Northern Ireland Business Person - All-Ireland Business Foundation

Northern Ireland Business Person Of The Year - Helen Shivers, Toome Industrial Development

The Managing Director of Toome Industrial Development has been recognised with a major accolade from the All-Ireland Business Foundation.

The Accreditation is an outstanding achievement for Helen Shivers as it recognises her hard work and dedication in providing a best in class service to her customers, as well as her contribution to Northern Irish business.

This is an independently verified standard mark for indigenous businesses, based on rigorous selection criteria. The Accreditation is overseen by the prestigious All-Ireland Business Foundation, whose adjudication panel is chaired by Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick and Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics.

Helen Shivers was born on a dairy and pig farm in County Fermanagh. As one of 10 siblings It was all hands on deck. They grew their own vegetables and their hens laid the eggs and provided meat for the Sunday dinner.

Helen’s mother - who was a very industrious woman and an expert knitter - was also very good at securing her children part time jobs for after school. Helen started to work at 14 in a retail shop and thrived on the interaction with people. After leaving Fermanagh at 21 she married her husband Charlie who was a plumber and moved to County Derry.

Helen began helping Charlie with his business - looking after his administration, his purchasing and invoices. The couple ran their business from the hayshed on the farm but soon began looking for a new site as the planners circled and the business grew. While on the way to a wedding in London she spotted a large derelict site made up of several old buildings for sale. It had planning permission to operate an industrial business and so the couple swooped in and bought the site for £140’000.00 at auction. The sale was the beginning of Helen’s successful foray into the commercial property industry.

Alongside her husband and her four children Helen has grown the business park from a large derelict shell into a thriving centre which is home to more than thirty two businesses and 300 people. Shivers Business Park Offers commercial property units of all shapes and sizes to suit retail outlets, office spaces and light industry.

Units range in size from 200 sq ft up to 10,000 sq ft and can be modified to suit every specific requirement. The park boasts a prime location in the centre of Mid Ulster on a motorway that connects Belfast with Derry - Northern Ireland’s largest cities.

With the demand for units at an all time high, Helen has bought an additional four acres adjoining her original four acre site.

With properties also in Cookstown, Ballymena, Larne, Maghera and Kesh, Helen and her brilliant team are kept very busy.

Responding to today’s announcement, Helen Shivers said: I am most humbled and honoured to receive this beautiful award from the All Ireland Business Foundation, Northern Ireland Business Person of the Year 2021.

Kieran Ring, Deputy Chair on the Adjudication Board said in support of the announcement: This Certificate Verifies That Helen Shivers Of Toome Industrial Development Has Been Named AIBF Northern Ireland Business Person Of The Year 2021. The Accreditation Is In Recognition Of Helen’s Outstanding Contribution To Industry & Commerce In Northern Ireland. Furthermore We Wish To Recognise Helen's Track Record In The Founding And Nurturing Of Toome Industrial Development. Helen Shivers Is Hereby Included In The AIBF Register Of Irish Business Excellence.

Dr Hynes said: The Accreditation, which is now held by over 450 firms, is needed by the thousands of small and medium businesses which operate to their own standards, but have nothing to measure them by. We evaluate a company’s background, trustworthiness and performance, and we speak to customers, employees and vendors. We also anonymously approach the company as a customer and report back on the experience. The business goes through at least two interviews and is scored on every part of the process against set metrics.

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