02/12/2020 - 19:30

RISE winners announced

02/12/2020 - 19:30

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Integrated energy company UON has taken out the top prize at Business News's inaugural RISE Business Awards as the Western Australian Business of the Year.

Bhavesh Kotecha (left), Suzanne Dodds, Andy Freeman, Jess Karlsson, Brad Hill, Mark Keogh and Paul McKiernan.

Integrated energy company UON has taken out the top prize at Business News's inaugural RISE Business Awards as the Western Australian Business of the Year.

The company, founded by executive chair Mark Keogh in 1998, was also voted Large Business of the Year by the judges, ahead of fellow finalists Brooks Hire Service, resources and infrastructure contractor NRW Holdings, home loan specialists Keystart and business services provider Carbon.

The awards were presented at a cocktail function at the Crown Perth Grand Ballroom on Wednesday evening, in front of more than 500 people.

Suzanne Dodds' Environmental Water Solutions, which offers water filtration for entire buildings, won the award for Startup Business of the Year against tough competition from safety systems manufacturer Protective Engineered Safety, Kardan Construction, construction company Marawar, and sugar-free ice cream maker Denada Co. Environmental Water Solutions was also one of three finalists for the overall prize.

Meanwhile, Site Sentry was awarded Micro Business of the Year for its work in designing, manufacturing and leasing security systems for mining and construction sites. Other finalists in that category included wastewater specialists Environmental Engineers, valve supplier Profluid, Inspired IT, and facility management and maintenance provider Oban.

The hotly contested Small Business of the Year category was taken out by Limestone Coast Brewing for its successful foray into hand sanitiser production, ahead of Plumbing Bros, Excel Robotics, Pilbara Resource Group and Andy Freeman's hospitality group Sneakers & Jeans. But Mr Freeman's team did come up trumps in the Employer of the Year category, beating bulk handling equipment provider Transmin, Plumbing Bros, cloud-based software experts Mechanical Rock and internet service providers Pentanet.

Transmin was voted Medium Business of the Year in a field that included fellow finalists Chemo@home, steel reinforcement supplier Best Bar Reinforcements, Pioneer Water Tanks and Jones Welding Solutions.

The Not For Profit/Charity of the Year was kids camp organisers Cahoots, which edged out Parkerville Children and Youth Care, Zonta House Refuge Association, Royal Flying Doctors Service Western Australia and Mental Illness Fellowship of WA.

Judges for the awards were required to abstain from voting if they had been involved with any of the entrants. The judging panel consisted of: Andrew Williams, Andrew Stephenson, Bernard Chia, Charlie Gunningham, Chandra Sundareswaran, Davide Bosio, Fiona Kalaf, Luke O'Sullivan, Mark Pownall, Nicola Bedwood, Nigel Court, Sean Cowan, Scott Glendinning, Stephanie Unwin, Tanya Trevisan and Tim McInnis.

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