TOWN chairman Dean Hoyle has won his first silverware of the season.
Actress Joanna Lumley presented him with the award for Retail and Consumer Products Entrepreneur of the Year at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards at London’s Park Lane Hilton Hotel.
It recognises Dean’s achievements at the helm of retail company Sportswift Ltd, which trades as The Card Factory and has greeting card shops around the country.
Dean was hailed by the judges as “a true entrepreneur” after expanding his Wakefield-based business to encompass 460 high street shops.
Ernst & Young partner Stuart Watson said Dean had taken on the competition by developing an innovative business encompassing design, distribution and retailing.
He said: “Card Factory is now the most profitable high street specialist card retailer in the country – all self-funded – and with aspirations to grow internationally.”
Dean began the business in 1993 selling cards from the back of a van. He opened his first shop in 1997 and within six years had expanded to 38 stores.
After introducing design and distribution to the firm’s activities, he expanded the business to more than 460 stores employing about 4,000 staff.
Card Factory has a store at the Packhorse Centre in Huddersfield. At the end of last year, the company also acquired the 80-strong Card Warehouse chain.
Dean, who took over the reins at Huddersfield Town in June, reached the final of the awards after being named Ernst & Young North and Midlands Overall Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 during the summer.