James Barrack, managing director at Knight Property Group and chairman of Chess Group, was named as this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The property developer has been and continues to be hugely influential in the commercial property sector, successfully growing the Group for more than 21-years. His community driven initiatives and longstanding support of The Prince’s Trust were also praised by industry peers.
The highly anticipated Lifetime Achievement accolade went to Stewart Milne after dedicating four decades to shaping and influencing the UK construction industry. A leading figure in Aberdeen, Mr Milne was recognised for his grit and passion which led him to build the largest timber frame manufacturer in the UK.
Other winners included SEM Energy, which collected the Business Success Under 3 Years accolade, whilst TEXO Group was named Most Promising New Business. Individually, Ben Leonard of Beast Gear received the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award and Jonathan Smith was named Inspirational Mentor of the Year. Further companies completing the list of winners included 20/20 Project Management, The Wee Hemp Company, Ecosse IP and Sport Aberdeen. Professor Gary McEwan, Elevator CEO, said: “The entrepreneurial talent in the north east is remarkable. As ever, the undeniably challenging judging process illustrates the quality of entries; I never cease to be impressed by our region’s outstanding talent. “Huge congratulations go to our 2019 winners. Each has demonstrated unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit that has helped shape the north east into a pioneering, inventive and inspiring place. It is individuals like these who deliver out of the box entrepreneurial thinking which Scotland’s economy thrives from, and as a major player in supporting and developing entrepreneurs we are exceptionally proud to be backing each one as they flourish and prosper.”
Commenting on his accolade, Mr Milne said: “I’m delighted and consider it a great honour to receive Elevator’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. I would like to thank Elevator and Royal Bank of Scotland for recognising me and in turn, of course, the success of the Stewart Milne Group. Having a talented, focussed and dedicated senior team around me, combined with a highly skilled and committed workforce, throughout my business career, has been central to our growth and ongoing business success. “Despite being a Lifetime Achievement Award my eye – as always – remains firmly on the future. I would like to think there is still a substantial amount of time full of challenges to overcome and goals to achieve!” Entrepreneur of the Year, James Barrack, said: “I am honoured to be named Elevator’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to have a supportive team around you; I would like to share this recognition with my team and thank them for their unparalleled commitment to Knight Property Group and Chess Group. “Entrepreneurship is more than just running a business; it is a journey we are all on together. The support businesses receive from Elevator is instrumental in helping them grow from the foundations up. The team’s support continues to be influential for our region’s economy and its thriving entrepreneurs, helping each fulfil their dreams and ambitions.”
Mark Gall, Regional Director, Corporate and Commercial, Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Elevator Awards consistently impress and continue to play an important role in spotlighting the rich entrepreneurial talent operating here in the north east. The diversity of entrants and quality of this year’s winners stresses the importance of developing a Scottish eco-system to help businesses across all sectors develop and thrive. “Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to be partner of the Elevator Awards and we extend our congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and winners, especially Entrepreneur of the Year James Barrack and Business Success Winner 20/20 Project Management. Everyone should be justifiably proud of their achievements and the difference they make to business here in Scotland.”
The 2019 Elevator winners in each category are: Entrepreneur of the Year – Sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland James Barrack Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland
Stewart Milne Most Promising New Business – Sponsored by Business Gateway WINNER – Texo Group Business Success Under 3 Years – Sponsored by Aberdein Considine WINNER – SEM Energy Ltd Business Success Over 3 Years – Sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland WINNER – 20/20 Project Management The Innovation Award – Sponsored by Murgitroyd WINNER – Ecosse IP Limited Spirit of Enterprise – Sponsored by The Prince’s Trust WINNER – The Wee Hemp Company Enterprising Communities – Sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council WINNER – Sport Aberdeen Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year – Sponsored by University of Aberdeen WINNER – Ben Leonard Inspirational Mentor of the Year – Sponsored by TechX at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre WINNER – Jonathan Smith