Hunter business Chamber named Lake Macquarie entrepreneur and property developer Jeff McCloy business person of the year last night. Mr McCloy, who has bought numerous properties in inner Newcastle recently, including Legacy House, the Lucky Country Hotel and the former Hunter Water building, was honoured in front of 360 business people at a Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley at Pokolbin. The Belmont-based developer, who also operates the $15 million luxury charter yacht, Seafaris, on the Great Barrier Reef was also recognised for his generosity in supporting community affairs.

Hunter Business Chamber president Karen Howard said that as well as contributing to business in the region, Mr McCloy had brought new levels of achievement in residential and commercial development.

Ms Howard said Mr McCloy was a philanthropist who had donated millions of dollars to causes that cared for people.

Previous winners of the award have included Susan Ivens (Toronto and Maitland Private Hospitals), Bob Cameron (Centennial Coal) and Mike Nesbitt (Marathon Tyres). Sarah Kemp, managing director of environmental management firm Smart Future Consulting, was recognised as young achiever of the year. Port Waratah Coal Services took out the President’s Award for its leading role in the coal industry and for its continuing investment in the Hunter Region. Tomago Aluminium was recognised for contribution to the region’s economic growth, employment operation and support of community affairs.

Fairfax Regional Printers won the environmental sustainability award; Cowan Manufacturing received the award for business achievement, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley won the customer service award and Tomago manufacturer New Macey was recognised for small business excellence.

Source: Wendt, G. (2 August 2008), Newcastle Herald