Janette Withey isn’t new to The Wharf Property Awards. The East London Chamber Of Commerce (inc DBC) chairman has sat on our judging panel each year since we started in 2013.
Over a coffee at One Canada Square she explained her passion for recognising the brightest and the best in the sector and how hearing the stories from businesses and individuals communicating their own triumphs, kept her coming back.
She said: “There are so many pressures on the industry at the moment but that’s an opportunity for companies and individuals to really show how good they are. That’s what these awards are about.
“A lot of people come through the system. I’ve seen them grow develop, get promoted or event start companies of their own.
“Whatever stage of their career they’re at, the awards provide an opportunity for people to showcase themselves and really prove their worth.
“There are individuals out there who are passionate, talented and really good at their jobs. We want to celebrate the very best and I’m proud to play my part in doing that.
“I think the awards are marvellous, not just because they recognise the best people but that they continue to celebrate the remarkable pool of individuals working in the sector across east London and Docklands.
“Among the categories that really excite me are the people just starting out.
"The future is about bringing those people on, seeing them go on to start their own firms or achieve the highest levels in the corporate world.”
But the awards, this year supported by Principal Sponsor Canary Wharf Group and Founding Sponsor Gawor And Co are not just about celebrating individuals.
“In the categories that recognise the achievements of organisations such as Residential Development, Affordable Housing Scheme and Architectural Achievement, I will be looking for something that little bit different,” said Janette.
“There’s a lot to choose from in this area so those schemes that have a bit of added value, something unique, really stand out.
“You only have to spend a short time walking around Canary Wharf, Docklands and Greenwich before you see sites that can enter and I want to encourage as many as possible to come on board.”
And that’s despite the heavy workload she takes on.
“I find judging the awards exhausting because, if you’re going to do it properly, the evaluation of the entries needs to be done in significant depth,” said Janette.
“For those categories where we interview the entrants you have to make sure at the end of each day you’re listening and assessing the people who have put themselves forward with the same energy that you did at the start of the day.
“Often the decisions we have to make on the panel are very difficult as the quality is so high.
“From a personal point of view, one of the ways entrants can make my job easier is to give me as much information as possible.
"That’s having evidence in front of me that targets have been hit, sales have been made, budgets have been hit and the facts and figures stack up.
“Evidence of success is important, not just on hard figures but also on customer service and customer retention, for example.
“The awards presentation evening is always a fantastic night out. I’ve been to all four; they’ve kept getting better every year and I’m sure Rock Of Agents will continue that trend.”
Janette is joined on the panel by editor of The Wharf Giles Broadbent and Docklands regeneration expert Sunny Crouch OBE.
Entries for the awards are set to close on Thursday, March 30.
For all awards inquiries, including sponsorship, ticket booking and entry advice, email email@example.com or call 020 7293 2247
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