Award 'icing on cake' for best Marlborough business

Focus Labour Solutions founders Barbara Mortensen and Craig Mill took home the Westpac Supreme Award at the Westpac ...
RICHARD BRIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY

Focus Labour Solutions founders Barbara Mortensen and Craig Mill took home the Westpac Supreme Award at the Westpac Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on Friday night.

Founders of a Blenheim contracting company are still revelling in the news that their business was named best in town by the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.

Business partners Craig Mill and Barbara Mortensen, of Focus Labour Solutions, are still in shock after winning the Westpac Supreme Award at the Westpac Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on Friday night.

"I couldn't believe it. We worked really hard for this and it paid off," Mill told the Express on Saturday.

But not only did they walk away with the top award, they also won the Southern Water Investing in People and Skills Award and the Wallace Diack Charter Accountants Titan Business Award.

The road to success had not been easy, he said. "It's been a few years of hard work.

"We wanted to prove there are good labour contracting companies here in Marlborough, but to prove that we couldn't just talk about it, we had to do something," Mill said.

"So we spent two years developing and learning about our business and how to run it properly and we are very proud of what we've achieved."

Mill and Mortensen founded Focus Labour Solutions in 2008 to offer labour services to the viticulture and horticulture industries in the region.

They employ 13 permanent staff and also take on about 100 casual staff during peak seasons.

They entered the awards in 2013, but did not manage to take home any awards, he said.

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"We didn't do so well last time, so we promised ourselves, when we walked out last time, that we would do better. And we did."

He could not believe it when Focus Labour Solutions was called out, not once, but three times, he said.

"To me, we already won because we had learned so much about our business, so to get that award was the icing on the cake.

"We are still in shock. I think it just proves we are doing things right."

The awards, which were held at the Marlborough Convention Centre, aim to showcase the region's business talent and pays tribute to those building Marlborough's economy and community.

 - The Marlborough Express

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