Martin is rewarded at News Business Excellence Awards for years of keeping Portsmouth’s port shipshape

Lifetime Achievement winner Martin Putman with Lucy Grey of lead sponsor Trethowans  Picture: Keith Woodland

Lifetime Achievement winner Martin Putman with Lucy Grey of lead sponsor Trethowans Picture: Keith Woodland

‘I found God’s call after a freak sausage machine injury’

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HE SPENT 28 years working at one of the busiest ports in the country – and now he has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement accolade.

Hardworking businessman Martin Putman, the former director at Portsmouth International Port, took the top honour at The News Business Excellence Awards last night.

He was put forward for the award by business leaders and his former colleagues for his career that made Portsmouth International Port one of the busiest in the country, brought millions of pounds into the local economy and secured hundreds of jobs.

Martin, who retired at the end of last summer, was shocked to win.

He said: ‘The success of the business at the port was secured by a huge team so it seems strange to be here on my own.

‘Everybody who wants to achieve business excellence needs a good team behind them, as I did.

‘That team also included Portsmouth City Council, all the customers who decided to bring their ships to Portsmouth and of course, on a personal note, the support of my wife and my family.’

The awards were attended by more than 400 people and saw honours handed out in 15 categories.

An inspirational winner was Tony Wood, from Tony Wood Hairdressing in Southsea, who won Business Personality of the Year.

Tony has run his salon at the clocktower in Castle Road since 2004 and last year he set up the Barbership.

He said: ‘Everyone always says that it’s about their team but it really is about them. They are the people who do the hard work and make me look good. It’s thanks to them.’

Another big personality at the awards was Ola Ayeni, a security guard from Tesco in Whiteley, who was highly commended in the Customer Service category.

Ola won the customer service award in The News’ Retail and Leisure Awards last year after hundreds of customers nominated him for his positive and friendly attitude.

He was at last night’s ceremony with his wife Dinah.

He said: ‘I am just so honoured to be here.’

Ola’s boss Andy Grainger, store manager, said: ‘Ola is an absolute asset. To be recognised as just one person working for a corporate company in amongst all these other businesses is a fantastic achievement.’

The night was attended by some of the most influential people in the area, including Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt.

Mrs Drummond said: ‘It’s been an amazing night. It has been exciting to see so much talent in the city. There’s so many great businesses here. The great thing about Portsmouth is that it is really on the up. You can see a transformation and events like this are great as they give some well-deserved recognition.’

Law firm shows support and speaks of its pride

THIS year’s Business Excellence Awards was a first for law firm Trethowans, as it became the night’s lead sponsor.

The company, which has offices across the south coast, offers a comprehensive range of services for business and individual clients.

Lucy Grey, senior corporate lawyer at Trethowans, spoke on stage on the night.

She said: ‘We are immensely proud to support the Business Excellence Awards for the very first time this year.

‘As we are increasingly called upon by businesses to be their trusted legal partner, we believe it’s important to support initiatives such as this and help to celebrate the great work that goes on locally.

‘Portsmouth has a thriving business community, with companies doing fantastic work that is doing the entire region proud.

‘You only have to pick up a copy of The News and turn to the business section to see countless examples of companies achieving great things.

‘These awards are vital in shining a light on these success stories and proving that Portsmouth is one of the best cities in the UK to live, work and do business.’

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