Glen Dimplex founder wins Oslo Business for Peace Award
A local entrepreneur and businessman has been announced as the first ever Irish recipient of the Oslo Business for Peace Award. Dubbed the Nobel Prize of business by international media, the prestigious award is given annually to exemplary business leaders who foster peace and stability for the greater good of society through their business initiatives.
Martin Naughton, the founder of the Glen Dimplex Group in Newry has been named as a recipient of the coveted accolade, after being nominated by Chambers Ireland, supported by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, South Dublin Chamber and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The global business chief was recognised for his efforts in promoting the role of the private sector in contributing to peace and environmental sustainability. He is the first Irish honouree of the award – whose previous winners include Elon Musk and Richard Branson.
Mr Naughton has grown Glen Dimplex Group from seven employees in 1973 to becoming Ireland’s largest privately-owned manufacturing business and the undisputed world leader in intelligent electric heating and renewable energy solutions.
During the turbulent years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, he promoted and supported business on both sides of the border – including negotiating cross-border trade, and played a leading role in establishing a corporate department on renewable and low-carbon solutions for heating, cooling, and ventilation.
Congratulating Mr Naughton on his award, Mary Meehan, CEO of Newry Chamber, said, “This is tremendous global recognition for a local entrepreneur and one of Ireland’s most successful business leaders who has played a key role in effecting positive societal change”.
Paul Convery, President of Newry Chamber also offered his congratulations.
“As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the selfless efforts of Mr Naughton is a reminder that we as a business community must continue to work to maintain peace on the island of Ireland and to promote and support business operating on and trading both sides of the border,” said the Chamber President.
President Michael D Higgins praised the manufacturing chief for his efforts in encouraging the private sector to focus on its potential impact on peace building and environmental sustainability and said the Dundalk man was “deserving of this global recognition.”
Commenting on his achievement, Mr Naughton said, “I am honoured and humbled to have been recognised by Business for Peace for this award. Throughout my life in business, as founder of Glen Dimplex Group, I have been fortunate to have been able to play my part in effecting positive societal change. As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, I am reminded that we must continue to work to maintain peace on both sides of the Irish border. Similarly, we must redouble our efforts to tackle climate change and promote environmental sustainability.”
The Glen Dimplex founder will join other 2018 honourees Lori Blaker, president and CEO of TTi Global and Edgar Montenegro, founder and CEO of Corpocampo, at a formal awards ceremony which will take place in Oslo City Hall on May 16th.