AN ARBROATH businessman has been named as the 2011 Angus Ambassador of the Year after turning around the fortunes of a local jam making firm.
Paul Grant, chairman of Mackays Ltd, was presented with the honour at an awards ceremony on Friday night in the Carnoustie Golf Hotel.
He scooped the accolade after the judges, made up of Angus industry leaders, recognised Paul’s entrepreneurial spirit, his outstanding promotion of Angus around the world, his support of the local economy and people, and his strong sense of corporate responsibility.
Paul has grown Mackays from small beginnings in 1995 with a staff of 16, to a large international company, employing 140 staff, producing 15 million jars of jam and marmalade each year and exporting to over 50 countries including America, Canada, Japan, Australia, China, Europe and South America.
He strongly believes in supporting his local community and was the first corporate sponsor of the new Angus Centre for Enterprise, as well as helping long-term unemployed individuals back into work.
The judges were particularly impressed by Paul’s passion for Angus which he shares with others wherever he may be in the world.
He received the award from sponsors Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort, at the ceremony which was presented by Angus Ahead and sponsored by local companies and hosted by Andrea Brymer, of STV’s North Tonight.
Other local winners included Norrie Stein of the CAFE Project, who was successful in the community category.
Norrie was a member of the steering group that formed Arbroath’s CAFÉ (Community Alcohol Free Environment) Project in 1996.
Since then he has worked tirelessly to support and fund the project, which provides activities, help and advice for young people.
Meanwhile the youth award was presented to Ailsa Russell of Carnoustie.
A student with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Ailsa was recently awarded the Harry Mortimer Memorial Trust Brass Student of the Year.
She is a talented tenor horn player, playing both individually and with bands at international level.
Alan Mitchell, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce and Ambassador Award’s judge said: “Every year I am very impressed by the standard of nominations received for the Angus Ambassador Awards, and this year has been no different.
“It is encouraging to see so many businesses, groups and individuals putting so much effort into making Angus such a wonderful place.