Old Mutual Spotlight

Old Mutual International, part of Old Mutual Wealth, is sponsoring the award for Customer Service at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.

This is the first year Old Mutual International has been an Awards sponsor and the category of Customer Service could not be more appropriate, as Peter Kenny, managing director for Old Mutual International, explains:

“All aspects of our business share a common core objective – to deliver great customer outcomes. This objective informs our thinking and behaviour across a range of activities including product design (is it appropriate for the customer), marketing (is it well presented and easy to understand), and service (is it easy for the customer to deal with us). When you keep this objective central to everything you do, great customer outcomes typically follow. On those rare occasions when it does not, we go to great lengths to put things right through our award winning “Magical Moments” programme which gives us an opportunity to show the customer how much we value their trust in us. This unwavering commitment to our customer has resulted in us winning 14 awards at the recent International Adviser International Life Awards 2016, including award for ‘Best Adviser Support’ and ‘Customer Service’. This is an emphatic endorsement of our approach to customer service and a humbling yet powerful recognition of the commitment and hard work of our employees.”

Old Mutual International is a leading cross-border provider of financial solutions for international and expatriate investors. The business, established on the Isle of Man over 30 years ago, employs over 400 people in Onchan, providing solutions, support and great outcomes to our customers in the UK, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Latin America and South Africa. 

Old Mutual International also takes their corporate social responsibility within the local community seriously.  In addition to being one of the island’s largest employers it is proud of its charity work with many charities including Hyperbaric Isle of Man and A little Piece of Hope, its voluntary work with The Manx Wildlife Trust and Hospice, and its sponsorship partnerships with Douglas Rugby Union Football Club, Family Library, Art Reach Studios and Douglas Athletics Women’s Football Club. 

Are you entering this year’s Awards? Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence offers 16 awards categories, including Business Personality of the Year. There are categories for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. Entries close on Monday September 26. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at www.iomtoday.co.im


Microgaming Spotlight

Microgaming is sponsoring the award for Excellence in the Use of Technology at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence. Julie Blackburn takes a look into the future with Microgaming’s own technology wizards.

‘We are a technology business operating in a world where technological advancement is changing our everyday landscape – so we are delighted to be sponsoring this award,’ says Microgaming CFO John Coleman.

Microgaming are pioneers of new tech. Take mobile gaming as an example, which is currently the fastest growing area of online gaming. Developers of mobile software and games for handheld devices since 2004, and importantly the first to market, Microgaming have ended up well ahead of the curve and waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up.

Ensuring that Microgaming crests the technological wave, the company has a team of people who are tasked with looking into the future to see how advances in technology are going to transform online gaming.

So what will be the next big things? The answer: augmented reality and virtual reality, and having seen the companies work first-hand, I can tell you that they both definitely have the wow factor.

Imagine, for instance, a pack of specially designed playing cards featuring game characters. By downloading an app you can use your phone camera to zap each character, bringing them to life in 3D on your screen. If you love online gaming this is where it just gets better and better.

That is the essence of augmented reality: it’s the enhancement of the world that you already live in. And whilst it’s in its infant stage at the moment, it presents great opportunities to make gaming more immersive than ever.

The best known manifestation of augmented reality right now, of course, is Pokémon Go, which has demonstrated that the technology can indeed be commercialised. Having already anticipated this trend, Microgaming is working on newfound ways to utilise this technology in their software.

Virtual reality moves things even further along, allowing you to enter a completely different world via a headset. Charlie Vernon, one of Microgaming’s product experts, explains:

‘We’ve been playing with virtual reality for three or four years now and we can put you in a completely different place.

‘We’ve got a game where you’re sitting at a roulette table but you’re in space: the dealer is a robot and you look out into the 360 degree surrounding and you see asteroids flying around. But the really innovative part of it is the interaction we’ve developed. Virtual reality is relatively easy when you’re just looking at things, but incorporating the ability to interact with your surroundings is a complex and exciting element that we’ve mastered.

‘In our roulette prototype we’ve been able to add sensors so that your hand movements are replicated on the screen. You can push the asteroids away and you can place chips on the table.

‘It’s still a concept but it’s taken the industry by storm – VR Roulette won a Global Gaming Award for Digital Product of the Year in 2015. At Mobile World Congress, which is the biggest mobile show in the world by far, it was the only virtual reality software that incorporated this sensory element. All the guys from Samsung and other big companies were coming over to our stand to see what we had achieved, so that was a massive pat on the back for our team.’

In addition to investing in new technology, the company is investing in its people and the island with their new building on Circular Road, which will be completed H1 2017.

‘The new office is a huge investment for us and it demonstrates that we are 100 per cent committed to the island,’ says John Coleman.

The company has grown from half a dozen people on the island in 2002 to over 90, and are still recruiting. They’ve outgrown their existing office, so are building just adjacent to their current headquarters. They will link the two buildings together with a unique ‘sky bridge’.

