Business leaders from the north and north-east achieved a clean sweep of the top honours at the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) annual Scottish awards last night.
Douglas Whyte, chief executive of Aberdeen subsea engineering company Hydro Group plc, was named director of the year in the large business category at the ceremony in Glasgow.
The award for medium sized businesses went to Inverness-based Jennifer MacKenzie-Hallwood, managing director of TEFL Org UK, which trains people to teach English abroad.
The success of the North Coast 500 tourist road road trip route was recognised with the director of the year honour in the small business category going to Tom Campbell of the North Highland Initiative.
Raymond O’Hare, who chaired the judging panel, said: “We were impressed by Hydro Group’s growth in turnover and profit at a time when the Aberdeen economy has been weak. Douglas has led the business through successful structural change, and driven investment in export markets.
“Jennifer at TEFL Org UK has combined her personal skills, enthusiasm and talent to bring out the absolute best in her staff, achieving sustainable and socially-aware growth in a difficult market. Against challenging international circumstances she has built both the company and profitability.”
Mr O’Hare said Mr Campbell was “leading a truly innovative business model.”
He added: “The North Coast 500 has economic sustainability and growth at its heart. His accomplishments in creating from scratch a world-renowned tourist destination that brings visitors to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland is a tremendous achievement.”
Director of the year titles were also awarded in six other categories and all nine winners will go forward to the UK awards, taking place in London in September.
Mr Whyte was also named regional director of the year for the Aberdeen and Grampian area, with Stuart McLeod, managing director of Delphian Ballistics, highly commended.
The regional title for the Highlands and Islands was awarded to Alasdair Ferguson, managing director of Ferguson Transport and Shipping. Shetland Mussels managing and production director Michael Tate was highly commended in the category.
Congratulating the winners and nominees, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP, said: “The Institute of Director’s Scottish awards provides an annual opportunity to showcase the innovation and excellence of Scottish companies that underpins growth in our economy and which I see regularly as I visit companies across Scotland.
“It is only right that we continue to celebrate their achievements and I congratulate all those nominated tonight.”