Want to meet our fabulous judges?

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Our judges run their own successful businesses and therefore know the challenges faced by companies from a wide range of sectors. They appreciate business pressure on everything from generating fiscal growth and developing productive and happy staff, to operating during a pandemic and, for EU and British businesses, dealing with the added uncertainty of Brexit. In short, our esteemed judges have seen it all, and overcome it, so are well placed to spot the next deserving business winner.

IAN HUGHES 
Managing Director, Consumer Intelligence

Driven by his passion for information technology, Ian has made it his life’s work to help companies understand how to improve their world by helping them better understand and serve their customers. He started his career by combining his love for IT with Marketing in roles at M & S and MM Group, and went on to form eCharity.com during the .com boom. In 2003, he launched Consumer Intelligence – an insight partner for financial services that uses its unique data offering to provide compelling consumer understanding and a comprehensive view of the marketplace, inspiring confident decisions that build consumer trust. 

NICKY MCCRUDDEN
MInLM

After graduating with a first-class honours degree and a stint in academia, Nicky had a fast-track career in the public sector where she studied Strategic Leadership at post-graduate level and became the youngest senior manager in her organisation. In 2010, she moved out of the public sector and founded what is now a thriving and multi-award-winning training, coaching and consultancy company.

SAMIE AL-ACHRAFI 
CEO, Marmalade Fish

As the founder and CEO of Marmalade Fish, Samie leads a team of world-class facilitators and coaches to bring humanity to business, reaching over 1 million people in 2020. Marmalade Fish was the first certified B Corporation in the GCC, and has been named Best Organisational Change Consultancy and Change Management Company of the Year. Samie is also a partner at ELEPHAS® Paris, the first beauty brand in the world dedicated to elephant conservation. Samie gained a double first-class degree in philosophy and theology with a specialisation in ethics from the University of Durham, and a Master of Science in Management (with distinction) from the University of London. He studied Leading Global Businesses at Harvard Business School.

SHARON WELCH 
Managing Director, Bid Writer Consultancy

Sharon is Managing Director of the multi award-winning Bid Writer Consultancy, which was established in 2014. The company’s ethos is to provide affordable bid-writing support to small- and medium-sized companies to help them win government contracts. Following a successful 30 year career in business development roles within charities and private sector companies, Sharon understands that winning contracts is important to help businesses thrive and grow. 

HOWARD MCKENZIE 
Managing Director, HMSL

Howard McKenzie spent 30 years as a manager and academic in education and training, rising from tenant dairy farmer to Principal of a large College in Scotland. In 2008 he returned to the portfolio life of a consultant building an international client base in the engineering, financial services, education and publishing sectors. He remains the senior academic consultant for Pearson plc – Direct Delivery, which delivers education and training to 20,000 students across the Gulf region. 

PHILIP YOUNG FBCS CITP 
Philip Young Consulting Limited

Philip is a ‘Hybrid’ change specialist, working primarily in the complicated areas where successful integration of Technology and IT services into businesses functions is vital for success. He is also a Strategist, NED, published author, professional speaker and a mentor to entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

NEIL FINEBERG
Managing Director, The Finegreen Group

Neil Fineberg is the Managing Director of successful, award winning recruitment & development consultancy, The Finegreen Group, focused on helping organisations (predominantly Healthcare) recruit & develop the best people to Executive/Management positions; now also providing executive education, mentoring and board governance reviews. With 13 years of experience in his field, Neil has built up a business with excellent networks at the highest levels across the NHS, private healthcare and international healthcare arenas, as well as strong links to education, local government and large private sector providers of services to the Healthcare industry.

MATTHEW BOX
Founder, Inclusion.Me Ltd
Matthew is the founder of Inclusion.Me Ltd, a rapidly expanding nationwide independent Occupational Therapy (OT) & Disability Access Auditing company specialising in providing expert OT interventions, as well as offering advice on disability access issues to both the private and public sectors.