And, naturally, you can already pop on a VR headset and take a virtual tour of the new office, showing what the interior will look like when it’s completed. The 5-storey building will feature a spacious atrium feature, roof terrace, canteen and coffee bar, gym, and even an on-site gallery showing the history of the company, as John explains:

‘We’re still a relatively young company but we’ve already achieved so much that we want to remember and celebrate.’

Indeed – and who knows what Microgaming will be working on by the time VR hits the high streets…


Tynwald Mills Spotlight

Tynwald Mills is sponsoring the award for Small/Medium Enterprise at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.

It’s hard to believe now, over 40 years on, but the island’s premier shopping destination, Tynwald Mills, originally began as a very small enterprise. The company now employs 120 people and stocks a wide range of top designer brands. But, like every other successful business it did start from very small beginnings and marketing and project manager, Mathew McSevney, said:

‘We are very pleased to be sponsoring the award for Small/Medium Enterprise because these are businesses which are the driving force behind a successful economy, often showing the true entrepreneurial spirit.

‘Despite the fact that Tynwald Mills has grown so much, retail is such a fast-moving area that we are very much aware of the need to maintain that entrepreneurial spirit within our business and we are always on the lookout for new ideas and new brands to attract customers.’

And, as usual at Tynwald Mills, there are plenty of exciting things in the offing for customers this autumn. Hugo Boss and Thomas Pink have arrived in the menswear department and Douglas fashion store Elle has moved to Tynwald Mills’ ladieswear department. But that’s not all, as Warehouse is also arriving in-store soon and iconic UK fashion brand, Karen Millen, is scheduled for October.

Another way the company seeks to innovate and attract customers is by offering activities for families, such as the Christmas ice skating, or hosting charity events like the recent fashion show in the Tynwald Mills Community Marquee.

Tynwald Mills is a long-time supporter of the Awards for Excellence, having been an award sponsor since the Awards began. Last year they won the award for Company of the Year, in acknowledgement of their commitment to investing in the business, and in new brands. At a time when the retail share on the island contracted by 21 per cent, Tynwald Mills had managed to achieve growth of 15 per cent. The company also introduced its Reward Card scheme and has so far signed up nearly 10,000 customers to receive its benefits.

Matthew McSevney said: ‘It would be very nice to think that whoever wins the award for Small/Medium Enterprise at this year’s Awards for Excellence might one day end up winning the award for Company of the Year, as we have done.’

Are you entering this year’s Awards? Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence offers 16 awards categories, including the award for Small/Medium Enterprise. There are categories for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. Entries close on Monday September 26. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at www.iomtoday.co.im.

Derivco is a success story

Derivco Isle of Man is sponsoring the award for Innovation and Independent Thinking at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence. Julie Blackburn takes a look at what it’s like to work in ‘techie heaven’ 
You can’t help but be inspired by a visit to Derivco. There is a real buzz about the place, from the vibrant game graphics on the wall to the relaxed dress code (flip flops aplenty) and the chill area where colleagues gather for a coffee and chat. The work is done in a large open plan office with multiple screens on each desk and laptops standing by as well. The very best technology for the very best IT technicians, people who are at the top of their game. This, quite simply, is techie heaven. But make no mistake there’s complete commitment too – everyone is keeping an eye on the big screens on the wall that indicate a potential system interruption, allowing the team to pre-empt system failure. 
Because the team of technical specialists on the island, working closely with Derivco offices around the globe, is there to ensure that Microgaming’s software and systems are delivered to gaming operators flawlessly, 24 hours a day, every day. The two companies are closely associated; Microgaming, in effect, is Derivco’s customer. In turn, Microgaming’s customers are a range of betting and online gaming sites, offering everything from sportsbetting and roulette, to bingo and slot games. 
With over 500 gaming brands on Microgaming’s books, Derivco has plenty of work to keep them busy. There are a number of different teams in the office, ranging from Tech Ops and Casino, to HR and Admin Support. And as the industry continues to grow, as is the company itself. This means that they are recruiting furiously: there are currently 15 vacancies at Derivco covering a variety of IT roles. 
‘We brought around 50 staff and their families over here from South Africa in December 2012 to set up the company – now we have over 90 people working here – we’ve almost doubled in four years,’ explains Sean. Derivco will be celebrating its fourth anniversary this December. They have largely grown by employing local talent; 42 per cent of the current workforce are IOM workers. If you have the skills, they have the benefits: not just competitive salaries but huge training opportunities, free lunches and gym as well. Plus the chance to work somewhere that’s genuinely cutting edge: ‘Our technical people deal with the most complex issues. Their job is to solve problems, find answers and implement solutions. ‘What you learn working here in a year you wouldn’t be able to learn anywhere else in two years – it’s an incredibly fast-paced atmosphere,’ says Sean. Personal development is a real focus for the company, and their values of ownership, passion and care underpin every instance of success. What’s more, they are always looking at ways to develop the skills they can use on the island, working with local organisations such as MICTA, to inspire individuals to start a career in IT here. 
They are not only investing in their own people, but the island too. As a company that is continually innovating Sean says that it was ‘completely apt’ that Derivco should be sponsoring the award for Innovation and Independent Thinking at this year’s Awards. Derivco was itself a proud finalist in this category last year: ‘You need the freedom we have found on the island to be able to flourish and to innovate and achieve excellence.’ 
Are you entering this year’s Awards? Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence offers 16 awards categories, including Innovation and Independent Thinking. There are categories for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. Entries close on Monday, September 26. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at www.iomtoday.co.im

