Card Connection award winners

Greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection recognised its best franchise owners at its annual conference held in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Andy and Vicki Thomson, franchise owners for Sunderland and Durham (pictured), won the top award for their outstanding overall performance, while Clive Jones of Bristol was awarded the Heidi Sulley Commemorative Cup - a special prize for tenacity and team spirit.

Card Connection's Sales Director Andrew Cutler said: "Andy and Vicki Thomson's unit sales have been up 27.5 per cent year on year since they joined Card Connection in 2004. With 19 months' continuous business growth, 22 new retail accounts opened last year, plus more than 30 referrals from existing customers in last two years, it was clear that Andy and Vicki really deserved this coveted award.

"However, unlike previous years, we did not judge our franchise owners purely on their business performance," continued Mr Cutler. "We also considered how they fit into the Card Connection team. Andy and Vicki for example, are always happy to share ideas and best practice with other franchisees and they regularly speak to others in the network to encourage and offer support. It is this accommodating and positive approach that also sets them apart."

As well as the awards ceremony, which also recognised regional franchise owners' achievements, new products and point of sale solutions were on display during the conference. In addition, senior management presentations and practical break out sessions were arranged for franchise owners to learn more about subjects like staffing, IT and general business management.