Frank Lawrance has been awarded the Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Business Recognition Award for his years of commitment to the city.
Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the Chamber, said at the annual dinner, held in the Everglades Hotel: “Tonight we look to the future.
“However, it is appropriate to look backwards and celebrate someone who during his time in this city gave great leadership.
“This man is not from Derry. but he certainly is of Derry. Frank Lawrance and his family have had a major impact on the business life of the city for decades. Frank knows what it takes to attract inward investment to the city. During his leadership at United Technologies Automotive, employment grew significantly in the 1980s. The factory not only provided work, but also hope and optimism to hundreds during the bleakest of times. Many of those who now hold business leadership positions in this city first cut their teeth in UTA. It was a significant and important training ground.
“But, it is for the family business he started with his incredible wife, Bridie, that he is perhaps better known. Bridie’s is one of Derry’s best known and best loved brands. Tonight’s award winner has taken risks and learned from them.
“His faith in this city and its people has been steadfast and he has given generous and continual service to his community through Rotary. In his corporate life he was not afraid of change.
“In his family business he has competed successfully with change. As we peer into the future let us honour a man who in his own time was ‘the future’.”