The Hunter Business Person of the Year is a prestigious award that honours the contribution of business leaders in our region. Among the winners are people that are well known for their business success and their contribution to business in this region and include people such as Bill Saddington, Hilton Grugeon, Susan Ivens, Mike Nesbitt and Terry Lawler.

This year the Hunter Business person is Jeff McCloy. Jeff attended Belmont High School before completing an engineering degree at the University of Newcastle. He began his working life with the Department of Public Works in Sydney, but quickly moved on to work for a couple of major building companies.

In the late 1970’s, he returned to the region, working for the building company originally established by his father in 1961. He soon became the Managing Director, and quickly extended its operations to make it a major player in the commercial building industry in the lower Hunter. A highlight of its operations was the completion of the John Hunter Hospital in 1990.

Under Jeff’s management, the business branched out and commenced the development of additional business and continually reinvented itself to maintained sustained growth. Of note are the benchmark developments, Jewells Tavern and Mattara Hotel as well as residential developments around the region.

Many Novocastrians are not so aware of the fish farms located near Cairns. This self sufficient operation grows a variety of fish and founds significant university research into the breeding of rock lobsters, an innovative approach to satisfy a growing demand.

The McCloy Group of companies has always maintained their good corporate citizen profile. The group actively supports community sponsorship through the construction business.

That said the judges especially acknowledged Jeff’s own contribution to community matters that are substantial and extend throughout the community.

The judges also point out that while much of this has been quietly done by Jeff, by contrast he has also been a most vocal advocate for our region and when necessary a sometimes loud critic of inaction and distraction. In other words, the judges say, a business leader of repute.

Source: Hunter Business Awards 08 (feature magazine), 1 May 2008