The best in business were celebrated at the 2016 Examiner Business Awards.

Eleven winners were celebrated at the 11th awards at the John Smith's Stadium, hosted by BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration and with guest speaker, referee Graham Poll — the first referee to reach the record of 300 Premier League matches.

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.

Here you can read about all 11 winners and enjoy the pictures and video from last night's sparkling ceremony.

The Examiner would once more like to congratulate all of our winners and finalists — you've done Huddersfield proud.

Innovation and Enterprise Award - The Flood Company

Examiner Business Awards 2016, John Smith's Stadium. University of Huddersfield Innovation and Enterprise Award. Winner is The Flood Company. Pictured (from left) Flood Company project manager Michelle France, accounts manager Sarah Tweedley, managing director Luke Ruddiman, University of Huddersfield Vice Chancellor Bob Cryan chief executive Tony Ruddiman and presenter Harry Gration.

Nominees: Skin Solutions, Lattitude 7

Sponsor: University of Huddersfield

History: Formed in 2012 and based at Edgerton, The Flood Company Commercial Ltd is a specialist supplier and installer of flood protection products for domestic and commercial properties in the UK and also exports to countries including Germany, France and parts of Africa.

It provides independent professional expertise for home and business owners, local councils, architects, surveyors, specifiers and housing associations. It also works with the Environment Agency and DEFRA as well as supplying products such as flood protection windows and doors, flood barriers, anti-flood air bricks, sewage back flow protection and flood surveys.

Its latest product, the WAR non-return valve, was unveiled at the 2015 Flood Defence Expo in London and was introduced following an extended period of research, design and development to provide a solution for properties left vulnerable to back flow of effluent during flooding.

Managing director Luke Ruddiman said: “I’m a little bit shocked that we have won but it gives us the inspiration to keep going. Me and my dad founded this company five years ago.”

Employee of the Year — Robert Turner of Crowther & Shaw Ltd

Examiner Business Awards 2016, John Smith's Stadium. Examiner Employee of the Year. Winner is Robert Turner (centre) from Crowther and Shaw Ltd pictured with Examiner business correspondent Henryk Zientek (left) and presenter Harry Gration.

Nominees: Lauren Crossley, of Towndoor Ltd and Josh Whitehead, of Helme Hill Ltd

Sponsor: The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

History: Commercial refrigeration and air conditioning service engineer Robert Turner has a long-term commitment to training others.

During a 38-year career at Crowther & Shaw Ltd he has been involved in training more than 40 apprentices – including the firm’s managing director Mark Gledhill and 14 of the company’s current 25 engineers.

Robert’s efforts were rewarded with the 2004 Institute of Refrigeration Service Engineer of the Year Award and the 2015 Award for Excellence from industry trade body BESA.

He joined the company in 1978 after leaving school and completing his apprenticeship. At the time he joined the firm, it employed two engineers and one “improver”. It now employs 28 people.

Robert said: “I am a man of few words but this is absolutely fantastic.” His colleague Nick Flynn said: “I’ve been here 15 years and Robert has been a great teacher, bringing up so many apprentices.”

Community Award — Syngenta

Examiner Business Awards 2016, John Smith's Stadium. Hanson Chartered Surveyors Community Award. Winners are Syngenta. Pictured is Syngenta business analyst Karen Gibson holding the award with Hanson Chartered Surveyors managing director Mark Hanson to her right and her colleagues from Syngenta.

Sponsor: Hanson Chartered Surveyors

Nominees: Kirklees Local TV, Sri Lanka Community Expedition Project

History: Agri-chemical company Syngenta is one of Huddersfield’s biggest employers and contributes £57m a year to the local economy through jobs, apprenticeships and trade.

Throughout its 100-year history, it has also held community involvement and social responsibility as a major duty.

Among its activities it holds annual Connecting Communities fairs to match local community groups wth employees who can help. Syngenta also works with charitable organisations such as Kirkwood Hospice, the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice and local groups such as Dalton & Rawthorpe Children’s Centre, the Methodist Mission and Deighton Carnival.

The firm runs a charitable donations scheme where employees contribute from their wages each month and the company provides matched funding.

