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Military Veterans recognised for their business achievements

Military Veterans recognised for their business achievements


09 May, 2018

Sponsored by Quest, the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards is a new awards programme that identifies business role models for Service leavers, to support them during resettlement and promote the value of military-gained skills in the wider UK workforce. Here we check out this year’s inaugural shortlisted candidates.

The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, held in association with Amazon Web Services (AWS), is the largest celebration of ex-military personnel in the UK workforce, and the employers that support current and former members of the British Armed Forces. The awards are dedicated to providing a much-needed platform for uncovering and promoting the achievements of ex-military personnel who are now excelling in the business world, presenting them as important role models for current Service leavers.

Each year, more than 16,000 Service men and women leave the military. Despite having developed many transferable qualities that are in demand in the business world, some still find the process of resettling to civilian life and finding a place in the wider UK workforce a challenge.

The awards ceremony, due to take place in London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms on 17 May, will highlight these adaptable skills by shining a light on the business achievements they have helped enable, and recognise the organisations that have supported Service leavers.

The high-profile ceremony will gather hundreds of business leaders to reveal and honour the winners, as well as bringing together top companies, military personnel, politicians, journalists and other stakeholders to raise awareness of resettlement issues, encourage the development of ex-Forces employment schemes and promote the significant value that military-gained skills can provide to the UK economy if better utilised across the workforce.

Says Gavin Jackson, UK managing director at AWS, ‘We are thrilled to see so many talented military Veterans recognised for their outstanding achievements in business. We find that many of the qualities that are foundational to military service are invaluable for our own organisation. Hiring transitioning military Veterans and military spouses is a fantastic opportunity for any company to grow its talent pool, and we are proud to support the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, which extol the virtues of these men and women.’

The awards attracted more than 250 nominations and include categories such as Business Leader of the Year, Employer of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Rising Star of the Year, Woman of the Year, Young Leader of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

The ceremony will be presented by journalist and broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer, who will welcome former SAS soldier and bestselling author Andy McNab as a guest speaker as well as entertainment from the Military Wives Choir. Those presenting awards on the evening include General Sir Mike Jackson, who headed the British Army as it entered the Iraq War in 2003, and Falklands War hero Simon Weston CBE.

As well as Amazon Web Services, whose AWS re:Start programme equips Service leavers with the latest software development and cloud computing technologies to perform technology roles, other sponsors of the awards include FDM Group, Kuehne + Nagel, PwC, Santander and Transport for London. Soldier On! has been selected as charity partner and Quest is supporting as media partner.

Ben Rossi, journalist and founder of the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, comments: ‘Service men and women develop qualities that are easily transferable to roles in business, yet many employers fail to recognise this or are deterred by common misconceptions. Recognising these attributes and doing more to recruit, train and generally support military Veterans is not only the right thing to do, but is also vital to the prosperity of our economy. We were overwhelmed by the talent on display in the nominations received for the awards, and we look forward to recognising this unique and admirable group of people on 17 May.’

The finalists for the inaugural British Ex-Forces in Business Awards – the largest ever celebration of military Veterans in the UK workforce – were revealed last month. Here’s the shortlist in full …

