THE Premier Regional Business Awards will cap off its 25th and final year with a “spectacular” gala dinner in Springvale.
Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce held its final breakfast under the current awards program at Sandown Greyhounds in Springvale on Wednesday 25 November.
MC Jamie Sturgess told guests he expected them all to return on Wednesday 13 April for “the most expensive event ever held in this room”.
There’ll be displays highlighting every Premier Regional Business Award winner and each of the 400-plus guests will get to vote for the 2015 winner.
The chamber will launch a new business recognition breakfast program in May.
This year each breakfast highlights a successful business from the awards’ past and a newcomer with a bright future.
SteriHealth was this breakfast’s newcomer, though Dan Daniels founded the business in 1986 during the HIV epidemic.
Strategic development director Mike Magyar said health providers would destroy sharps containers along with the needles inside and Mr Daniels thought this was a real waste.
In his garage he designed a sharps container that could be washed, sanitised and re-distributed.
A PVC pipe with a cap on each end and a hole drilled in it was “the first product he got into The Alfred hospital”.
After a stint as a public company, SteriHealth is back in private hands under the Daniels International Australia umbrella.
It employs 350 people in Australia, including 155 in Dandenong.
Fantech won the 2009 Premier Regional Business Award and that year’s Employment Award.
Marketing director Paul de Bruin said “in very simple terms we do make fans”.
But electronically controlling ventilation and air quality is the company’s focus.
Fantech employs 130 people in Dandenong and uses innovative systems to share the workload.
The morning’s Youth Enterprise Award nominee Courtney Pastean has won outstanding student awards for her beauty coursework at Chisholm Institute in Dandenong.
The Keysborough 17-year-old recalled getting into her mum’s make-up bag to play dress-ups and feeling empowered by the result.
Courtney wants to help others feel the same way and dreams of running a free service for people feeling self-conscious about their appearance due to illness and accidents.
“I want to bring empowerment back to people,” she said.
She’ll take a gap year next year to “experience life” before returning to studies at Chisholm in 2017.
Chamber vice president Roy Sanderson presented a cheque for $10,000 to Make-A-Wish Australia’s Laurie Leeman.
The money raised at the chamber’s Grand Final Charity Lunch will help Cooper to produce his own how-to movies and Scarlett to meet a flying unicorn with a horn that tastes like rainbows.
Continuing the spirit of giving, guests brought food for the Springvale Benevolent Society.
President Joe Rechichi said the group lost $70,000 in Federal Government funding earlier this year – 70 per cent of its annual budget.
The society helped 598 families and individuals last year, including nearly 550 children.
“Whatever we have, we do our very best to support those most in need,” Mr Rechichi said.
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