Maxsum Consulting has taken honours in the coveted business of the year category at the Bendigo Business Excellence Awards.
The business also took out the excellence in professional services and excellence in digital customer engagement categories.
The Discovery Science & Technology Centre received the judges’ award, while the Good Loaf Sourdough Bakery took the people’s choice award.
Saari Frochot-Ryan from Z Fit Studios received the regional women’s business award, while Jack Podesta from The Human Mechanics took honours in the excellence as an employee, apprentice or trainee category.
“A lot of people come in (to The Human Mechanics) and don’t feel confident. Within a couple of weeks that changes,” Mr Podesta said.
Mr Podesta was born a mirror image twin and his organs were on the opposite side to what they should have been.
“The doctor told me I could not play any contact sport from a young age, unless I got physically strong. That’s where the passion grew,” he said.
The Human Mechanics’ owner Arj Perera said Mr Podesta was a shining example to young people.
“He shows what can be done with a little bit of hard work and diligence,” Mr Perera said.
“He’s my second in command now and he’s only 23-years-old. So for someone so young to take on the responsibility that he does, look after people and represent himself so well, that’s a real testament.”
Other award winners included:
- Excellence in Hospitality: Indulge Fine Belgian Chocolates
- Excellence in Retail: Delacca's
- Excellence as a Not-for-profit: Advance Heathcote Inc
- Excellence in Workplace Diversity and Inclusion: Z Fit Studios
- Excellence as an Emerging Business (Five Years or Less): RMG
- Excellence in Sustainability: Bendigo Heritage Attractions
- Excellence in Trade: Red Raven Studio
- Excellence in Health: Bendigo Day Surgery
- Excellence in Tourism: Quest Schaller Hotel
- Excellence in a Service Industry: The Bendigo Cleaning Company
- Excellence in Manufacturing: Jackal Fencing
Leanne Gough-Allen judged the service industry, health and digital customer engagement categories.
She said this year’s finalists were of an extremely high calibre.
“But in saying they were high calibre, there were some standouts in terms of the winners. There are some really entrepreneurial, progressive businesses with a broad geographic footprint, which I found very exciting,” Ms Gough-Allen said.
Be.Bendigo chair Marika McMahon said nearly 600 people attended the gala.
“The town’s had a bit of a buzz this afternoon as people have been getting ready,” she said.
“It’s interesting, it seems that finalists are bringing along their team. Also, there are lots of groups of interested people attending, to support businesses. I think that’s really nice.”