The Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards recognize the area’s top business founders and entrepreneurs who have contributed to economic prosperity, challenged the status quo or pioneered social change. Awards are presented in the following categories: Retails & Services, Hospitality, Tourism & Events, Digital & Technology, Property & Construction, Professional Services, Health & Fitness and Manufacturing, Wholesale & Distribution, Social Entrepreneur, Startup, Young Professional of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
The event gala itself is heralded as a highlight of the Gold Coast social calendar and is an ideal networking opportunity for young professionals in the region. Bray was the recipient in the tourism category, praised for his contribution to Gold Coast Tourism.
Bray has been a major player in the yachting and tourism industries for many years. In 2012, he established his own charter management firm and in 2016, he joined the internationally renowned Northrop & Johnson team, offering clients a brick-and-mortar operation in Australia.
"Winning was entirely unexpected," said Bray. "We were up against serious competition in the tourism and hospitality industries, some very well-known companies. I’m really proud to be recognized for something that I am incredibly passionate about. I live and breathe this industry and thrive on being a part of the growth. We certainly don’t do it for the accolades, but it is always nice."
Bray faced down a variety of exceptional companies in his category, including theme parks, attractions and hotels. One of Bray’s main focuses is to educate the Australian market about the yachting industry, specifically chartering in Australia and bringing more yachts to the region, which is well suited for the lifestyle. Bray is proud that the efforts of the Northrop & Johnson team have been recognized outside of the yachting industry and considers this award as a success for yachting in the region.
"What I am proudest of is to be recognized outside of our industry by the mainstream audience," said Bray. "Superyachts have always been a bit of the unknown, but we’re now seeing our lobbying and marketing efforts paying off by more yachts visiting our region, more guests chartering yachts, purchasing yachts and setting them up as charter businesses. All this equates to a greater supply chain benefit through the entire industry right down to the mum and dad businesses. We work hard promoting N&J in Australia and globally. At charter events and yacht shows, our job is first and foremost to raise the profile of Australia through destination marketing, as a region."