Card Connection has named its Franchisee of the Year award winner as Gabriel McGeown.

This is the second consecutive year that McGeown has been awarded this title. McGeown joined Card Connection in 2008 and first managed Armagh, South Tyrone and part of County Down, but has recently expanded his franchise to include County Antrim, Belfast and the North Down regions.

Michael Johnson, Managing Director of Card Connection, said: “Gabriel McGeown is an outstanding performer. His ‘can do’ attitude ensures he approaches every opportunity positively. He has recently taken on an additional franchise territory and is already transforming the area.

“Gabriel is also a true team player and is always happy to help and share his successful experiences with other franchise owners. He has also come up with some innovative ideas to capture new business, such as equipping one of his vehicles with a fully merchandised greeting card display to show potential retail accounts the full theatre and quality of the products. This has been hugely successful for generating new business in his region.”

Other franchise owners recognised for their achievements at the conference included North East and Midlands regional winners Andy and Vicki Thompson, who own the franchise for Sunderland and Durham. Johnson added: “Andy and Vicki have been particularly proactive and have opened 47 new retail accounts in the past year. We were also impressed with their clever and ultra efficient idea for pre-loading mobile displays so merchandising of greeting cards in some stores can be completed in less than five minutes.”

Atul Patel, franchise owner for South West and South East London, won the regional award for South East, London and Anglia for impressive business growth, with sales up 16 per cent compared with last year. David and Marie Clements from Cornwall also won a regional award. “The couple are an inspiration to our more rurally based franchise owners, with sales up 12 per cent in the past year,” Johnson said.

Catherine Bartle, franchise owner for Newport won the Heidi Sulley trophy for Team Spirit and Tenacity. “Catherine has shown tremendous application to build her business and has increased distribution across all Card Connection’s product categories,” said Johnson. “She has demonstrated great teamwork with her colleague Diane and always looks at implementing Card Connection’s initiatives with her full enthusiasm.”

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