‘I do see companies in the area who have gone over and above to really help their staff and customers’

A woman and two men standing in front of a blue background

Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead for Sizewell C (right), with Amanda Ankin, operations director at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Ashley Shorey-Mills, head of Sizewell C supply chain engagement at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce - Credit: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

The Business of the Year category at the Suffolk Business Awards will recognise a brand or organisation which has achieved outstanding things in the last 12 months. Here we speak to Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead for Sizewell C, and Paul Briddon, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and partner at Lovewell Blake, about their roles as the judges of this category. 

Can you tell us your business journey? 

Steve: I left school at 16 and was fortunate enough to get an apprenticeship at ICI in Manningtree. After a spell on the south coast I came back to the area and started up with Sizewell B as a maintenance technician and, through various promotions, I ended up in contract management at Sizewell B. Now I look at regional and local aspects of procurement to make sure that local businesses get the most out of the process with Sizewell C. A project like a nuclear power station build is so large it touches everything. We need eggs to feed people right through to those qualified in nuclear fuel movement, catering, steel works… and actually Suffolk has the vast majority of that.

Have you ever been judged for an award yourself? 

Paul: Yes as a firm Lovewell Blake has always been willing to put ourselves into the frame to highlight our achievements and as a way of supporting the local business communities in which we operate. 

Why get involved in the business awards? 

Steve: I was asked last year to be part of the judging. When I looked through the potential candidates it really brought home that what we are trying to achieve for Sizewell C and the businesses that we are trying to attract are so aligned with the award. 

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What do you bring to the judging process? 

Paul: With over 30 years of frontline business experience and a present role that means I’m engaging with hundreds of companies each year, I believe that I have a clear-eyed sense of what makes a truly successful business. As someone from a finance background, I’m also unafraid to delve deeper into a company’s application and ask the pertinent questions that others might avoid! 

What are you looking for in a winner? 

Steve: It's looking at how they conduct their operations, about sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. It's team work and how they have performed in the last 12 months since the last business awards. I do see companies in the area who have gone over and above to really help their staff and customers, throughout what has been a difficult time.

A man standing in front of a blue background

Paul Briddon, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce - Credit: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

What inspires you in business? 

Paul: Seeing very small businesses from the early days of their existence grow into very successful operations providing valuable employment and economic lifeblood to the local community. 

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR CRITERIA

The winner of the Business of the Year award will be hand-picked by the judges. This is a non-entry category and winners of all the other categories will be automatically entered.  

The judges will be looking for a brand or organisation which has achieved outstanding things in the last 12 months. They will assess the company’s brand profile within its customer audience, its financial standing, community relations and environmental sympathies.  

The winner of this award will be an organisation that Suffolk can be proud of. 

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