Revealed: Shortlist for 2024 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards

The flagship showcase of the value that veterans add to the UK economy, the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, today reveals the finalists for its seventh annual edition.


Talented veterans from across the UK workforce are recognised on today’s release of the shortlist for the seventh annual British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the world’s largest business celebration of the Armed Forces community.

The challenges involved in carving out a meaningful second career after serving in the Armed Forces are well documented. Misconceptions among hiring managers about the effects of military service and a lack of visible role models – service leavers who have carved out successful second careers – have historically seen some veterans struggling with their transition back to civilian life and employers overlooking a great talent pool.

The Ex-Forces in Business Awards, of which BFBS is media partner, were formed to tackle these issues via a grand showcase of veteran talent. The awards programme has led the way globally in demonstrating the huge value that veterans add to employers and the wider economy after leaving the military. This 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.

Since 2018 the Awards have celebrated the post-military achievements of over 1,500 veterans and reservists at events which have been attended by thousands of employers across the UK and engaged with by millions more online. This year has seen another record-breaking number of nominations, resulting in a shortlist which displays the vast breadth of the Armed Force community’s influence across all corners of the economy. 

“The Ex-Forces in Business Awards showcase the very best that the Armed Forces community and business, in partnership, has to offer,” said Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, former Chief of Defence People and now Chief Executive at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. “Some individuals find the transition from service life to civvy street challenging; those nominated for the Awards have made this transition admirably and must act as role models for others. I equally commend the forces friendly employers on the shortlist; you see the opportunities offered by reservists and veterans, a fact that is greatly appreciated.

“SSAFA is very proud once again to be the official charity partner of these Awards; we are there as a trusted source of support when people need help. Funds raised will enable us to ensure service personnel, veterans and military families will, in their time of need, Never Battle Alone.”

One of the highest attended award ceremonies in Europe, the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards have been dubbed ‘the Oscars of veteran employment’. This year’s event on 27 June will see 1,200 business and military leaders descend on  the Grosvenor House London’s historic Great Room on Park Lane to honour and celebrate the winners.

BBC Newsnight presenter Victoria Derbyshire will host the Awards and introduce a programme of live entertainment and guest speakers including three-time Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed OBE and a yet to be announced senior Whitehall official.

Earlier in the day, the same venue will host the first festival of business for the UK Armed Forces community, MilFest 2024, a content-led conference connecting Forces Friendly companies with veterans, spouses and service family members. Speakers include Vice Admiral Phil Hally, Chief of Defence People, Lord Sedwill, the former Cabinet Secretary, and Helen Selby, General Counsel and Company Secretary at ASDA. 

Sponsors of the Awards include GE Aerospace, International SOS, Serco, AECOM, BAE Systems, Barclays, Boeing, BT, Capgemini, Expleo, FSI Europe, Gallliford Try, Mott MacDonald, QA and Vistry Group. The winners are decided by an independent judging panel of business leaders from organisations including Boeing, EY, Irwin Mitchell, Knight Frank, Lloyds Banking Group, MBDA UK, the MoD and the British Olympic Association.

“The incredible achievements documented through the 900-plus nominations we received for this year’s Awards are simply staggering,” said Ben Rossi, founder of the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards. “The fact they have been enabled by skills and values gained in the British Armed Forces should leave employers in no doubt of the value veterans offer.

“We are proud of the role these Awards play in showcasing and championing the veteran talent pool. The Ex-Forces in Business Awards evidence very clearly that supporting the transition of servicemen and women into meaningful second careers is not just the right thing to do, or a tick in a CSR box – it’s a tried and tested route to acquiring exceptional talent who will add enormous value to your business. Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and thank you for serving as such tremendous role models for service leavers.”

THE FINALISTS – 2024 BRITISH EX-FORCES IN BUSINESS AWARDS

ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR (INDIVIDUAL)

Christopher Brown, Bridewell
Gavin Jones, KFM
Graeme Dunn, Scottish Veterans Residences
Jake Ardley, Consulting
Mark Sneddon, Serco
Mark Whittington, Certes IT Service Solutions
Martin Flint-Johnson, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
Nadine Davis, Barclays
Pete Hutchinson, Digital Realty
Rod Flavell, FDM Group
Steve Rowse, Santander
Toby Partridge, Bloomberg

ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR (ORGANISATION)

e50K
Eagle Eye Innovations
Ex-Mil Recruitment
FDM Group
Fieri Leadership
Forces Horizon
Haxby Group
North East BIC
Project RECCE CIO
SA Group
Sunbelt Rentals UK
Travis Perkins

BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR (LARGE ORGANISATION)