Staff receive paid time off work for involvement in voluntary community-based projects.

Syngenta has also supported Huddersfield Choral Society for 33 years, the Lawrence Batley Theatre for 20 years and the Mrs Sunderland Music Competition for three years.

Syngenta community support officer Diane Schalge said: “This is our centenary year and we have been putting back into the community for the last 100 years so it’s fantastic to win in such a special year. We had some tough competition and it’s a real privilege to win. This award is for all our staff and the contribution they make.”

Creative Impact Award — The Engine Room

Examiner Business Awards 2016, John Smith's Stadium. The Media Centre Creative Impact Award. The Engine Room. Pictured (from left) are design director Darren Evans, managing director Lesley Gulliver, Margaret Coleman, chairman of the Board for the Media Centre and creative director Mark Edwards.

Sponsor: The Media Centre

Nominees: Crafty Praxis, Fourteen19

History: Design and branding agency The Engine Room was launched in 2001 and boasts a talented team of designers, strategists, web developers, photographers and creative writers serving clients ranging from global multi-billion turnover medical technology companies to regional SMEs in the manufacturing and service sectors.

The agency has three Design Effectiveness Awards to its name – the only design awards that recognise and judge projects on the basis of the effectiveness that design has on the client’s business upturn and ultimately its growth.

The Engine Room is a member of the Design Business Association, which exists to promote professional excellence in the sector, while managing director Lesley Gulliver is one of only a small number of design associates representing the Design Council in the UK.

Lesley said: “For us it’s all about ensuring that we don’t just regard design on its own but that it makes a significant impact on our clients’ bottom line. That’s what good design is all about.”

New Business of the Year — The Resin Mill Ltd

Examiner Business Awards 2016, John Smith's Stadium. Business Hub New Business of the Year. The Resin Mill Ltd. Pictured (from left) Jacqui Gedman, Deputy Chief Executive at Kirklees Council, managing director Jason Wainright, operations director Scott Haley, sales director Mark Impey and presenter Harry Gration.

Sponsor: Business Hub Kirklees

Nominees: Asparagus Green Catering, Little Lotus Ltd

History: Brighouse company The Resin Mill Ltd, employing 10 people at St Pegs Mill, Thornhill Beck Lane, supplies resin and aggregates to the resin bound surfacing industry – buying stock in bulk from various suppliers and breaking it down and packaging it in the amounts required by its customers.

The company, led by managing director Jason Wainwright, supplies about 600 general contractors and has a three-year contract with builders’ merchant Jewsons.

Its products include resins designed to create anti-slip surfaces for footpaths and tree pits, rubber granules and polyurethane granules for play areas and rubber mulch for bush or plant beds and pathways. The Resin Mill Ltd has doubled the size of its premises in just 12 months.

Resin Mill operations director Scott Haley said: “We’d like to thank our staff for all their help to grow the business over the last 20 months. Without them we would certainly not have had the success we have had and we are very much looking forward to 2017. This award cements in place that we are doing things right.”

Employer of the Year — Extract Technology

Examiner Business Awards 2016, John Smith's Stadium. Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd Employer of the Year. Winner is Extract Technology. Pictured (from left) Gareth Davies, managing director of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd, Extract Technology director of technical operations Paul Hudson, managing director Alan Wainwright and finance director Jason Armitage with presenter Harry Gration.

Sponsor: Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd

Nominees: Quickslide Ltd, ABS UK Ltd

History: Bradley-based containment systems manufacturer and supplier Extract Technology puts people at the heart of its business.

The company supplies products to the pharmaceutical, healthcare, biotech and chemical industries.

Staff are encouraged to contribute at all levels with ideas and suggestions, contributing to a culture of continuous improvement.

The firm also has a communications focus group made up of employees from across the business and has embarked on an initiative to improve efficiency, reduce waste, support on-time delivery and make the business and its products ever more competitive.

A commitment to continuous improvement and development has seen employees take training courses in areas ranging from accounting, leadership and management, to First Aid, fire marshall training and welding.

The firm has Investors in People accreditation and holds the Better Health at Work Wellbeing Charter.

