Over 600 delegates and guests attended Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt Ballroom on Saturday evening, for the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce’s Industry Awards and gala event (VIA). Master of Ceremonies, media personality Larry Emdur kicked off the evening with a poignant reference to recognition and the importance of the occasion to, not only the winners, but to all the finalists.
Emdur introduced VACC President Fury Bortolotto who welcomed the honoured guests and the sponsors, particularly the Platinum Sponsors, Commonwealth Bank and OurAuto and the Premier Sponsors, Bosch and MTAA Super. He went on to say that he was humbled and proud to be involved in what is the 4th annual VIA and also recognised the achievements of all the finalists.
“This is the most public way to show the industry that we adhere to strict standards, are committed to quality and focus on exceptional customer service – it shows you are the best in the business,” said Bortolotto.
It’s fair to say that Emdur at times found the audience somewhat of a challenge as several groups clearly got carried away in the moment, but he handled the situation with the aplomb of a true professional.
Throughout the evening there were 35 categories of awards and Bortolotto presented the following awards to the winners in the collision repair and restoration industries:
Best body repair PV small business: Essendon Panels.
Best body repair PV large business: Lyons Body Works, Eltham.
Best body repair CV small business: Royans Melbourne.
Best restoration project: Catocraft Auto, Echuca.
Best Business Woman in Automotive: Michelle Ferbrache, director Essendon Panels
Early in the evening we were entertained by the “Unusualist” Raymond Crowe and later, as the formalities were completed, The Sam Ludeman Band had everyone up on their feet.
In his closing comments VACC Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Gwilym congratulated the finalists and the winners and said: “I am proud to lead an organisation with such a commitment to excellence, much of which was on show this evening.” He thanked VACC Chairman Fury Bortolotto, Larry Emdur for his poise in “trying circumstances”, but most importantly his staff for making it all happen. “Congratulations to all the winners. Be proud of your success and go out and proactively market your achievements,” concluded Gwilym.
We congratulate all the finalists and winners, Geoff and his team on a fantastic event once again, and of course the VACC for their contribution to our industry for over 100 years.
Check out the pics from the event here: