The bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year 2012 award winners have been named at a gala dinner in Birmingham.

The winner of the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Gold award was Keith Ellwood of Autosmart Edinburgh, who received £5,000 from HSBC together with a commemorative trophy. In addition to this, Ellwood was named the Scotland and Northern Ireland regional winner, for which he received a prize of £500.

The judging panel were impressed with Ellwood’s determination and passion for his business, which he has been running for 15 years. Over the last year, Ellwood has implemented innovative new systems to boost productivity, including investing in a new onboard computer system, a larger showroom and new payment methods. Not only have these systems contributed to an extremely successful business year for Ellwood, but they have also improved customer relationships.

Ellwood said: “Winning this award and receiving the recognition from the industry is a fantastic feeling. I really enjoy running my franchise, this year more so than ever, and I’m looking forward to building on this success with potential opportunities and driving my business forward.”

The winner of the Silver award went to Ron Mounsey the franchise owner of McDonald’s Swansea/Pembrokeshire, who received prize money of £3,000. The Bronze award went to Eve Kay who owns the Jo Jingels Cheshire franchise. She received a prize of £2,000 for this award.

As well as the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, the winners of regional awards were also named. Each regional winner received prize money of £500. The winners were:
London & South East - Gurpreet Bains, Driver Hire, London
Midlands & North Wales – Steven Prime, Esquires Coffee Houses, Coventry
North – Eve Kay, Jo Jingles, Cheshire
Scotland & Northern Ireland – Keith Ellwood, Autosmart, Edinburgh
South West & South Wales – Ron Mounsey, McDonald’s, Swansea/Pembrokeshire

Cathryn Hayes, Head of Franchising at HSBC, said: “This year’s finalists have clearly demonstrated a passion for their business – support from their franchisor and other franchisees in their network means that they are not in business alone which has allowed them to really focus on delivering excellent customer service, a common thread running through their stories. Keith demonstrated how tenacious customer relationship management can help shape business growth. His enthusiasm for his business is clear and his work over the past 12 months has propelled his business towards a phenomenal future.”

Brian Smart, Director General of the bfa, added: “Each year we are captivated by the stories that are showcased by franchisees. It’s brilliant that these awards can highlight such great ethical business practice among the industry and recognise the work of so many talented businesspeople.”

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