Shortlist Revealed for 2024 Scottish Ex-Forces in Business Awards

The annual showpiece event for spotlighting the enormous value that veterans add to employers across Scotland returns on 14 March, and today we reveal this year’s shortlist.


As spring approaches so does awards season, and today we can reveal the shortlist of exceptional finalists for the fifth annual Scottish edition of the Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the world’s largest celebration of veterans in second careers.

Since 2018, this flagship Awards programme has been on a crusade to showcase the diverse talents of the Armed Forces community to employers. The Awards promote a positive and, crucially, more accurate presentation of veterans than their often stereotypical portrayal in mainstream media, which can negatively influence hiring decisions. A third of UK hirers told a SSAFA study they’d feel reluctant hiring a veteran.

Increasing awareness of this underrated talent pool is not just important for ‘levelling up’ job opportunities for people who served their country, but also helping companies solve long-standing economic challenges such as skills shortages and productivity gaps. 

The Ex-Forces in Business Awards, of which BFBS is media partner, lead the way globally in spotlighting the economic opportunities that exist in leveraging the veterans talent pool. In recent years the Awards have recognised the business achievements of over 1,500 veterans and reservists while also raising over £300,000 for charity partner SSAFA.

The finalists of the 2024 Scottish Ex-Forces in Business Awards were whittled down from over 300 nominations. The winners are decided by an independent judging panel made up of 24 veterans and business leaders from major Scottish employers such as Addleshaw Goddard, Barclays, JPMorgan, Edrington, SSE and the Scottish Government.

This year’s winners will be revealed on 14 March at a sparkling awards ceremony which has become a firm fixture in Scotland’s business calendar. Hosted by broadcasting legend Sally Magnusson in the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow’s Grand Ballroom, the evening includes a programme of entertainment and guest speakers including Graeme Dey, Veterans Minister, and Lt Cdr Susie Hamilton, the Scottish Veterans Commissioner. 

Lt Cdr Susie Hamilton, Scottish Veterans Commissioner, said: “People who serve in the Armed Forces gain world-class skills and values which are highly transferable into every sector. Yet while the business case in hiring veterans is strong, it’s not always well understood. 

“I applaud the work of the Ex-Forces in Business Awards in demonstrating this business case in the best way possible: by showcasing the business achievements of this tremendous talent pool as well as the Forces Friendly companies across Scotland which actively seek to employ from the Armed Forces community.   

“I send my warmest congratulations to the finalists of this year’s Scottish Ex-Forces in Business Awards, which once again display the sheer breadth of talent in this community. They are all fantastic role models for service leavers and represent on an exceptional level the value that veterans are able to bring to Scottish employers and the wider economy in their post-military careers. I look forward to celebrating with you all in Glasgow on 14 March.”

Scottish Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2024 – The Finalists

ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR

Andrew Geelan, BAE Systems
John Bassett, Risk Evolves
Kimberley Tonner, Barclays
Levi Charlton, British Gas / Centrica
Officers’ Association Scotland
Professor Gerri Matthews-Smith, Edinburgh Napier University
Russ Fyfe, Mott MacDonald

BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR

Alastair Orr Ewing, Pufferfish
Brian Cooper, Hitachi Solutions Europe
Caspar MacRae, The Glenmorangie Company
David Farquhar, Intelligent Growth Solutions
David Wood, Drumfork Nursery & Forest School
John Edwards, Oltec Group
Mark Haley, OneSubsea

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

Barclays
FDM Group
Intelligent Growth Solutions
Mott MacDonald
Stagecoach

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARD

Dale Ashworth, Intelligent Growth Solutions
Daniel Livingstone, Peak Scientific
Ian McInnes MBE, Babcock International Group
Kevin Robertson, Acumen
Louis Johnson, JSG
Neil Murray, RSE
Richard Barclay, ExxonMobil

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Cameron McNeill, The Clean Factor
Jock Boyle, OIS Inventions
Liz Taylor, Tkm Consulting (Craigellachie)
Lyall Colvin, Q Electrical Industrial Services
Sylvester Herman, IslandSlice
Terry Lowe, Coalfields Restaurant / Primrose Tattoo Studio

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

Colin Meikle, CAN Group
Craig Douglas, Waste Cloud
Iain Johnston, Blackwired
Jonathan Wood, C2 Risk
Kieran Hope, Air Control Entech
Mark McLauchlin, FDM Group
Michael Weir, The Scottish Parliament

INSPIRATION OF THE YEAR

Alan Bell MBE, The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety
Dave Allen, Elgin Sports Community Trust
David Jarvis, FDM Group
Gary Brown, APEM
Gary Tolometti
Lee Hollis, St James’s Place
Rab Wallace, Rosa Service Organisation – FCDO

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Gregor Millar, Intelligent Growth Solutions
Ian Stewart, Lothians Veterans Centre
John Mulvany, TAQA Bratani
Malcolm Sutherland, Caledonian Concepts
Mark Mortimer, Glenalmond College
Professor Brian Howieson, The University of Limassol
Stan Ahmed, Lion & Gazelle

MILITARY VALUES IN BUSINESS AWARD

Alexander Campbell, FDM Group
Ian Drysdale, Carbon60
Jordan Simpson, Ecolab
Julia Barr, Mott MacDonald
Roddy McNab, Baillie Gifford
Russell McKay, QA
Wendy Dair, Sight Scotland Veterans

NEW SERVICE LEAVER OF THE YEAR

Craig Laughland, Barclays
David Swanson, Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum
James Letford, Intelligent Growth Solutions
Jodie Burnett, Sight Scotland Veterans
Karen Campbell, FDM Group
Michael Goodfellow, BGEN Technology
Nick Robson, Wine Guy on Skye

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR

Craig Watson, AISUS Offshore
Harrie Bell, The HALO Trust / Let ‘Em Aff dog parks
Kevin Ball, Davies Group
Kyle Manns, Balhousie Care Group
Liz Baldwin, Mott MacDonald
Richard McKinstray, Barclays
Scott Cant, ScottishPower

RESERVIST OF THE YEAR

Alex Bird, Alstom
Chris Hawkins, Baillie Gifford
Christian Jetuah, Abrdn
James Harmer, FDM Group
Megan Davis, OneSixty Fundraising
Richard Ryan, BAE Systems Electronic Systems
Stephanie Grieve, Scullion LAW

TEAM LEADER OF THE YEAR

Chris Gunter, FDM Group
Ian Fraser, Sodexo
James McLaren, Chapelhouse Motor Group
Kieran Craig, Securitas Security Services
Rhys Christie, Mott MacDonald
Stephen Williams, Laing O’Rourke
William Holloway, Extrinsica Global

Previous