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A NASA astronaut will take to the stage as the key-note speaker to elevate the audience at one of the North-east’s most prestigious business awards.

Steve Bowen, who is a US Navy captain and former submariner, will take the audience at the 2015 Elevator Awards black-tie awards gala ceremony on a voyage of discovery, sharing his experiences of his time in space, at the event taking place on Thursday 25 June, at The Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa.

The attendance of Steve has been arranged in partnership with the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET).

Steve, who is also heavily involved in community work, offering youngsters inspiration and support, will also participate in an Elevator and Business Gateway business growth masterclass during the afternoon of the awards. The event, taking place at Elevator’s centre of entrepreneurship situated in Aberdeen’s Energy Park at the Bridge of Don, will be attended by members of the business community and pupils from schools involved with Elevator, and will focus on leadership.

Steve who has a BSc and MA in Engineering, has carried out three space shuttle missions to the International Space Station, seeing him travel almost 17 million miles in space and complete 638 orbits of the earth. 

During the space missions, Steve also carried out seven space walks; NASA’s most hazardous mission activity. He has received numerous awards from the US Navy and NASA for his achievements.

The Elevator Awards, formerly known as the Grampian Awards for Business Excellence, organised by Elevator, and headline sponsors The Royal Bank of Scotland, received hundreds of applications from local businesses. The high amount of entries resulted in a sharp increase in the Employer of the Year and Spirit of Enterprise categories.

Finalists in the prestigious business awards, which are in their 16th year, showcase the best talent from the community, education, and business excellence across the North-east.

Chris Barber, director of ISSET, said: “We are delighted to bring such a highly inspirational and motivational astronaut like Steve Bowen to Aberdeen to share his experiences and help inculcate the NASA ‘You Can Do It’ spirit within the community.”

Gary McEwan Elevator Website

Chief executive of Elevator, Professor Gary McEwan, said: “We are honoured to be welcoming Steve Bowen as the key-note speaker at the awards ceremony, and as the speaker at our masterclass. During his lifetime, Steve has played an instrumental role in three of the world’s most monumental space missions. His courage and determination over the years is truly inspirational, and the audience will learn a lot from his life changing experiences.

“The awards support and showcase the success of entrepreneurship in the North-east, and the awards night continues to be a major event within the North-east business calendar. The evening is an excellent opportunity for local business owners and entrepreneurs to celebrate their achievements and success to date. We wish all of this year’s finalists the best of luck as they approach the final stage of the competition.”

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Russell Whyte, director of commercial banking, at The Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Royal Bank of Scotland is a keen supporter of the Elevator Awards - one of the North East's most inspirational business award events.

"We are delighted that the night will feature an address from astronaut Steve Bowen, whose story is truly inspiring. His work with NASA is an example of human endeavor and technological skill pushing new boundaries, something which many of our clients - and many of the Elevator finalists - can relate to with their business activities."

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