Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020 Finalists
Veterans

Ex-Forces In Business Awards: Honouring Veterans Excelling In Their Second Careers

Finalists revealed for awards that showcase military veterans’ achievements in second careers

Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020 Finalists

A list of finalists showcasing the incredible achievements of veterans on civvy street has been revealed in the run up to the Ex-Forces In Business Awards in October.

This year, the glittering ceremony highlighting the successes of former serving personnel in their second careers will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Appropriate COVID-19 health and safety measures will be put in place to ensure the event can take place safely.

The prestigious awards programme, of which BFBS is a media partner, recognises the achievements of ex-forces personnel who are now excelling after life in the armed forces. 

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 servicemen 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.

Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020 Finalists

Visibility of role models across different sectors is often lacking, and some stereotypes and perceptions of veterans can fuel damaging misconceptions. 

In a study by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, three in ten UK hirers said they would feel reluctant to hire someone who 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 the awards have led the way in increasing visibility of business role models for service leavers.

Last year, the awards showcased the second-career achievements of almost 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. 

Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020 Finalists

Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, the official charity partner of the awards, said: 

“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 who 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 which operates a mentoring scheme for service leavers amongst 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 very heartening to see so many employers acknowledging the skills and experiences of those who have served their country.”

Ex forces in Business awards - pic Ben Rossi

The 2020 finalists were whittled down from a record-breaking 500 nominations, with the winners decided by a judging panel of military veterans headed up 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 said: 

"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 FINALISTS

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

Amazon 

Atkins 

Company X Consulting 

Eton Bridge Partners 

Inzpire 

Marsh 

Morrison Utility Services 

Openreach 

Serco 

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 Managment 

Robert Hughes, Robert Mann 

Scott Cowan, Africa Legal 

 

EX-FORCES INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

Barclays 

Barratt Developments 

Forces CV Services 

Forces Equine 

Frontier Risks Group 

LifeWorks, Royal British Legion Industries

RV1 Group 

Salesforce 

Services To Film 

UBS 

 

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, Why Not Un 

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, Booking.com 

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 

 

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 BFBS, RealBusiness.co.uk and Quest Magazine.
Last year’s events raised more than £60,000 for military charities.