Veterans recognised for their business achievements at launch of new awards

New awards programme identifies business role models for service leavers to support them during resettlement and promote the value of military-gained skills in the wider UK workforce.

The finalists for the inaugural British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the largest ever celebration of military veterans in the UK workforce, are today revealed.

The awards programme, held in association with Amazon Web Services (AWS), is dedicated to uncovering the achievements of ex-forces personnel who are now excelling in business, presenting them as important role models for service leavers.

Each year over 16,000 servicemen and women leave the military. Despite having developed transferable qualities that are in demand in the business world, many find the process of resettling to civilian life and finding a place in the wider UK workforce a difficult period.

The awards ceremony, taking place in London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms on 17 May, highlights these adaptable skills by shining a light on the business achievements they have helped enable, and recognises the organisations that have supported service leavers.

The high-profile ceremony will gather hundreds of business leaders to reveal and honour the winners, as well as bringing together top companies, military personnel, politicians, journalists and other stakeholders to raise awareness of resettlement issues, encourage the development of ex-forces employment schemes and promote the significant value that military-gained skills can provide to the UK economy if better utilised across the workforce.

“We are thrilled to see so many talented military veterans recognised for their outstanding achievements in business,” said Gavin Jackson, UK managing director at AWS. “We find that many of the qualities that are foundational to military service are invaluable for our own organisation. Hiring transitioning military veterans and military spouses is a fantastic opportunity for any company to grow its talent pool, and we are proud to support the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards which extol the virtues of these men and women.”

The awards attracted over 250 nominations and include categories for Business Leader of the Year, Employer of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Rising Star of the Year, Woman of the Year, Young Leader of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

The ceremony will be presented by journalist and broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer who will welcome former SAS soldier and bestselling author Andy McNab as a guest speaker as well as entertainment from the Military Wives Choir. Those presenting awards on the evening include General Sir Mike Jackson (pictured), who headed the British Army as it entered the Iraq War in 2003, and Falklands War hero Simon Weston CBE.

“Hiring transitioning military veterans and military spouses is a fantastic opportunity for any company to grow its talent pool, and we are proud to support the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards which extol the virtues of these men and women.”
Gavin Jackson, UK managing director, AWS

As well as Amazon Web Services, whose AWS re:Start programme equips service leavers with the latest software development and cloud computing technologies to perform technology roles, other sponsors of the awards include FDM Group, Kuehne + Nagel, PwC, Santander and Transport for London. Soldier On! has been selected as charity partner.

“Servicemen and women develop qualities that are easily transferable to roles in business, yet many employers fail to recognise this or are deterred by common misconceptions,” said Ben Rossi, journalist and founder of the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards. “Recognising these attributes and doing more to recruit, train and generally support military veterans is not only the right thing to do but it’s also vital to the prosperity of our economy. We were overwhelmed by the talent on display in the nominations received for the awards, and we look forward to recognising this unique and admirable group of people on 17 May.”

British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2018 – The Finalists

Advocate of the Year

Chris Coghlan, Bibimoney
David Bruce, Global Cloud Xchange
Hugh Andree, ForceSelect
John Chantry, Barclays
Mark Parr, KPMG
Neil Porter, BAM
Richard Quellyn-Roberts, Mitmark

Business Leader of the Year

David Wilkins MBE, Goldman Sachs
Karl Havard, PA Consulting Group
Marcus James, CBRE
Mark Carnaghan, 2 Sisters Food Group
Mark Taylor, Taylor Consulting Group
Robert Hughes-Penney, Rathbone Brothers
Scott Lane, Day Webster
Scott Porter, Top Conker

Employer of the Year

Balfour Beatty
Jaguar Land Rover
Transport for London

Entrepreneur of the Year

Daryl Flack, BlockPhish
Gavin Lumsden, Essential Teaching UK
Guy Richardson, EIGER Performance
Kevin Jefcoate, Blackhawk Network
Richard Turner, Turner Tech Consulting
Steve McCarthy, Hansei Technology
Stuart Pearce, SMARTech Energy
Tony Knights, Knights Group Worldwide

