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Lee Eaton of Signs Express wins Franchisee of the Year 2015

Written by Josh Russell on Friday, 02 October 2015. Posted in Franchise

Signs Express franchisee takes prestigious bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year 2015 award, whilst Snap-on, Dyno, Puddle Ducks, McDonald’s and Little Kickers franchisees all receive runner up prizes

Lee Eaton of Signs Express wins Franchisee of the Year 2015

(l-r): Steph McGovern, who hosted the ceremony; Andy Brattesani, head of franchising for HSBC; Lee Eaton, franchise owner of Signs Express, Manchester; Cathryn Hayes, head of business support at the bfa and chair of the judging panel; and Sean Hammond, classified advertising manager for Express Newspapers

In franchising, it’s important to remember that it takes two to tango and that the efforts of franchisees are just as important as those of franchisors. That’s why it’s always a pleasure to see so many talented franchisees recognised at the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards, supported by Express Newspapers. On October 1, 20 franchisees attended a gala dinner and waited with bated breath to find out who had won top gong.

Well now the waiting is over: Lee Eaton of Signs Express Manchester has won both Franchisee of the Year 2015 and B2B Franchisee of the Year 2015. Pocketing the £10,000 top prize, Eaton was recognised for growing his business 25% year-on-year and for his involvement in local community projects.

Eaton said of his win: “This is a wonderful tribute to the efforts of my team. Together we've worked tirelessly to deliver the best service we can to every single one of our clients and to be recognised for that is a great feeling. I'm so proud and passionate about my business, I started it with my Dad and he's going to be really chuffed about this too.”

But Eaton wasn’t the only person whose hard work was recognised on the night, with each of the category winners also taking home £1,000 prize money. Richard Dwayne of Snap-on Dartford won Young Franchisee of the Year, whilst Noel Gallacher of Dyno Scotland netted Franchisee of the Year. Meanwhile Female Franchisee of the Year went to Carolyn Sharpe of Puddle Ducks Newcastle, Olderpreneur Franchisee of the Year was won by Mike Guerin of McDonald’s Bristol & Wiltshire and Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year was picked up by Paul Stokes of Little Kickers Hitchin & Bedford.

Cathryn Hayes, head of business support at the bfa and chair of the judging panel, commented: “The six winners are great ambassadors for the sector and an inspiration for anybody considering running their own business. Franchising has been life-changing for each of them and we’re proud to recognise their achievements.”

It’s great to see so many successful franchisees getting their due. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing them a hearty congrats. 

About the Author

Josh Russell

Josh Russell

When he isn’t tooling around on trains in a tux like the Daniel Craig of the Greater Anglia transport system, Russell spends his time living the glamourous life of an enterprise journalist, judging Digital Business of the Year at the National Business Awards and attending conferences like NixonMcInnes’ Meaning 2013. However, like all good secret agents, Russell lives a double life – in his case, as a closet revolutionary. Social enterprise, sustainable business and collaborative practices are his true passions, something that he has had plenty of opportunity to air in his features here at Elite Franchise.

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