Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Andy Fitzgerald
Since founding Oceanair 25 years’ ago in his garage, Andy Fitzgerald has built up the company into a major manufacturer of blinds, screens and soft furnishings with sales to 32 countries and around 200 employees.
He sold it last year to Dometic for around £14m and for this achievement Mr Fitzgerald has been presented with the Boating Business Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Marine Trade Association Awards sell out dinner.
“It’s not often we hear of someone starting a company in their garage, building it up and then selling it 25 years’ later for £14m,” said Boating Business editor Katina Read. “Andy has proved himself to be a hugely successful businessman and a worthy recipient of the Boating Business Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Congratulations to Andy and the team at OceanAir.”
Other awards presented by Boating Business were: Scott Deverell Young Business Person Award that was awarded to Chris Fower, sales and marketing manager at Fischer Panda in recognition of his work in growing the business in 2017.
Environment Award: special mention to MDL Marinas for the organisation’s work as a key driver in the Solent Oyster Restoration Project. The winner of this award was Star brite for its sea turtle hatchling rescue project that rescues and releases hatchlings that have become disorientated by city lights.
The award was presented to UK distributors Marathon Leisure and Bainbridge International.
Website Award – special mention to Actisense with the winner being Timage for its website that stood out as being clear and concise and easy for users to navigate.
This year there was a new award presented – that of Woman in the Marine Industry that was awarded to Suzanne Blaustone of Barton Marine with Sarah Wallbank of August Race receiving a special mention.
In addition to the Boating Business awards, awards were presented by the Marine Trades Association and British Marine Leisure Boating.
Business of the Year was awarded to E P Barrus in light of the company’s 100th anniversary and excellent level of service to retail and trade.
Marine Personality of the Year was presented to Sam Taylor-Nobbs of ICOM UK, a popular choice among a field of strong nominations and the Chairman’s Special Award recipient was Neil Chapman of Boatshed.com for his individuality and character – ‘a long-standing personality in the industry who always makes you smile when you meet up with him’ said MTA chairman Paul Martin.
Hamble Point Yacht Charters was presented with the Customer Service Award by British Marine Leisure Boating and the David Coleman Excellence in Exporting Award was presented to Scanstrut.
The awards and dinner was sponsored by Boating Business, PSP Marine, C-Quip, Marine Resources, A-Plan, Ocean Safety, Aquafax and Boatshed.
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