Managing director Alan Wainright said: “I’m absolutely delighted. This really is testament to everyone’s hard work at Extract Technology.” Colleague Jason Armitage said: “We have invested heavily in the team over the last eight years, focussing on employee retention and progression which is really paying dividends for the business as a whole.”

Young Business Person of the Year — Simon Iwaniszak of Red Kite Games

Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. Kirklees College Young Person of the Year. Simon Iwaniszak (right), managing director of Red Kite Games Ltd with Jason Taylor, commercial manager at Kirklees College.

Sponsor: Kirklees College

Nominees: James Howard, of Yorkshire Payments and Katie Mallinson, of Scriba PR

History: Simon Iwaniszak launched Red Kite Games in 2012 at the age of 27 with an initial team of three developers.

Now the company, based at the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, has more than 15 employees and has developed award-winning video games for several studios and publishers in the UK and overseas. It has also released its own video games worldwide.

Simon has assembled a team which includes personnel who have been instrumental in producing some of the biggest titles of the past 20 years, including Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption.

In collaboration with GameDigits, a fellow Yorkshire video games studio, Red Kite Games successfully released Dream Machine on IOS, Android and Windows to critical acclaim.

Simon said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award. Huddersfield is one of the best places to make video games in Yorkshire. We have a lot lined up in our arsenal for the next couple of years, including designing our own games. We aim to keep on developing what we are doing.”

SME of the Year — The Pink Link

Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. Prohms SME of the Year. Winner The Pink Link Ltd. Pictured (from left) chairman Richard Allen, Prohms director Sandra Babbings, Pink Link managing director Vicki Davenport, depot manager Roland Jackson and presenter Harry Gration.

Sponsor: PROHMS

Nominees: Towndoor Ltd, Karmelle Ltd

History: Oakes-based logistics business The Pink Link, originally known as SBH Express Services, is celebrating 25 years in business.

The firm, which employs 45 people, attributes its success to providing its customers with “an unrivalled degree of personalised service.”

Its drive to put service excellence at the heart of its business became a reality in 1996 when The Pink Link became part of the Palletways (UK) Ltd national distribution network.

Since then it has won several awards with Palletways in recognition of a consistently excellent performance, compliance and commitment across a set of key measures – and it enjoys a high client retention rate.

The company has embraced information technology to improve enhancing operational efficiency with equipment such as an online track and trace system to provide customers with access to information about the progress of their consignments at the click of a mouse.

Managing director Vicki Davenport said: “We are thrilled and so proud and this award is absolutely dedicated to our staff. Some have been so long-serving, loyal and experienced and that counts for so much in this kind of service industry. They have all contributed so much to our success over the years.”

International Business of the Year — Pet Brands Ltd

Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. HSBC International Business of the Year. Winner Pet Brands Ltd. Pictured (from left) HSBC corporate relationship director Jeetesh Prajapati, Pet Brands director Ravi Sharma, accounts manager Radhika Sharma, accounts assistant Chelsea Reeves, operations administrator Katie Gibson and managing director Sunny Sharma, creative director Carl Farraker and presenter Harry Gration.

Sponsor: HSBC

Nominees: Leach and Lancereal Ltd

History: Birstall-based Pet Brands Ltd designs, develops and manufactures pet accessories and treats for customers in the UK and overseas.

The company, which holds a vast range of exclusive licences such as Hello Kitty, Me to You and RAC Pets in Transit, has now registered and established 34 trademarks and patents and develops products under private label for national retailers.

The business has increased sales year-on-year – a record that earned it a place on the Sunday Times list of the fastest growing export companies for 2015 and the paper’s 2016 Export Fast Track ratings.

Operating from multi-million pound headquarters in Gelderd Road, the firm has lifted export sales by 62% this year after entering new markets including Japan and South Korea. It now trades in 58 countries while sales of licensed products are also increasing in countries such as China and Brazil. Pet Brands also holds 34 trademarks and patents which are sold in countries from the USA to Australia and New Zealand.

Managing director Sunny Sharma said: “I think we are surprised to win as the competition was quite intense. This just shows what we have achieved this year and it’s hats off to the team who have all worked very hard to achieve this – it means a lot.”

