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Franchise group ServiceMaster celebrated its 50th anniversary in the UK at its annual conference and awards ceremony at the Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire.

Quadruple Olympic gold medal-winning rower Sir Matthew Pinsent was guest speaker at the event, which not only marked the achievements of the company's franchise owners over the last two years, but celebrated 50 years of success within the UK market.

Among the awards given out on the night was the first ever TruGreen Franchisee of the Year Award, which was presented to Ed Lawrence of TruGreen Hertfordshire.

The Dallen Peterson Founders Award, the most prestigious award presented for Merry Maids and the pinnacle of achievement for a Merry Maids franchise owner went to Nicky Morris, of Blackpool and Fylde for 2008 (pictured with Steve Emmerson, Managing Director of ServiceMaster Ltd) and to Ian Stringer of Merry Maids of Bromley And Orpington for 2009.

Mr Emmerson said: "The Annual Conference is a tremendous opportunity for the ServiceMaster Ltd team and our franchise owners to share quality time together both on a business and social footing. Equally as important, is the ability it gives us to recognise and reward some of the outstanding achievements of our franchise owners across all of our brands.

"As well as acknowledging long service and excellence in business over many years, we also present our Frank Small Awards for newer businesses who show substantial growth in their first full year of business. In today's economical environment, these franchisees deserve special recognition from not only ServiceMaster Ltd but also their peers within the business."

A charity casino on the night also raised £600, which has been donated to the Rainbows Children's Hospice.


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