Business a winner for regional awards

Regional business awards have been in the spotlight recently and among the winners of major awards in Narrabri and Tamworth are businesses that have spread their wings in recent years and now have a footprint on a number of regional centres.

Hoteliers Campbell McIntosh and wife Narelle were among those feted during the 2012 Narrabri Business Awards, which saw a record 90 entries.

The couple, who run The Crossroads Hotel, took the top award of Best Business of The Year.

“It was a great honour to be recognised and feted among the Narrabri business community,” Mr McIntosh said.

The Crossroads Hotel had been closed for two years before the pair bought the property in early 2011 and completely revamped the original building.

“When we bought the hotel it was 160 years old. We saw that the town needed a good, stylish hotel, and we took on the challenge,” Mr McIntosh said.

They had moved back to Narrabri to open the business after living in Tamworth for some time and said it had been a great move.

Judges commented on the refurbished hotel’s appeal to the Narrabri community when giving out the top award, saying it was a “welcoming hotel which caters to the community’s expectations.”

Tamworth’s IGA king Carlo Cavallaro has been back at work expanding his business empire after being awarded one of Tamworth’s highest corporate accolades. 

The 70-year-old was this year’s recipient of the Noel Park Award at the Tamworth Business Chamber  2012 Quality Business Awards. Despite saying he didn’t expect any recognition, he was “overwhelmed” by the community response.

He said the day after he received the award he was back at work and inundated with well-wishes from both his customers and staff.

“All day people were pulling me up and congratulating me,” Mr Cavallaro said. 

“I enjoy what I do. It’s nice that people have noticed me with my years in business.”

The Noel Park Award was created in 1995 and named after former councillor, businessman and war veteran Ernest Noel Park. 

It is awarded to a member of the Tamworth business community who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to employment and business development in the region.

Last year’s recipient was Greg Maguire of the Quality Hotel Powerhouse.

Mr Cavallaro, who still works 90 hours a week in his IGA empire, said he prided himself on investing in local employees and local products.

Employing more than 750 staff in his 15 venues across NSW and 80 just in Tamworth, the popular businessman said he was working on plans to open four new sites in 2013.

Extending his IGA empire into Lightning Ridge, Dubbo, Narromine and Uralla, Mr Cavallaro said the plans were set and way ready to start building.

A strong work ethic was apparent from a young age as just three days after emigrating from Italy with his parents, Mr Cavallaro got his first job as an apprentice technician with a textiles firm  at age 14.

“I’ve never stopped working,” Mr Cavallaro said.

Now it’s a family affair with Mr Cavallaro’s daughters Antonietta and Maria and wife Cathy involved in the day-to-day running of the business.

His daughter Martinique, who does his accounting for him, was on stage with him at Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre when he accepted the award.

“I’m not much of a one for recognition, but I feel very honoured,” Mr Cavallaro said.

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