Thursday 23rd March saw over 240 guests from the air conditioning and refrigeration industry gather at the 5* Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London to celebrate hard work and success across the sector.

Organised by Datateam Business Media, the ACR News Awards are designed to recognise innovation in the industry and reward the companies and individuals that demonstrate excellence in the way they operate or in what they produce. The awards ceremony was a stunning event attended by hundreds of people in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry.

Guests were greeted with a glamorous champagne reception, sponsored by Samsung, before proceeding into the main hall for the SkillFRIDGE presentations. Parisa Shirazi, head of education and SkillFRIDGE competitions, presented the SkillFRIDGE Shield to Northern Ireland’s South East Regional College, represented by Head of School, Construction Engineering Services and Skills for Work, John Nixon. The Shield recognises the exceptional work and support the college offers their apprentice. The SkillFRIDGE trophy, presented by David Dunn from Toshiba Air Conditioning, was awarded to the winning 2016 apprentice, Luke Courtney.

Attendees then enjoyed a sumptuous three-course meal. Following this, the brilliant Ed Byrne, host for the ACR News Awards 2017, took to the stage to perform his thoroughly entertaining comedy routine which had the audience in fits of laughter.

Ed then proceeded to announce the awards. The first award of the night, Environmental Project of the Year, went to Vertiv for the Amdocs data centre project in London. Contractor of the Year was won by Stonegrove Refrigeration Services, whilst the new Apprentice of the Year award, sponsored by Hawco, went to Dan Lapworth of Cooltherm. Gary Dowsett of Stonegrove Refrigeration Services was the deserving winner of the new Service Engineer of the Year award, sponsored by Smiths Brothers Stores Ltd, whilst the Customer Service Individual award went to Celia Dickinson of Toshiba Air Conditioning. Fujitsu General Air Conditioning (UK) Customer Service Team won the Customer Service Team award.

Next up was the Online Initiative of the Year award, which went to Johnson Controls HVAC Parts, whilst TF Solutions was named Wholesaler/Distributor of the Year. The A+ Fridge from Adande was awarded Refrigeration Product of the Year. The Air Conditioning Ancillary Product of the Year went to Kilma-Therm for the Teslamiser, whilst the Air Conditioning Product of the Year was scooped up by Mitsubishi Electric for the Hybrid VRF.

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Jacky Winterton of Foster Refrigerator was the deserving winner of the new Unsung Hero of the Year award. The final award of the night, the prestigious Alan Moor Award, sponsored by Bitzer, was awarded to Alan Green. A fantastic evening was brought to a close with entertainment from violin duo Storm and a final chance to network with clients, colleagues and friends.

Lynn Sencicle, editor of ACR News Magazine, said: “It was a really great evening with a buzzing atmosphere and everyone did us proud. This is such a social industry with people and companies being extremely supportive of individuals whether at the beginning, middle or end of their careers – and the ACR News Awards proves that. We’re really pleased with the way our new format has been received by industry as a whole. Our solus event has shown significant growth this year and we aim to capitalise on that as we look to the 2018 event in January. We trailblazed with these Awards over twenty years ago and continue to lead the way into the future.”

Media director at Datateam Business Media Paul Ryder commented: “This year’s ACR News Awards has been a tremendous success with the guests fully engaged and having a great time. We work hard to evolve the Awards a little further every year so that it is in line with the changing needs of the ACR landscape.  One thing that’s clear is that this is very much a people industry and we wanted to bring our Awards to individuals at all levels as well as with the wider industry. It has been a real pleasure to see how enthusiastically the changes we’ve made have been embraced by ACR professionals from the entries, to the voting, to the evening’s turnout. People are passionate about their specific sectors and this was very much in evidence, and it has also become clear how much they care about the ACR News Awards.”

Journal manager Steve Bennion added: “I am delighted with the engagement from so much of the industry as we continue to evolve and develop the ACR News awards. It is great to see so many businesses supporting the event by sponsoring and buying seats.

“The ACR News Awards is and will continue to be regarded as one of the go to events of the year and I look forward to welcoming the industry’s leading people and businesses to the next event in London on 24th January 2018.”

The ACR News Awards 2017 were sponsored by Bitzer, Hawco, Smith Brothers Stores Ltd, Advanced Engineering, The First Choice Group, Fixxy, Refcom, Samsung and Toshiba.

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