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/derivco-is-a-success-story-1-8138760

Hotel of the year’ for third year in a row

The Claremont Hotel has been recognised as the ‘Isle of Man’s Leading Hotel 2016’ at the annual World Travel Awards for the third year in a row. This award follows several recent accolades for the hotel including the 4-Star Gold Award from Visit Isle of Man, the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and listings in the 2014 and 2015 editions of the UK and Ireland Michelin guide.

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/hotel-of-the-year-for-third-year-in-a-row-1-8135644

The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. The annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and tourism industry. Winners are voted for by travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers worldwide. Earlier this year, the Claremont announced plans for a further £1 million investment into a series of new executive suites and an upgrade to its conference and banqueting facilities demonstrating its continued commitment to creating the best standard of business hotel facilities on the Isle of Man. General Manager Ricardo Campos said: ‘We are honoured to have once again been recognised in what is widely considered one of the hospitality industry’s most prestigious awards. ‘To be acknowledged as the leading hotel on the Isle of Man truly supports what we set out to achieve and sustain going forward. Our next stage of financial investment will continue to develop our standard of excellence as we constantly strive to improve the environment, service, and hospitality we offer to our customers. ‘Being recognised once again by the industry’s top professionals, but most importantly the general public, confirms that we continue to progress. ‘It is a testament to the standard of service that our staff offer and I would like to congratulate the Claremont team for an outstanding achievement. ‘Thank you to everyone who took the time to cast a vote’.

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/hotel-of-the-year-for-third-year-in-a-row-1-8135644

Who will win company of the year accolade?

It’s the title everyone in business on the island would like to win – the award for Company of the Year at Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence – and this year it’s being sponsored by Baker Tilly Isle of Man. 

The award for Company of the Year is open to any company employing more than 30 people. The entry requirements state that ‘those selected as finalists will need to demonstrate a clear strategy, high levels of customer satisfaction, team engagement, delivery of financial success, operational efficiency, effective risk management and commitment to the Freedom to Flourish values’. Last year’s winners, Tynwald Mills, impressed the judges by demonstrating exceptional growth, despite a contracting retail sector on the island, by continuing to invest in the business and offer new brands for customers. 

Baker Tilly Isle of Man, another outstanding local company, is sponsoring this year’s award and their head of operations, Natalie Radford, said: ‘We are especially proud to be sponsoring this prestigious award because we are firm believers in celebrating success and recognising hard work, going the extra mile.’ Baker Tilly Isle of Man offers a diverse range of services from its Douglas office: trust and company formation; yacht and aircraft registration and administration; accounting and audit; personal taxation services, and pensions. 

The company, which is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, employs more than 50 people on the island and has a wealth of experience in the accountancy and offshore finance sectors. Natalie Radford said:‘We pride ourselves on offering a high quality service to both local and international clients. ‘As a business that really strives for excellence we are fully supportive of recognising excellence and applauding it.’ ‘We really enjoy the Awards night itself. It’s a great night and it’s so good for the Isle of Man to celebrate what we’re good at. ‘WhIt’s a great way of promoting the island and all the amazing companies, charities and individuals and their achievements.’ 

Are you entering this year’s Awards? Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence offers 16 awards categories, for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. Entries close on Monday September 26. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at www.excellence-awards.im

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/who-will-win-company-of-the-year-accolade-1-8096339

International business is so important for the Isle of Man

Thomas Miller Investment is sponsoring the award for International Business of the Year at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.


Tom Richards, managing director, has told the Manx Independent about the importance of the international element to business on the island. ‘We live in a global world where modern technology enables information to flow freely from one place to another,’

he said. ‘Business in today’s age is increasingly conducted without borders, on an international basis. We are delighted to be sponsoring this award category, which recognises that the Isle of Man is an international finance centre and home to a number of leading global businesses.’.

Last year’s winners of the award, Poker Stars, are a great example of a leading international company based on the Isle of Man. Does your business also fit that bill? If you are based on the island but your team go out and bring business back to the island, or your business has a network of offices around the world but is headquartered on the Isle of Man, then this is an award you should consider entering.

‘The winning company could be a dominant player in its industry, or a niche specialised operation,’ said Tom. #However, it will meet that ideal of successfully going out around the world; embodying the Isle of Man culture; acting as an ambassador for the Isle of Man; showing off the island’s entrepreneurial spirit and enhancing our international reputation.’

