Business champions acknowledged at regions night of nights

With the glistening waters of Keppel Bay as the backdrop to this year’s business night of nights, Keppel Bay Marina became a hub of excitement and celebration as 230 distinguished and eager guests, arrived for the 2023 Best in Business Awards proudly presented by Capricorn Enterprise in conjunction with the Capricornia Chamber of Commerce.

With the award ceremony now in its third year and at a brand new waterfront location for 2023, the night was hosted by popular Television Presenter and Producer, Chris Parsons, in a marquee under the stars. With the stunning marina and iconic Double Heads as the backdrop, Yeppoon’s singer-songwriter Kate Mahood kicked the night off, gracing guests with a stunning pre-dinner acoustic set, while the dynamic MATH lit up the dancefloor during the After Party.

Celebrating local entities who have adapted, achieved, and created immense opportunities to forge a strong and resilient business community, eight independently judged Award categories were announced, along with the largely popular People’s Choice Award.

From local Sports Clubs to Accountants, Hair Salons to Distilleries, a total of 80 nominations were received and considered, with an additional 30 businesses nominated for People’s Choice.

Best Overall Business Award was also presented, with Johnson’s 4WD Repair Shop dusting the competition for this prestigious accolade after scooping up the Award for Best Small Business.

Dr M’s Quizzology Services were victorious in the People’s Choice category, receiving the highest number of online votes over the short four-week period, while Ecosure took to the stage twice, triumphant in both the Best Sustainable Business category and Best Business Manager or Owner category for Diane Lanyon.


Best New Business                                     Reef Distillers

Best Community Enterprise                       Keppel Bay Sailing Club

Best Sustainable Business                           Ecosure

Best Medium to Large Business                Stay Yeppoon

Best Small Business                                   Johnson’s 4WD Repair Shop

Best Apprentice or Trainee                          Aimee Lobegeiger – Stanwell Corporation

Best Employee                                             Isabella Wyman – The Salty Lime Co.

Best Owner/Manager                                  Diane Lanyon – Ecosure

People’s Choice Award                                Dr M’s Quizzology Services

Best Overall Business                                  Johnson’s 4WD Repair Shop

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll acknowledged the evening’s attendees and paid sincere tribute to the depth and strength of our local business community.

“The Best in Business Awards is a benchmark for quality, success, and innovation, highlighting the hallmarks of the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast business communities.”

“We thank all who attended the event, to those who took the time to nominate, to the Best in Business winners, and of course, our wonderful sponsors who help make events like these possible,” Mary said.

“We work tirelessly on this event because it is so very important to acknowledge our hard working businesses, their owners and managers, employees and apprentices” Mary said.

Capricornia Chamber of Commerce President, Jason Foss was thrilled to see the third annual Best in Business Awards come to life with so many key local businesses represented.

“The Awards have been a great opportunity to join in celebration of our region’s truly outstanding business talent and whether you headed home with an Award or not, every business is a champion!”

“The Awards that were presented reflect the vision and leadership of this year’s nominees, finalists and winners who will continue to carve out our region’s success into the future,” Jason said.

One of the four astute independent judges chosen for this year’s Awards Kim Harrington from CQUniversity joined with peers in a rigorous and intense process to shortlist finalists, before proceeding to zoom interviews, scoring and winner selection.

“Some categories were extremely close and hotly contested, and we quickly uncovered the incredible passion and broad depth of business acumen this region offers,” Kim said. “All nominees, finalists and category winners should be extremely proud of their enduring achievements.”

The judging panel included:

  • Kim Harrington, Associate Vice-President Rockhampton, and Central Highlands – CQUniversity
  • Elize Hattin – Elize Hattin Business Coaching Group
  • Dean Deighton, Acting State Head, Australian Industry Group
  • Rees Banks, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Development Australia (Ipswich and West Moreton)

Also on the night, four tourism operators including Discovery Parks – Rockhampton, Discovery Parks – Coolwaters Yeppoon, NRMA Capricorn Yeppoon Holiday Park and Fisherman’s Beach Holiday Park were recognised with a Best of Queensland certificate, after receiving 100 points (a perfect result) in 2023. The Best of Queensland program identifies those experiences that bring the Queensland story to life and consistently deliver a high-quality visitor experience.

Additional photos will be provided soon.

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