“25 Years Awards” Gala : Nine O’Clock confers excellence prizes to personalities and companies with outstanding results in 2015

At the “25 Years Awards” Gala on Wednesday evening, in a festive atmosphere, Nine O’Clock conferred excellence awards to personalities and companies that stood out through the special results they registered in 2015.

Numerous personalities, Romanian and foreign diplomats, outstanding representatives of the business community, of financial-banking circles and of prestigious NGOs, were by our side and honoured us with their presence at the ceremony hosted by the Intercontinental Hotel, and we thank them for their presence and for being by our side at this event as well as throughout this beautiful and challenging 25-year history.

We also thank all personalities that received awards for their beautiful words of appreciation for our daily and for the role that Nine O’Clock plays in the Romanian mass media landscape, as a credible instrument of information for the foreign community present in Romania.

Organized at a jubilee moment, namely the year in which Nine O’Clock daily marks 25 years of existence, the Awards Gala differed from previous ones. At this edition, the Special Jury decided to diversify the portfolio of awards categories, so that 26 Excellence Awards were conferred to personalities and companies as a sign of recognition for their merits, their remarkable activity and actions carried out in 2015.

Each award winner received a diploma, a crystal trophy and a decorative string art plaquette.


President Klaus Iohannis was designated “Politician of the Year” for his sustained domestic politics activity in his first year in office, for the remarkable efforts made to promote the country’s interests abroad, to consolidate Romania’s image as a credible partner within NATO and the European Union but also in her relations with neighbouring countries in a regional and international context full of challenges.

The Head of State was not able to attend the event “because of professional duties,” and was represented by presidential aide Andrei Muraru.

“Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis thanks you for this award, which honours him, for your work in the service of Romania in the last 25 years and wishes you, at the same time, success in the next 25 years too,” presidential aide Andrei Muraru stated.

The “Most Dynamic Debut as Head of Diplomatic Mission in Romania” Award was conferred to Hans Klemm, the United States of America’s Ambassador to Bucharest for the very active way in which he made his presence felt in our country since the very first days of his mission; for his actions and statements concerning the enforcement of rule of law and fundamental freedoms; and for his remarkable contribution to the development of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States of America.

Dean Thompson, U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, stood in for Ambassador Klemm who was in Cluj-Napoca.

The “Romanian Ambassador of the Year” Award was conferred to Victor Micula, State Secretary with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  for “his work as ambassador to Hungary and for his contribution to bilateral actions”, according to the jury’s motivation, presented by Nine O’Clock Chairman Radu Bogdan.

The “Foreign Ambassador of the Year” Award was conferred to the head of Germany’s diplomatic mission, Ambassador Werner Haus Lauk. The award was picked up by Letitia Sburlan from the German Embassy’s press and public relations section.

“I am extremely honoured to receive this special award “Foreign Ambassador of the Year” on behalf of Ambassador Lauk. Unfortunately, due to a long planned holiday, he is not in Bucharest at the moment. But when he was informed about the Jury’s decision, he was extremely delighted and asked me to transmit his thanks to the Jury and to you, Mr. Bogdan.

As you might imagine, for foreign diplomats as well as for foreign visitors to Romania, an English-speaking newspaper is a highly appreciated medium for getting familiar with the political, economic and cultural debates taking place in the host country. But Nine O’Clock is more than this: with your huge, and never-ending interest in the activities of diplomatic missions, every year you offer us an opportunity to present Germany on the occasion of our National day, October 3rd. I would like to thank you and your team for your ongoing interest in reporting about Germany and the activities of the German Embassy in Bucharest. We wish the Nine O’Clock team continued succes in their daily work,” said Ms. Sburlan.

The “Foreign Banker of the Year with Longest Activity in Romania” Award was conferred to Steven van Groeningen, President of Raiffeisen Bank Romania, for his notable management and special activity at the helm of some of the most important banks in Romania, for his remarkable contribution to encouraging foreign investment in Romania.

“Thank you very much for this award. I hope that I receive this award not only for the fact that I’ve been able to stay in Romania for about 20 years. Congratulations for your activity to you and the Nine O’Clock team for these 25 years in Romania and I hope we will spend some more years in Romania,” said Steven van Groeningen.

The “Inter-Governmental Organization Most Involved in Socio-Cultural Projects in Romania” Award went to TIKA – Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency for numerous successful projects jointly developed with relevant ministries and a number of universities in the fields of education, healthcare, culture and sports.

“It’s a great pleasure for us to receive this prize from the Nine O’Clock nespaper. We have started our activity for almost a year and it is a great honour for us to see that our work is appreciated by the Nine O’Clock family,” said Haci Ahmet Dastan, TIKA President.

Lawyer Remus Borza received the Special Award for “Best Management” for his work as Hidroelectrica’s trustee in bankruptcy, for being Hidroelectrica’s best manager and for obtaining the best financial result in the company’s history in relation to its production of electricity.

“It is undoubtedly an honour and a privilege for my team to receive this award. Perhaps it is a sign of public recognition of our efforts in order to turn a symbol of the Romanian business environment like Hidroelectrica into the pearl of the crown of the Romanian industry. We have been able to prove that there is life during insolvency and even after insolvency and we have been able to prove that stable companies can achieve great performance if managed by people who qualify from the managerial point of view and are not motivated by mere political parties. We have proved that stable companies can also act as drivers of economic growth and symbol of social stability. In 2012, we took over the management of the Romanian company that had the highest level of debts. Last year Hidroelectrica managed to pay all these debts at nominal value.

