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Finalists revealed for 2020 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards

Finalists revealed for 2020 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards


27 Jul, 2020

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, have been revealed.

The prestigious awards programme, of which QUEST is a media partner, 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 Service men 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 had 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 the 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, the Grosvenor House Hotel, to implement the measures that will enable the event to take place safely on 20 October.

Says Lt Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, official charity partner of the awards, ‘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 that 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 that operates a mentoring scheme for Service leavers, among 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 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 to be decided by a judging panel of military veterans headed 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 comments: ‘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, Marsh, Morrison Utility Services, 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 more than £60,000 for military charities.


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, A&P Group 
Gerraint Oakley, Platform Housing Group 
James Pittick, Canon 
Kerryanne Wilde, CERT (UK) 
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 
Louise Chaplin, Eton Bridge Partners 
Matt King, SAFI Valves 
Michael Vincent, ClearView Communications 
Peter Moody, Gap 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 
Company X Consulting 
Eton Bridge Partners 
Morrison Utility Services 
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 Management
Robert Hughes, Robert Mann 
Scott Cowan, Africa Legal 

Ex-Forces Initiative of the Year

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

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 Walker-Morecroft, JGOO

Inspiration of the Year

Aima Owen, Openreach 
Danny Shanahan, Seven Technologies Group 
David Bence, SubSea Craft 
Dougie Leacy, Bell Integration 
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, 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, Utley 
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, GAM London 
Edward Hill, 
Glenn Sutherland, Babcock International 
Michael Areola, Airbus 
Paul Gardener, Atkins 
Stephen Gailey, Exabeam

Team Leader of the Year

Adam Casey, i3Works 
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

About the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards

The Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the world’s largest celebration of military veterans in second careers. Taking place in London and Glasgow, the awards are dedicated to providing a much-needed platform for uncovering and showcasing the business achievements of ex-military, presenting them as role models to Service leavers, and recognising the employers that support current and former members of the British Armed Forces. The prestigious events promote the huge value that military-gained skills and values add to the UK economy in their second careers. 

About SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity supports the person behind the uniform; any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us. Every year, SSAFA helps more than 73,000 people from the Forces family get on their feet – those currently serving, reserves, veterans and their families. Support is there for people at any stage in their military career; from the youngest recruit to the oldest veteran – no one’s service is ever forgotten. We give hope, help and personal support for as long as it takes to get that person’s life back to where they want it to be. 

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