Award winners in focus: Outstanding Contribution Award

The final trophy awarded at this year’s BCIA Awards went to Tracey Rushton-Thorpe, Managing Director of Keystone Communications, for the Outstanding Contribution Award.

The Outstanding Contribution Award is presented to someone who has made significant and consistent contribution to the Building Controls sector, as well as demonstrating a strong commitment to supporting the Building Controls and BEMS industry.

Tracey Rushton-Thorpe’s involvement in the BCIA Awards goes back to 2007, when she helped to launch the first event in her previous role as editor of BSEE magazine. Since joining Keystone Communications in 2014 Tracey has played a vital part in the organisation of the Awards as well as helping to bring direction, strategy, and determination to support the organisation itself.

One of the nominations for Tracey stated: “It was Tracey who carried us with her ‘over-and-above’ passion beyond contractual obligation to help see through the delivery of the BEMS apprenticeship trailblazer regardless of what barriers were presented. Without Tracey’s single-minded drive and ambition, together with a forensic understanding of every detail, the trailblazer would not end up running as it is today.”

Another said: “I believe that on behalf of the BCIA membership, we are incredibly lucky that Tracey has been involved throughout some pretty turbulent times and continues to provide a bridge between the leadership of the past, the present leadership and the leadership of the future.”

Top secret

Due to Tracey’s annual involvement in the BCIA Awards, organising this particular award proved a challenge as it was imperative to keep it top secret. During the lead up to the awards, a fake winner’s name was prepared with the rest of the trophies and delivered to Keystone’s office to ensure the secret was kept under wraps, and a false slide was also created before being switched at the last minute for the presentation.

In his award delivery speech, BCIA President Graeme Rees said: “This person is often our source for continuity checks and consistency and their commitment given to the BCIA has outlasted the tenure of many management committee members.”

He added: “Everything you see at the Awards, everything you see from the BCIA, pretty much everything the BCIA is today, is to a very large extent made possible by the contribution of our very worthy winner.”

Proud moment

Commenting on her award Tracey said: “The BCIA is an organisation very close to my heart having been involved with it for so long. This award came as a huge but very welcome surprise. I actually thought somebody had made a terrible mistake as the name that was read out was not the one inscribed on the trophy we had ordered – so my first reaction was panic! Now it has sunk in it is a very proud moment for me and also the Keystone team.”

Graeme Rees concluded: “It is an enormous privilege and honour to be President of the BCIA and without question the highlight each year is seeing the worthy award winners receive their trophies and celebrate their achievements. The Outstanding Contribution Award is essentially our industry’s version of the ‘Players’ Player’ and it was a tough task keeping it secret for so long this year. Thankfully we managed and it was absolutely worth it to see the surprise on Tracey’s face as she walked on to the stage.”