Swindon directors urged to enter awards that showcase excellence in the region’s boardrooms

January 24, 2020

The region’s top annual business award scheme recognising excellence and enterprise in the boardroom has been launched.

The Institute of Directors’ (IoD) South West Director of the Year Awards 2020 aim to champion outstanding leaders and entrepreneurs while also focusing UK-wide attention on success in the region. 

Nominations – which opened this week – can be from anyone working at director level in any type of business or organisation in the South West – they do not have to be an IoD member.

Categories are Start-Up, Family Business, Large Business (£50m plus), Public Sector, Not for Profit/Third Sector, Innovation and Corporate Responsibility and Young Director, along with the Chair’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice. The entry deadline is March 30.

Two of last year’s winners, Charmaine Vincent, founder and CEO of Bristol-based specialist recruitment firm Baltimore Recruitment in Bristol – who went on to be crowned the national SME Director of the Year – and First Bus West of England managing director James Freeman –  who was highly commended in the Large Business category nationally – spoke at the awards launch on Wednesday.

James, who has worked in the bus industry for 45 years and leads a 1,800-strong team, urged fellow directors to enter the awards.

“My rule has always been ‘let’s go for it!’,” he told the gathering at Bristol’s Hotel di Vin.

Charmaine said winning capped a remarkable year for her business during which its turnover rose by 11% and earnings by 98% and helped raise its profile among potential clients.

“It had such a huge impact for me and my business. The PR and positive noise in the marketplace has meant that our profile and success story has been spread far and wide,” she said.

“It’s also been a contributing factor to winning business with new clients and has certainly boosted my profile as a female entrepreneur and business owner in the South West.

“My advice to any business owner out there that is considering applying next year, is back yourself and your business 100%. Tell others around you what separates you from your competitors. If you believe you’re a worthy winner and have the story to back it up, the chances are, they will too.”

The awards ceremony takes place on the June 11 at Bristol’s upmarket co-working centre Origin Workspace and are sponsored by Bristol Airport and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). Bristol Business News and its sister titles Bath Business News and Swindon Business News are again media partner for the awards.

IoD South West chairman Muir Macdonald said: “In uncertain and complex times directors with the edge lead with clarity, ambition and good governance.

“These awards celebrate and showcase directors in the region who have demonstrated they are able to adapt, seize opportunities and strive in a world that seems to spring a new surprise at every turn.”

This year for the first time, winners of each category will receive a year's complimentary IoD membership, courtesy of the category sponsors.

South West winners are eligible to go forward to the UK Director Awards in London in the autumn. The entry form and more details are available at http://www.iodawards.com/southwest

Pictured: Last year’s IoD Director of the Year South West Award winners, with Charmaine Vincent third from left, and James Freeman fifth from left. Photo by Clint Randall


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