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05 Apr, 2019

We are delighted to reveal the finalists for the second annual British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the flagship celebration of military Veterans in second careers. More than 800 military and business leaders are set to attend the prestigious awards ceremony in London on 8 May, sponsored by QUEST

Each year, thousands of Service men and women leave the military, forming an attractive pool of talent in the civilian world. But despite their years spent gaining skills and values that are transferable and valuable to businesses, transitioning and finding a place in the wider workforce can be challenging. While many hundreds of thousands have gone through a similar transition, Service leavers lack visible role models in business.

The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards provides that visibility on a national scale by celebrating the accomplishments of Veterans across the UK workforce. The awards highlight the military skills and values that have enabled business success, and recognise organisations that support the transition of Service men and women into second careers.

The ethos and values of ex-Forces people always shine through

This year’s awards ceremony, which will take place on 8 May in the London Hilton on Park Lane’s Grand Ballroom, will bring together a record audience of more than 800, making it the largest event of its kind globally. The prestigious event gathers business leaders, Veterans, top employers, current serving officers, politicians, journalists and other stakeholders to promote the significant value that ex-military add to the UK economy.

The finalists were whittled down from more than 400 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. Other judges include the CEOs of aerospace giant Lockheed Martin (UK), pathology service provider Viapath, governing body GB Snowsport and recruitment firm Staffline Group, as well as senior leaders from EY, PwC, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Cisco and Royal Mail, among others.

Says Admiral Zambellas, who was First Sea Lord between 2013 and 2016 and is head judge for the awards, ‘I congratulate all those ex-Forces men and women who, after many years focused on military delivery, have turned their hands so successfully to the business battlefield. Many of the skills needed are identical: leadership, fortitude, commitment and attention to detail. Some are new, especially in commerce and sales, but the ethos and values of ex-Forces people always shine through, and I’m proud to support them.’

We will continue to promote the crucial message that Veterans are a huge asset to business

This year’s awards ceremony will be hosted by BBC news anchor and former RAF officer Susannah Streeter, who will welcome keynote addresses from Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and a former Army officer, and Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and a former Chief of Defence People, plus live entertainment and guest award presenters.

Says Ben Rossi, CEO of Disruptive Media Group and founder of the awards,‘We have been blown away by the response to this programme. Supporting Veterans is not only the right thing to do but there is a clear business case too, as demonstrated by the incredible talent in the 400-plus nominations received for this year’s awards. There is still much to do to educate employers on the importance and value of supporting the transition of Service men and women, and we will continue to promote the crucial message that Veterans are a huge asset to business. It’s vital that Service leavers have role models to look to and we are privileged to host and showcase them at this unique celebration.’


Advocate of the Year

Christopher Livermore, Centrica

Dominic Hill, The White Ensign Association

Gillian Russell, Amazon

James and Lindsey Copperwait, Focus Logistics Group

Kelly Mullane, Northern Trust

Michael Robb, Crest Nicholson

Sarah Pylyp, Jaguar Land Rover

Stephen Jolly, M&C Saatchi

Steve Lowe, Project Nova

Sue Bomphray, Barclays    


Business Leader of the Year

Alex Lane, Jacobs

Brian Chambers, Trident Pharmaceuticals

Christopher Gunton, One Housing Group

Louisa Clarke, Churchill Group

Michael Fildes, Circles, a Sodexo Company

Patrick Thomson, JP Morgan

Peter Satchwell, Gardner Denver – Reavell 

Richard Charnock, Standard Life Aberdeen

Stuart Goodman, Essential Site Skills

Vern Davis, Sopra Steria


Champion of Women Award

Amanda Johnson, VACT

Andrea Dunlop, Paysafe

Daisy Coleman, Thales

Danielle Sandy, FDM Group

Julia Mathias, Lloyds Banking Group

Justine Hogkinson, Advocacy Focus

Louie-Mae Brisley-Gibson, Mainstay Group

Mandy Hickson, Hickson-Experience from the Front Line


Employer of the Year


Bloomberg LP

Compass Group UK&I

Jaguar Land Rover    




Transport for London        



Entrepreneur of the Year

Chris Gillan, Heroes Drinks Company

Lee Robertson, Octo Members Group

Lyndsey Marchant, Phoenix Occupational Health

Mitch Turner, Drake International

Nick Lilley, Upturn

Richard H. Tucker MBE, AAA Caring Caretaker

Steve Thornton, Forces Cars Direct

Ted Jones, Northcott Global Solutions

Vince Noyce and Giles Collighan, The Portsmouth Distillery Co.


