British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020: Finalists revealed

The flagship programme showcasing military veterans’ achievements in second careers has released the shortlist for its third annual UK awards. The winners will be revealed at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane in October.



The finalists for the 2020 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the world’s largest celebration of military veterans in second careers, are today revealed.

The prestigious awards programme recognises the achievements of ex-forces personnel who are now excelling in their second careers. By showcasing the military-gained attributes that have enabled their post-service success, the Awards aim to demonstrate to employers the business value of hiring veterans.

The thousands of servicemen and women who leave the Armed Forces each year create a rich pool of talent for employers, underpinned by skills and values that easily transfer into a wide spectrum of roles. Yet transitioning back to civilian life and establishing a meaningful second career can be challenging. Visibility of role models across different sectors is often lacking, and depictions of veterans in the media can fuel damaging misconceptions. In a study by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, three in ten UK hirers said they’d feel reluctant to hire someone who served in the military.

Since launching in 2018, the Ex-Forces in Business Awards has become a crucial initiative for promoting a positive narrative nationally of veterans as great assets to employers across all sectors, and has led the way in increasing visibility of business role models for service leavers. Last year, the awards showcased the second-career achievements of nearly 300 veterans and reservists at ceremonies in London and Glasgow attended by more than 1,400 business leaders and over 450 employers.

The Awards ceremony gathers business leaders, veterans, top employers, current serving officers, politicians, journalists and other stakeholders to highlight the significant value that ex-military add to the UK economy. The organiser, Disruptive Media Group, welcomed the Government’s announcement on 17 July that business events can resume from October and is working with the venue, Grosvenor House Hotel, to implement the measures that will enable the event to take place safely on 20 October.

Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, official charity partner of the Awards, said: “I am delighted that the Government’s new guidelines mean the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards can take place in October. Congratulations to all of those businesses who have been shortlisted for an award. SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is very proud to be associated with this important event which celebrates veteran employment.

“As a former Chief of Defence People, and now Chief Executive at a charity which operates a mentoring scheme for service leavers amongst other vital services, I am very aware of the challenges that can be faced by service leavers during their transition, with employment a major challenge for many. It is very heartening to see so many employers acknowledging the skills and experiences of those who have served their country.”

The 2020 finalists were whittled down from a record-breaking 500 nominations, with the winners decided by a judging panel of military veterans headed up by Admiral Sir George Zambellas, former First Sea Lord and now chairman of several companies including Galaxkey. Other judges facing the difficult task of selecting just 20 winners from a huge breadth of talent include business leaders from Jaguar Land Rover, Morgan Stanley, Dell, Lloyds Banking Group, Serco, Stagecoach, Thales and Knight Frank.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas commented: “In operational planning, UK military people are comfortable asking ‘What’s changed?’, and then reacting accordingly. Those same honest qualities of analysis and agility are needed now, as we face changed business environments in the COVID-19 era.  So, I’m delighted that so many ex-forces men and women, who have chosen a life in business, have the cunning and resilience to succeed. I’m very proud to support them.”

The Awards are sponsored by A&P Group, Barratt Developments, FDM Group, Galliford Try, Morrison Utility Services, a part of M Group Services, Marsh, Santander and Sopra Steria. Other supporters include the Officers’ Association, RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity, SaluteMyJob, the White Ensign Association and media partners Quest, BFBS and Real Business. Last year’s events raised over £60,000 for military charities.

