area. The company has been investing in its people over this time, for example, by linking up with the Institute of Bankers to create a bespoke seven-week ‘Boot Camp’ training programme to help up-skill employees and bolster their qualifications.

Pepper has also made a substantial investment in infrastructure, including office space and state-of-the-art IT systems in the area.

In early 2016, Pepper became the first new mortgage lender to enter the Irish market since the banking crash in 2008, and the first non-bank group to offer home loans.  The growth Pepper has achieved demonstrates our success.  In 2012, as a loan administrator, Pepper had 2 major contracts and now has almost 20 contracts with a high value and harbours plans for further growth.  No other loan servicer or lender in Ireland has witnessed the same level of growth in this period.

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I, Ryan McClenaghan, am the co-founder and Director of Micron Manufacturing based in Sydney Australia. I have an extensive background in Engineering & Manufacturing, initially serving as an apprentice at Langford Lodge Engineering (RLC Group) in Country Antrim.

After arriving in Australia from Northern Ireland in 2006 and working in the industry, I identified Australia as having an older traditional manufacturing sector. I saw a gap in the market and I knew I could fill it.

Rather than viewing the changing manufacturing environment, where domestic companies were increasingly looking to engage offshore manufactures for a more affordable alternative as a threat, I saw an opportunity for a design, engineering and manufacturing solution, and adopted innovative and cutting edge manufacturing processes – implementing the latest in software and automated machine technology combination to deliver high-mix low-volume work at a speed that could not be matched by local or overseas competitors.

The success of Micron Manufacturing since its inception can be seen in our client base, which includes some of Australia’s most recognised companies, brands & government bodies, as well as in recognition in the BRW Fast Starters 2014 & 2015 top 100 list and being named a finalist in 2016 for most innovative manufacturing business & Outstanding Start-up Australia (2016 Endeavour Awards-Australian Manufacturing Technology).

I'm proud of the success of my business, and the opportunity it gives me to provide jobs to the community, and to fly the flag for Ireland in business circles with in Australia and Internationally.

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Surety IT is one of the leading IT service providers in Australia focused on the SME market in Brisbane. We focus on providing tailored, pro-active IT support to multiple verticals including finance, manufacturing and professional services. For us it’s all about ‘Creating Confidence’ in everything we do.

We want to be the one number for our customers to call when it comes to technology but we also don’t try and be all things to all people. So if we get a customer enquiry through in something we don’t specialise we refer our customer to one of our trusted partners. In other words we know what we are excellent at and what we can deliver superbly and we focus on that. We want to be the best at what we do and that shows through in the quality of solutions we deliver.We don’t try and build complementary services ourselves we partner with class leading solution providers and vendors to provide businesses with these first class additional services including IaaS, BaaS, DRaaS as well as hosted anti-virus and anti-spam plus cost competitive data connections.
 

We are not marketers or sales people; we are technical people that recognise that there are many businesses that require an IT company that gives them honest advice and best value. We know if we can consistently produce high quality work and keep our customers delighted, then we will continue to win more business.  We’ve been making huge strides over the past number of years in terms of our customer base but also the quality of work that we provide for customers and it would be great to get recognised for that.

Our managed services part has grown by 52% over the past 12 months as well as our total business growing by 34%. We are retaining our existing customers as well as attracting new customers and through our monthly newsletters we’re providing the SMB community with the ability to ask the right questions from their technology provider as well as getting them to think about their IT and change their thinking from regarding it as an expense to regarding it as an investment.

We've also put huge emphasis on providing valuable information to businesses around cybersecurity, not only technical solutions but also practical steps around processes and education and awareness of their own staff. We’ve presented for the CEO Institute, AIM and the Governance Institute.

We have had several big successes in Managed Services and reputation building projects. We've done some great work in regional Queensland where we've helped a number of growing businesses with the unique challenges that their location presents.

We’ve also managed to turn our business around from a substantial loss four years ago to a continued profit for the last 2 years.

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M Dore Glass Pty Ltd is a unique company, creating individually designed and hand made glass dining-ware of the highest quality.
Our humble beginnings from a Cairns garage, sprouted from a dream to use ancient traditional glass techniques to develop an exclusive range of glassware.

