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The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the largest celebration and recognition of ex-military personnel in the UK workforce, and the employers that support current and former members of the British Armed Forces.

Servicemen and women spend years adapting to roles and gaining valuable skills. They develop qualities that are readily transferable and in demand in the business world, but transitioning back to civilian life and finding a place in the wider UK workforce can be a difficult period for many of the 16,000+ military leavers each year. Despite so many people having gone through a similar transition, service leavers can often feel alone with a lack of visible role models.

The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards is dedicated to providing a much-needed platform for uncovering and promoting the achievements of ex-military who are now excelling in the business world, presenting them as important role models for service leavers struggling with their transition to civilian life as well as current forces personnel anxious about doing so. The event highlights the adaptable skills the military gave them and recognises the organisations that helped them find their new place in society through employment, training and other support.

The high-profile ceremony not only gathers business leaders and veterans to honour the winners, but also brings together top companies, key military personnel, politicians, journalists and other stakeholders to raise awareness of resettlement issues, further dialogue around the importance of ex-forces employment initiatives, and promote the significant value that military-gained skills can provide to the British economy if better utilised in the UK workforce.

2018 HIGHLIGHTS

On 17 May 2018, the inaugural British Ex-Forces in Business Awards took place at London’s iconic De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, gathering 500 leaders and stakeholders for the UK’s largest ever celebration of military veterans in business. Host of the awards, broadcaster Julia-Hartley Brewer, welcomed keynote addresses from Robbie Carroll, UK National Security & Public Safety at headline sponsor AWS, and SAS veteran and bestselling author Andy McNab, as well as entertainment from the Military Wives Choir. Those presenting awards on the evening included General Sir Mike Jackson, who headed the British Army as it entered the Iraq War in 2003, Julian Lewis, MP and Chair of the Defence Select Committee, and Lt General Mark Poffley, Deputy Chief of the General Staff.

GUEST SPEAKER

ANDY MCNAB
Bestselling author and SAS veteran

We were pleased to welcome Andy McNab as the keynote speaker at the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2018. Andy served in the British Army for 18 years as an infantry soldier and then in 22 Special Air Service. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal. He is a bestselling author and his most famous book, Bravo Two Zero, is the biggest selling war book of all time around the world. Andy has been the director of a private security company for over ten years, and regularly advises the MoD and the FBI.

HOST

JULIA HARTLEY-BREWER
Broadcaster and journalist

Julia presents the breakfast show on TalkRADIO, Britain’s newest speech radio station. An experienced broadcaster and political journalist, she is a regular on TV shows such as BBC1’s Question Time, Have I Got News For You and the Andrew Marr Show, as well as ITV’s This Morning, Good Morning Britain and Sky News. She also writes regularly for the Telegraph, the Sun and other newspapers and often appears on Radio 4, including Any Questions, the News Quiz and the Today Programme. She presented a daily show on LBC Radio for four years and before that was political editor and columnist for the Sunday Express.

ENTERTAINMENT

MILITARY WIVES CHOIR

With 75 choirs in British military bases across the UK and overseas, the Military Wives Choirs is a charity that brings over 2,000 women in the military community closer together through singing. Being part of the Military Wives Choirs helps to make a positive difference to women’s lives by improving well-being, building friendships and developing skills, often becoming much more than singing. Among their set list at the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2018, the Military Wives Choir earned a standing ovation after giving an exclusive performance of ‘The Poppy Red’, a song taken from their upcoming album, ‘Remember’, which commemorates the centenary of the end of World War 1.

MEDIA

Forces TV was among numerous national media brands that attended the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2018, interviewing General Sir Mike Jackson and Andy McNab about the importance of the event.

MEDIA

2018 PROMO VIDEO

JUDGING PANEL

Andre Harlock

Head of Power Delivery, Transport for London

Andrew Powell

CEO, The Training Room

Ben Farrell MBE

Head of Central Operations and Transport, John Lewis

Di Thorpe

Facilities Director, Hearst Magazines UK

Dougie Dryburgh

CEO, Viapath

Hugh Eaton

Defence and Intelligence Director, Cisco

John Mason

Head of Regulatory & Market Structure Propositions, Thomson Reuters

John Ponsonby

Managing Director, Leonardo Helicopters UK

Lyanne Maclean

Head of Fleet Services, Royal Mail

Mike Jones

Vice President, NTT Data UK

Nicholas Harrison

Founder, Soldier On!

Paul Charlesworth

Executive Director, JP Morgan

Robbie Carroll

UK National Security & Public Safety, AWS

Stewart Sharman

Deputy Managing Director and Head of the Ex-Forces Programme, FDM Group

Stuart Poole-Robb

CEO, KCS Group Europe

Victoria Gosling

CEO, British Ski and Snowboard

ON THE DAY (2019 TBC)

GRAND CONNAUGHT ROOMS

Dress code: black tie & mess dress

19.00 Drinks reception

20.00 Welcome and keynote address

20.25 Dinner

22.00 Presentation of the awards

22.45 Entertainment

23.00 Networking

01.00 Carriages

NOMINATE

TIMELINE

1 October 2018: Nominations open

14 December 2018: Nominations close

January 2019: Nominees told whether they have been shortlisted

April 2019: Final shortlist publicly announced

April 2019: Judging Day, The Savoy

May 2019: British Ex-Forces in Business Awards

GUIDELINES

The winners are decided by the judges based on the information provided in the written submissions. The submissions that explain why the nominee should win in the most detail, within the word limit of 1,000 words, will stand the best chance. They should detail individual achievements and contributions to success, and where possible include quantitative information, such as revenues, profits, margins, cost savings, efficiency gains, productivity gains, returns on investment, customer wins or anything else that demonstrates that individual’s contributions to a business. Testimonials from colleagues, partners or customers can also enhance a nomination. Please note, any information marked as confidential will remain as such. The judges will refer to the criteria of each award (listed below) when judging it, so nominations should adhere to this closely. Submissions that are less than 550 words in length will not be considered. There is no cost to nominate.

