Another big awards year

IT was with some trepidation that I prepared for the judging process for this year’s Family Business Awards.

Last year had been tough enough and the 2003 awards had generated a record number of nominations and finalists – making the judging process all that much more difficult.

It was also very close in a number of categories, which made for interesting times around the judging table.

But I need not have worried.

I had forgotten that, while last year’s process was tough in terms of scale and decision-making, it had been a pleasure because of the calibre of entries.

This year’s field was also made easier to judge because we added site visits as part of the process in particularly close fought battles.

We gave two finalists a distinguished mention due to the closeness of competition in their categories.

And while all the finalists have to be congratulated the winners have earned their awards.

In two categories they beat last year’s incumbents – reflecting, among other things, just how well some of Western Australia’s family businesses are performing in what has been an extremely tough business environment.

Many of the businesses we reviewed had the sort of revenue growth during the past year or so that was normally reserved for our Rising Stars finalists.

That is certainly good news from my point of view.

It underlines the strength of this important part of our economy, a place from where some of WA’s strongest industries have emerged.

I would also like to thank my fellow judges for their time and the good-humoured approach to this task. Thanks to:

p Julia Cambage, national executive director, Family Business Association;

p Michelle Harris, associate director, Automotive Holdings Group;

p Paul McLeod, executive dean, University of Western Australia;

p Steve Moir, director Business Facilitation Services, Small Business Development Corporation;

p Tonya Puglisi, regional director, Spherion;

p Dana Slater, executive manager Corporate Banking, CBA;

p Mauri Mucciacciaro, director, Horwath WA; and

p Pia Turcinov, senior associate, Feinauer & Associates.

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