Andy Lowe, Sodexo
Bill Twibill, Capgemini
Charlie Antelme, Mitie Defence
Christopher Obern, Johnsons Controls International
Dawn Stevenson, Alamy
Gary Barker, Bureau Veritas
Gary Taylor, HCRG
Lee Cartmell, Chubb Fire and Security 
Martin Wallace, Veolia Water Technologies
Paul Bennett, AtkinsRealis
Paul Harrison, Mott MacDonald
Steve Knibbs, Vodafone Business UK

BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR (SME)

Alex Stronge, Iqarus
Anna Maxwell, C2 Safety
Ben Price, Wittering Fitness
Denis Howard MBE, Joint Security Services
Ian Hilton, Cavendish Nuclear
James Morgan, Logiq Consulting
Ken Wright, The Phoenix Arts Club
Michael Pemberton, BEC
Paul Montgomery, Sir Fix-a-lock
Sion Roberts, Eagle Eye Innovations
Steve Jackson, SA Group
Stuart Pearce, SMARTech Energy

CHAMPION OF WOMEN AWARD

Andrea Rooney, Mace
Anna-Marie Watson, Reach for More
Cat Yates, Thales
Chloe Boardman, Ascent Flight Training
Emily Jane Daley, Aura
Emma-Jane Shakespeare, Sir Robert McAlpine
Genevieve Bolan, Transport for London
Jennifer Cluney, Toyota
Julie Brierley, Royal Air Force Museum
Krissi Exley, Santander
Ria Jackson, The V Word
Sarah Jackson, Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land

D&I INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

Allsports Coaches Coaching Academy CIC
Armed Forces Family Steering Group, Mott MacDonald
Female HMO, RBLI
Female Veterans Alliance
Forces Employment Charity Families Programme
Military Officers Leadership Program, GE Aerospace
Navigators, Northrop Grumman
RAF Galaxy
Standing Tall Foundation
Think Feel Act, Huddle Culture
VetNet, BAE Systems
Vistry Plus Skills Academy, Vistry Group 

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

AtkinsRéalis
Babcock International
Capgemini
Expleo
Google UK
GXO Logistics
KFM
Mitie
Mott MacDonald
National Crime Agency
Panasonic Heating and Cooling UK
Reds10

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARD

Andrew Blackburn, MBDA UK
Andy Best, British Airways
Anthony Nolan, SSG Contracts
Craig Earley, Saica
Field Service Engineering Team, RAF Brize Norton, Northrop Grumman
Ivan Mactaggart, East West Rail
Kaley Sage, Bureau Veritas
Mark Gibson, Viridor Polymers
Paul Edwards, BT
Paul Goodbody, IRISS Group
Paul Wilson, Connected Places Catapult
Rick Davis, RLB

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Ben Wadham, Pantheon Plymouth
Callum Coombes, Safepoint & Callie
Chris Gore, SPOR AV
Craig Spence, Steadfast Services
Hannah Shergold, Artist
Holly-Jane Thurgood, Optimism Psychotherapy & Supervision Services
Jay Allen, My TrueNORTH
Martyn Wilson, Wilson Associates Garden Design
Samuel Morris, Datum Attitude Brewing Co
Stuart McKean, Nine23
Thomas Willbye, Kierstone
Tom West, Barnes West Developments

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

Andrew Wilson, BT
Darren Evans, Dylogic
Dr David Triska, Milford and Witley Surgery
Ian Hirst, Gemserv
Jamie Marshall, Virgin Media O2
Karl Gilmore, Transport for Wales
Mark Hendry MBE, Sage
Mark Sheehan, MBDA UK
Nick Podevyn, Sir Robert McAlpine
Philip Wroot, Hydrock
Suzanne Wharton, AtkinsRealis
William Dobell, FDM Group

INSPIRATION OF THE YEAR

Darryl Mills, Sunbelt Rentals
David McDonagh, Gleeds
Dean Chapman, Willis Towers Watson
Emma ‘Khandie’ Rees, Khandie Photography
Ian Tasker, Virgin Media O2
Jacqui Swan-De La Maziere, UK Health Security Agency
Jason Goucher, Amazon
Joshua Clarke, Sky
Kevin Cornwell, Iqarus
Matt Taylor, Barclays UK
Simon Marsh, Hydrock
Thomas Archer, TW Archer Financial Planning 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Andrew Blake, University of Cumbria
Ben Harris, BLOCKPHISH
David Bolsover, Thales
Jon Kendrew, Iqarus
Mark Richardson, Right Management
Neil Turner, GE Aerospace
Paul Kerridge, M Group Services – Energy
Peter Trainor, Ascent Flight Training
Professor Alan Finnegan, Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans, University of Chester
Sarah Geddes, Sodexo
Simon Charlier, MBDA UK
Simon Gillespie, Florence Nightingale Foundation

