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Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation Business Awards recognise Northern Ireland's top companies

Trevor Annon, chairman of Mount Charles, with his wife Cate. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation Business Awards in London

THE founder and chairman of catering, cleaning, security and vending services giant Mount Charles has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award for his outstanding contribution to business life in Northern Ireland.

Under Trevor Annon's guidance, Mount Charles has created true economic benefit not only for its employees and their families, but also for the wider economy.

And the judges in the Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation Business Awards, which were presented in the palatial surroundings of the IoD headquarters on Pall Mall in London, honoured his contribution to the multi-million pound business.

Indeed in October 2016 Trevor opened a brand new state-of-the-art headquarters in Belfast, having invested £1.6m in the building's purchase and refurbishment, making a significant statement regarding the company's commitment to future growth and development.

Nine awards were handed out at the TakeOff Foundation Business Awards, with Cathal Grant, managing director of CGDM Construction in Newry, named Business Person of the Year.

CGDM has grown rapidly by securing high value contracts in the commercial, retail, banking, health, leisure and hospitality sectors throughout the UK and Ireland,and Cathal has overseen the diversification of his company from an architectural design business to a design and build business, combining architectural and construction services.

The company, which now also has offices in Dublin and London, employs 21 staff and 60 sub contractors and plans are under way to build larger offices in Newry to enable further expansion.

Keith Graham, managing director of Selective Travel Management, located in the historic Murray's Exchange in Belfast, clinched the Overall Excellence Award.

The company employs 114 travel professionals, providing expert support with fully bespoke technological solutions to a customer base spread across the United Kingdom. The last four years has seen their turnover grow by 68 per cent from £29.4m to £49.5m.

The TakeOff Foundation Business Awards are now in their 10th year, and Aer Lingus' regional business development manager Andrea Hunter said: “We are delighted to recognise and support those organisations that represent the best in their sectors.

"This was a true celebration of business excellence, and I congratulate each of the winners for their remarkable accomplishments.”

This year's winners were:

:: Best Business Start-Up - AG Electrical

:: Best SME - STATSports Group

:: Fast Growth Business - FinTrU

:: Excellence in Marketing - Babocush

:: Exporter of the Year - Brookvent

:: Innovation of the Year - See.Sense

:: Business Person of the Year - Cathal Grant (CGDM Construction)

:: Overall Excellence Award - Selective Travel Management

:: Lifetime Achievement Awards - Trevor Annon (Mount Charles)

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