There were smiles all around as the winners of the 2018 Business Night Out celebrated their success.
Over 250 people came together at the Matamata-Piako Civic and Memorial Centre on Thursday 11 October for the annual event that celebrates business success from within the district.
Guest speaker Lilia Tarawa, a former community member of Gloriavale, held the audience in the palm of her hand as she delivered a very emotional and passionate account of her time in the cult and why she choose to leave the only world she knew behind.
Lilia, aged 27, is a self-made entrepreneur, author and motivated business consultant.
Lilia's speech was only one highlight of the evening. Council gave out eight awards to deserving businesses from within the Matamata-Piako district, ranging from retail to trades primary industries.
Mayor Jan Barnes was thrilled with how the evening went and was honoured to present the awards to each recipient.
"The Business Night Out not only showcases the amazing and successful businesses in our community, but shows people's determination to see their own dreams come true.
"Being present to see these humble business owners shed tears of joy at receiving an award was very heart warming and we are proud to acknowledge their success."
Photos from the evening are now available online.
The winners of the 2018 Business Night Out were:
Gull Customer Services
Matamata: O Del Emz
Morrinsville: Imagine If
Te Aroha: K9 Kennels
Trades, Manufacturing and Primary Industries: Forsi Innovations from Matamata
Consumer Services: Ebbett Toyota Morrinsville
New and Emerging Business: Twenty20 Concrete Ltd from Te Aroha
Professional Services: Sadliers Funeral Services from Morrinsville
Bayleys Supreme Business Award: Twenty20 Concrete Ltd from Te Aroha
Caption: Guest speaker Lilia Tarawa speaking at the 2018 Matamata-Piako Business Night Out