Greene King's Paul Wishart has been named as the Business Development Manager of the Year.

He picked up the award at a ceremony at London's Kensington Hilton last night following an intensive day of interviews with award judges.

Paul, who works for the Suffolk company's Pub Partners division, is the 21st person to pick up the award, which is run by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.

The very first winner back in 1996, Simon Longbottom, was interviewed on stage at the event last night. He has risen to become chief executive of Stonegate Pub Company.

Stonegate had further reason to celebrate last night when its employee Neil McKie picked up the Area Manager of the Year for managed businesses.

Nick Bish, founder of the ALMR Operations Managers Awards, said: "Congratulations to Neil and Paul. Their enthusiasm and dedication has shone through and they are very worthy winners and a great asset to UK licensed hospitality."

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The Ops Awards is one of the ALMR's greatest assets and we are incredibly proud to be able to highlight the fantastic work being carried out by talented Operations Managers throughout the country."