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Region’s top business talent named at 2019 IoD Director of the Year awards


The North West’s top business talent was celebrated last night, Thursday 4 April at the annual Institute of Directors (IoD) Director of the Year awards.

Embodying the IoD’s objectives in the North West by bringing the best leaders in the region to the fore, the event celebrated the diverse achievements of entrepreneurial and inspiring business leaders. Awards ranged from ‘Young Director of the Year’ to ‘Director of the Year Award – Corporate Social Responsibility’.

Hundreds of business people, influencers and luminaries attended the awards ceremony, which was held at Hilton Manchester Deansgate. The awards have gained a coveted reputation for highlighting the success of North West directors – from young businesses leading a small but driven team, to large corporations based regionally, but overseeing operations throughout the world.

Double award winner of the evening was Stockport-based Donald Moore of Rowlinson Knitwear who scooped both the Corporate Social Responsibility and Small-Medium Business Director of the Year awards. Donald received a rapturous round of applause from the crowd as he collected his awards.

James Timpson OBE of Timpson Group, based in Wythenshawe, was congratulated as he was awarded with the Family Business Director of the Year Award, followed by Debbie Francis of Crewe based Direct Rail Services Ltd, who stepped up to receive her Inclusivity Director of the Year award.

The evening’s celebrations continued with the Innovation Director of the Year award being deservedly received by Dr Maurizio Bragagni MBA of Tratos Ltd in Knowsley, and the coveted International Director of the Year title was awarded to Marnie Millard OBE of Newton-le-Willows based Nichols PLC – famed for numerous beverages including Manchester’s own Vimto.

Neil McArthur of the Hamilton Davies Trust based in Cadishead, Manchester, was honoured with the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice.

Other winners included; Matthew White of The University Caterers Organisation who picked up the Non-Executive Director of the Year, Steve Park of Warrington & Co as Public Sector Director of the Year, Paul Kerruish from the Fynoderee Distillery was awarded the Start-Up Director of the Year, Maura Jackson of BACKUP North West as Third Sector Director of the Year and concluding with Andrew Avanessian of Avecto who scooped the Young Director of the Year award.

The IOD Director of the Year awards recognises achievements in a whole host of sectors including healthcare, hospitality, construction and marketing showing the rich, varied and thriving economy in the North West.

Claire Ebrey Regional Director for the North West and Isle of Man, said: “We offer our warmest congratulations to everyone who has won an award tonight, as well as to all of those who were shortlisted. The IoD is proud to work closely with directors and their teams here in the North West – something that the organisation has been doing since 1903.

“The awards embody the IoD’s philosophy of encouraging entrepreneurial activity and promoting responsible business practice for the benefit of the business community and society as a whole. The achievements of the above business leaders are a real celebration of this.”