Thomas Miller Investment is now in its seventh consecutive year as an awards sponsor. Tom added: ‘For us, this event demonstrates the high calibre of businesses on the island and is one of the ways to give something back. ‘We have been based here on the Isle of Man for nearly 30 years and we endeavour to do our bit to support local industry and charity wherever we can. Celebrating excellence across the business sectors on the island and the job creation that enables is one way we can do that.

‘One really interesting aspects about the awards ceremony is the variety of businesses which attend on the evening. Some of which are really well-known names, whilst others one has perhaps only fleetingly come across.’ Thomas Miller Group conducts a mixture of business from the island and the UK. Tom said: ‘Our mutual insurance management business provides support to a number of acknowledged leaders in their chosen transport, professional indemnity and specialist markets including the UK P&I, TT and Hellenic War Risks clubs, the latter providing cover for over 70 per cent of all Greek owned ships.’ Thomas Miller Investment is a specialist provider of investment and wealth management services for both private and institutional clients.

‘Over the last few years, we have produced some really solid investment performance, and seen steady growth in client numbers and assets under management. We will continue to develop our Isle of Man office structure and overall investment offering as required over the coming period in order to fully serve the requirements of our island based and international clients. ‘This year, we are delighted to once again have the opportunity to provide support for the Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.’

Are you entering this year’s Awards? Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence offers 16 awards categories, including International Business of the Year. There are categories for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. Entries close on Monday September 26. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at www.excellence-awards.im

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/international-business-is-so-important-for-the-isle-of-man-1-8093152

Not picking someone from a hat

Have you entered Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence yet? 
To find out a bit more about how each entry is assessed we talk to one of the judging panel, Les Nicol, managing director of N K Construction… 
Les Nicol says he sometimes finds people are surprised when they discover that he is one of the judges for the Awards for Excellence: in some people’s minds the judges for such a prestigious event must surely be a bit of an ‘old boys’ network’. 
‘I think they find it quite refreshing when they realise it’s not just people from the finance sector,’ says Les. In fact, the 16 judges who make up the panel come from a diverse range of backgrounds: law, engineering, egaming, the charitable sector and government. The one common factor is that all of them are highly regarded in their fields. Les, who runs family business N K Construction, certainly knows a thing or two about excellence. 
The company was twice a finalist in the award for Company of the Year. Following that, Les was asked to join the judging panel because the construction industry was not represented at the time. This will be his third year as a judge and he says of the judging process: ‘It’s a lot more involved than I expected it to be but in a nice way because it’s very enjoyable. 
‘I didn’t realise until I did it how much went into the judging – it isn’t just picking someone out of a hat.’ The 16 judges work in pairs and each pair is given two award categories to assess. This means marking each entry against a list of set criteria. When each judge has marked both categories, the pair then meet to compare marks and decide who the winner and finalists in each category should be. Then all the judges get together. Les said: ‘When you go for the final judging day and you have to present the results for your categories there is much discussion and you have to give your reasons for choosing your winners and finalists – that is an eye-opener.’ 
There are 16 award categories in the awards, for companies, individuals, public sector teams, charities and community organisations. You can find details of all the categories, and download entry forms, at www.excellence-awards.im Entries close on September 26.

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/not-picking-someone-from-a-hat-1-8088748

Nominate your business person of year for award

One of the most prestigious awards at Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence is the award for Business Personality of the Year. Last year’s winner, Jennifer Houghton, who is managing director of Annexio, tells us what it meant to her. 
‘I was obviously very excited about winning and still get congratulated now and again, which I’m very honoured by,’ she says. ‘I was quite relaxed the night before as I honestly didn’t think I would win, and when I did win one of my first thought, as I was walking up to the podium, was that I should have had my hair done properly!’ 
Her CV is impressive. Born in California with a Swedish mother and a German father, she is a qualified accountant, having also studied music and microbiology at university. Jennifer worked for Deloitte for 17 years. She came to the island 12 years ago and two years later married Jay Houghton, a director of Petrolink. She loves the island and has settled happily here, despite having previously lived in seven countries and moved 27 times. Jennifer speaks four languages which comes in useful at Annexio, where she heads up a team made up of 12 different nationalities. 
The company specialises in the secondary lottery market and provides both B2B and B2C services using their bespoke platform. One of Jennifer’s major achievements was successfully obtaining an online gaming licence for Annexio which was granted on April 1st 2011. In 2013 Annexio was the fastest growing online gaming company on the Isle of Man. In her spare time Jennifer loves running to keep fit – she has run the London Marathon and another 30 half-marathons for charity. As well as the various charities she runs for, she is also on the board of trustees for the Diana Princess of Wales Care at Home Trust, which provides hospice at home care, and is currently raising money through their Raad ny Foillan Challenge, walking a different section of the coastal path each month. 
She is also a committee member of the Isle of Man branch of the Institute of Directors and was awarded ‘International Director of the Year’ by the Institute of Directors Isle of Man branch in 2016. Speaking about winning the award for Business Personality of the Year, Jennifer adds: ‘I may have been the first woman to have won the award, but I am certain that I won’t be the last.’ 
Are you entering this year’s Awards? Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence offers 16 awards categories, including Business Personality of the Year. There are categories for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at excellence-awards.im
Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/nominate-your-business-person-of-year-for-award-1-8075795

Why the public sector achievement award is so important

Telecommunications company Sure is sponsoring the award for Public Sector Achievement at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.

