The best of the region’s corporate community was celebrated at this year’s Yorkshire Business Awards, which saw winners and speakers talk about the importance of reaching for the best.
Guest speaker Sir Chris Bonington, the UK’s most accomplished mountaineer, spoke about his inspiration 60 year career and Rosemary Shrager was named winner of the Yorkshire Legend Award, as well as being named an ambassador for the charity.
Elsewhere, Huddersfield Town FC owner Dean Hoyle was named businessman of the year, supermarket giant Morrisons won board of the year, pest control firm Pelsis won best SME award and Heck! Food ltd won best young business.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post prior to his keynote speech Sir Chris spoke about the day he reached the top of Mount Everest and the emotions he felt.
“When I finally got to the top I could not help of think of all my friends who had lost their lives.
“So when I got to the top I broke down and cried. And then I slowly became aware of where I was and what I had done. So then there was a feeling of deep satisfaction.”
He added: “You need to find something that you are really passionate about and then really follow it through.”
“I had a whole series of jobs doing different things until I actually managed to build a life around climbing.”
Speaking of what he learned from his adventures he said: “Some of my most vivid memories are on the 1972 expedition when we attempted the South West face. We went in post-Monsoon season where the window [to reach the top] is much more narrow. It was savage, it was -40 degrees, the wind was up to 80mph. But we did not give up.
“There is no such thing as failure, when you don’t succeed in doing something you learn from it. And that enables you to have a much better chance when you have the next go.”
Speaking after receiving his award for business leader of the year, Mr Hoyle, who founded The Card Factory and now helps run retailer The Works, said: “It’s not about individuals, it’s about the team.
“I had a wonderful team there (at the Card Factory). They really helped me deliver. I couldn’t have done it by myself.
“Football is very similar. You can have the best players on the pitch, but if you don’t have the leadership, and we had the magnificent David Wagner, then I wouldn’t be standing here today.
“You’ve got to believe in yourself. Luck will come to those who work hardest.”
Speaking of Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League he said: “It’s put the town on the map, it’s put Yorkshire on the map.”
Accepting the award for board of the year Julian Bailey, PR director of Morrisons, said: “We’re really known for being a Yorkshire company, so it’s great to win an award in Yorkshire.
“It’s a team effort; we’ve got 100,000 people working every single day to deliver customers brilliant food at a fair price.”
Pelsis CEO Peter Mangion said: “We’ve grown mainly by acquisition over the last seven years or so. We’ve done seven deals. That will continue to be the case going forward.”
Speaking later Ms Shrager has said that Yorkshire is home to the best food and drink offering in the country.
She told The Yorkshire Post that the region’s food was “Brilliant, the best.”
She added: “Having moved to Tunbridge Wells it is so not the same, we have the best produce in England here , there is no doubt about it.
“I tell what is is it is the variety. It is the soil. You cannot beat it. The cheeses up here are amazing.
“For me I love to be part of Yorkshire. I have the blood in me.
I am so outspoken and down-to-earth. I feel it is like a magnet, it gives me an opportunity to get back here.”