NOMINATE

Advocate of the Year
An organisation or individual that has demonstrated a great desire to support service leavers through their resettlement and into a new career in the last 18 months, or acted as a strong advocate for what ex-forces personnel or reservists can bring to business. The judges will examine specific efforts in this area, as well as ex-forces initiatives and the overall impact of these efforts. For reservists, the judges will examine their business achievements and ability to juggle a career with a commitment to the reserves.
Business Leader of the Year
A leader of an organisation, or a leader of a department or division within a large organisation, who has demonstrated outstanding business leadership in the last 18 months. To assess this category, the judges will look at the progress and growth of the organisation, or the relevant department within it, and how the candidate has contributed to that success, both through their leadership and through their own individual achievements.
Employer of the Year
An organisation that has demonstrated a great desire to attract, retain and support ex-forces personnel. Judges will look at the employer’s overall commitment to the ex-forces community in the last 18 months, including its efforts to recruit them, support them in their resettlement and help them grow through the organisation, as well as examples of recognising and promoting the skills of military service leavers and supporting reservists.
Entrepreneur of the Year
This category is for service leavers who have taken the bold step of starting their own business. The judges will assess the growth of the company since it was launched by the candidate, as well as results in the last 18 months. They will examine the candidate’s leadership and strategy, standout achievements and customer testimonials, as well as the actual performance of the company (turnover, profit, employees etc.).
Innovator of the Year
A business or technology leader who has demonstrated outstanding innovation that has contributed to an organisation’s success or helped to disrupt a business or industry. This could be innovation on an operational or project level within an organisation or something that has impacted other people or organisations in the form of a new product or idea. Judges will examine how innovative the leader has been by looking at individual achievements and how they’ve changed the way something is consumed or done.
Inspiration of the Year
A service leader who has overcome adversity – during their military service, during their transition to civilian life or since he or she started a new career – to ultimately achieve success in the business world and act as an inspiration to others.
Lifetime Achievement
This category looks at the achievements of the candidates throughout their whole career, both in the military and their business achievements after leaving the military. The judges will look at each candidate’s contributions to defending British freedom during their time in the forces, as well as what they have contributed to the British economy through their business achievements since leaving the forces.
New Service Leaver of the Year
This category recognises ex-forces personnel who left the military less than two years ago and, through an effective transition, are already achieving great things in business. The judges will examine standout achievements since the candidates left the forces, including demonstrations of leadership or innovation, contributions to successful projects, and examples or testimonials that highlight the business potential and promise they have shown.
Outstanding Achiever of the Year
This category recognises an outstanding business achievement (or achievements) in the last 18 months from somebody who used to serve in the forces. This could be somebody who has demonstrated outstanding commercial results, transformed an organisation or culture, significantly improved the way an organisation is run, achieved something outstanding for the ex-forces community, or inspired others to achieve.
Rising Star of the Year
A former serviceman or woman who began a post-military career in the last six years and has progressed quickly through an organisation or industry, demonstrating strong business results and leadership. The judges will examine each candidate’s accomplishments and progression since leaving the forces, with a particular emphasis on achievements in the last 18 months.
Role Model of the Year
A former serviceman or woman who has not only transitioned successfully to the business world but has been a strong and effective role model to other service leavers in the last 18 months. The judges will examine each candidate’s commitment to supporting other service leavers through specific examples of how they’ve acted as a role model, as well as demonstrations of their own leadership and business success.
Service Leaver of the Year
This category looks at ex-forces personnel at all stages of their career to pinpoint an overall service leaver of the year. The judges will examine achievements in the last 18 months of each candidate’s career, looking at demonstrations of business excellence and leadership, examples of being a role model to others, as well as efforts to support or represent the ex-forces community as a whole, either as an ambassador or by actively trying to bridge the gap between the armed forces and the business world.
Team Leader of the Year
A team leader within an organisation who has demonstrated outstanding team leadership in the last 18 months. To assess this category, the judges will look at the progress and growth of the organisation, or the relevant team within it, and how the candidate has contributed to that success, both through their team leadership and through their own individual achievements.
Woman of the Year
With women often less recognised than their male counterparts both in business and the armed forces, this category recognises former servicewomen who not only contributed greatly to British defence during their military service but have also demonstrated outstanding business achievements since transitioning to civilian life. The judges will examine examples of each candidate’s success in the business world in the last 18 months, as well as how they have been a role model to others.
Young Leader of the Year
A leader of an organisation, or a leader of a department or division within a large organisation, under the age of 40, who has progressed rapidly into a senior management role and demonstrated outstanding business leadership in the last 18 months. To assess this category, the judges will look at the progress and growth of the organisation, or the relevant department within it, and how the candidate has contributed to that success, both through their leadership and through their own individual achievements.

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