There is no doubt Hidroelectrica is the company most eagerly awaited to be traded on the stock exchange and I can guarantee that this will happen in 2016, precisely in November 2016 and I can guarantee this is going to be the most successful trading of a public company in Romania. I want to thank you once again for your effort and for your trust, which is at the same time an honour and an obligation on our part. I want to congratulate this great team of the Nine O’Clock daily that has managed to survive in a hostile economic environment in the last years in Romania and for managing to maintain very high moral standards in the media environment. Nine O’Clock has been able to provide information in an objective manner to the public opinion, to the people and to the members of the diplomatic missions in Romania, enabling them to have objective information regarding Romanian realities and social, economic and political dynamics. As a matter of fact, Nine O’Clock daily has acted as the most efficient ambassador of Romania in this environment and I hope we will be able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this daily together,” said Remus Borza.

Three organizations were awarded in the “Political Affairs and International Economic Relations” Section:

  • Coalitia pentru Dezvoltarea Romaniei, for “active collaboration with government and non-government authorities in order to identify the most opportune and efficient measures for the development of the business environment”;
  • NRCC — Netherlands Romanian Chamber of Commerce for “outstanding efforts to attract and consolidate Dutch investments in Romania and to strengthen economic relations between Romania and The Netherlands”;
  • PATRES – The Romanian Organization of Renewable Energy Employers, for “the investments the members of this organization made in the Romanian green energy sector, for their constant preoccupation with identifying the optimal policies for the promotion of renewable energy in our country.”

The “Banks and Financial Services” Section also had several winners:

Garanti Bank was conferred “The Most Dynamic and Innovative Bank” Award, for “the efforts aimed at consolidating Garanti Bank’s role as main actor on the Romanian banking market, for strengthening the bank’s image in a very competitive financial environment”;

“I would like to thank Nine O’Clock team for this award. I am very happy to be here with you and to receive this award. I thank you and your readers for giving me this prize,” said Ufuk Tandogan, CEO Garanti Bank Romania.

Alpha Bank was conferred the “Retail Bank of the Year 2015” Award for “significant results obtained in one of the most important financial services sector, for active involvement in financial education campaigns”;

Banca Transilvania was conferred the “Excellence in Banking Services” Award for “the sustained policy of supporting SMEs, the entrepreneurial spirit, of consolidating its financing potential, including by taking over Volksbank’s portfolio in Romania.”

The “IT&C” Section had several winners too:

  • Cluj IT, for transforming Cluj-Napoca into one of the most important IT&C centres in Romania and for positioning this brand as a software solutions supplier renowned in Eastern Europe;
  • Gecad Net, for its more than 23 years of existence and for its always innovative results in the IT security domain, for the highly efficient software solutions offered to clients, for agility and efficiency in business;
  • Teamnet, for the innovation generated by the Teamnet team, which made its mark in the country and at international level as one of the main system integrators in the region and for contributing, through high-standard expertise and consultancy, to boosting the competitiveness of public and private organizations;

In the “Communications and Digital Industry” Section the awards were conferred to the following companies:

  • Huawei, “for its contribution to positioning Romania in the global digital economy, for making major investments in our country and employing over 1,200 specialists in the communications equipment and services industry”;
  • Oracle, “for significant investment in Romania, for positioning the company among the biggest integrators of IT solutions and services, for being top employer of Romanian specialists in the digital economy sector”;
  • Telekom Romania, for “its permanent effort to boost the quality of integrated services and high-quality services for an ever growing number of clients, for Telekom Romania Communications and Telekom Romania Mobile Communications’ involvement in bringing Romanian cities and villages up to superior standards in telecommunications”;

The winners at the “Most dynamic industrial companies” Section were:

  • Dacia Renault, for “the professionalism with which the Dacia brand has continued to represent an emblem of the Romanian economy and the prestige that this company enjoys, every year, among large auto manufacturers in Europe and on global markets.”
  • Softronic Craiova for “the courage and competence with which this young Romanian company brought back to life the locomotive and rail carriage industry, for the competitiveness of its equipment on export markets.”
  • Continental Anvelope Timisoara for “its 15 years of activity in Romania and for the quality of the close to 200 million tires manufactured in Timisoara and exported worldwide.”


In the “Impactful Social Responsibility” Section, the winners were:

  • Vodafone Foundation, for “active involvement in the life of communities and remarkable results in the campaigns to support disadvantaged families, to combat poverty, to modernize medical services and to promote education”
  • Asociatia Environ , for “permanent preoccupation with environment protection, through a rich portfolio of successful recycling and waste management projects and campaigns, particularly in what concerns electronics”;
  • OvidiuRo Foundation, for “transforming the need for early education into a topic of national debate and interest, for the success of the “Fiecare Copil in Gradinita -Every Child in Kindergarten” pilot project, which has so far changed over 6,000 destinies in over 43 communities, leading to the adoption of Law no.248/2015, which will give an ever growing number of children the chance to education and to a better life”;

The children of the Allegretto Choir were designated “Romania’s Cultural Ambassadors” for “successfully representing Romania’s image in the world in over 67 tours, for the diverse repertoire they sang in 27 languages, thus winning over their audience, for their rich record of awards.”

At the end of the event, the children gave a recital that thrilled the audience, performing a selection of songs sang in several languages: Romanian, English, Italian, German, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian.

We thank and express our gratitude to all sponsors, for the generous support they offered for this event:

Platinum Sponsor



Golden Sponsors


Sette Giorni,



Silver Sponsors






Raiffeisen Bank



Other Sponsors:




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