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Nominations open for the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020

Nominations open for the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020


02 Oct, 2019

The world’s largest event recognising the achievements of veterans in their post-military careers has opened nominations for the 2020 edition of these prestigious awards.

LONDON, 1 Oct: The world's largest celebration of veterans in second careers, the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, is now accepting nominations for its third annual event, which will take place at Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane in May.

The unique programme is dedicated to promoting the value service leavers can bring to employers across all sectors and the business case of supporting their transition. The awards showcase the achievements of British veterans in their post-service careers, highlighting the military-gained skills and values that have helped enable that success. 

The result is a proactive drive towards increasing visibility of business role models for servicemen and women, as well as raising awareness of the pool of talented individuals who leave the Armed Forces each year. The 2019 edition of the awards brought together over 900 business and military leaders in London to celebrate the winners.

Those winners included Matt Chapman, who was awarded New Service Leaver of the Year for his fast progression through J.P. Morgan just a couple of years after leaving the army. Sopra Steria’s Vern Davis and Richard Dorney of Strongmind Resiliency Training, both also army veterans, walked away with the Business Leader of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards respectively for their outstanding leadership and results.

Amazon was crowned with the coveted Employer of the Year prize as well as the Advocate of the Year award for its military program manager Gillian Russell, who previously served 18 years in the Royal Navy. Ben Edwards, who was also in the navy, received the Role Model of the Year award for his considerable efforts to mentor other services leavers alongside his day job as a protective intelligence manager at Facebook.

RAF veteran Chris Gillan was named Entrepreneur of the Year having founded Heroes Drinks Company, a not-for-profit organisation that makes and sells vodka, while Rising Star of the Year went to Darryll Boden, a Eurostar procurement manager and former Royal Marine who hailed his victory as “better than winning the World Championship”, referring to his previous time working as part of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team. 

Former army officer Sir Charlie Mayfield, who has been chairman of the John Lewis Partnership since 2007, told last year’s nominees: “I'm prepared to bet that the people who have spent their time in the Armed Forces have an extraordinary level of experience in terms of leading people. It's what you did, it's what you do and I'm absolutely sure that the reason you're nominated for these awards is because you're pretty damn good at it.”

The 2020 edition of the awards is set to be the biggest and best yet. The landmark event gathers senior business leaders, military officers, veterans, top employers and other stakeholders to promote the huge value that service leavers can add to the UK economy. It also raises money for military charities, with nearly £50,000 donated from the 2019 event. SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is the official charity partner for the awards.

Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, and a former Chief of Defence People, said: “SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is very proud to be associated with this important event which celebrates veteran employment. 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 very heartening to see so many employers acknowledging the skills and experiences of those who have served their country.

The nominations period is now open and will close on 12 December 2019. Nominate a veteran by completing the online form at, where you can also see the full list of award categories as well as the criteria and guidelines.

Nominations are NOW open - Nominate here

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