Its marketing and public relations manager, Sarah Jarvis, has told the Isle of Man Courier why she believes this is such an important award.

‘The entries in this category tend to demonstrate the true meaning of excellence and real loyalty to Manx values – decency, public service and community,’ she said.

‘These are people who are not looking for short-term gain but genuinely display long-term values.

‘Last year’s winners, the DEFA team which organised the Isle of Man Food Festival, is a great example of this. The Food Festival provides a real showcase for locally produced food and drink, giving its 7,000 visitors the chance to sample the products.

‘As well as Manx food producers, the DEFA also champions Manx agriculture and fishing and plays its part in looking after the environment, trees and wildlife. It’s a huge portfolio of issues that really affect the island community in which we live.’

In a similar way, Sure also plays its part in contributing to the local community.

Sarha said: ‘Trying to give back to the island is something that all of us at Sure are passionate about.

‘We especially love to support some of the smaller service-oriented organisations and charities that make amazing things happen. We can help them to get things off the ground and raise awareness in the public domain – sometimes it isn’t just providing money.

‘Two examples of our community involvement are Kenyon’s Youth Café, in Onchan, and the Mobile Family Library.

Kenyon’s Youth Café does incredible work with youngsters, giving them somewhere to go two evenings a week, and a lot of dedicated volunteers give up their personal time for this rewarding work. We helped them with a phone line and broadband, plus iPads for the youngsters to use.

‘We have also recently supported the family and mobile Libraries which are such a lifeline to many in the community, especially lonely older people living outside Douglas. We have given them financial support, some equipment and mobile WiFi for their library van.’

The arrival of Sure on the island in 2007 gave customers real competition and choice in the telecoms sector for the first time.

The company is currently putting a lot of additional investment into its network and offers mobile, fixed line and broadband services for residential customers, and a range of corporate communications ‘solutions’ for business customers.

Sarah added: ‘A recent innovation is the introduction of a 4G wireless router which enables customers to have excellent broadband, without having to pay a monthly landline rental.

‘We have also recently relaunched our monthly mobile plans to include a lot more data because that’s what our customers have asked us for! We now offer the best value plans on the island in terms of data.

‘There are new business mobile plans, too, with great roaming features and increased data allowances; these are suitable for any business from a small organisation up to the largest corporate.’

Are you entering this year’s Awards? Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence has 16 award categories offering opportunities for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at www.iomtoday.co.im.

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/why-the-public-sector-achievement-award-is-so-important-1-8059003

Awards are great for our business

Adventurous Experiences has twice been a finalist for the award for Corporate Social Responsibility at Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence. Owner Keirron Tastagh has told us why he entered his company and what he gained from it.

The award for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Awards for Excellence has traditionally been the preserve of the larger corporates with big budgets to spend on community and charity projects. In 2014, however, a much smaller company – Adventurous Experiences – entered and became a finalist. Last year, the company repeated the achievement.

Adventurous Experiences was set up to provide exactly what the name suggests – a range of activities to take you slightly out of your comfort zone and give you an experience you will never forget. These include sea kayaking, coasteering and gorge scrambling.

The company is also focussed on youth development with a number of programmes for youngsters of all ages and this was Keirron’s reason for entering the Awards for Excellence.

He said: ‘We wanted to highlight one of our long-term development programmes, our Youth Scholarship - Development and Leadership Programme, which we entirely funded and delivered ourselves.

‘The programme actually initiated in 2003, prior to the company being established in 2004, and it’s much more than a community project – it’s a real commitment to the Isle of Man.’ He added: ‘The recognition as a finalist in 2014 in this most sought after category – Corporate Social Responsibility – assisted us in partnering with Conister Bank for our current intake of students. We have recently returned from a three-week overseas expedition in Vancouver Island, sea kayaking and mountain walking, following 18 months of training with Adventurous Experiences. Conister really understood what the programme stood for, and what it was achieving.

‘We were a finalist again last year, a terrific accolade for the commitment by our team to coaching people, changing perspectives. The night makes you feel very special.

‘It’s recognition of how a small business can really make a positive long-term change to the island, embracing real risk management education.

’ Keirron added that ‘entering the Awards is a risk itself in many ways’, but said: ‘The feeling of accomplishment the whole team get from the Awards is a greater benefit, far outweighing the butterflies you get on the evening itself!

