Prima Software managing director Ian Buckley has won the Young Stationers’ Award 2017.
Buckley, 35, who joined cloud software solutions developer Prima 11 years ago and has risen up the ranks from customer account manager to managing director, was awarded the prize at a ceremony on Monday (24 July) but was unable to attend as his wife was giving birth to his first child, Lucas.
He trumped stiff competition from Lantana publishing founder Alice Curry, Bright Red Publishing co-founder John MacPherson and Liverpool University Press managing director Anthony Cond.
“The guys tried to FaceTime me during the award ceremony but the internet cut out, so I got a text message saying ‘Congratulations you’ve won’,” said Buckley.
“I was pleasantly surprised. I was flattered to be nominated and when I looked at the quality of the other candidates – a quick Google search and you can find a lot out about the quality and calibre of the people – I thought I was honoured just to be shortlisted.”
The awards recognise the achievements of those below the age of 40 in a range of qualifying professions. In May, Young Stationers’ Committee chairman Dominic Graham called for a wider scope of entries to this year’s awards, including from the print industry.
The judging for this year’s awards was chaired by Stationers’ Company Court Assistant Tim Connell, who said the judges were impressed with Buckley’s “achievements and ability to work his way up within an organisation”.
27-staff Prima Software, based in Widnes, Cheshire, now has sales of around £1m. It mainly provides cloud-based software solutions for office suppliers and print resellers. With 165 UK business clients, it is currently looking to diversify to the US.
“I think it’s how you interact with people,” added Buckley.
“Although we work in technology we always look to collaborate with other companies. I guess if we’re the software house that people trust and people like, we have a human face, and it’s raised our profile and enabled us as a business to grow.
“It’s about making added value relationships where you can do certain things to help people and vice versa. That’s one of the skills I have and possibly why I was nominated and had the other references come in.”
Last year’s gong was scooped jointly by Ella Kahn and Bryony Woods, founders of the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency, with BPIF marketing director Amy Hutchinson highly commended.