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Recognition brings rewards for inaugural awards group

THERE are the obvious public relations benefits to be had by entering award programs.

And while building a corporate profile was generally regarded as a positive outcome for finalists in the 40under40 Awards, the 2002 winners also gained new business contacts, points to market entry and industry recognition.

Added to this incentive is the lucrative pool of prizes on offer for the 2003 event. Last year the 1st Among Equals winners took home a return flight for two to London. Winners of the Strategic Alliance prizes awarded by the State’s universities received $1,000 cash.

The kitty has grown substantially this year and will be a sizeable carrot for many would-be entrants.

If it’s not airline tickets or cash that raises your eyebrows it could well be the opportunity to network with like-minded business people, who can open up new business markets and opportunities.

And while you have to be under the age of 40, there’s no minimum age limit for entrants.

One of the youngest entrants for the 2002 awards was Metso Minerals South Asia area manager Troy Pickard. At 28 he was one of two winners under the age of 30.

Mr Pickard said that, while he thought he would be too young to win last year, he believed his business achievements were good enough for him to enter the program.

“I was surprised to win. I thought I would be too young but I felt my achievements would mean I had made the grade,” he said.

“There were two of us under 30, which demonstrated you could be a young achiever. “

Former Anderson Corporate Finance partner Justin Willis said the benefits of the awards would get better over the years.

“We all overuse the word ‘network’. I think it’s more the association, and while we might not directly help each other, you have this association with this group. It will grow and when you have 200 people it will have a critical mass,” he said.

Australian Heritage Group director Sally Capp said the win was a bonus for her and her company.

“It’s been good for building new business relationships and great for profiling Australian Heritage Group,” she said.

“It’s been really good for providing speaking opportunities. I get to talk to the corporate world as well as an MBA class at UWA.

“It’s a great program and I’ve already got four names down that I want to nominate this year.”

LJ Hooker Business Solutions director John Wall agreed that the win boosted his work on the speaking circuit.

“Winning 40under40 was just wonderful; it has opened doors for me and given my speaking career a huge shot in the arm,” Mr Wall said.

“It has been great meeting and networking with other proactive people and it’s a tremendous initiative, which I hope continues into the future.”

Ovations Edutainment founding partner and key presenter Andrew Horabin said he picked up direct business after winning the award.

“I did pick up a job that I might not have got if I hadn’t been involved in 40under40, we did work for one of the other winners, Steven Goh at Sanford Securities,” he said.

Poynton and Partners and Gem Consulting managing director Mark Barnaba was awarded the 1st Among Equals Award along with Manny Papadoulis.

“It’s nice to get recognition from your peers and to be part of a group of interesting people. Winning creates exposure and recognition and it helps with marketing,” Mr Barnaba said.

“Getting to speak at the WA Business News’ Energy and Enterprise Breakfast was a wonderful opportunity.”

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