‘I feel that it’s certainly worth while taking the time to enter the Awards. When you’re filling in the entry form, the very act of setting your actions down on paper help focus what you’re doing, and why you do it

.’ What impressed the judges: ‘Proving that small companies can also make a positive impact on the community, Adventurous Experiences’ Youth Scholarship Development and Leadership Programme gives young students from the Isle of Man the opportunity to be part of a team embarking on a once in a lifetime shared experience.’

Why not make this the year YOU enter Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence? There are 16 award categories, including Corporate Social Responsibility, for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and charitable and community organisations. You will find full details of all the categories and entry forms to download at www.excellence-awards.im

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/awards-are-great-for-our-business-1-8065583

Awards for Excellence to celebrate island’s success stories


This year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence launched with a sponsors’ lunch at the Claremont Hotel.

Isle of Man Newspapers’ deputy chairman Trudi Williamson said: ‘The Awards for Excellence is now in its 11th year and we are delighted to welcome three new award category sponsors: Equiom, Old Mutual, Manx Telecom and Mylchreest’s.

‘We have recognised more than 300 local companies since the awards started and we so enjoy this unique opportunity to recognise success for companies, individuals, the public sector and the charitable sector.

‘The Awards for Excellence is a community event and we are delighted that everybody can take part and can come along and enjoy the event on the night.

‘We have been working very closely with the Department of Economic Development following its very successful ISLEXPO event promoting the island.

‘At their suggestion we have introduced a brand new award category this year: New Business/Innovation and Digital Champion.

‘The Digital Champion Award is aimed at celebrating companies and individuals who are developing the technologies of the future.

‘These may be the so-called disruptive technologies which will change the way we live and do business in quite radical ways but will, ultimately, offer benefits to us all.

‘We hope that we will get lots of entries in this new category and all the other award categories – we are aiming for a record year of celebrating the island’s success.’

The 16 award categories offer opportunities to enter for companies, individuals, the public sector and charitable organisations.

The full list of award categories and sponsors is as follows:

The Claremont Award for Business Person 2016

The AXA Wealth International Award for Charity, Cultural & Social Enterprise 2016

The Baker Tilly Isle of Man Award for Company 2016

The Domicilium (IoM) Award for Corporate Social Responsibility 2016

The Old Mutual International Award for Customer Service 2016

The PokerStars Award for Digital Champions 2016

The Isle of Man Government Award for Freedom to Flourish 2016

The Derivco Isle of Man Award for Innovation and Independent Thinking 2016

The Thomas Miller Investment (IoM) Ltd Award for International Business 2016

The Manx Telecom Award for New Business/Innovation 2016

The Sure Award for Public Sector Achievement 2016

The Tynwald Mills Award for SME 2016

The RBS International Award for Teamwork 2016

The Microgaming Award for Technology 2016

The Mylchreest’s Award for Volunteer of the Year 2016

The Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited Award for Young Achiever 2016

The closing date for entering this year’s Awards for Excellence is Monday, September 26.

The secret of success

The winner of the Public Sector Achievement Award at last year’s Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence was the Department for the Environment Food and Agriculture for creating and running the popular Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival.

The DEFA’s marketing manager, Audrey Fowler. accepted the award on behalf of the team and she explained this week what makes a successful entry.

‘This was our second time of being nominated so I would want to encourage people and tell them, just because they didn’t win the first time, do try a second or even a third time. It’s definitely worth putting that form in again!’ said Audrey. Public Sector Achievement has always been a notably strong category at the awards, with a high standard of entries, and Audrey said that it was a category she was pleased to come out on top in.

One of the things the awards judges always look for in a winning entry is a success that is measurable and Audrey said: ‘With the Food and Drink Festival that was quite easy to do because in 2009 we had 32 exhibitors and last year we had more than 50, which is one measure of success.

‘An event like the Food and Drink Festival leaves a footprint of statistics, as well as a growth that is obvious to anyone who attends. Everything is provable and the feedback we’re getting is so positive every year.

‘When you think about it, having more than 100 independent food producers on a small island is an achievement in itself and giving them a framework of support, which includes the Food and Drink Festival where they can showcase their wares, has been a great encouragement to many of them.

‘ Another thing the judges look for, in all of the awards categories, is how the submission reflects the Freedom to Flourish values. Quite clearly, the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival fits very nicely with this, as a key element in the government’s Food Matters strategy, and a way of supporting so many growers, producers and restaurants on the island, as Audrey explains:

‘Every year we get smiling faces from the exhibitors at the end of the two days, all really complimentary of the event. They’ve made new contacts, they’ve made lots of money by being there – it’s all networking – and that’s all helping to grow the economy.

‘The Food and Drink Festival also helps to introduce people to the idea of buying locally grown and produced food and we’re getting more and more organisations, like the local media, buying in to that idea.

