The stars were shining brightly at the 2016 Business Excellence Awards Tweed Shire Gala Awards night on Saturday where trophies and prizes were presented to the finalists and winners of over 18 categories. The Murwillumbah Civic Centre was transformed in to a blue lagoon lit elegant setting complete with crystal chandelier adorning the ceiling. Recipients of the awards stood grinning in front of a sequinned audience of two hundred and twenty business leaders and special guests.
The winner of the 2016 Best Business was Varela and Swift Pharmacy in Murwillumbah, who also won the People’s Choice Award and the Employer of Choice Award. Owners Con Varela and Skye Swift were thrilled to take out a trifecta of Awards. Sami O’Halloran, a platinum sponsor from Southern Cross Austereo, presented the major award to them and said that the event was spectacular! “The entertainment, the food, the ambience and the vibe in the room was incredible,” she said. Another big winner was IC Signs from Tumbulgum/ Tweed Heads, who took out both the Young Entrepreneur Award and Excellence in Trade Construction and Manufacturing. Nathan and Rebecca Day were thrilled to receive these Awards and said that the BEATS is the premier business event on their calendar. “We are also proud silver sponsors of the BEATS and love being involved in making this event the best it can be”, said Nathan.
Other awards winners were: Craig McNiven from Ecomist North Coast as Business Leader; Excellence in Creative Industries – Fun Time Performers; Excellence in Accessibility and Inclusion- Billabong Swim School; Excellence in Community and Social Services- Tweed Valley Masonic Welfare Association ; Excellence in Dining- Mavises Kitchen; Excellence in Personal Services- Lady Bella; Excellence in Professional Service- Southern Cross Credit Union; Excellence in Retail- Chozen Surf; Excellence in Visitor Experience – Mount Warning Tours; Excellence in Small Business- Tabatinga Family Fun Centre; Excellence in Aged Care and Wellbeing- Laurence Irvine Chiropractic; Excellence in Sustainability- Gymea Eco Retreat and Spa; and Excellence in Work Health and Safety- Tropical Fruit World.
The crowds were kept entertained by guest comedy MC “Lady Shiraz” (aka Marlena Sue Basser) as she bedazzled the stage with MC Toni Zuschke and champagne sequinned hostess Natascha Wernick.
“The MC’s were hilarious and kept the awards running smoothly and succinctly as the energy in the room gradually rose through the evening and peaking with the announcement of Best Business- Varela and Swift Pharmacy.” Natascha Wernick, BEATS Awards Coordinator recalled. “I think the vibe in the room, the shouts of delight and the huge smiles on the winners faces really told the story about what a great night everybody had.”
Popular Chef Jonathan Evans from Ju Ju’s Café in Murwillumbah prepared yet another sensational three course meal and the intervals were full of laughter, networking and dancing on the red carpet. The entertainment line-up showcased the diversity of Tweed Shire talent with Lissy Stanton, Asta “That Hula Hoop Girl”, HighTide and Brother Norton all performing to a cheering and appreciative audience.
MC Toni Zuschke was actually lost for words when confronted with a special surprise presentation by Thomas George MP of the ‘NSW Premiers Award’ recognising Toni’s contribution to the Tweed Shire community over the last twenty years.
“This prestigious Award came as total shock to me, up on the stage, but I feel very humbled, honoured and valued. I love my community so serving them and being part
of them is a privilege” Toni Zuschke, BEATS Coordinator expressed.
“The Gala event was a total success with many messages of congratulations flowing freely. It is great to be recognised in this way and it was a huge amount of fun dressing up and stepping out with our vibrant business community,” said Toni Zuschke.
The BEATS coordinators both said “It is a night where Businesses of the Tweed have the opportunity to shine, feel cherished and be rewarded for all their hard work. Congratulations to all of the finalist and winners. Well done and thank you to all of the people behind the scenes that made it a seamless sensational night to remember.”