British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020 – The Finalists

ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR        

Christopher Fairless, The Unique Group International
Darren Lloyd, Kuehne + Nagel
Dean Beaumont, Experian
Ellen Harrison, Boeing Defence UK
Gemma Jones, Amazon
Philip Jackson, Siemens
Pippa Hannaby, Barclays
Richard Nelson, Morrison Utility Services
Ross MacKenzie, Kier
Sarah Pylyp, Jaguar Land Rover

BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR (Large Company)

David McGinley, Cammell Laird ShipRepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd / Atlantic and Peninsula Marine Services
Gerraint Oakley, Platform Housing Group
James Pittick, Canon
Len Pannett, Visagio
Matthew Eyton-Jones, CERN Pension Fund
Mike Wragg, Nielsen
Richard Jones, Sodexo
Rob Lord, BT Global
Stuart Morgan, Amazon

BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR (SME)

Alex Sharpe, China Fleet Trust
James Hilton, PVI
John Wiley, Herrco Cosmetics
Kerryanne Wilde, CERT (UK)
Louise Chaplin, Eton Bridge Partners
Matt King, SAFI Valves
Michael Vincent, ClearView Communications
Peter Moody, GAP Group North East
Rob Dartnall, Security Alliance
Steve Thornton, Forces Cars Direct

CHAMPION OF WOMEN AWARD      

Caroline Paige, CazTac
Emma Morgan, Amazon
Jules Parke-Robinson, Ricoh
Karen Daly-Gherabi, The Springboard Consultancy
Katie Lavin, UBS
Marion Perston, Morrison Utility Services
Michelle Partington, Mentis Training and Consultancy
Nicki Bass, Resilience at Work
Rachel Scandling, Barclays

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

2Excel Aviation
Amazon
Atkins
Company X Consulting
Eton Bridge Partners
Inzpire
Marsh
Morrison Utility Services
Openreach
Serco
Travis Perkins

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARD

Andy Baines, Lynx
Chris Havenhand, Hyperoptic
Darren Minty, RINA
Gary Woods, JLL Integral
Graeme Cringle, Adler and Allan
Jim Heaney, Optilan
Jonathan Li, SP Energy Networks
Mark Jason Ellis, Bombardier Transportation
Michael Williams, MIDAK Engineering
Peter Carlin, FDM Group

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR        

Alan Dempsey, GF Genovate
Andrew Powell, route2work
Christopher Pallett, Axel Group International
Ikenna Akukalia, Adada Care Services
John Harvey, The Protector Group
Lee Horton, Athena Security Solutions
Mark Long, Ignite Consulting
Michael Seggie, Lakeland Fleet Managment
Robert Hughes, Robert Mann
Scott Cowan, Africa Legal

EX-FORCES INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR     

Barclays
Barratt Developments
Forces CV Services
Forces Equine
Frontier Risks Group
LifeWorks, Royal British Legion Industries
RV1 Group
Salesforce
Services To Film
UBS

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR      

Adam Hill, Oncimmune
Chris Jones, Homelync
Gary Woodhead, CurveBlock
Jaymin Mistry, PA Consulting
Julian Barker, British Land
Marc May, SYKE
Matthew McNeill Love, Honeypot Dating
Michael McCabe, Intelligence Fusion
Paul Nuth, Driving Miss Daisy
Richard Morecroft, Mode Business

INSPIRATION OF THE YEAR     

Aima Owen, Openreach
Danny Shanahan, Seven Technologies Group
David Bence, Blacknore Consultancy
Dougie Leacy, Throgmorton
Jonas Fieldhouse, GE Healthcare Partners
Kevin Bazeley, GE Aviation Systems
Lisa Marr, Barclays
Peter Docker, WhyNot Unlimited
Sam Worthington-Leese, Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group / TUI
Samuel T. Reddy, TriExForces Group

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Anthony Knights, Knights Group Worldwide
Christopher Norton, 2Excel Aviation
Gary Headland, Lincoln College Group
Gerard O’Donovan, Noble Manhattan Group
Ian Phoenix, NHS Digital
Justin Packshaw MBE, Joro Experiences / Bruhn NewTech
Lynn Roddy, Home Instead Senior Care Tavistock & Tamar Valley
Mark Burby, Aviation Partners
Rear Admiral Roy Clare CBE DL, Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust / Good Things Foundation
Stephen Heard, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

