Top honours for Sodexo NI and ROI staff

December 02, 2016

Two staff from Northern Ireland were the overall winners of their Award categories at the Sodexo 2016 Star Awards for the UK and Ireland in London on Thursday 24 November 2016.

Pamela Millar is presented with the Employee Engagement Award by Sean Haley (left) regional chair for Sodexo UK and Ireland and brand ambassador Matt Dawson at the Sodexo Star Awards on Thursday 24th November 2016 in London

Alaistair Armstrong, who manages the PSNI contract in Northern Ireland, won the Overall Account Manager of the Year Award while Pamela Millar, Sodexo’s business manager at Allstate in Belfast, was presented with the Overall Employee Engagement Award.  Five staff from the Republic of Ireland came out top for their divisions in five other categories.

The Star Awards are the annual highlight of the company calendar and recognises the most outstanding of its 34,000 employees in 23 categories and across all its divisions. Their achievements were recognised at a gala dinner at the Westminster Hotel in London hosted by the BBC’s Fiona Bruce and attended by over 640 staff, including Sodexo’s global CEO Michel Landel and Sean Haley, regional chair for Sodexo UK and Ireland. 

As Account Manager for the PSNI contract, Alaistair is responsible for the staff restaurants, operational meals, vending and hospitality in 23 locations and where services can be requested at any time and on any day of the year. Alastair and his team have not only delivered above and beyond all operational requirements, he has also cultivated and created hubs of operational excellence in food and customer care for the police teams, civilian staff and visitors. According to the judges, ‘Alaistair’s presentation was engaging, on point, and clearly brought to life his passion for the business and how he and his team deliver for their clients, customers, team members and Sodexo on a daily basis. He is a real ambassador for the organisation.”

It’s been a very good year for Alaistair, who was also a finalist in the Area Manager category in both the Catey and the FSM Awards for 2016. 

Alaistair said, “I'm absolutely delighted to win this award given the level of the competition within this category. It's not only the recognition of what I do but also the hard work and effort of my team. It was the first time I had been nominated for it so to win and bring this award back to Northern Ireland is such a great achievement.”

The Employee Engagement Award recognises someone who has demonstrated a measurable difference to the company’s business across a number of factors. Under Pamela’s direction, Sodexo’s team on-site have collectively won multiple awards in catering and service excellence and it is now a designated centre of excellence for the development of new employees.  According to the judges, ‘Pamela’s approach has created a highly engaging, fun and family atmosphere for the whole team which has had a clear and measurable impact on the success of their business.’

Pamela said “I am delighted to have received this Award as I am passionate about what I do every day and I encourage my team to be the best at what they do. My team was over the moon when they heard the news and the Award is  a well-deserved accolade for their passion and commitment towards each other.”

Eoin Morgan, facilities manager at Gallen School, Ferbane, Co. Offaly accepted the Special Team Effort Award for the UK and Ireland Schools Division for going above and beyond the call of duty in successfully managing the flooding that threatened his school when the nearby river burst its banks in January 2016. The school caretaker Seamus Dolan was named Star Employee of the Year for the same division in recognition of his speedy actions and outstanding dedication during the crisis.

Gerry Furlong, facilities manager at Kildare Town Community School in Co. Kildare won the Employee Engagement Award for the UK and Ireland Schools Division for his high levels of staff development, education and encouragement. His school has also been singled out for the excellent standard of maintenance and immaculate level of cleanliness on many occasions.

Barry Kenny, business manager at EMC in Cork, won the Selling Additional Services Award for the UK and Ireland Corporate Services Division and Niamh Cray, head of human resources for the Republic and Northern Ireland, was one of the divisional winners in the Transversal Functions category for the Better Tomorrow Plan Award, which recognises a team or individual that shows outstanding dedication and positive impact for the company in either diversity and inclusion or the environment.

Margot Slattery, country president for Sodexo ROI and NI, said “With a workforce numbering in the tens of thousands, it takes something very special to stand out and our Star Award winners have done just that. We couldn’t be more proud of their achievements as they are people who spend their time at work making every day a better day for our clients, consumers and each other. They deserve to be recognised and rewarded for everything they do as they are critical to the future of this business.”

Sodexo in the UK and Ireland employs 34,000 people, and delivers services that improve the quality of life to clients at some 1,850 locations in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure, justice and defence sectors.

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