The cream of Queensland business enterprise rose to the top on Friday night when the 2012 Management Excellence Award (MEA) winners were announced at a gala function at the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane.

Hosted by the Australian Institute of Management – Qld & NT, the annual Awards acknowledge exceptional managers at all stages of their careers across a broad spectrum of industry.

AIM received almost 910 nominations across five categories which included Professional Manager of the Year, Owner Manager of the Year, Young Manager of the Year, Rural/Regional Manager of the Year and Not for Profit Manager of the Year.

That list was whittled down to 26 finalists through a stringent judging process with the winners announced at Friday night’s prestigious ceremony.

Bechtel Principal Vice President and General Manager Kevin Berg was named 2012 Professional Manger of the while Mackay’s Lee Staddon from Birch Carroll & Coyle was named Young Manager of the Year.

The Owner Manager of the Year went to John Pearson, Director of Look Now Pty Ltd based on the Sunshine Coast. Little Haven Cooloola Sunshine Coast Palliative Care Business Manager Sue Manton took out the Rural/Regional category and Fiona Jose from the Cape York Institute in Cairns was named Not For Profit Manager of the Year.

MEA history was made this year with the naming of the inaugural National Young Manager of the Year category which featured finalists from Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales. The 2012 National Young Manager of the Year was Queensland’s Lee Staddon.

The 2012 Griffith University Medal for Management Innovation recipient was Allan English, Director of the English Family Foundation.

AIM Chief Executive Officer Vivienne Anthon FAIM said the Management Excellence Awards were the most prestigious of their kind in the state.

“The finalists, and indeed the winners, are at the pinnacle of their profession – these people are deserving winners and the best of the best,” Ms Anthon said. “Once again the level of professionalism across the Queensland management community was extremely high which is testament to the state’s productivity.”

More than 400 people attended the event and Ms Anthon said AIM was committed to supporting managers across Queensland and upholding the profession of management.