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2015 Franchisee of the Year Awards Winners Announced

The UK’s most exceptional franchisees were recognised by the British Franchise Association (bfa) at the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards, supported by Express Newspapers.

Lee Eaton, owner of Signs Express in Manchester, was named the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year after growing his business 25 percent year-on-year and playing a key part in local community projects. His dedication to creating a close-knit team that shares his ethos of exceptional service has led to high-profile clients such as Team Sky and Great British Cycling becoming repeat customers.

Winner of the bfa Franchisee of the Year Award

From left to right: Steph McGovern, who hosted the ceremony; Andy Brattesani, head of franchising for HSBC; Lee Eaton, winner of the Franchisee of the Year Award with Signs Express; Cathryn Hayes, head of business support at the bfa and chair of the judging panel; and Sean Hammond, classified advertising manager for Express Newspapers.

Lee, who also won the B2B award on the night, said: “This is a wonderful tribute to the efforts of my team. Together we've worked tirelessly to deliver the best service we can to every single one of our clients and to be recognised for that is a great feeling. I'm so proud and passionate about my business; I started it with my Dad and he's going to be really chuffed about this too!”

Andy Brattesani, UK head of franchising at HSBC, said: “Lee’s empowerment of his staff and his dedication to quality of service shone through. After a record number of entries this year he had to evidence the highest standards to win this award and we congratulate him on his success.”

Winners were announced at a gala dinner at Birmingham Town Hall, hosted by Steph McGovern, on 1 October. Six category winners received £1,000 with Lee also taking home the top prize of £10,000, courtesy of HSBC.

The winners on the night were:

Young Franchisee of the Year: Richard Swayne, Snap-on Dartford

Olderpreneur Franchisee of the Year: Mike Guerin, McDonald’s Bristol & Wiltshire

Customer Service Franchisee of the Year: Noel Gallacher, Dyno Scotland

Female Franchisee of the Year: Carolyn Sharpe, Puddle Ducks Newcastle

B2B Franchisee of the Year: Lee Eaton, Signs Express Manchester

Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year: Paul Stokes, Little Kickers Hitchin and Bedford

Cathryn Hayes, bfa head of business support and chair of the judging panel, commented: “The six winners are great ambassadors for the sector and an inspiration for anybody considering running their own business. Franchising has been life-changing for each of them and we’re proud to recognise their achievements.”

Article courtesy of the bfa.

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