Smiles All Round for Perthshire's Top Business
It was smiles all round as Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic lifted Perthshire’s premier business award at the weekend.
The Aberuthven-based sector leader got its teeth into the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce “Business Of The Year 2017” title at a glittering Star Awards ceremony in Crieff Hydro.
Blackhills clinical director Paul Stone and his staff celebrated winning both the Business Innovation and the Business Growth category awards before going on to claim the coveted overall trophy.
A sell-out audience of nearly 400 heard how Blackhills captured the judges’ vote for their “excellence, innovation and expertise” in every aspect of their business.
Chamber President Ross Graham described the winner as a unique concept in private healthcare and praised the 21-strong workforce for the company’s impressive growth and sustainability.
“Blackhills stood out due to the truly groundbreaking work they do,” he said, “not just on a local basis, but on a global level. The business demonstrates top-notch customer service, sustained and impressive growth though innovation and is a cutting-edge example of excellence in their field. We are delighted to have Blackhills help put Perthshire on the map. We are truly lucky to have such a revolutionary business on our doorstep.”
Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic is a purpose-built, state of the art clinic where seven registered specialists - most hospital consultants and senior university academics in the main disciplines of adult dentistry - work together.
By seeing patients in this way, Blackhills can deliver the highest quality dental treatment for the complex, demanding cases referred by dental practitioners from all over Scotland and beyond. It is this approach that defines the vision of the clinic, underpinned by a technology-driven platform of innovation.
An elated Paul Stone, who established the business 10 years ago, revealed that the delighted staff attending the awards ceremony were “completely blown away” by their success in two separate categories.
“Then to be announced as Perthshire Business of the Year 2017 was surreal,” he said, “and very humbling. We’re absolutely thrilled. It means a lot to every one of us.
“We’re a very close-knit team at Blackhills and this hat-trick emphasises that we’re doing the right things well and we can all celebrate this great success together.”
Mr Stone said winning was a real achievement after experiencing the robust judging process and scrutiny of the Business Star Awards.
“It is a considerable accolade to achieve recognition from such a cross-section of respected business leaders,” he said.
Blairgowrie-based Castle Water, who lifted the Beyond Scotland category award, was named runner-up to the Business of the Year.
Judges agreed that, despite being relatively new to the area, the country’s leading independent water retailer has created “an incredible impact” and supported a large number of jobs.
The Chamber again decided to present an Outstanding Achievement Award.
This year the honour went to Lucinda Russell. The Kinross-shire trainer’s “One for Arthur” became the first Scottish winner of the Grand National for nearly 20 years and put the area firmly in the sporting spotlight.
A new category introduced this year saw Athole McDonald, co-founder of Kilmac, crowned Most Inspirational Business Leader. The company founded in 2004 now has a 100-plus workforce and a £20 million turnover, with the Kilmac Foundation supporting community interests across the region. The award reflects Athole’s “vision, drive and inspirational leadership.
In total, 17 new Business Stars shone at the 2017 showcase, recognising and rewarding outstanding contributions across the whole spectrum of local business – from tourism, food and drink production and independent retailing to e-commerce, sustainability and business growth.
Chamber Chief Executive Vicki Unite said this year’s event - sponsored by Binn Group and hosted by media duo Maureen Young and Gordon Bannerman - had proved “an outstanding celebration of business excellence”.
“Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards repeatedly delivers a tremendous celebration of the vibrant business community in this area,” she added. “It’s wonderful to be able to give them a platform on which to shine and to showcase the amazing quality of businesses based here.”
The galaxy of shining new Business Stars winning on the night were:
1. Developing the Young Workforce Partnership Award
WSP and Kinross High School
2. Blackadders Employee of the Year Award
Rachael Prothero, Horsecross Arts
3. Perth College UHI Apprentice of the Year Award
Olivia Pardoe, ConsultingM3
4. Elevator & Business Gateway Most Promising New Business Award
5. Graham Environmental Services Excellence in Customer Service Award
Premier Properties Perth
6. Fairways Excellence in Business Innovation Award
Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic
7. Urban Union Commitment to the Community Award
8. The Enchanted Forest Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award
Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery
9. Stagecoach Group Contribution to Sustainability Award
10. DWK Office Solutions Beyond Scotland Award
11. Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants Business Growth Award
Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic
12. Perthshire Advertiser Independent Retailer of the Year Award
14. Farquhar & Son Employer of the Year Award
15. Thorntons Most Inspirational Business Leader
Athole McDonald, Kilmac
16. Outstanding Achievement Award 2017
Lucinda Russell, Trainer of Grand National Winner 2017 “One For Arthur”
17. Runner-Up Award Perthshire Business of the Year 2017
18. Perthshire Business of the Year 2017
Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic
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