The event ran all day, kicking off with a speech from Craig Brown, Managing Director of the franchised network on the 'Vision for Growth'. This was followed by presentations from other headquarters staff. A special exhibition from the network’s key suppliers followed, with talks from headline sponsors and supply partners Metamark, CWE Solutions, Wirehouse employer services and Birch Sign Services going through to the afternoon.
For the second year running, the Signs Express Sign Awards - celebrating the best work from the group - were voted for by the franchisee network. The awards ceremony recognised the brightest and best of the work conducted by centres in the past year. Awards were presented to Signs Express centres in Glasgow (Best Project), Birmingham SW (Best Exterior), Basildon (Most Striking Sign or Design), Harlow (Best Fascia) and Northampton (Best Vehicle Graphic) as well as an award going to Metamark as this year’s best supplier.
The evening event went off in style with a classy Hollywood theme and a performance from TV personality and entertainer Gyles Brandreth. The Franchisee Awards were also presented, with the Newcomer Award going to Ray Allenby and Jane Wiles from Signs Express (Portsmouth), and the Outstanding Achievement Award went to the team at Signs Express (Hull) whose dedication has kept the centre performing above expectations despite personal hurdles. The Ambassador Award went to Steve McMurray of Signs Express (Falkirk) who has offered the expertise of his team to other centres in need. For the second year running, the Franchisee of the Year Award went to Lee Eaton of Signs Express (Manchester). Lee has produced amazing results not only in terms of extraordinary projects, but also returns. and earlier this year he was also named as the British Franchise Association’s (BFA’s) B2B Franchisee of the Year as well as the Overall Franchisee of the Year – two national accolades that are well deserved.
This year, the convention was the perfect opportunity to bid farewell to two former directors of the company that recently retired. Peter Sayles, Operations Director had been with the company for almost 20 years and Tony Marsh, Sales Director, had been with the company since 2003. Their invaluable input to the business, coupled with the affection everyone felt at their departure, made it a tearful affair for many.
Craig Brown commented: "As a group we have had an extraordinary year and exceeded expectations across the board. This evening has perfectly captured our pride in all of the centres and our vision for the future as a network. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the award winners and say that all of our franchisees should be immensely proud of what they have achieved this year."
With over 25 years' experience occupying the signs and graphics market in the UK and Ireland, the company has utilised its vast knowledge to expand and strengthen its operation with ambitious growth plans for 2016 and beyond. Signs Express works with businesses both large and small and partners with numerous trusted suppliers that provide the quality materials used every day to make premium products.
Here is a full list of the winners:
- Franchisee of the Year – Lee Eaton, Signs Express (Manchester South)
- Ambassador Award – Steve McMurray, Signs Express (Falkirk)
- Newcomer of the Year – Ray Allenby and Jane Wiles, Signs Express (Portsmouth)
- Outstanding Achievement Award – Rob Gibson, Signs Express (Hull)
- Employee of the Year Award – Paul Lidgard, Signs Express (N & NE Lincs)
- Supplier of the Year – Metamark
- Best Vehicle Graphics – Mark Meadowcroft, Signs Express (Northampton), for the MCFC Le Mans Car
- Best Project – Graham Casey, Signs Express (Glasgow), for the Science Centre
- Most Striking Sign or Design – Tony and Tina Surface, Signs Express (Basildon), for the Etihad
- Best Interior Sign – Steve and Carol Morris, Signs Express (Sheffield), for the Children’s Hospital / Brendan O’Donnell and Cathy Johnston, Signs Express (Belfast), for the Newry Campus
- Best Fascia Sign – Paul and Lynda Heywood, Signs Express (Harlow), for the Sia Beauty Salon
- Best Exterior Sign – Joe Smith, Signs Express (Birmingham SW), for Network Rail