Tobermore boss receives entrepreneur of year award

David Henderson the managing director of Tobermore is the 2021 EOY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year.

Tobermore Concrete was founded in 1942 and manufactures high quality paving products.

Mr Henderson joined the company in 1976 and became managing director in 1987. Since then, Tobermore has focused on business excellence agenda to underpin its growth and development across the island of Ireland and into the UK.

It employs more than 400 people and produces 8.5m concrete products annually.

No repro fee 25-11-21 Picture shows 2021 EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner, David Henderson of Tobermore Concrete ; .Pic:Naoise Culhane-no fee

Tobermore intends to double sales in the UK in the coming four years and sales this year are up 40 per cent and continue to grow.

When Mr Henderson took over Tobermore he quickly recognised that in order to manufacture higher quality paving products, there would have to be investment in better machines, processes and systems.

He visited large corporates in America such as IBM to get a feel for how these companies implemented their business excellence programmes and in 1990, Tobermore commenced its own business excellence programme, placing employee engagement and quality at the forefront of its business excellence strategy.

That strategy has continued to bear fruit in the 30 years since its introduction leading to today’s award.

The annual awards ceremony was held as a hybrid event for the first time in the history of the programme and attended by an audience of more than 2,000 people virtually, while the winners were presented with their awards in person.

Collectively the 23 finalists of this year’s programme employ more than 5,000 people and have revenues in excess of €400 million.

Rob Heron, Partner Lead for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in Northern Ireland said: “I am delighted to officially celebrate the world-class group of entrepreneurs in this year’s programme, each of whom have demonstrated incredible perseverance, flexibility and adaptability, allowing them to thrive throughout a period of extended disruption and change. Despite the hurdles that 2021 has brought, our finalists have proved that entrepreneurs on the island of Ireland continue to innovate and compete at a world class level and we hope that their stories provide inspiration for new and established businesses alike.

Mr Heron congratulated all the winners noted that they headed up exceptional businesses, leading the way in their markets.

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