Managing Director of the hugely successful BLK BOX, Gregory Bradley has been chosen as Herbert Smith Freehills Young Leader of the Year 2018 at the recent Young Leaders Northern Ireland Conference.
BLK BOX is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of specialist fitness equipment for world class training facilities. Employing a team of 21 and with an impressive 30,000 sq ft HQ in the Titanic Quarter, Gregory has created a unique business in the heart of Belfast. The judges were won over by the compelling combination of Gregory’s determination, his evident passion for his business and his humility.
Notably, Gregory places his employees at the centre of the business and employs people who share his goal and passion in serving the fitness industry in the best way possible. The judges were impressed by the leadership Gregory has consistently demonstrated by investing in training and development both for himself and his team. Gregory’s approach is not to micro-manage, but to delegate and allow his team to be empowered and evolve.
The presentation of the award to Gregory, in the presence of 220 young leaders, concluded an inspirational day and the biggest Young Leader’s Conference to date. The audience heard from a range of inspirational speakers who have excelled in their areas of business, with each sharing their personal experience of how young leaders can take steps to ensure they are “fit to lead”. Keynote speaker, leading entrepreneur Lady Chanelle McCoy, recounted challenges she has faced during her high profile career, together with her top tips for success. The conference also heard inspirational testimonies from Andrew Trimble (retired Ireland / Ulster rugby player and previous Ulster Player of the Year award winner); Alison Canavan (health and wellness coach and author); My Sister’s Closet (fashion entrepreneurs and lifestyle bloggers) and Robert Herdman (motivational speaker).
Chair of Young Leaders NI, Chris Fleming said: “Each year, the conference grows in calibre and exceeds all expectations. The standard of entries for the Young Leader of the Year Award was the greatest yet and it is a timely reminder of the pedigree of young business people here in Northern Ireland. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, Herbert Smith Freehills, Progressive Building Society, AKFP Group, EY and The William J Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen’s University. Without their contributions and support, the quality and scale of the event we deliver would not be possible. Thanks also to the Prince’s Trust for their continued role as our charity partner; we are delighted to be able to champion this worthy cause.”
Lisa McLaughlin, director of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Belfast office commented:
“Our extremely worthy award winner, Gregory, demonstrates attributes which are at the core of Herbert Smith Freehills’ values. By identifying an initial gap in the market and creating and building his business from that initial vision, Gregory has successfully disrupted the market to his advantage. He is outward looking with ambitious plans to grow his business globally, and the way in which he has invested in, inspired and developed his team has clearly been central to his success. Gregory will receive a place on one of the executive courses at The William J Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen’s University which will present a fantastic opportunity for him to continue to enhance his leadership skills and inspire others in his team.”
The announcement of this year’s winner was made at the Young Leaders’ Northern Ireland Conference ‘Are you fit to lead’ at Riddell Hall, organised by Young Leaders NI.
Young Leaders NI is a group formed by the Junior Chamber International Belfast, the Northern Ireland Young Solicitors’ Association, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Northern Ireland and the Chartered Accountants Ireland Ulster Society Young Professionals Group.