Vet Services HB Ltd has been named the 2012 Westpac Business of the Year at a black-tie awards ceremony at the Hawke's Bay Opera House last night.
The business, which has clinics in four Hawke's Bay locations, was the winner of the Newstalk ZB Medium or Large Business Award category and took out the coveted Supreme Award in a final fanfare of fireworks.
The judges described Vet Services as "a very sophisticated grassroots business" with a no-nonsense approach to every aspect of their operation, be it at a strategic governance level or at an operational management perspective.
They were impressed with the approach Vet Services takes to their internal operations with regular staff reviews, personal development plans and a strong focus on professional development.
"Staff are shareholders which gives a sense of belonging and ownership."
Managing director Ian Walker thanked his staff.
"This award belongs to them," he said.
The winner of the Hawke's Bay Today Business Person of the Year Award was Fastway Couriers group managing director Brem Ellingham.
For almost 20 years he has steered Fastway to become the world's largest courier franchise.
He is also the co-founder and managing director of the highly successful Fastway Post and Fastway Print businesses, and holds interests in several Australian-based businesses.
Throughout his success abroad, he has always remained a passionate supporter of the Hawke's Bay community, where he and his wife Linda have raised a family.
"Time moves fast in business," he said.
"It doesn't seem that long ago we were driving around town in a couple of Chevettes with empty boxes in the back so we would look busy."
More than 450 people enjoyed the high-tech awards ceremony, which was the 15th hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
The event started with film footage of Hawke's Bay from the air, finishing at the offices of last year's Supreme Winner, Furnware. The ceremony was followed by a three-course dinner, catered by Dish.