The regional president of McCain Regional President for Great Britain and Ireland, Nick Vermont, has been presented with the lifetime achievement accolade at the Scarborough Business Awards.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, read a citation about Nick's services to business on the Yorkshire Coast.
He said: “The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award was born in Epsom, Surrey. As a youngster, he was keen on many sports, but football was always a keen favourite. A natural born leader, he captained his school football team, as well as the first team at Kingston University, where he graduated in 1980 with a Degree in Business.
"His first job out of university was with Travellers Fare, the catering division of British Rail, working as a Product Manager in their Marketing Department.
In 1982, he tied the knot with his beloved wife Kathy, and the following year he started his career with McCain Foods, where he was a Product Manager in the company’s Marketing department at their Scarborough office, on Havers Hill.
"Working with Harrison and Wallace McCain and Mac McCarthy has remained a career highlight for him. He learnt a lot from these industry legends about potatoes, strong relationships, straight talking and not making the same mistake twice.
"In 1985 his marketing skills were applied at McCain’s global Head Office in Canada for a two-year stint, before he returned to the UK in 1987 to take on the role of Marketing Manager.
"Whilst McCain is known for its potato products, one of his biggest accomplishments back in his marketing days was helping to build McCain into the clear brand leader of frozen pizza.
"Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to driving growth in not just McCain, but the potato industry as a whole. When the British Potato Council was formed in 1997, he represented the processing sector as a member, and in later years he went on to serve three British Potato Council and two Potato Council Boards.
"In 1998, he was appointed Managing Director of McCain Foods (GB) Ltd and moved back to Scarborough. Over the next five years, the business doubled under his leadership, and in 2005 he was promoted to Regional President for GB & Ireland.
"In 2015, he received the British Potato Industry Award by AHDB Potatoes for his illustrious career and the work he has done on behalf of the industry.
"He retired this September after a 35-year career with McCain. With 20 of those years spent leading the company’s UK business from their Head Office in Scarborough,he is looked upon as a significant contributor to the economic development of this area. His proudest moment was securing the £100m manufacturing facility renewal at McCain’s Scarborough factory – ensuring that the business stays in the town for the next 50 years."