SBAAT unveils shortlist of eight for top awards

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ONE of Scotland’s most prestigious business awards programmes has revealed the shortlist for the long-established competition.

The Scottish Business Achievement Awards Trust, SBAAT, has announced that there are eight individuals competing in three categories in the 2008 contest, which reaches its conclusion later this month.

In the young achievement award category, Keith Neilson of software developer Craneware, is listed alongside Elliot Robertson of housbeuilder Manorlane and Michael Shand of RB Farquhar (Manufacturing) Ltd.

Graeme Coutts of Expro International is joined by Mark Selway of Weir Group and Rupert Soames of Aggreko in the International category.

For the major achievement award, the shortlist includes Charles Hammond of Forth Ports and Willie Haughey of City Refrigeration. Hammond joined the Forth Port Authority in 1989 as company secretary.

He was managing director of the port of Tilbury from 1995 before becoming group chief executive in February 2001.

Haughey set up City Refrigeration in 1985 with four employees and a turnover of 100,000.

In 1994 3i bought a 33 per cent stake in the business and the finance raised helped the company grow from a 6 million to a 66m turnover business in six years.

The company has now successfully negotiated to buy back the shares and Willie and his wife Susan now have a 98 per cent stake in the firm.

John Kennedy, chairman of the SBAA trustees, said: “This year, with some increasing business challenges, these finalists have really impressed the selection committee and are tremendous role models for our future business leaders.

“We congratulate all of them for their phenomenal achievements.”

The winners will be announced in front of an audience of more than 550 people in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal at Dundas Castle, near South Queensferry, on 22 May.

As well as celebrating business success, the awards programme has raised almost 3m for Scottish charities.