Bausch + Lomb were named Overall Waterford Business of the Year at the Waterford Business Awards on Friday night last (February 28th) at the Tower Hotel by Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr John Pratt.The multi-national company also picked up the Exporter of the Year award on the night, which was attended by over 340 guests.
This year marks 40 years of manufacturing contact lenses in Waterford at Bausch + Lomb. Currently employing 1,400 at its plant at Waterford Industrial Park, world-wide exports are at an all-time high, driven by the success of the Biotrue One Day family of daily disposable contact lenses. The Biotrue range was developed in Waterford and there are now daily shipments from the Waterford site to markets all over the world.
The Waterford Business Awards, which are organised by Waterford Chamber, Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber and WLR and was hosted by Damien Tiernan and Julie Smyth, celebrated the successes and contributions of thirty-nine companies who were shortlisted for the 13 award categories.
Commenting at the gala dinner, Mayor Pratt said: “We have a vibrant business community here in Waterford and we are the leaders in so many fields. Tonight is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the incredible work ethic, innovation and determination that exists in business today. Just looking around the room here tonight, the nominated companies are all winners and if we continue to work together and use that same determination these people show in business to create a better Waterford, there is nothing we cannot achieve.”
Topping the categories were GIY for Community & Social Enterprise; Rob Leslie of Sedicii won Entrepreneur of the Year; Cliff House Hotel took home the Food & Beverage Award; Quish’s SuperValu were awarded Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility; Ashleigh Environmental won Environmental Excellence; New Business of the Year went to Everett’s Restaurant; Fresh Food Courtyard took home the Retail Excellence Award; Flahavan’s won for Marketing Excellence; Small Business of the Year went to Dunmore Adventure Centre; Technology & Innovation to Bausch + Lomb; Tourism Activity/Attraction of the Year went to House of Waterford Crystal and the Training & People Development Award went to Hartley People.
The Ambassador of the Year Award, sponsored by Eirgen Pharma, was presented to John and Peter Queally.
Introducing the Queally brothers, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: “It is now my great pleasure to introduce to you two brothers from Kill and Dunhill, Co. Waterford, who have dedicated their lives to both their families and their businesses and are synonymous with the food and agriculture sector not just in their native Waterford but nationally and internationally.”
The shortlisted businesses were nominated by the public and also through self-nomination for all eleven categories. An independent judging panel, under the Chairmanship of Frank O’Regan, and including David Breen, David M Breen & Co; Lena Murphy, WLR; Tina Darrer, Dooley’s Hotel; TV Honan, Spraoi; Louise Grubb, Q1 Scientific, Richie Walsh, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Irial Mac Murchu, Nemeton TV and Noel Kelly, Inspired Leaders Shape Success, carried out the difficult task of selecting the finalist shortlist and category winners after a rigorous judging analysis of each application.
A special presentation was also made to outgoing Chair of the Judging Panel, Frank O’Regan, to acknowledge his hard work over the past six years.
Speaking on the night, Jonathan Earl, Waterford Chamber President said, “On behalf of Waterford Chamber, I would like to sincerely congratulate Bausch + Lomb on being announced as the Overall Winner of the Waterford Business Awards and to all category winners and finalists – thank you. Without your hard work and determination our business community would not be as vibrant as it is today and we wish you all continued success.”
Speaking on behalf of WLR, Des Whelan, Managing Director, said that “WLR as a local company with offices and studios in Waterford City and Dungarvan was very pleased to be involved in both organising and promoting the Waterford Business Awards. It’s such a positive night for Waterford City and County with so many world class companies and innovative business people being honoured. My congratulations to all the nominees and winners and thanks to all who entered and supported the 2019 awards.”
Waterford City and County Council sponsored the Overall Waterford Business Award, while category sponsors include Morgan McKinley, Permanent TSB, EirGen Pharma, TOTEM, AIB Bank, Faithlegg, KBC Bank, City Enterprise Centre, PwC, Waterford Institute of Technology, Port of Waterford, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Dawn Meats. For further details see www.waterfordchamber.com