‘It’s important to us to involve the restaurants too, through the Chef of the Year contest, with the finals being part of the Food and Drink Festival programme. They are really big buyers of local meat and produce, and we want to see more Manx on the menu and more people asking for it.

’Since the event was first held in 2009 it has continued to grow with financial support from government but last year it broke even for the first time. This year Magnet Kitchens will be sponsoring the event, giving it a further financial boost. The team at the the DEFA is assisted by an enthusiastic committee.

Audrey said: ‘Over the years, our committee has continued to grow, which is very encouraging. We now have 20 people on it, predominantly producers but also people who have been to the Festival and want to be a strong part of it and they are brilliant at bringing new ideas forward.’

When it comes to the benefits of winning, as a marketing person Audrey appreciates the way it can raise the profile of an event or organisation. ‘We now put the award winners’ logo on all our emails, including the chief executive’s,’ she said. ‘I think that, in particular, is a really lovely thing to have and I think it certainly helps when we are looking for sponsors for the festival – it’s a very good marketing tool.’

And then, of course, there’s the awards night itself. Audrey said: ‘When they announced the winners, I was so shocked but really pleased for the Food and Drink Festival to get it. ‘It’s a fantastic night and something I’ll always remember – just total glitz and glamour!’ Entries are now being invited for this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence. 

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/the-secret-of-success-1-8059077. 

Mylchreests sponsor award

This year we welcome the Mylchreests Group as new sponsors for Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.

The name Mylchreest has long been synonymous with motoring and motor sport on the island and the Mylchreests Group, encompassing new and used car sales, servicing, repairs and daily car rental remains very much a family business.

‘It’s our name over the door and family values are part of what we are. Manx motoring is in our DNA and has been since we first became pioneers in this business nearly a century ago,’ said managing director David Mylchreest.

‘Our customers can talk directly to a member of the family, and we welcome that, and of course our team share our family values.

’ David’s two sons are also both directors of the business.

James runs the after sales side of the dealership and is also assistant to the managing director, while his younger brother, Charles, is a non-executive director.

Mylchreests has long been associated with premium brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover and these remain popular with their customers but they are also represent several other names, including Vauxhall, Mitsubishi and MG, which offer customers a wider choice of cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles in all price ranges.

The Mylchreests Group has recently purchased the property next door to its premises at Millmount in Douglas and work has started on a conversion to create additional car repair facilities, due to much increased demand. They service all makes of cars and light commercial vehicles, and are fully manufacturer approved by Jaguar, Land Rover, Vauxhall, Mitsubishi and MG Rover

‘Since we have been appointed the island’s Vauxhall retailer we’re becoming busier and we will be recruiting additional technicians in the near future,’ said David. They are also passionate about classic cars and are proud to carry out maintenance and repairs on a number of their customers’ treasured classic cars, including such names as Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Morgan and MG.

Another important aspect of the business is daily car rental, with nearly 100 cars based at the airport. Mylchreests are also agents for Avis and Budget Rent a Car and can arrange car rental for customers travelling off the island. They also offer an increasingly popular car parking and valet service for locals travelling away.

At this year’s Awards for Excellence, the Mylchreests Group is sponsoring the award for Volunteer of the Year, a category that David is very pleased to be associated with. He said: ‘As a local family business we have always tried to put something back into the community, supporting events such as the TT, Manx Grand Prix, Southern 100, The Manx Classic (car racing) and the Royal Manx Show to name a few, all of which rely on the unstinting support and work by volunteers.

“We are delighted to be sponsoring an award which recognises the enormous contribution that unpaid volunteers also make to our community and the valuable work they do.’

Do you know a volunteer who should be recognised for their work? Why not nominate them for this year’s Awards for Excellence?

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/mylchreests-sponsor-award-1-8059068

Celebrate volunteers at annual Awards for Excellence ceremony

Live Well Stay Well volunteers, Fiona Baxter and Nigel Latham, were winners of the Volunteer of the Year Award at last year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence. This is their story…

When you are diagnosed with a chronic, life-changing illness, do you simply stay at home and feel sorry for yourself, or do you go out and try to help others in the same situation to get the very best out of their lives despite their conditions? Fiona Baxter and Nigel Latham took the latter course and became leaders on the Live Well Stay Well courses which are offered free to anyone over the age of 18 with a long term health condition. This might be any one of a wide variety of conditions including diabetes, heart failure, stroke, asthma, epilepsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

The idea for Live Well Stay Well began at Stamford University in California in the late 1970s. It was in acknowledgement of the fact that people with a long term health condition benefit from support which is not just purely medical.

‘The health service is great, it goes so far, but people have to take responsibility for themselves as well,’ said Nigel. ‘They developed the course originally for people with arthritis but it soon became obvious that it doesn’t really matter what a person’s health condition is, everyone has similar issues that they have to deal with.’

