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Network Publication’s Top Entrepreneur Awards is a first year initiative of local business publication The Economic Update. The event was held at the Grand Excelsior Hotel, Floriana on the 4th May 2012 and brought together some 38 of Malta’s top business people all competing for The Economic Update’s Top Entrepreneur Awards 2012. The event, which was sponsored by Bank of Valletta, started off with a lavish black tie Gala Event, culminating with the much awaited Awards ceremony. Awards were attributed to three separate categories, being 1 to 14 years in business, 15 to 20 years and 20+ years.


The judging panel comprised of Dr. Sandra Sladden, Chairperson ETC, Mr. Joseph Farrugia, Director General Employers Association as well as Mr. Tancred Tabone, President, Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. The final votes for such an award was the result of a summation of 50% awarded by the aforementioned panel as well as 50% of votes received online via the magazine’s website. The voting criteria were split into five categories, mainly strategy, innovation, diversification, perceived influence and of course, entrepreneurship.

Rachel Vella, Director of ROCS Group was awarded the honour of Malta’s Top Entrepreneur 2012 from 15 to 20 years in business. We asked her to give us her feedback about this award and stated the following “I was not expecting this award at all hence it was a real and true surprise. I was so overwhelmed with the result that for the very first time I was barely able to talk and uttering a simple few words felt like one of the biggest challenges that I ever had to face! Upon receiving the award I immediately dedicated the honour to my family and thanked them for always making me feel so much loved and for fully supporting me unconditionally in making my dreams turn into reality. I also want to thank all the ROCS Group staff for their dedication, constant support and trust. I am honestly grateful and very proud to have them as part of our family and friends. This award is not only my personal achievement but most importantly a success for my family, our ROCS Group business associates and all the ROCS Group members of staff. It is only with the help of our united efforts that we have managed to achieve so much and made ROCS the brand it is today.”

Following her father’s determination, honest business ethic and the belief that “a job worth doing is worth doing well”, today Rachel Vella is the driving force behind this family company that boasts a forty year legacy of success. Sarah Bisa, Director of Global Retail and Luxury Sales, Eame, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, stated “Rachel is definitely one of the most capable and energetic business partners I’ve met during my entire career. The success of her various business ventures speak for themselves. She’s also one of these rare examples how a lady can accomplish it all – and I mean ALL – while being genuine and true to herself. Malta is fortunate to have such a charismatic ambassador.”

Vasos Hadjitheodosiou, President, Salamis Tours (Holdings) Ltd., Cyprus, also had only words of praise for Rachel, “Since the very first day I met Rachel, I knew that this young lady was very much able to deliver what most men cannot. Through her strong drive and unparalleled foresight she has managed to build a travel market where most others would have failed instantly. Definitely one of the most gifted persons I ever met.”

Wojtek Inglot, Entrepreneur of the Year in Poland as well as another of Rachel’s business associates commented, “If one looks for a perfect example of turning passion into success in business, come to Malta and meet Rachel Vella. From the first encounter I knew that such a professional personality would make a great representative of INGLOT on the island. We did not need to wait long to see a quickly flourishing INGLOT store in the Mediterranean Sea region. Presently, INGLOT Malta is going even further and serves as a gateway to the Northern Africa. Rachel, with your energy, I can’t wait to see what’s next!” concluded Mr. Inglot.

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