British Ex-Forces in Business Awards finalists

Advocate of the Year

Chris Coghlan, Bibimoney

David Bruce, Global Cloud Xchange

Hugh Andree, ForceSelect

John Chantry, Barclays

Mark Parr, KPMG

Neil Porter, BAM

Richard Quellyn-Roberts, Mitmark


Business Leader of the Year

David Wilkins MBE, Goldman Sachs

Karl Havard, PA Consulting Group

Marcus James, CBRE

Mark Carnaghan, 2 Sisters Food Group

Mark Taylor, Taylor Consulting Group

Robert Hughes-Penney, Rathbone Brothers

Scott Lane, Day Webster

Scott Porter, Top Conker


Employer of the Year

Balfour Beatty



Jaguar Land Rover


Transport for London



Entrepreneur of the Year

Daryl Flack, BlockPhish

Gavin Lumsden, Essential Teaching UK

Guy Richardson, EIGER Performance

Kevin Jefcoate, Blackhawk Network

Richard Turner, Turner Tech Consulting

Steve McCarthy, Hansei Technology

Stuart Pearce, SMARTech Energy

Tony Knights, Knights Group Worldwide


Innovator of the Year

Che Armstrong Chingang, HSBC

Haig Tyler, Herbert Smith Freehills

John Flexman, Norton Rose Fulbright

Matthew Hopkinson, Didobi

Nicholas Mazzei, BT

Richard Gill, Drone Defence

Simon Davies, Spectra Group

Tony Reeves, Microsoft


Inspiration of the Year

Alex MacEwen, BlackRock

Ally Musthan, Artisan People

Christopher McDonald, Network Rail

Daniel Richards, Academies Enterprise Trust

Darren Smith, Curbside Gaming

Gareth Fulton, Experian

Paul Bensley, Tarmac Building Products

Rory Mackenzie, RM Speaking


Lifetime Achievement

Andrew Whitehorn, Workplace Solutions

Collin Singer, Wagtail UK

Craig Summers, Sky News

David Dent, Parexel International

Dr Jon Lamonte, Transport for Greater Manchester

Gary Stockton, Komankra

Julian Knight, Dynamic Capital Management

Major Scott Kirkwood, Advocate Design

William McTavish Martin-Grayston, Sovereign FM


New Service Leaver of the Year

Adam Meyer, Awareness Response Training

Ben Davis, Barclays Investment Bank

Daniel Frost, Marks and Spencer

Iain Church, Moringa Miracles

Mark Willis, Goldman Sachs

Richard Shepherd, Bring The Game Over

Thomas Varty, JP Morgan


Outstanding Achiever of the Year

Andrew MacLeod, Hear Their Cries

Andy Lewis, Cadent

Craig Henshaw, MedaPhor

Darren Holmes, Wates

Edward Osborne, Virtualstock

Jordan Wylie, JWC International

Steve Marshall, Aldi

Steven Higgs, Mezzanine International


Rising Star of the Year

Damon Tyler, NHS Calderdale CCG

David Edgar, Barclays

James Randall, Siemens

James Stafford Allen, Moody’s Investors Service

Jamie Wood, Harniss

Lee Leyland, CIS Security

Mark Wilson, ConocoPhillips

Morgan Scrase, Rarden Safety Solutions


Role Model of the Year

Craig Dunbar, Scania

Daisy Coleman, Coleman Racing

Jim Mathieson, Shell

John Allwood, Lead Forensics

Neil Denton, Home Office

Nick Onslow, Russell Ulyatt

Rowena Fell, EY

Sean Molino, Forces Fitness


Service Leaver of the Year

James Hawker, KPMG

Justin Jones, Thomsons Online Benefits

Lee Whitworth, A&E Harmonious Compliance Training

Pete Thornton, Bidfood

Peter Speight, Howdens Joinery

Raoul Mooyaart, Korn Ferry Hay Group

Scott Hardisty, Pirtek

Stephen Childs, Debenhams


Team Leader of the Year

Bernard McPhail, Integral

Chris Hancock, Multrees Investor Services

Colin Sellars, Cornwall Council

Darren Lucas, Lambeth College

Gareth Evans, Cisco

Gary Moore, Annodata

Michael Ellul, Encon Insulation

Tim Eastwood, UBS


Woman of the Year

Angela Owen, Women in Defence UK and PA Consulting Group

Caroline Neil, RPS Partnership

Gemma Gardner, Holistic Dreamz Consultancy

Jane Wainwright, PwC

Rebecca Halliwell-Coutts, Foran Solutions

Sam Smith, KellyOCG


Young Leader of the Year

Adam Ottway, Ecolog International

Benjamin Bobroff, BlackRock

Christopher Parkes, Julius Rutherfoord & Co

Jamal Abbasi, UK Government’s Stabilisation Unit

James Bromfield, Barclays International Banking

Jon-Paul Brett, Burberry

Linsey Vance, Datapipe

Sudershan Dadlani, Kinara International


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