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Shopping park set for year of success after centre manager scoops top award

A busy shopping park has achieved yet another accolade after its centre manager scoops a top award strived for by managers on a national basis.

Deb O’Donnell, centre manager of York-based Vangarde shopping Park, was crowned centre manager of the year by managing agents Workman LLP, at the firm’s annual conference in Solihull attended by dozens centre managers and surveyor’s from all over the UK.

Since Deb’s appointment in 2014, the eco-friendly shopping park has already scooped the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) ACE Award in the Retail / Shopping Park category and the customer service team has achieved WorldHost accreditation, regarded as one of the highest customer service accolades in the world.

She said: “I was absolutely delighted when they announced my name as the winner. It came as a complete shock but I am thrilled to have been presented with this award.

“The last year has been incredible. To have such a run of success is fantastic, not just for me but the shopping park as a whole.

“To be recognised as a person that works hard to run a successful shopping park really means a lot, but to me I was just doing my job.”

Under Deb’s guardianship, Vangarde Shopping Park has been placed at the heart of the community by supporting a wide range of environmental and charitable initiatives this year, including the Big Clean Up, a City of York Council initiative to promote volunteering opportunities and spruce up the city.

It has also become recognised for its sustainable measures to reduce the shopping park’s carbon footprint, as well as been noted for its cleanliness.

Nick Hilton, Partner of Workman LLP, said: “It was a tough decision, but this award was extremely well deserved.

“Deb works exceptionally hard to implement strong community initiatives and her enthusiastic charity work has helped build a strong profile in the local media.

“She has encouraged environmental responsibility across the whole shopping park, including her own staff, tenants and their workforce, making the reduction of energy and cost savings one of her main priorities.”