Austin’s Funeral Service, Hertfordshire’s leading, family-owned and operated, funeral director was voted Business of the Year at last night’s Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2012. Austin’s Funeral Service was awarded £7,500 of marketing support by creative marketing agency, KISS Communications, one of the headline sponsors of the event. Austin’s has eight branches in North and East Herts arranging over 1,200 funerals a year and has served the community as funeral directors for over three centuries. It also owns and operates Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens in Stevenage. Organised by the Herts Chamber of Commerce, Inspiring Hertfordshire celebrated inspirational actions and outstanding achievements by businesses, social enterprises and individuals. Aside from winning the Business of the Year Award, Austin’s Funeral Service also won Excellence in Customer Service and Medium to Large Business of the Year, as well as Claire being voted a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards category. Commenting on the award, Claire Austin, Managing Director at Austin’s who is the tenth generation of her family to run Austin’s said, “I was absolutely delighted and proud to accept, not one but three, magnificent awards at the HCCI event on Thursday evening. Awards such as these can only be achieved by the dedication, commitment and professionalism demonstrated day after day by our truly wonderful staff. Accolades received from independent bodies examining the performance and quality of service provided by Austin’s, a family business since 1700, makes me very proud indeed.” Award-winning KISS Communications’ Managing Director, Simon Fryer, presented Claire with her beautiful glass trophy. He said, “Austin’s is an inspirational company. The 300 year old family run business has gone from strength to strength, combining its caring, sympathetic and sensitive service with an incredibly well run and highly organised business. Under Claire’s strong leadership and vision, the business has grown significantly, based predominantly on recommendations. KISS Communications is looking forward to working with Claire and her team as she continues to develop Austin’s for the next 300 years.” Yolanda Rugg, Commercial Director at Herts Chamber of Commerce said, “We had some outstanding entries to the awards and proved just how dynamic and successful Hertfordshire is as a county. Claire Austin impressed our panel of judges time and time again and we are delighted her achievements were recognised. We wish Austin’s every success for the future.” KISS Communications works with a broad range of blue chip companies including Johnson Matthey, Bosch, PlastiKote and Booking.com, as well as successful SMEs such as Intergence, 8 Solutions, Real Status, and Cambridge Past Present & Future. The agency, which is based in Hertfordshire, provides strategy, advertising, design, branding, digital, exhibitions and PR services. Earlier in the year, KISS was voted one of the top marketing agencies in the East of England by Business Weekly.