Business of the Year — John Cotton Group

Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. Fantastic Media Business of the Year. Winner John Cotton Group Ltd. Pictured (from left), sales and marketing director David Page, technical director Stephen Midgley, quality manager Pete Brown, Sally Willis from Fantastic Media, Emma Chapman, operations director at John Cotton, purchasing manager John Rhodes and group managing director Mark Cotton.

Sponsor: Fantastic Media

Nominees: Specialist Glass Products Ltd, Valli Opticians

History: Family-owned company John Cotton Group, founded in 1916 and based at Huddersfield Road in Mirfield, is a leading manufacturer of pillows, duvets and mattress protectors.

Its home textiles division specialises in making pillows and duvets as well as items such as mattress toppers with operations at Mirfield, Wigan, Poland and China. The Mirfield site supplies more than 40% of the UK’s pillow and duvet needs.

The group’s non-woven division specialises in bed and mattress components for a wide range of bed manufacturers as well as making insulation products used in DIY and construction and sound insulation used in cars.

John Cotton owns bedding brands Slumberdown and Snuggledown and at the Mirfield site alone employs more than 620 people.

During its centenary year the group acquired a Ravensthorpe bedding business to provide additional factory and warehouse space, installing new machinery and creating 60 jobs.

Group managing director Mark Cotton said: “We are very privileged to receive the award. On behalf of the business we would like to thank the huge efforts of our amazing team for this accolade. It means an awful lot to us and the group at large.”#

Business Person of the Year — Nick Glynne of Buy It Direct

Video thumbnail, Business Person of the Year - Nick Glynne, Buy It Direct
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Sponsor: Chadwick Lawrence

History: He’s switched from working behind the camera to selling cameras – and an array of other electrical and electronic goods.

Nick began his career as print manager at Leeds Film Festival before a move into retail at his father’s clothing firm in Castleford.

His first commission as a film-maker was a documentary for Yorkshire TV about a woman wrestler called Amazon Sam. Other commissions followed fast, including a Panorama investigation about the Scott inquiry into the arms to Iraq scandal.

A change of direction came in 2000 when he paid £3,000 for a small IT retail business in Huddersfield which he expanded to sell and repair IT equipment and PCs, create networks and design websites. Turnover grew from £200,000 to £1m in just one year.

In 2001 he decided to focus solely on manufacturing mail order PCs and providing business-to-business services. Two years later he renamed the operation Easy Computers, dropped the manufacturing arm and created a website called Laptops Direct where customers could receive advice on buying a range of computers.

Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. Chadwick Lawrence Business Person of the Year. Winner Nick Glynne owner of Buy It Direct.

In 2007 Nick’s company bought an online kitchen appliance retailer which became Appliances Direct. This was followed by Servers Direct in 2008 offering IT services to small businesses.

Renaming Easy Computers as Buyitdirect.co.uk the company branched out further and now sells TVs, kitchen appliances, computers, furniture and even drones through specialist websites. The combined turnover is now £150m.

Nick’s most recent acquisition is drones specialist company Pro-Flight which he relaunched as Drones Direct. The company also has a dedicated space for flying drones at its Huddersfield store at Trident Business Park – the only one of its kind in the UK.

Nick is involved in sponsoring Huddersfield Town and has close links with the University of Huddersfield – regularly speaking to students about business. He also worked with Kirklees Council on the Place to Make It initiative while his company supports many local charities.

Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. Business Person of the Year Nick Glynne, centre, with Sarah Haller and Harry Gration
Examiner Business Awards, John Smith's stadium. Business Person of the Year Nick Glynne, centre, with Sarah Haller and Harry Gration

He is obsessed with work, but has learned to let go a little having married and now has a young family. Although a devoted father and family man, he counts changing his company from a discount e-tailer into a customer-focused online retailer as one of his greatest achievements.

Our Business Person of the Year is Nick Glynne, owner of Buy It Direct.

Nick said: “It’s a massive surprise and a huge privilege. I have worked hard over the last 15 years and I still work 80 to 100 hours a week.

“I have 300 really fantastic staff. I know it’s a cliché but I couldn’t do without them. We have managed to survive and grow the business thanks to incredible people.”