Hosting the latest Interact Luncheon last week [10th October] National President and Seven Architecture Director, Simon Parker, led a productive afternoon of networking for construction and property professionals and also announced the hotly anticipated ‘Rising Star’ Award 2019 winner.

Interact members from across the UK, and their guests, gathered at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall which provided a magnificent backdrop to the afternoon’s activities.  Along with a drinks reception, networking and a three-course meal, guests were treated to a captivating talk by guest speaker Ade Adepitan MBE. With European, World and Paralympic basketball medals under his belt, starring in the documentary ‘Hoop Dreams’ and now a regular TV presenter, Ade shared his story as he chatted about overcoming personal challenges and shared the successes which has shaped his career to date.

In addition, the Luncheon provided the perfect occasion to formally announce this year’s ‘Rising Star’ Award 2019 winner. Entries for the Award have been sought over the last six months and, following the judging panel review, the winner this year was presented to Matt McLaughlin, quantity surveyor from Barnes Construction. Following closely in second place was Adam Norfolk, engineer from MLM Group, and in third, Alice Stewardson, quantity surveyor from Danaher & Walsh. All candidates showcased outstanding contribution to their profession and demonstrated expertise, innovation and consideration to others however Matt, in particular, provided some exceptional examples of helping to develop and mentor others in his submission entry.

Simon Parker commented “One of my ambitions during my term as National President was to launch the ‘Rising Star’ Award to celebrate and nurture talented young professionals in their early career. This is the second year the awards have taken place and I’m thrilled we’ve been able to build on the success and promote this initiative again across all Interact branches.”

Simon continues his National President role until 2020, following which, he will pass the reins to incoming President Andrew Harper Rowe of MLM Group, part of Sweco.