Ex-Forces Initiative of the Year      

Barclays Military Network Scotland  

BNY Mellon      

Insignia Crew   

JP Morgan         

Lloyd’s Military Network


Services to Film         

Step into Health                  


Innovator of the Year

Charles Joel, Gardner Denver

Christoper Kenna, Brand Advance

Dawn Childs, Merlin Entertainments Group

Edward Janvrin, Spark Beyond

James Lang, SNC-Lavalin Atkins

James Lewis, Kuehne + Nagel

Kevin Alderton, Blind Veterans UK

Mick Doe, Clipper Logistics

Peter Koch de Gooreyund, Centrica Business Solutions

Steven Rumbold, EDF Energy   


Inspiration of the Year

Craig Monaghan, Sale Sharks Community Trust

Greg Staunton, PwC

John Daley, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

Louise Worrall, St James’s Place

Neil Spencer, Kuehne + Nagel

Paul Wood, Woodlands International

Penny Melville-Brown, Disability Dynamics

Rebecca Halliwell-Coutts, Foran Solutions

Sheena Wilcox, Career Transition Partnership

Tim Evers, Sapper Support        


Lifetime Achievement

Brendan Hindle, Jaguar Land Rover

Matt Wiles, Leidos UK

Quentin Naylor, THG Ingenuity

Richard Dorney, Strongmind

Rod Brown, Opun

Tim Harris, Wood

Tony O’Connor, Marriott Hotels        


Military Virtues in Business

Andrew Cons, Go Digital Transformations

Craig Peckett, Chesterfield Special Cylinders

Darren Evans, The Access Group

Helen Knights, Barclays

Johanna Covell-Ritchie, Bloomberg LP

Mark Braham, The AA

Matt Podmore

Nicholas Brandram, HSBC Private Bank

Rachael Stevenson, Serco

Tom Kay, Kuehne + Nagel         


New Service Leaver of the Year

Colin Murphy, Jaguar Land Rover

Conor Harbison, Citi

Graeme Park, The Hut Group

Lee Brown, Impellam Group

Malcolm Biggs  

Matt Chapman, JP Morgan

Michele Crossman, SNC-Lavalin Atkins

Mohammed Ahmed, Sopra Steria

Peter Berridge, FDM Group       


Outstanding Achiever of the Year

George Anderson, National Grid

James Denny, Viddyoze

James Dickaty, Sellafield

James Howarth, RS Components

Jamie Thomas, Sodexo

John Chappell, United Utilities

Mike Forshaw, Dentons

Paul Embleton, Interserve

Rob Martin, Anchor Hanover Group

Toby Gutteridge, Bravery Organisation     


Reservist of the Year    

Alex Rennie, FDM Group

David Freeman, Amazon

Gordon McLellan, Barclays

James Cox, SNC-Lavalin Atkins

James Wootton, Agency Space

Lindsay Stewart, Barclays

Malcolm McFarlane, FDM Group

Richard Perkins, Transport for London      


Rising Star of the Year

Alex Dickinson, JP Morgan

Darryll Boden, Eurostar

David Walker, James Walker Group

Ewan Bray, WSP

James Carpenter, Check Point Software Technologies

James Fenwick-Smith, Alstom Transport

Jonathon Robinson, Hastings Direct

Roger Holt, SNC-Lavalin Atkins

Rory Thompson, Canadian Pacific Rail


Role Model of the Year

Ayub Kinyanjui, Knight Frank

Ben Edwards, Facebook

Garron Clark-Darby, T-Systems

Jeremy Cowell, FDM Group      

Jim Niven, Cloudian

Rachel Webster, Barclays

Rick Mounfield, The Security Institute

Simon Hammerschmidt, Level Global

Steven Brown, James Walker Group

Travis Broad, IHS Markit


Service Leaver of the Year

Andrew Reeves, BNY Mellon

David Ellis, SNC-Lavalin Atkins

Dominic Conway, JP Morgan

Mark Large, EY

Matthew Cox, Newton Investment Management

Nick Wadey, Hi-Line Contractors SW

Phil Pettit, Cummins Generator Technologies

Philip Worthington, Micross Components

Robert Hemming, Equiniti

Tony Wilkinson, Direct Line Group  


Team Leader of the Year

Carl Fewsdale, SNC-Lavalin Atkins

Dee Appleton Cairns, Countess of Chester NHS FT

John White, Assystem Group

Neil Winchester, Dell Technologies

Olly King, JP Morgan

Paul Thomas, Morrisons

Richard Camp, Bloomberg LP

Stephen Butler, Chesterfield Special Cylinders

Stephen Essam, University of Bedfordshire

Tony Hanlon, HSBC


Young Leader of the Year

Adam Robinson, Exertis UK

Adrian Hales    

Ben Emslie, Splunk

Camilla Howard, Compass Group UK&I

Chris Crowther, Equifax

Dylan Williams, Aviva

Finlay Curror, Morgan Stanley

Lee Cartmell, Stagecoach

Rory Browne, Bombardier Transportation


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