This issue, to mark Custom Media being named BCCJ Company of the Year, I’d like to pass this page to my business partner, Robert Heldt, who gladly accepted the award with these hastily scribbled (and slightly edited) words at the British Business Awards on 1 November.
“This morning, just before I left for work, I asked my wife Asuka if I should prepare a speech for tonight’s awards just in case we win.
She said: ‘Remind me again who the other nominees are?’ I replied by naming Rolls-Royce Japan, Bentley Motors, British Airways, PwC, Oxford Instruments and Robert Walters. Her silence was deafening.
Asuka is always very supportive. Although I could sense her scepticism, she said: ‘You are proud that Custom Media has been nominated, right? So you should be prepared for the best possible outcome’.
I’m glad I listened to her.
Trying to avoid clichés and sounding too predictable, it is, indeed, a great privilege for Custom Media to be nominated for Company of the Year alongside some of the finest global British brands. And it’s an extraordinary honour to actually win.
I would first like to thank Jane Best MBE, the CEO of Refugees International Japan, for generously nominating Custom Media.
On behalf of SMEs everywhere, I would also like to express our gratitude to the six independent judges for recognising the critical role of small businesses, such as Custom Media, and for choosing us over such respected opposition.
The BCCJ has been instrumental in Custom Media’s growth from our very early days. I remember approaching then Executive Director Ian de Stains OBE in mid-2009 to launch a BCCJ magazine.
Although we were a pretty fresh start-up, he graciously took the time to hear us out and arrange an audience with the Executive Committee. Thank you, Ian.
Some members of that Executive Committee are here tonight: President Alison Jambert, Richard Thornley CBE, Graham Davis, Phil Gibb OBE and Jim Weeks.
So thank you all for showing your faith in a very young Custom Media and for the opportunity to kick start our company.
BCCJ ACUMEN has truly helped—and continues to help—our growth, thanks also to the on-going support from our dynamic Executive Director Lori Henderson MBE and thoroughly dependable Operations Manager Sanae Samata.
But we wouldn’t be here without our clients and advertisers, who strongly believe in the value of our products and services. Thank you very much!
To our dedicated, hardworking and creative team at Custom Media, some of whom are here with us tonight, you’ve helped make this possible, so this award is for you!
Special thanks go to my business partner Simon Farrell. With your patience, guidance and unconditional support, some of my crazy ideas have become a reality.
Last but not the least, to our spouses and other family members: we are grateful for your love, support and encouragement, which help us thrive and make the future a promising one—you are very much appreciated”.