Laurenckirk company up for international award

Blaze founders Ann and Howard Johnson
Blaze founders Ann and Howard Johnson

The founders of a Laurencekirk business have been named as Scottish finalists in an international entrepreneur award.

Ann and Howard Johnson, who founded Blaze Manufacturing Solutions in 2006, have been listed as Scottish finalists in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 awards.

The ceremony will take place at Gleneagles Hotel tonight (Thursday, June 23).

The judging panel, led by Duncan Skinner, social entrepreneur at Social Enterprise Investments Aberdeen Limited, will make its decision based on a number of criteria, including: entrepreneurial spirit, strategic direction, financial performance, national and global impact, and the company’s approach to social responsibility.

Blaze has been pioneering fire control and safety systems for the past 10 years, including the development of its Flameshield 300 flexible piping system.

Mr Johnson said: “Ann and I are honoured to be named as regional finalists for EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

“This year marks a milestone for the company as we enter our 10th year of trading - and what a great way to mark it.

“Ann and I have worked very hard to get to where we are today but we couldn’t have done it without the help of our expert workforce.

“We are also up against some truly inspiring people and we wish them all the best on the night.”

Running in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries worldwide, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme honours men and women who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses.

The Laurencekirk husband and wife team has been shortlisted along with 28 other finalists who will attend the Scotland awards dinner. The crowned Scottish winner will automatically take part in the programme’s pinnacle event, the UK awards ceremony in October 2016.