2018 Mid North Coast Regional Business Awards

Comments (0) Interviews

Congratulations to the local winners of the 2018 Mid North Coast Regional Business Awards. The Mid North Coast Regional Business Awards gala event celebrated the business excellence of 52 finalists at Sails by Rydges on Friday 14th September. Regional winners will compete for the state’s top honour at the NSW Business Chamber State Business Awards on Friday 23rd November, Luna Park, Sydney.

Two Tails Wines.

Name  Madonna Bannerman.
Category Won  Excellence in Small Business and Regional Business of the Year.  

Describe your business and your role.

My husband, Barry and I are the directors of Two Tails Wines. Two Tails Wines offers visitors a unique food and wine experience unlike any other offered on the Coffs Coast. Our visitors are able to enjoy a range of locally produced wines made from grapes grown on site and food prepared from ingredients sourced from within the Orara Valley and surrounds. Our open atmosphere and expansive outdoor dining area provide guests with a true experience.   

How important is it to represent the Coffs Coast Community?

We consider ourselves an integral part of both the local Nana Glen community and the community of the broader Coffs Coast, and firmly believe that we have contributed to making Nana Glen a destination. We are providing employment opportunities to locals, and we are very proud of the fact that we employ so many of our staff from right here in the Valley. There are so many terrific companies on the Coffs Coast, so we are very privileged to be representing our community in Excellence in Small Business. 

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next 10 years?

Velvets Restaurant has been so successful, that we want to share it with the world! We are in the process of looking into opening another restaurant and bar overseas in the not too distant future. This will showcase the Coffs Coast on an international level. 


Fresh Dental Care.

Name  Kirsty Christensen.
Category Won  Outstanding Young Employee (18 – 35).

What is your background, education, work experience?

The main roles I held previously were Operations Manager for Tabatinga and Duty Manager for Birch Carroll and Coyle. In between these roles I worked many casual jobs at once, at cafés, events, Dolphin Marine Magic etc. I started with Fresh Dental Care in 2012.

I completed Year 12 at Orara High School. I went on to study a Diploma of Operations and Tourism Management, a Certificate IV in Frontline Management, Certificate IV in Small Business Management, Diploma of Events Management and also the Performance Edge with LMA.

Describe your business and your role.

Fresh Dental Care have four dental clinics in Grafton, Coffs, Urunga and Macksville. The Fresh philosophy is that people should be happy and healthy. My role in the practice is as the Business Manager; I oversee our business functions and operations, develop and implement our policies/procedures, update our Infection Control procedures and Work Health and Safety, marketing for the four surgeries, HR and Business Oversight and growth. At Fresh we have 64 staff, including dentists and support, so part of my role is to ensure our team are engaged, supported and stimulated in their career at Fresh Dental Care. This is provided through our onboarding programs, continued personal development plans, in house training programs, provision of a Business Coach and also through our Smile Program, which is a staff engagement program. 

How important is it to represent the Coffs Coast Community?

Representing the Coffs Coast Community is hugely important to me, and I have always been actively involved in events and community projects around the area. Over my time I have assisted with sporting group fundraisers and trivia nights, assisted in re-building the Coffs Harbour Show Committee, beach clean-up days with Jetty Dive, created a school beach clean up after big storms, Breast Cancer Fundraisers, food donations and more. As a business, we make ourselves available to the community at local events to provide Oral Health information and toothbrushes to those who may not readily be able to access this. I think that (as a person and a business) it is important to be a part of where you live and truly engage in all it has to offer. Be the change you imagine!


Key Employment.

Name Mike Swarbrick.
Category Won  Outstanding Employer of Choice.

Describe your business and your role.

Key Employment is dedicated to help people find a job and keep a job. We offer a full range of services, from assessment, training and on the job support, to ensure our clients get the same wages and employment conditions as workers without disability. Our vision is: “To provide extraordinary services to people with disability so they get equal opportunities and access to training, jobs, careers, traineeships, apprenticeships and further study.”

My role is Acting Chief Operations Officer. I manage all programs delivered by Key, including DES, NDIS and training. I am responsible for managing a team of around 50 people and couldn’t be prouder of the effort they put in each day to assist our participants improve their lives. Our team is professional, dedicated and committed to helping all our participants become the best they can be. 

How important is it to represent the Coffs Coast Community?

It is vitally important to represent the Coffs Coast Community. We work closely with organisations across all community fields, including but not limited to: legal, housing, Indigenous, refugee and migrant, youth, deaf community, ADE, NDIS, medical, sporting organisations, schools, local council and disability advocacy groups, and accept direct referrals from them regularly. 


Mr Plummer PTY LTD.

Name Brad Plummer.
Category Won  Young Entrepreneur and Business of the Year 2018.

Describe your business and your role. 

Here at Mr Plummer we run a team of four tradesmen, two apprentices, and recently I have just employed an office administrator. Our business has tripled in size in three years, and I hope will continue to do so for the years to come. We have just started a side venture of full bathroom renovations, and the phone has been non stop ringing.

How important is it to represent the Coffs Coast Community? 

Coming from a small beachside town down south, I feel it’s important to keep money in our community. Plus, I feel a sense of pride and achievement servicing an awesome town.

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next 10 years? 

In 10 years I want to have employed more Coffs locals and see my side venture of Coffs Harbour Bathroom Renovations continuing to grow.

Leave a Reply