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Business excellence and achievement honoured at north-east Elevator Awards

Pat Machray
Pat Machray

North-east businessman Pat Machray was last night honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Elevator Awards.

Mr Machray is a former chief executive and chairman of ANM, one of the UK’s largest farming co-operatives.

He is also a past chairman of Scottish Enterprise Grampian and former chief executive of Aberdeen accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael.

Other past or current roles include chairmanships at the Gordon Highlanders Museum, the Scottish Agricultural College and the food, drink and agriculture sector board at Opportunity North East.

Last night’s accolade was presented in front of more than 400 guests at the Mercure Ardoe House Hotel, near Aberdeen.

The black-tie event was hosted by charismatic writer, TV personality and former MP Gyles Brandreth.

Presenting the lifetime achievement award, Royal Bank of Scotland commercial banking director Russell Whyte said: “Although a deeply family orientated man, when Patrick is in business mode there are few who are more capable, more incisive or more decisive.

“A straight-talking, ambitious motivator, as this year’s recipient of the lifetime achievement award, Pat has seen his own passion for agriculture transform him into one of the industry’s foremost advisers and transform Johnston Carmichael into a £20million business during his tenure as chief executive.

“In praise of his achievements across so many different fields, from the boardroom to the golf course, it is an honour to present him with this outstanding accolade and recognition.”

The annual awards, organised by business support organisation Elevator in partnership with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, recognise business excellence, entrepreneurial behaviour and outstanding community contributions across the north-east.

This year’s winners represent a wide range of start-up companies, innovative organisations and firms from sectors including energy, technology, sport, food and drink, beauty and professional services.

Elevator chief executive Gary MacEwan said: “We received some truly inspirational entries this year and the judges faced a challenging task to select the winners from a very strong shortlist of 27 finalists.

“This cements our belief that our corner of Scotland really is home to some of the finest examples of true entrepreneurial spirit, particularly in the face of the challenging economic climate.”

The entrepreneur of the year award went to Martin Gilbert, co-founder and chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management.

Other award categories and winners:

Innovation – DDK Positioning.

Business success over three years – Aberdeen Sports Village.

Business success under three years – Step Change Engineering.

Most promising new business – Fierce Beer.

Enterprising communities – Me Too! magazine.

Spirit of enterprise – Arizona Brodie, Arizona Botaniq.

Entrepreneurial supporter of the year – Ann Johnson, Blaze Manufacturing Solutions.

Employer of the year – Cammach Recruitment.

Emerging entrepreneur of the year – Christopher Farman, Aberdeen Combat Centre, UK Fitness Food and Jack’s Steakhouse.

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