Fiona added: ‘We all have different conditions but we’ve all got the same basic problems.’ The key element of the Live Well Stay Well idea is that these courses are better run by people who have long term health conditions themselves, rather than by clinical staff. ‘It works better because you’re experiencing what they are,’ said Nigel. It was when the idea came to the Isle of Man that it was given the name ‘Live Well Stay Well’ and Fiona was one of the first to complete the course, both on her own account and with a view to becoming a leader and helping others. Fiona was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (which is not just an older person’s illness) 16 years ago.

‘At first I just gave into it,’ she said. But things changed when she became a Live Well Stay Well leader. She took the first course that was offered on the island, along with Norman Kneen who also had health issues. Both of them had extra training with a view to becoming course leaders themselves. Fiona said: ‘I wish the course had been around when I was first diagnosed. It gave me a purpose in life, to help someone else – it’s a nice feeling at the end of the course to see them all smiling and happy.’ Nigel’s condition took a long time to be diagnosed, this is often the case and adds to people’s worry and uncertainty: when he began falling over and having problems with his hearing and sight, it was initially thought to be MS, then ME, but was finally decided to be a ‘functional neurological disorder’. He said: ‘When you are diagnosed with a long term illness you know you’re either going to go down or up. There comes a point when you think: “I’m either going to jump off a bridge or I’m going to do something about it”.’

He also trained as an instructor in the Live Well Stay Well methods and he says: ‘As a leader, by actually running the course, you’re helping yourself too.’ Around 80 people have completed the course on the island and the results are impressive with 100 per cent of participants feeling more positive about living with a long term condition, and more than 85 per cent feeling more confident about their everyday activities, talking to health care professionals and their ability to participate in social events. Surprisingly, one of the issues than many people on the courses have to deal with is guilt. Nigel said: ‘A lot of people feel guilty because they have an illness that affects their family. They’re kind of blaming themselves. ‘You may be the main breadwinner, or the person who drives the kids around, and suddenly you can’t do that anymore so you feel like a complete failure.’

Sometimes people will need help in talking to their doctor, dealing with depression, fatigue and pain, or financial problems, and just talking can help a lot. Fiona said people were often quite quiet at the start of the course. ‘But by the end of the six weeks you can’t shut them up and they can’t wait for our next get together in three months’ time.’

Fiona said that winning Volunteer of the Year Award at the Awards for Excellence made them both feel that their work was appreciated, especially as they were up against other very worthy causes. And the benefit for Live Well Stay Well is the way it helps to raise the profile. Nigel said: ‘All the doctors on the island are aware of us but we still get people who say they haven’t heard of us – something like this really puts the name out.’

Do you know someone who works tirelessly for their chosen charity? Why not nominate them for the Volunteer of the Year Award at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence? You will find full details of all the award categories and entry forms to download at www.excellence-awards.im

Read more at: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/celebrate-volunteers-at-annual-awards-for-excellence-ceremony-1-8058511

Awards for Excellence offer an endorsement of our business

Purple Accounts were finalists at last year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence in the Excellence in the Use of Technology category.

The managing director, David Parker, tells us why successful businesses like his should enter the awards.

‘It’s a really good way of raising your profile,’ he said. ‘You can do all the advertising as far as your budget stretches but nothing can replace an independent endorsement of the business, whether that’s through testimonials or awards like the Awards for Excellence.

‘The awards night is also a good morale booster for our team and an opportunity to wine and dine them – they love it. It’s a chance to get dressed up and go for a nice meal, and it’s the excitement of it and the anticipation.’

Purple Accounts was entered into the Excellence in the Use of Technology category. There are 16 award categories but David had chosen this one because, when he started the business in 2007, it was the first on the island to offer online accountancy services, as he explains:

‘Nobody else was doing it then, certainly not for small businesses, so that’s how we broke into the market.

‘There’s a big growth in online accounting: people like the convenience of it but they also like to be able to speak to somebody as well – it’ll never replace the face to face element but we hope to strike a nice balance all round.’

David grew up in a small business, living over a corner shop in Warrington that his parents ran, so he understands the pressures and needs of others who run small businesses:

‘We offer fixed fees, provide free advice, and basically we’re there on the same level as the clients. We deal with small businesses and start-ups and that’s all.

We try to keep it low key and on a friendly, informal basis so clients don’t have to make appointments they can simply call in. A lot of our new clients have done that and we have seen them straight away.

‘I think that’s what sets us apart: we’re down to earth.’

What impressed the judges:

‘…Purple Accounts has focussed on looking at ways they could use leading-edge technology to improve efficiency, reduce overheads and significantly enhance customer experience.

‘The result has been the rollout of an online accounting solution, Xero, which provides 24/7 access to clients via a PC, ipad, tablet or smartphone. This has helped their clients to stay on top of their finances and plan their businesses, in partnership with the company.

‘Purple Accounts is also launching Xero Touch which allows clients to invoice their customers via their iphone as soon as a job is completed and be paid much faster.’

Why not enter your business in this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence?