Last night marked the first time the CEDA and CESA Industry Technical Conference held the CEDA Technical Awards.

During the ceremony at the Belfry hotel in Nottingham, the cream of the servicing and support sector saw four honours presented to recognise the technical achievements of CEDA members.

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A panel of experts comprising Newco Catering Equipment founders Janet and Mick Waters, former CEDA chairman and ex MD of the Carford Group Nick Oryino, and Commercial Catering Spares MD Jonathan Booth examined the shortlists to determine the winners.

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Young talent was especially praised, with the Industry Technical Rising Star Award going to Matt Hale, catering service engineer at Professional Kitchen Service (PKS).

Winning an electrical test meter donated by category sponsor, Commercial Catering Spares, Hale was recognised for having the drive to go to college 3 nights a week for 2 years to gain his City & Guilds electrical qualification so that he could install appliances as well as deliver them, after joining PKS in 2012 as a delivery driver.

Subsequently he also gained ACS gas accreditations so he could also install gas appliances, and he has now moved onto the service and repair side of the business – even recruiting his younger brother as the next delivery driver.

Runner-up in the Technical Rising Star category was Kane Needs, training manager at Marren Microwave, who, at the tender age of just 24, trains over 60 engineers, and even helped design the company’s technical training centre.

Furthermore the Apprentice of the Year Award was won by Cameron Clarke of HB Catering and Refrigeration.

Joining the distributor in February last year, he has already achieved his ACS gas accreditations as well as successfully completing the CEDA/CESA Electrical Maintenance Skills course and getting his CSCS card.

He has also shown initiative by undertaking a plumbing course at his own expense, which now enables him to work with installation teams.

Clarke was presented with £500-worth of tools by award sponsor, the First Choice Group.

Callum Scott Gordon of Whitco Catering & Bakery Equipment was runner-up for the award, as after joining the dealer in November 2014 at the age of 21, in less than 2 years he has achieved an NVQ in plumbing, ACS accreditations, CSCS, First Aid and has enhanced CRB clearance as well as full access to all MOJ and MOD sites.

The Groundbreaker Award saw Crystaltech Services triumph thanks to the servicing specialist solving a glass residue problem at Fullers Brewery’s Mad Bishop & Bear pub at Paddington Station in London.

Crystaltech installed a reverse osmosis system which uses pure water to reduce the total dissolved salts in the hard water supply from 345ppm to 3ppm.

Additionally a chlorine-based detergent was used as its properties achieved a high level of disinfection at lower temperatures.

Catering Equipment Support came runner-up in this category due to its partnership with German cooking equipment manufacturer, MKN.

The CES team worked with MKN to create a single-phase conversion for the brand’s combi ovens so that it could offer its customers this equipment with a lower amperage electrical supply than the original three-phase option.

Completing the quartet of awards, the Outstanding Technical Support honour, recognising a supplier’s maintenance service excellence, went to Maidaid Halcyon.

Group Commercial Director David Reynolds collected the trophy and paid tribute to the firm’s technical services manager, Wayne Wetton.

Reynolds said: “He has been pivotal in winning this award through his amazingly detailed technical knowledge and helpful, friendly approach with all the engineers he speaks to.”

Falcon Foodservice Equipment, the First Choice Group and Rational comprised the rest of this category’s shortlist.

For a full report on the detailed discussions undertaken at the 2016 Industry Technical Conference, look out for the November issue of Catering Insight.