Fibre Optics Design and Construct proprietor Michael McKeogh and GJ Gardner Homes and Smith & Sons franchisee Jason Gow were among the big winners at last night's 2013 Momentum Energy Illawarra Business Awards.
Mr McKeogh walked to the stage four times before a crowd of 700 people at WIN Entertainment Centre when his business took out awards for Excellence in Information Communication and Technology, Excellence in Workplace Health and Safety and Excellence in Innovation, as well as being named 2013 Illawarra Business of the Year.
It came one month after the Bulli business picked up a NSW Excellence Award in the small contracting business category of the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) awards for an upgrade to the communications network on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It also comes one year after it won NECA's 2012 National Excellence Award in Voice/Data for the fibre optic network installation it did at Integra coalmine near Singleton.
All the recognition comes after the delivery of several major projects by Fibre Optics Design and Construct's growing team.
Mr McKeogh's business has done everything from upgrading the communications network on Sydney's iconic bridge to installing and maintaining communication systems for almost every motorway in Sydney and improving fibre optic cabling in many coalmines.
It has also been busy as a contractor for the NBN rollout and that has helped dramatically raise the size of its workforce that started with two people in 2005.
"The M7 motorway was our first project," Mr McKeogh said.
The reputation the Bulli business built in connecting all the communication cables for the 40 kilometres of roadway helped it win more contracts for the Lane Cove Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel, M5 and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
But one of the career highlights for Mr McKeogh was climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge late last year to connect the fibre optics at the top of the arch for Sydney's 2012 New Year's Eve fireworks.
Mr Gow was named Illawarra Business Leader of the Year for the many things he and his wife Stacey have done in business with Gow Constructions, GJ Gardner Homes and Smith & Sons, along with the many community events and charities he and associated businesses support.
They range from his involvement in the Great Illawarra Walk for Camp Quality to supporting Leukaemia Foundation events such as yesterday's golf day at Kembla Grange and the Angels at Work fund-raiser in Illawarra workplaces in May.
His most recent achievement was the opening of Smith & Sons Renovations and Extensions Shellharbour design centre at Windang last month.
It is managed by local builder Lorenzo Nizza but Smith & Sons arrived in the Illawarra less than two years ago when Mr Gow and Chris Calderbank-Park took on the master franchise for Southern NSW.
They built a presence for the renovations and extensions business by signing on five franchisees.
The Young Business Leader of the Year was Michael Baines, of BaiMed Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic.
2013 Momentum Energy Illawarra Business Awards winners.
Illawarra Business of the Year: Fibre Optics Design and Construct Pty Ltd.
Business Leader of the Year: Jason Gow, of Gow Construction Pty Ltd; GJ Gardner Homes and Smith & Sons.
Young Business Leader of the Year: Michael Baines of BaiMed Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic.
Excellence in Building and Construction: JDC Electrical.
Excellence in Information Communication and Technology: Fibre Optics Design and Construct.
Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality: Silos Estate.
Excellence in Community Services: Southern Youth and Family Services.
Excellence in Manufacturing and Resources: Longwall Hydraulics Pty Ltd.
Excellence in Retail and Personal Services: Skin Correctives.
Excellence in Property and Financial Services: Cove Financial Group.
Excellence in Professional and Commercial Services: RMB Lawyers.
Outstanding e-Business: F1moto.
Excellence in Workplace Health and Safety: Fibre Optics Design and Construct Pty Ltd.
Outstanding New Illawarra Business: Smith & Sons Renovations & Extensions Southern NSW/ACT.
Exceptional Customer Service: Stellar.
Excellence in Workplace Learning and Development: IRT Group.
Excellence in Sustainability: Soilco.
Excellence in Export: Rambor.
Excellence in Innovation: Fibre Optics Design and Construct Pty Ltd.
Excellence in Small Business: Casamia Bra Fitting and Post Mastectomy Specialist.Local Chamber of Commerce of the Year: Shoalhaven Business Chamber.