By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO
Oh what a night! Last week Creative Virtual hosted a celebration of our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Innovation 2017 with an amazing group of people representing 14 different nationalities coming together in London for the festivities. It was another proud moment for the company and me personally, and an evening that will long live as one of the best in Creative Virtual’s history.
As a lifelong West Ham supporter, I knew the evening was destined to be a success when we turned up at the venue to setup and saw Trevor Sinclair and Joe Hart there filming for Football Focus! Unfortunately, they couldn’t stay for our celebration, but it was a sign of more good things to come. And it made for a great story to share at the event with so many of my fellow West Ham supporters in attendance. COYI!
It was an honour to have Mr Leslie Morgan OBE DL, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London attend to officially present our award on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. As he spoke about how difficult it is to win this award, I was reminded again of what an incredible and humbling experience this truly is for our organisation. Creative Virtual is one of only four companies in London recognised for innovation by the Queen in 2017, and this is a testament to the innovation we deliver to our customers every day. I was proud to accept the Grant of Appointment on behalf of our dedicated team around the world and know our CTO Peter felt the same as he accepted the crystal bowl.
We were also thrilled to have Jim Fitzpatrick, our local Member of Parliament (MP) for Poplar and Limehouse, in attendance. This was his first Queen’s Awards for Enterprise presentation in his 20 years of representing East London, and he spoke about the ‘singular success’ of Creative Virtual, recruiting local people and making our mark internationally. It made me proud once again to be an East End success story!
Of course, I also took a turn to speak – it’s no secret I love talking! – and used the opportunity to share some stories from Creative Virtual’s history and express my thanks to all those who contributed over the years to the success we are achieving today. I couldn’t be more proud to be leading this company, a brilliant mix of quirky people, and I echoed Peter’s words that this award is about the whole team. We raised our glasses to all those who weren’t present to celebrate with us that night. It was a thrill for me to look out over the crowd and see such a mix of people sharing in the excitement of the celebration – Creative Virtual team members from around the world, my family and friends, some of our customers and partners, and a variety of others who played a part in my company’s story.
The amount of goodwill we’ve received since winning this award has been amazing. There were so many wonderful messages when our win was first announced on Her Majesty’s birthday, and even more after our award ceremony and celebration last week. I’d like to share just a few of them here:
“Thanks very much for inviting me, it was a great night out which I really, really enjoyed. I was really impressed with the culture and spirit that you guys have managed to create within your company.”
“It was a real pleasure to be in attendance. What an incredible journey you have been on and have in front of you. The team is great and was nice to put faces to names I have seen over the last year.”
“Thanks for the invite Chris. Fantastic to see a partner being awarded and recognised for success. Great to meet some fellow Hammers fans as well.”
“I know you have worked very hard to create and build what Creative Virtual is today. No big effort goes unrewarded. This award is a true recognition to your effort, and the effort of everyone in the Creative Virtual team.”
“Thank you so much again for a lovely evening. I’m very grateful to have been a part of such a special occasion for Creative Virtual. I have to say that as work dos go, that was one of the nicest I’ve ever been to. Really lovely people, it’s clear from everyone I spoke to and the speeches given that you have a great company full of talented, proud people.”
My thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate our award that night, both in person and virtually. From walking the red carpet to officially receiving the award to dancing into the wee hours of the morning, it was a fantastic celebration! Special thanks to Leslie and Jim for taking the time out of their busy schedules to help make our evening so special. Thanks also to the staff at 28 West for keeping things running smoothly and to Quantum Class for the great live music.
Check out more photos from our awards ceremony and celebration on the Creative Virtual Facebook page.