Home Awards IoD Director of the Year shortlist revealed

IoD Director of the Year shortlist revealed

(L-R) Claire Ebrey, Geoff Thompson and Mike Blackburn

The Institute of Directors (IoD) North West and Isle of Man branches have unveiled their shortlist ahead of the 2019 Director of the Year Awards ceremony, which will take place at the Hilton in Manchester on Thursday 4 April.

The event will celebrate the achievements of the region’s leaders from across all sectors. For the first time, it will merge the efforts of North West and Isle of Man entrants, championing leaders on both sides of the water.

The shortlist includes a range of names from businesses big and small; Timpson Group Chief Executive James Timpson OBE is nominated for two awards; SMEs meanwhile are represented by a shortlist comprising Onoriode Okeregha of the Immigration Advice Service, Sarah Goulbourne of gunnercooke llp and Phil Eckersley of Bridgewater Home Care.

The region’s leaders of the future will also be celebrated with the Young Director of the Year nominees listed as Andrew Avanessian of Avecto Ltd and Chloe Moore of National Care Group. North West’s charitable organisations will be recognised in the Third Sector award – a shortlist brimming with leaders including Suzanne Connerty of Walking with Giants, Maura Jackson of BACKUP, Rose Marley of SharpFutures Manchester CIC and Nickala Torkington of Flourish Together.

IoD North West and Isle of Man Chair Mike Blackburn OBE, who will also be responsible for judging and presenting the Chairman’s Award for Excellence on the night, said: “Each year we are honoured to celebrate this region’s spectacular talent.

“We have some exceptional organisations in the North West and Isle of Man, and it is imperative that their achievements are celebrated. Getting to the final is a fantastic achievement. Establishing and running a business well is no mean feat, and doing that in a way that shines in our region, captures the imagination of their peers and exemplifies good practice is truly marvellous.”


Category Individual Applicant Company

Director of the Year – Corporate Social Responsibility



Matt Haworth Reason Digital
Donald Moore Rowlinson Knitwear Ltd
James Timpson OBE Timpson Group
Director of the Year – Family Business sponsored by Crowe Michael Darracott MGISS
Neil Fraser Forest Group
Sally Fenton Search & Select Offshore Limited
James Timpson OBE Timpson Group
Director of the Year – Inclusivity Debbie Francis Direct Rail Services Ltd
Sarah Goulbourne gunnercooke llp
Matt Haworth Reason Digital
Leila McKenzie Leila McKenzie Associates
Simone Roche MBE Northern Power Women
Professor Julia Rouse Manchester Metropolitan University
Martina Witter Black Women in Business and Professionals Network
Director of the Year – Innovation sponsored by All Work & Social Jason Barker CNC Robotics Limited
Professor Simon Bolton Edge Hill University
Dr Maurizio Bragagni MBA Tratos Ltd
Martin Keelagher Agile Automations
Steph Stephenson Stephensons Dairy
Director of the Year – International sponsored by DIT Robert Keeling Airpure International Limited
Georgina Jones NCUK
Marnie Millard OBE Nichols Plc
Luke Robbins-Wells Chad Harrison International
Director of the Year – Non- Executive Martin Keelagher Walford Cunningham and Hayes Limited
Matthew White The University Caterers Organisation
Director of the Year – Public Sector Mike Haslin The University Caterers Organisation
Steve Park Warrington & Co
Director of the Year – Small- Medium Business sponsored by Forza John Coughlan TSP Engineering
Phil Eckersley Bridgewater Home Care
Sarah Goulbourne gunnercooke llp
Matt Haworth Reason Digital
Donald Moore Rowlinson Knitwear Ltd
Onoriode Okeregha Immigration Advice Service
Mike Perls MC2
Sunny Sandwell Sunshine Events UK Limited
Director of the Year – Start-Up sponsored by ACCA Paul Kerruish The Fynoderee Distillery
David Marsh Business Arena Limited
Austen Smart FutureDJs
Director of the Year – Third Sector Suzanne Connerty Walking With Giants Foundation
Maura Jackson BACKUP
Rose Marley SharpFutures Manchester CIC
Suzanne Pender Ford Park Community Group
Nickala Torkington Flourish Together CIC
Director of the Year – Young Andrew Avanessian Avecto Ltd
Chloe Moore National Care Group
Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice – sponsored by Kuits Winner to be announced on the Awards Evening – Judged by Mike Blackburn OBE