Recently, the Avrion and Maximizer team sponsored and attended 2023’s Great British Business Awards for Business and Community and, after its great success, we couldn’t be more excited to tell you about it!

The Great British Expos has been organising various corporate events for the last 10 years, with a strong track record of producing well-managed and attended business events across the UK. They have raised over £150K for charities over the decade, currently averaging £30K annually.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2021, they launched the Great British Business and Community Awards. Every year these awards celebrate the very best of achievement and reward the individuals who have triumphed and succeeded in either business or community.

In a previous blog, we shared why The Great British Expos is a perfect match for Avrion, contributing to our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) activities. Recognising exceptional business talent contributing to their communities, whilst fundraising for Great British Expos’ charity, Cherishers, is the icing on the cake.

Celebrating the Best of Achievement at The Great British Business Awards for Business and Community
Photo credit for all photos in this article: Debbie Hare Photography

Attending our first Awards ceremony – at the Hilton Hotel, Reading on Friday 21st April – was a wonderful experience. We were privileged that Iain Black (Maximizer’s President & CEO) and Mike Curliss (Maximizer’s VP of Sales) scheduled their UK visit (from Canada) to coincide with the Awards Ceremony. Avrion’s Jonathan Wilkins (Managing Director) and Caroline Robertson (Project and Planning Manager) were also joined by Julia Breuer (Maximizer’s Sales Enablement Manager) and Diego Lunardi (Maximizer’s Head of Sales EMEA).

Guest Speaker

The phenomenal guest speaker was Chris Skelley MBE, who is the reigning Paralympic Judoka Champion after winning gold in his weight class at Tokyo 2020. Chris shared his story of perseverance and overcoming adversity from the long struggle to get a diagnosis for his Ocular Albinism to being the best in the world at his sport.

Chris was supported by his equally inspiring wife, Louise Hunt Skelley MBE, who is herself a two-time Paralympian in Wheelchair Tennis.

As joint headline sponsors, both Avrion and Maximizer presented an award.

Celebrating the Best of Achievement at The Great British Business Awards for Business and Community

Award #1

Maximizer presented the Lifetime of Achievement Award to Phil House of Shield Environmental Services.

Judges’ Comments

Starting Shield in 1979 at the age of 19 as a one-man band, Phillip went on to provide gainful employment to over 3,500 local people during his tenure. Phil returned from retirement to rescue the business and within 12 months it was turning a profit again!

Congrats, Phil!

Award #2

Celebrating the Best of Achievement at The Great British Business Awards for Business and Community

Avrion presented the final award of Business of the Year to Howard Trotter, Business Manager of Shelforce.

Judges’ Comments

Impressed by your huge business growth, with a record turnover expected at the end of the financial year. Impressed by your inclusive approach to employment and training, and a strong company culture – well done!

Not only did they pick up the award for the Business of the Year, but they shared the news that they had also won the highest honour in UK Business – the King’s Award for Enterprise in the Promoting Opportunity category. Founded in 1839, originally to provide work for blind people, 75% of their current workforce have a physical or mental disability but thrive through employment at Shelforce.


Congratulations to everyone at Shelforce!

Making New Friends

Celebrating the Best of Achievement at The Great British Business Awards for Business and Community

We shared our table with Rob Curtis from The Pursuit Agency, a digital marketing agency that had been nominated for New Start-Up of The Year. Rob had invited his wife and two best friends to thank them for all their support and championing.

We all had a great time so when it was time for Rob’s category, Avrion and Maximizer said we would be additional cheerers. Our whole table went absolutely crazy when Rob won the category!

Judges’ Comments

The Pursuit Agency has embodied impressive success since it started just over 12 months ago. In that time, it has already proven significant financial competency, making a profit in the company’s first month of existence – well done!

Congratulations, Rob!

Well done to all the winners – your hard work and perseverance paid off!

Celebrating the Best of Achievement at The Great British Business Awards for Business and Community
All winners

Further information

Avrion and Maximizer are exhibiting at all The Great British Expos this year, as well as sponsoring categories at the two remaining Great British Business Awards for Business and Community.

Make sure to stop and say hello to us at one of this year’s events! To find an expo near you, visit The Great British Expos website.

You can also follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with all of our event and CSR activity.

If you have any questions, feel free to  contact us.