Now producing from our 300sqm factory in Melbourne, each piece is proudly 100% designed and manufactured in Australia.
Founder, Marguerite Dore, began operations of the company as a single mum and currently works solo on, and within, the operations of her company. Marguerite never considered small outlets for her products. Instead, after only four and a half years of operation, her list of clientele now includes Crown Limited, RACV and Kooyong Lawn Tennis; a testimony to her product, commitment and hard work.
 


 

May 2015, Marguerite has travelled to the United Kingdom and contracted an agent, G & G Goodfellows in London. Within twelve months of signing this agreement, M Dore Glass Pty Ltd won a contract to produce unique glass pieces for Wimbledon; Marguerite’s vision of producing pieces for elite clients, achieved. This was her first foray into international export, and with such esteemed clientele while still in early development phase of the company, it certainly heralds the potential for greater success as she continues to unravel her vision of expansion to a larger global market.

Marguerite is an example that with belief in yourself and your product, commitment to your vision and values and a strong support network around you, success is inevitable.
Humble beginnings and a tonne of belief, do allow a sole trader to receive coveted contracts and respect within an industry that is difficult to enter.

Who would have thought marguerite doré® glass dining-ware would be the main feature on Wimbledon tables?  Marguerite did.

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The back story: Originally established in 1997 by James Murphy, Lifes2good began as a direct marketing organisation selling healthcare products under a 'direct to consumer' model. Over time James was getting increasingly frustrated by not being able to get the Irish distribution rights for interesting brands. Also, UK companies were getting UK and Irish distribution and not necessarily doing a good job. The opportunity came up to get the distribution rights for Viviscal, hair growth supplements, in the UK and Ireland in 2007.  Seeing the potential, our CEO seized the opportunity and ended up buying the business!

This opened up an international footprint including the US market and an extensive retail distribution channel. Fast forward to 2016, Viviscal is the number one selling hair growth supplement in the US and is sold in 40,000 stores worldwide including Boots, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and locally with Priceline and Chemist Warehouse.
 


Today: Lifes2good’s philosophy is to bring to market clinically proven health & beauty products that improve people’s lives. We’re passionate about improving consumer lifestyles with products that work, from head to toe, inside & out.

The company achieves this by acquiring early stage, high potential health & beauty products, and developing them into profitable and powerful brands by leveraging consumer insights, developing the products and investing in the science. A strategic sales and marketing model brings the brands to market linking training, merchandising, advertising, digital expertise and professional endorsement.

From it's establishment in 1997 with activities concentrated in Ireland the the UK, the company now has an annual turnover in excess of €50m and offices in 5 countries including Ireland, UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

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CreativeCreations.tv was founded in 2014 by Cristian Trujillo, a Chilean immigrant who arrived in Australia in 2007 with a student visa, no English and no contacts. Cristian is an engineer and ex-PwC senior consultant (in Chile) who started his Australian working experience cleaning toilets because he couldn't speak the language.

CreativeCreations.tv was born to meet a specific market need for high-end corporate video productions that align with business and marketing strategies.
 


CreativeCreations.tv not only produce videos that make its clients proud, the videos also help business in three key areas of marketing and sales: brand awareness, lead generation and conversion.

CreativeCreations.tv is a socially responsible company that donates one video a month to a charity organisation (you can check out our website for more information).

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Monford Group was established in 2010 by a then 26 year old Irish immigrant with very little funding. In 6 years Monford has grown to a company consistently producing revenues of circa $45M per annum, employing in the region of 150-200 employees, has an established senior management team and a fully integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
 


Monford has continually adapted and changed as a company to suit the ever changing challenging market conditions. Over the years Monford has expanded its service offering and also expanded geographically. As our success as a company grew we felt the need to give back to the communities we work in, therefore we established the Monford Foundation, the Monford Foundation has been donating circa $50,000 per annum since its establishment to various community organisations. Although now 6 years in operation Monford feels it now has only laid the foundations for a successful business and is currently entering the start of the "Growth" phase of our strategic plan.

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