Hall of Fame honour

Hall of Fame honour

Bairnsdale’s Kennedy’s Trailers has been inducted into the Gippsland Business Awards (GBA) Hall of Fame.

The innovative trailer building company joined an impressive list of Gippsland businesses to be inducted into the GBA Hall of Fame at last Friday’s annual gala dinner held at Traralgon’ s Premier Function Centre in front of 400 business people.

Awards chairman, Sheridan Bond, said the business, which started some 30 years ago by “one man with a ute, a welder, a grinder and a gas set”, was now a company with 60 employees helping customers not only in Australia but also in Europe, to find solutions to their industry challenges.

“This award was quite a shock, however we feel very humble as it is a huge honour for Kennedy Trailers to be inducted into the GBA Hall of Fame,” Kennedy Trailers said in a statement.

“To be recognised with the likes of other great local businesses such as Patties, truly is an awesome achievement for the whole Kennedy Trailers team.

“We would also like to congratulate all the local finalists and winners in the awards East Gippsland had a very strong representation at the awards, which was great to see.”

Fellow Bairnsdale business, Shadeworks, won the Manufacturing / Export category.

Shadeworks showed clear demonstration of innovative and diverse solutions being used to meet a diverse range of customer needs in its field.

Shadeworks principal, Eugene Ferraro, said he was thrilled his business was recognised so highly in a competitive category.

“There are a lot of unique, innovative businesses across Gippsland in this category, so to be selected the winner is a great honour,” he said.

Since 1995 Shadeworks has serviced clientele in Gippsland and Australia wide, in the design, manufacture and installation of quality shade structures, stainless steel and glass balustrades, outdoor blinds and awnings as well as other tailored specific works for domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

Shadeworks has also recently expanded to include contract sewing of canvas and vinyl components for Goldstream Caravans and Iveco Trucks.

The business has grown from a two to seven-person operation with turnover increasing ten-fold. In doing so, projects have been undertaken as far afield as Perth’ s Burswood Casino, Melbourne Water headquarters and Webb Dock in Melbourne and primary schools in Nauru together with numerous installations in Gippsland, Victoria, New South Wales and the other states and territories.

Major achievements for Shadeworks have included developing the business from an initial local market perspective to an Australia-wide and overseas business, broadening the product range offered, starting the development of the wholesale supply of manufactured products to interstate agents / contractors and the recent construction of a modern manufacturing, display and office facility having an under roof area of 1200 square metres to accommodate the growing business.

Tinamba Hotel took out top honour at of Business of the Year.

Ms Bond congratulated the business owners, Brad Neilson and Damien Gannon, who are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their ownership of the hotel.

Ms Bond congratulated all entries across 11 categories, who she said showcased the enormous potential and innovation across Gippsland.

“The depth and diversity of the entries each year demonstrates the quality and dedication of our business people who overcome challenges every day through determination and hard work,” she said.

“I want to thank all our sponsors, especially Federation University’ s Business School, who make it possible for us to acknowledge and pay tribute to the region’ s business sector.”

The Tinamba Hotel success story started in May 2009 when Mr Neilsen and Mr Gannon purchased the hotel, which was first established in 1874. They immediately closed for renovations, reopening three months later. It has now built a reputation for fine dining which is known far and wide.

Each GBA finalist is assessed and independently rated by five different judges across 10 judging criteria, and as appropriate, receiving site visits or judges undertaking mystery shopper visits. The category winners came from across the region.

PICTURED:  Gippsland Business Awards chairman, Sheridan Bond, presents the Hall of Fame Award to Lynden (left) and Corey Kennedy, from Kennedy Trailers of Bairnsdale. (PS)