‘We struggled, but we made it’

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Riverside Pest Management was named 2019 Deniliquin Business of the Year at the Business Excellence Awards gala celebration on Friday night.

‘‘We struggled, but we made it!’’ an excited Jess Butcher told the 240-strong crowd.

The business, which among other things uses a cocker spaniel called Ben to effectively detect termites, was also presented with the Excellence in Micro Business award.

Last year Riverside Pest Management won the 2018 Australian Pest Manager of the Year award, and admitted they were ‘‘humbled and honoured’’ to receive local awards.

Owner Steve Butcher said he was ‘‘blown away and not expecting to win anything at all’’, let alone two awards.

‘‘It is an honour, especially in a small town where we rely on community and local support to keep us operating,’’ Mr Butcher said.

‘‘There are several pest companies in the local area so we are constantly being kept on our toes with some healthy competition. To win this award is huge for our team.

‘‘We will continue to work at the high standard of service we have provided since my wife and I established the company in 2012.’’

They specialise in termite inspections, use the latest in thermal imaging technology and have the region’s only independent termite detection dog.

‘‘Our team is made up of locally sourced staff including Casey Atkins who has been with us for close to four years and is fully qualified, our amazing office admin Ellie McGrath who has been here for close to six months, Luke Bridge who is our newest addition and trainee and my wife Jessica Butcher who helps out a lot.

‘‘Again, I am very thankful for the awards and the recognition of the amazing team members we have here at Riverside Pest Management.’’

Deniliquin Business Chamber project manager Melanie Sherratt described the night as ‘‘a huge success’’.

‘‘I have had great feedback from everyone who attended and I was really pleased given it was my first year organising the event,’’ Miss Sherratt said.

‘‘The highlights for me included the comedian Ben Lomas’ performance, the announcement of the 2019 Business of the Year because Jess and Steve were very deserving of that award, and the announcement of our Chamber Champion Sam Hall and his speech.

‘‘Ellie and Shane (McGrath) were absolutely amazing and very entertaining, Maria and Thomo were such good MC’s and I loved seeing the way everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

‘‘The food was amazing and the staff at the RSL were beyond incredible, especially Michelle who I worked with to bring the event together.

‘‘Overall, I would just like to thank everyone for supporting the event and congratulate all of our nominees who are all very deserving of an award for their work in this community.’’

Winners in various categories were:

●Excellence in Social Enterprise - Deni Play on the Plains Festival;

●Excellence in Workplace Health an Safety - SunRice;

●Start Up Superstar - Flipstars;

●Excellence in Sustainability - Murray Irrigation Ltd;

●Excellence in Micro Business - Riverside Pest Management;

●Outstanding Employer of Choice - Edward River Council;

●Riggall Fellowship - Jesse Taylor;

●Outstanding Young Entrepeneur - Kate Small;

●Outstanding New Business - Infused Restaurant;

●Outstanding Business Leader - Vicky Lowry;

●Excellence in Business - Deniliquin RSL Club;

●Employee of the Year - Rachel Phillis-Campbell;

●Excellence in Customer Service - Kazmar Shoes and Mick Cannon;

●Outstanding Young Employee - Julia Druitt and Meg Fisher;

●Chamber Champion - Sam Hall.