Local business owner named Director of the Year

Ashley McCulla of Lisburn-based firm McCulla Ireland was named Family Business Director of the Year at the annual Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) Director of the Year Awards sponsored by First Trust Bank. He is pictured with Brian Gillan, Head of Business and Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank, IoD NI Chairman Gordon Milligan and Adrian Moynihan, Head of First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland. Pic by Darren Kidd, Press Eye
Ashley McCulla of Lisburn-based firm McCulla Ireland was named Family Business Director of the Year at the annual Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) Director of the Year Awards sponsored by First Trust Bank. He is pictured with Brian Gillan, Head of Business and Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank, IoD NI Chairman Gordon Milligan and Adrian Moynihan, Head of First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland. Pic by Darren Kidd, Press Eye

The director of one of Lisburn’s most successful family businesses was among 11 business leaders to be honoured at the annual Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) Director of the Year Awards.

Ashley McCulla, a second-generation family director of McCulla Ireland, won the Director of the Year (Family Business) title at the awards ceremony in Belfast.

Gary Thompson of the NI Fire and Rescue Service was named Inclusive Business Director of the Year at the annual Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) Director of the Year Awards sponsored by First Trust Bank. He is pictured with Brian Gillan, Head of Business and Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank, IoD NI Chairman Gordon Milligan and Adrian Moynihan, Head of First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland. Pic by Darren Kidd, Press Eye

Gary Thompson of the NI Fire and Rescue Service was named Inclusive Business Director of the Year at the annual Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) Director of the Year Awards sponsored by First Trust Bank. He is pictured with Brian Gillan, Head of Business and Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank, IoD NI Chairman Gordon Milligan and Adrian Moynihan, Head of First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland. Pic by Darren Kidd, Press Eye

Ashley took ownership of the local haulage business in 1992 and has developed turnover from £700,000 to £23.5m. He successfully spearheaded the Blaris Industrial Estate firm’s approach of merging technology with a personalised service, ensuring they are on the cutting edge of what is usually a traditional business sector.

Gary Thompson from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, who is based at NIFRS headquarters in Lisburn, was named Director of the Year (Inclusivity) at the annual awards.

Others winners on the night included Carmel McKinney OBE, Chairperson of the NI Fire and Rescue Service, who won the Director of the Year (Non-Executive) title, and Ray Hutchinson of Gilbert Ash, who was named Director of the Year (Corporate Social Responsibility).

The awards, sponsored by First Trust Bank, were presented at a ceremony held in the Merchant Hotel, Belfast, where winners across 11 categories were announced, each of whom will now be considered for the UK Director of the Year Awards, taking place in London later this year.

The awards seek to honour directors at private, third and public sector organisations who go above and beyond to show exceptional levels of leadership and motivation and demonstrate good corporate governance.