Innovator of the Year

Che Armstrong Chingang, HSBC
Haig Tyler, Herbert Smith Freehills
John Flexman, Norton Rose Fulbright
Matthew Hopkinson, Didobi
Nicholas Mazzei, BT
Richard Gill, Drone Defence
Simon Davies, Spectra Group
Tony Reeves, Microsoft

Inspiration of the Year

Alex MacEwen, BlackRock
Ally Musthan, Artisan People
Christopher McDonald, Network Rail
Daniel Richards, Academies Enterprise Trust
Darren Smith, Curbside Gaming
Gareth Fulton, Experian
Paul Bensley, Tarmac Building Products
Rory Mackenzie, RM Speaking

Lifetime Achievement

Andrew Whitehorn, Workplace Solutions
Collin Singer, Wagtail UK
Craig Summers, Sky News
David Dent, Parexel International
Dr Jon Lamonte, Transport for Greater Manchester
Gary Stockton, Komankra
Julian Knight, Dynamic Capital Management
Major Scott Kirkwood, Advocate Design
William McTavish Martin-Grayston, Sovereign FM

New Service Leaver of the Year

Adam Meyer, Awareness Response Training
Ben Davis, Barclays Investment Bank
Daniel Frost, Marks and Spencer
Iain Church, Moringa Miracles
Mark Willis, Goldman Sachs
Richard Shepherd, Bring The Game Over
Thomas Varty, J.P Morgan

Outstanding Achiever of the Year

Andrew MacLeod, Hear Their Cries
Andy Lewis, Cadent
Craig Henshaw, MedaPhor
Darren Holmes, Wates
Edward Osborne, Virtualstock
Jordan Wylie, JWC International
Steve Marshall, Aldi
Steven Higgs, Mezzanine International

Rising Star of the Year

Damon Tyler, NHS Calderdale CCG
David Edgar, Barclays
James Randall, Siemens
James Stafford Allen, Moody’s Investors Service
Jamie Wood, Harniss
Lee Leyland, CIS Security
Mark Wilson, ConocoPhillips
Morgan Scrase, Rarden Safety Solutions

Role Model of the Year

Craig Dunbar, Scania
Daisy Coleman, Coleman Racing
Jim Mathieson, Shell
John Allwood, Lead Forensics
Neil Denton, Home Office
Nick Onslow, Russell Ulyatt
Rowena Fell, EY
Sean Molino, Forces Fitness

Service Leaver of the Year

James Hawker, KPMG
Justin Jones, Thomsons Online Benefits
Lee Whitworth, A&E Harmonious Compliance Training
Pete Thornton, Bidfood
Peter Speight, Howdens Joinery
Raoul Mooyaart, Korn Ferry Hay Group
Scott Hardisty, Pirtek
Stephen Childs, Debenhams

Team Leader of the Year

Bernard McPhail, Integral
Chris Hancock, Multrees Investor Services
Colin Sellars, Cornwall Council
Darren Lucas, Lambeth College
Gareth Evans, Cisco
Gary Moore, Annodata
Michael Ellul, Encon Insulation
Tim Eastwood, UBS

Woman of the Year

Angela Owen, Women in Defence UK and PA Consulting Group
Caroline Neil, RPS Partnership
Gemma Gardner, Holistic Dreamz Consultancy
Jane Wainwright, PwC
Rebecca Halliwell-Coutts, Foran Solutions
Sam Smith, KellyOCG

Young Leader of the Year

Adam Ottway, Ecolog International
Benjamin Bobroff, BlackRock
Christopher Parkes, Julius Rutherfoord & Co
Jamal Abbasi, UK Government’s Stabilisation Unit
James Bromfield, Barclays International Banking
Jon-Paul Brett, Burberry
Linsey Vance, Datapipe
Sudershan Dadlani, Kinara International