Alfred Gooding Leads Line-Up of the Best in Welsh Business
Byline: Si'n Barry
THE best in Welsh business and entrepreneurship was honoured at the Chambers of Commerce Business 2009 Awards in Cardiff last Friday. The awards from South Wales Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Western Mail, were presented by TV personality John Sergeant.
The Lifetime Achievement Award in the Chambers of Commerce Business Awards 2009 went to Risca-born serial entrepreneur Alfred Gooding. In a career spanning more than 50 years Mr Gooding has established nearly 50 businesses, creating thousands of jobs in Wales and further afield.
In the 1950s, after returning from a short stay in Canada he established Modern Building Wales, which went on to construct more than 7,000 homes.
The former chairman of CBI Wales also helped to revolutionise the building industry through Caerphilly-based company Catnic - which he established with Brian Robinson.
The company, which is still trading today under the ownership of Corus, introduced as standard galvanised steel lintels in the construction process, where concrete had previously been used.
In an emotional speech Mr Gooding paid tribute to his wife Peggy. "I have so many people to thank over my career, including the chambers of commerce movement and the CBI for their support, as well as the people who have worked so hard for me in many businesses," he said.
"However, I could not have achieved success without the tremendous support of my wife Peggy, to whom I have been married for 53 years."
Mr Gooding, 77, said his suc-cesses in business "often meant working 12 hours a day, seven days a week," he said.
The Welsh Company of the Year Award, sponsored by the University of Wales' Global Academy, went to motor insurance group Admiral, The Cardiff-headquartered group is Wales' only FTSE 100 company. Since floating on the London Stock Exchange it has constantly grown revenue, profits and market share. Admiral, which employs 3,000 in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, also operates on the Continent and could launch its first operation in the US by the end of the year.
Accepting the award, chief operating officer David Stevens paid tribute to the South Wales workforce. …