The cream of Huddersfield’s business community enjoyed a sparkling night of celebration.
A capacity audience at the John Smith’s Stadium applauded 11 winners at the 11th annual Examiner Business Awards.
The top trophy of the night went to Nick Glynne, managing director of online retailer Buy it Direct, who was named Chadwick Lawrence Business Person of the Year.
The award recognised how Nick abandoned a career as a documentary film-maker to become a successful online retailer.
Nick bought a tiny IT shop “on a whim” for £3,000 in 2000 and turned it into a multi-million pound business operating from sites at Trident Business Park at Deighton and in the East Midlands and selling an array of electrical and electronic products such as laptops, cameras, TVs and flying drones.
Presenting him with the award, Sarah Haller, partner at sponsor Chadwick Lawrence, highlighted Nick’s commitment to the local community – sponsoring Huddersfield Town, forging close links with the University of Huddersfield where he regularly addresses students about business and working with Kirklees Council on its Place To Make It campaign.
She said: “He advises other entrepreneurs to take risks, but also to have patience, trust their instincts, build models around those instincts and chase every idea. It’s not all about winning, he says – although he feels a strong drive toward perfection.
“He thought he’d reached the pinnacle of his career making documentaries, but admits his business stretches him so much further and is the most creative thing he could possibly do. He says he would never give this up.”
After receiving his award Nick said: “I’m absolutely committed to Huddersfield and at the moment I am looking to invest and bring 100 to 150 jobs to the region. I’m looking to develop a warehouse in Huddersfield.
“The massive challenge for us is the prices we pay to bring in products which have gone up by 15% to 20% due to the fall in sterling.
“Our challenge is to give our customers great value as well as great products by creating a much better relationship with customers to help us compete with the likes of Amazon.”
Football referee Graham Poll was the man in the middle as guest speaker.
Graham has officiated at some milestone matches, including the last FA Cup Final to be staged at the old Wembley Stadium in 2000. He was also the first whistler to reach the record of refereeing 300 Premier League matches.
However, he will forever by remembered for issuing one player with three yellow cards during a group stage match between Croatia and Australia at the 2006 World Cup in Germany – a mix up which he says gave him sleepless nights and led to his decision to step down from refereeing international tournaments.
Before picking up the whistle he pursued a career in sales in the consumer goods sector, having learned the principles of selling in the business-to-business world of office equipment with Canon UK Ltd. He progressed into sales management with beauty products firm Coty UK before leaving full-time employment to focus on refereeing.
He talked about “this strange profession” and the pressures of leading out 22 multi millionaires into the cauldron of the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
“People ask why do you do it and the answer is very simple: referees have one thing in common – we love the game of football,” he said.
He congratulated the Football Association for standing up to world governing body FIFA over the poppy armbands issue and that the players would be wearing the armbands when they play on Remembrance Day.
Earlier, guests were welcomed by Examiner editor Roy Wright, who commented on the high quality of entries for the awards. The host for the evening was BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration.
A raffle was held on the night to raise funds for Linthwaite-based charity Ruddi’s Retreat.