SCBA Committee (David Hopper and Simon Latchford are missing). Photo Credit Barry Alsop [Eyes Wide Open Images]
It’s been just over a month since we held the annual Sunshine Coast Business Awards (SCBA) and as the end of the year draws to a close I am so incredibly grateful for all of the people who came together and made this year’s SCBA’s the best one yet.

The awards are not possible without a very large contingent of volunteers who come in the form of the committee, the judges and an army of people who give their time at the gala to ensure every moment is captured for social media.

One of the most important roles and a very special thank you is reserved for our 36 judges who collectively read more than 1.2 million words during the judging phase – which is more than all seven Harry Potter novels combined!

Our judges are themselves CEO’s or people who hold very senior roles in business and who were invited to take on the role of a judge because of their integrity, knowledge and outstanding business acumen. We simply could not run the business awards without this group of dedicated people and their importance to a successful awards program can never be underestimated.

Another very special group of people that need to be acknowledged and recognised for the efforts and that is the SCBA committee.

The SCBA committee consisted of dedicated, committed volunteers who shared a vision of delivering an outstanding awards program for the region that was robust, transparent and inclusive. Their time commitment was enormous and again they gave this willingly as volunteers who are each committed to making a difference in our region.

Bill Darby, Caroline Edginton, Darrell Edwards, Paul Fisher, David Hopper, Simon Latchford and Bruce Williams are the extraordinary people who, week after week, gave freely of their time and I will never be able to thank them enough for all that they did to ensure the 25th year was a huge success.

Standing proudly behind the awards are our sponsors whose support is second to none. Their continued support and commitment to the business community allow us to deliver an outstanding awards platform that provides a true pathway into state and national awards.

Behind the scenes there were many people doing their part to ensure we could deliver both a successful and transparent awards program and gala.

I would like to thank Shanna Douglas our Project Coordinator for her tireless efforts throughout the year for all her hard work in ensuring we had the systems and procedures in place to manage the process smoothly. Supporting Shanna was Chris Vieraitis who took the minutes, followed us up and kept us on track all year and Sophie Morley who spent countless hours helping Shanna to manage and deliver the workshops we ran throughout the region.

Min Swan was brought in to produce the Gala and Finalist events for us and we could not have been more delighted with the results. She helped to deliver two outstanding events, and nothing was ever too much trouble. Her attention to detail and unflappable nature makes her the true professional she is. Min is a world-class event organiser and we are truly lucky to have her on board.

Leanne Layfield and her team of volunteers consisting of Lisa Harrison, Tess Barnsley, Michelle Craik and Amber James, oversaw the social media and worked tirelessly all night at the Gala and were responsible for the SCBA reaching tens of thousands of people breaking all previous records.

Our impressive backdrop was created and donated by Andrew Harris of Portable Creations and it was a backdrop worthy of any international event and completed the staging perfectly.

AV Partners and the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre went above and beyond as they always do and worked tirelessly to deliver an outstanding event. The AV production was outstanding and the food, drinks and waitstaff were first rate.

ADFX ensured our branding reflected the importance and prestige of the awards and Sunquest Industries delivered beautiful plaques once again.

The much loved and ever affable Barry Alsop from Eyes Wide Open Images made sure every special moment at the Finalist Event and Gala was captured alongside Bruce Haggie.

A special thanks to Carl Leibold, our fabulous Voice of God, who was funny, gracious, great fun and provided the most wonderful voice on the night and for working in so well with Larry Emdur.

And finally, Sam Swaine, thank you for always allowing me to volunteer you to do so many things (without asking you first) including handing out the awards on stage. I can always count on you to do a stellar job with professionalism, class and grace and you never let me down (or say no) and for that I am eternally grateful.

As Christmas is often a time of reflection, I am so incredibly proud of, and grateful for the business community we have on the Sunshine Coast. While we may be small in size, compared to our city cousins, what we do have is a large contingent of incredibly, talented, committed and giving individuals and teams who all willingly do their bit to make this region better for all of us.

Together we are Team Sunshine Coast and I look forward to doing it all over again with this fabulous bunch of people in 2020!

Jennifer Swaine
Sunshine Coast Business Awards Committee, Chair

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