MILITARY VALUES IN BUSINESS AWARD

David Field, Viridor Polymers
Glen Lawson, Belectric UK
Henry Waterfield, Spot Ship
James Buttery, Kuehne+Nagel
Louise Binning, ADV Brightware Manufacturing
Neil Platt, Beacon Counselling Trust
Paul Porter, AtkinsRéalis
Roy McGraa, JCDecaux
Sam Stewart, BAE Systems
Tom Costin, Galliford Try
Tom Harrison, PA Consulting
Tony Jackson, MBDA

NEW SERVICE LEAVER OF THE YEAR

Andrew Gill, ISS UK
Charles Williams, North Highland
Daniel Daykin, Vistry Group
Dr Catherine Davison, Iqarus
Ian Levett, Amazon
Lee Amey, Galliford Try
Luke Kemp, Marsh
Luke Parker, Google UK
Natalie Ofori, UBS
Peter Humphrey, Galliford Try
Rachael Bailey, TechVets
Sarah Gibb, FDM Group

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR

Colin Grimes, TechVets
Dale Hegarty, Sodexo
David Riley, Aquila Air Traffic Management Services
Guy Benson, VCHA
Jeremy Osborne, SA Group
Keiron Pittore, Vistry Group
Lisa Penny, Grantley Hall
Mark Hawkins, Mace
Mark Walsh, Kuehne+Nagel
Peter Dick, Serco
Richard Thomas, Bureau Veritas
Tony Davies, Stacemark Developments

RESERVIST OF THE YEAR

Alexander Williams, Aquila Air Traffic Management Services
Chris Freemantle, Global Driver Training Solutions
Colin Martin, GXO Logistics
Domenic Sidonio, Mace
Edward Coleman, BAE Digital Intelligence
James Tufnell, Capgemini
Jon Schlanker, National Crime Agency
Karl Stone, Galliford Try
Lee Nixon, Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land
Michael Greenwood, Skanska Building
Nadia Gunter-Zak, GE Aerospace
Phil Richardson, Google

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR

Aaran Leyland, Pantheon Ventures
Adam Rudkin, GE Aerospace
Alex Rennie, Shell UK
Alexander Barrett, Computacenter
Anthony Hooton, Viridor Energy
Christian Ashurst, Land UK
Joe Bennett, Capgemini
Robert Mason, AtkinsRéalis
Sarah Hilton, University of Cumbria
Simon Lee, Aquila Air Traffic Management Services
Thomas Strathearn, Globant
William Turnor, Boston Consulting Group

ROLE MODEL OF THE YEAR

Ady Rowlands, Ascent Flight Training
April Young, Capgemini
Colin Rienewerf, Sanofi
Damian Todd, Mace
Hannah Gray, GE Aerospace
Karen Briddon, SA Group
Liam Gaskell, Bureau Veritas
Nicky Howse, Barclays
Rob McAllister, Sky UK
Rusty Cole, Amazon Web Services
Sally Orange MBE, Army Cadet Force
Sean Taylor, CGWM

SERVICE LEAVER OF THE YEAR

Andrew Swingler, Expleo
Dave Shaw, SUEZ
Dr Darren Redgwell, His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service
Matt Williams, Eagle Eye Innovations
Philip Bradley, Balfour Beatty Vinci
Ray Ellis, PMI
Sarah Goode, Haxby Group & NHS England
Sean Scott, BAE Systems
Shane Lewis, Mott MacDonald
Simon Fairhurst, Viridor Polymers
Sophie Warren-Reece, UK NovaPay
Tony Cheales, Vantage Data Centers

TEAM LEADER OF THE YEAR

Brian Kitchener, Babcock International
Chris Barnard, SA Group
Craig Lippett, Eagle Eye Innovations
David Smart, Sodexo
Edward Bicknell, ARK Group DMCC
Fran Morrison, Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land
Ian Moorhouse, Iqarus
John Deemz, Capgemini
Lindsay Conway, Pearson TQ
Pete O’Connell, Kuehne+Nagel
Steve Walker, Hydrock
Wally Gupwell, Pearson TQ

YOUNG LEADER OF THE YEAR

Andrew Penfold, Opsydia
Ben Austin, Galliford Try
Henry Chin, Google
Jack Passmore, Apexanalytix
Jay Woolway, Baily Garner
Melch King Riyo, Mount View Recruitment
Mike Hayes, Serco
Philip Holbrow, BCA Automotive
Rebecca Fisher, Deloitte
Rebecca Walker, MS Amlin
Scott Paxton, Leeds United F.C
Tom Draisey, Tarmac Marine

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