MILITARY VALUES IN BUSINESS AWARD

Andrew Bass, Deloitte
Brian Bambrick-Sattar, Syneos Health
Jonathan Rees, Home Office
Karl Simons, Thames Water
Mark Duggan, The Pallet Network
Mike Wigg, Rosslyn Data Technologies
Phil Wright, Brinks Global Services
Roger Morton, Bovis Homes
Sam Instone, AES
Stuart Dolan, BAE Systems Marine

NEW SERVICE LEAVER OF THE YEAR      

Cheryl Burgess, Openreach
David Orr, NCC Group
Edward Coward, Kuehne + Nagel
Lorna Collins, RINA
Nathan Davis, Private Family Office
Nick Garland, CDW / Sunnies
Richard Wilkins, Atkins
Sean Wingrove, Core Technology Systems
Steve Kelly, FDM Group
Stuart Keighley, Morrison Utility Services

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR

Alan Gilfillan, Bovis Homes
Andrew Neil, RPS Partnership
Chris Wardle, Expense Reduction Analysts
James Harrison, Virtual Clarity
Josie Preston, The Ritz Club
Lee Shepherd, Amazon
Mickey Rooney, JLL
Richard Hay, Kuehne + Nagel
Stephen Maclennan, North of England Protection and Indemnity Association
Tracie Sharp, Co-op Funeral Care

RESERVIST OF THE YEAR        

Andrew Bailey, Co-Op Pharmacy
Cristan Massey, IT Lab
Gareth Hetheridge, Rolls-Royce
James Cox, Atkins
James Heaton-Smith, Defence Infrastructure Organisation
James Turner, Compass Group UK&I
Lt Cdr Jon Wheale, Barclays
Philip Day, Laing O’Rourke
Robert Skeggs, Eton Bridge Partners
Steve Cottrell, Morrison Utility Services

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR     

Ben Potts, UBS
Holly Ferneyhough, Atalian Servest
James Moore, Morgan Philips Group
Karl Crosbie, Morrison Utility Services
Laurie Reynolds, Aviva
Luke Bonnett, Frazer-Nash Consultancy
Neil Usborne, FDM Group
Nick Galle, Wilson James
Paul Owen, Wesleyan
Rob Tarn, Bovis Homes

ROLE MODEL OF THE YEAR     

John Cockburn, Eton Bridge Partners
Andy Titerickx, Jacobs
Steve Lane, Capita
Kevin Miller, FES FM
Eddie Simpson, Abertay University
Sharon McCann, Solent NHS Trust
George Vlachonikolis, Headington School, Oxford
Adrian Tilley, Ocean Software
Martin Fielding, Raytheon UK
Helen Buffett, Technogym

SERVICE LEAVER OF THE YEAR       

Alex Yates, Leidos
Andrew Lowe, Sodexo
Daniel Moran, ManpowerGroup Solutions
Dominic Collins, CBRE
Duane Hasnip, Tellsons
Edward Hill, Booking.com
Glenn Sutherland, Babcock International
Michael Areola, Airbus
Paul Gardener, Atkins
Stephen Gailey, Exabeam

TEAM LEADER OF THE YEAR  

Adam Casey, i3Secure
Alan McPherson, Cromwell Tools
Daniel Saxton, TUV Rehinland UK
George Gelston, Tithegrove
Jonathan Beever, Barclays
Mark Hardman, Sodexo
Peter Hopes, RBS
Phillip Oulton, BT
Rich Jones, Atkins
Will Pearson, First Bus

YOUNG LEADER OF THE YEAR

Ben Bardsley, Bardsley England
Callum Coombes, Safepoint
Dean Fennell-Connell, Conduent
James Wagstaff, MTC Training
Jonathan Cheeseman, Bishop Grosseteste University
Oliver Leeming, CBRE
Ralph Cooke, Nusteel Structures
Richard Coulthard, Auden Financial Services
Steven Bicker, Amazon
William Pickering, JLL

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