Suffolk Business Awards 2021: Business Person of the Year winner

Peter Wilson and Emma Proctor King (sponsor – The Churchmanor Estates Company plc)

Peter Wilson and Emma Proctor King (sponsor – The Churchmanor Estates Company plc) - Credit: Matthew Potter Photographer and Videographer 

Peter Wilson, group managing director of Ipswich-based shipping agency Cory Brothers, has been named winner of the Business Person of the Year Award, sponsored by The Churchmanor Estates Company plc, at the Suffolk Business Awards 2021.

Joining Cory Brothers as a trainee shipping agent in 1998, Peter Wilson has spearheaded a period of growth for the company since his promotion to group managing director in 2019.

As well as navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, Peter has helped Cory Brothers capitalise on changes brought about by Brexit and overseen the company’s merger with Vertom Group.  

Under Peter’s leadership, Cory Brothers has recruited 42 new people without taking advantage of the government’s furlough scheme. It has also created new departments and opened new offices at the same time as seeing profits increase.  

The judging panel praised Peter for putting people at the centre of everything Cory Brothers does while supporting the local community and other organisations in the region, such as Home-Start in Suffolk and Suffolk Business Women.

Peter Wilson said: “It’s a huge privilege to have won this award and completely unexpected.

“It has been extremely difficult the last two or three years, but the business has come from strength to strength. It’s amazing to be part of the best of Suffolk, and a huge privilege to be among people in the Suffolk business community who are all winners. 

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“The team have been a huge help to me after some difficult times, and none of it would have been possible without them.”

About the sponsor

The Churchmanor Estates Company plc has been one of the foremost commercial property developers in the East of England for 35 years, renowned for adopting a collaborative approach to the process of property development.

Through joint ventures with landowners, Churchmanor has unlocked the development potential of its landholdings, while helping local and national businesses develop new premises for relocation or expansion, such as the Birketts HQ in Ipswich.

Churchmanor believes in creating brilliant spaces for work and life, and has developed over three million square feet of commercial accommodation, including research and development parks, business parks, offices, retail and leisure, and major town centre regeneration.

The finalists

Vanessa Penn - Penn Commercial 

A well-respected figure in the commercial property industry, Vanessa Penn founded Penn Commercial in 2007 and has since grown the agency into a team of ten based at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich. She has successfully innovated to meet changing market conditions, recently developing a new property management department.  

Daniel Pilley - Nine Jars 

With the hospitality industry hit hard by the pandemic, Daniel Pilley acted quickly to transform his Haverhill venue Nine Jars into a takeaway, delivery service, community hub and hair salon. He also launched an online shop and town centre loyalty app for businesses in Haverhill, while giving free meals to NHS workers. 

Lucy Reeves - Primal Raw  

Over the past five years, Lucy Reeves has turned her passion for quality raw pet food into a business with a turnover of £1.5-2.5 million. Primal Raw now employs 16 staff, operating a nationwide delivery service in addition to its Ipswich-based shop. Lucy is keen to support other local businesses, using local suppliers wherever possible.

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