Four well-renowned and respected manufacturing leaders from Northern Ireland have been announced as the latest inductees to the Northern Ireland Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

First launched in 2022, this is the second intake to the Hall of Fame which recognises stalwarts of the local manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland.

This year’s inductees are John Bosco O’Hagan, Founder and Group Chairman of Specialist Group; Walter Watson, Founder of Walter Watson Ltd; Mark Hutchinson, CEO of Hutchinson Engineering; and George Fleming, Chairman and Founder of Fleming Agri Products.

The Northern Ireland Manufacturing Hall of Fame welcomed its first inductees last year and aims to recognise leaders from across Northern Ireland who have made an exceptional contribution to manufacturing and engineering. This year’s winners were announced at the Manufacturing NI annual leadership summit, Anchor High, at the Guildhall in Derry, and have dedicated their entire professional lives to their communities, staff, and companies as well as significantly boosting the Northern Irish economy.

As part of the selection criteria, inductees had to have started or grown a Northern Irish business significantly and sustainably over the last two decades at least; enhanced Northern Ireland’s manufacturing reputation through sectoral or product development; are highly respected by peers, employees and communities in which their businesses operate; or contributes to community initiatives or charitable or sporting causes.

Speaking at the Anchor High Conference Dinner, Manufacturing NI Chief Executive Stephen Kelly said:

“Announcing our four latest entries to the Northern Ireland Manufacturing Hall of Fame is a fitting way to close out Manufacturing Month, an initiative which, first and foremost, aims to recognise those people and leaders in our industry who go above and beyond to make it the global success that it is.

“John Bosco, Walter, Mark, and George are talented and compassionate leaders from across Northern Ireland. They have worked tirelessly to create and sustain jobs, ensure that their products and services remain innovative and at the cutting edge, and have helped put Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector on the global map.

“The hard work of these four leaders and their peers over decades, through good times and bad for Northern Ireland, means that this small part of the world has a thriving international reputation for manufacturing and engineering excellence. On behalf of the membership of Manufacturing NI, I would like to congratulate and thank them for their efforts throughout their careers.”

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