Four Technical Awards were won last night as part of the CEDA and CESA Joint Industry Technical Conference held yesterday at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel.
Topping the accolades, which CEDA introduced last year to recognise members’ outstanding technical achievements, was Vision Commercial Kitchens, which triumphed in the Groundbreaker category.
Vision was chosen as the victor by judges Nick Oryino, CESRB chairman, and Jonathan Booth, CCS MD, due to developing the Catering Engineer UK Forum.
The online platform was originally intended as a means of finding engineers who could carry out maintenance and repair work for Vision, but has developed into a busy forum where engineers from any company can seek help from other engineers, resulting in faster fault diagnosis, more first time fixes and less recalls. One CEDA member described it as “a priceless tool which is used by 500 engineers”.
Runner-up in the groundbreaker category was CHR Equipment, for providing a flood-proof induction cooking facilities which feature a built in platform life that can be raised above flood water for Castle Dairy restaurant in Kendal. This meant the restaurant would be able to be insured after previous flooding during storm Desmond.
Individual awards were presented in Industry Rising Star and Apprentice of the Year categories. The former was won by Matthew Bridges of HB Catering and Refrigeration, of whom MD Jacquie Jenkins said is an asset to the company. Bridges joined HB as a mature apprentice having been to university, where he gained a degree in design technology.
Since joining the company he has progressed quickly to achieve his gas and refrigeration accreditations and is now working as an installation engineer with the additional responsibilities for sourcing all the material, arranging deliveries and accommodation for himself and other engineers and doing commissioning and handover to clients.
The runner-up was Sam Howe of Court Catering Equipment, who followed his father, MD Nick Howe, into the business as a trainee engineer in 2013. He is now a fully qualified gas and electrical catering equipment engineer and has become a “key valuable member of the team”.
Scott Jordan from Airedale Technical Care won the Apprentice of the Year accolade, who is said to now embrace all the challenges presented to him and go the extra mile to ensure that the customer gets the best possible service. Jordan joined the company in 2016 at the age of 18 and was initially mentored by a number of experienced engineers to the point that by the end of 2016 he had achieved his gas ACS accreditations.
Runner-up was Andy Smith from Court Catering Equipment, who joined in 2012 as a dishwasher engineer. He had some previous experience in this area by the distributor quickly realised he was capable of more and fast tracked his training schedule with a senior engineer so that he has now achieved his full natural and LP gas ComCat accreditations.
Furthermore, CEDA members voted on the Supplier Award for Outstanding Technical Support and chose Meiko as their winner from a shortlist also comprising First Choice Group and Maidaid Halcyon.