Chamber awards judges 2023
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Commercial Director, Community Homes Ltd.
Ailsa has over 15 years experience in the energy industry.
Ailsa is Commercial Director at Community Home Solutions Ltd; a start-up created in 2021 with the goal of bridging the gap between fuel poverty and net zero through domestic retrofit solutions.
Community Home Solutions work with local Net Zero Hubs in England to disburse grant funding from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to improve the energy efficiency of some of the worst performing homes in England through the installation of retrofitted energy efficiency measures; reducing carbon emissions and household energy bills. Since establishment, CHS have managed the delivery of retrofit solutions to over 6,500 homes.
Prior to joining Community Home Solutions, Ailsa had a 13-year career at E.ON Energy Solutions.
Director, UKI Small Business, Cisco
Áine Rogers is Director of Cisco’s SMB for the UKI theatre. She is responsible for the
strategic direction and growth of this segment executing on Cisco’s defined go to
market combining global short mid and long-term strategies with developing
existing local routes to market in new ways to best serve smaller enterprises on their
digitisation journey whose technology adoption, consumption and needs have
changed drastically in recent years. Critical to the overall success and market share
capture will be running the business successfully while reimaging small business at
true scale. Working effectively with multiple stakeholders within Cisco and partnering
in new ways with channel, distribution and Eco System partners will key to realising
Áine is passionate about people, teams and talent. An advocate for organic growth
of talent within all organisations, Áine works to connect people, teams and businesses
to invest in the future talent of this industry.
CMO, British Business Bank
Angelene Woodland is Chief Marketing Officer, having joined the British Business Bank in April 2019.
Angelene leads the Bank’s Demand Development Unit and is responsible for brand proposition, the customer demand strategy, marketing communications and the regionally based UK Network Team.
Angelene has held several positions within Marketing over the past 25 years and has worked both Agency and Client side.
Angelene joins from Bupa UK where she was Director of Marketing Communications, leading all Bupa UK’s brand, acquisition and retention marketing strategy across all customer segments and business lines. Prior to Bupa, she held senior roles at Littlewoods Shop Direct Group and the British School of Paris.
Group Sustainability Director at Barratt Developments plc
Bukky is Group Sustainability Director at Barratt Developments plc, responsible for the strategy across a broad range of sustainability and ESG matters, and for driving the business transformation to deliver this.
A passionate advocate for collaboration, a key focus for Bukky is to ensure Barratt continues to play its part in the future of sustainability in the UK and beyond. She works to incorporate diverse stakeholder perspectives to address the challenges facing the sector, including decarbonisation, sustainable placemaking, circular economy, responsible sourcing, biodiversity and human rights.
Before joining Barratt, Bukky held senior leadership roles at Tesco and WSP working across strategy, business transformation, sustainability, engineering and retail operations. She is a qualified mechanical engineer and holds a Masters in Environmental Design and Engineering from The Bartlett, University College London.
CEO, Swoop Funding
Charlotte Forsberg is an accomplished marketing professional focused on driving growth and creating a meaningful impact in the fintech industry. After building a successful brand marketing career at Diageo, she took the helm of one of the UK’s leading corporate communications agencies. Throughout her tenure, Charlotte advised and influenced businesses across a diverse range of sectors, from retail and mining to energy, automotive, and professional services.
Her passion for supporting small businesses has become her driving force, and she now focuses on the global expansion of one of the most exciting fintech ventures, Swoop. As CMO Charlotte has helped deliver remarkable growth, now attracting over 50,000 businesses each month to seek funding solutions and straight-talking financial support.
A native of the North East now based in The South East, my leadership journey started in 1998 when I secured my first management role, leading a field sales team with responsibility for Scotland & the North East of England. Since that first leadership assignment, I have had the privilege of leading both direct & indirect sales teams, Marketing teams, Support teams, Sales Enablement teams, Business Intelligence teams, Claims & Finance teams. Experience gained across the UK, mainland Europe & Canada.
I joined Westfield Health 2.5 years ago as their Sales Director and now hold the role of Distribution Director – UK. I am responsible for developing and coaching my management team and their reports, to be the best they can be. And as a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Sales Professionals, I have a passion for the highest standards and CPD for the sales community as a whole.
Head of UK Government Relations, Rolls-Royce
Dan leads Rolls-Royce’s Group-level engagement with the UK political system, including Government and Parliament. A key part of the role is ensuring the business is represented within and across the UK Government and contributing to policy development on behalf of the sectors Rolls-Royce operates in. Prior to this Dan led political and corporate campaigns for Tesco PLC and worked as a policy adviser in Westminster.
Chris is part of the international strategy firm Stonehaven that helps clients accelerate and unlock change as they navigate the societal and environmental transitions shaping the world’s economies. Over a 14 year career, Chris has primarily focused on communications and digital including 8 years at Heathrow Airport where he was Head of Reputation and Campaigns and the digital lead for their high-profile expansion campaign. In his current role as a Managing Consultant he advises clients across rail, aviation, infrastructure, economic and sustainability sectors.
TSB's Business Banking Proposition and Products team lead
Dan has 23 years experience in banking and lending. He started off answering calls and opening store cards, before spending 10 years in credit risk for GE, Lloyds and TSB. Dan then moved into product and banking strategy.
Dan now leads TSB’s Business Banking Proposition and Products team. This means he is responsible for making sure the products and services customers use meet their needs and the evolving regulations, and developing and launching new products to improve TSB’s customer offering.
Dan has a deep understanding of business owner needs, how to start, run and grow a small business.
Out of work, Dan will be found in the kitchen or the gym, it’s all about balance.
Founder partner in CONNECTS
Founder partner in CONNECTS, combining personal trusted connections with digital global reach.
CONNECTS works with Chambers of Commerce, business networks and companies to facilitate business opportunities worldwide. CONNECTS is more than B2B – our communities feature is about B4B, ESG, businesses collaborating and helping each other to grow stronger, together.
Founder partner in TIAO, creator of the CONNECTS.world global platform. We firmly believe in building trust based on delivery of results, transparency and accountability, hence our company name TIAO, Trust Is An Outcome.
30 years leadership experience in strategic business development, trade, EU and UK public policy, innovation and high impact projects to address global challenges.
Glynis is a former President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, now exploring new horizons as a digital nomad in Madeira, Portugal.
BP, Government Affairs Manager
Hannah is responsible for bp’s UK government affairs work with a particular focus on the company’s CCUS, hydrogen and electricity market interests. Before joining bp, Hannah held a number of policy and government relations roles for companies including YouTube and Network Rail, and worked as parliamentary researcher in both the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland
Ian Talbot is Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland. Prior to that Ian held positions as a Director of Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase in Ireland and overseas for 18 years. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse, working in their Dublin and Luxembourg offices, and also holds MA and BBS degrees from Trinity College, Dublin. He is Deputy President of Eurochambres and a Director of several companies.
Head of People and Culture at Hanbury Strategy
Jane is Head of People and Culture at Hanbury Strategy, a 125-strong public affairs and corporate communications consultancy, across London and Brussels. She is an active member of the communications industry as a Fellow of industry body The PRCA and indeed a regular trainer for them on subjects from People Management through Inclusion to Wellbeing and Emotional Intelligence.
Still an active member, Jane was until recently a ‘Women in PR’ committee member, leading their acclaimed mentoring programme. She has several years experience as an independent consultant supporting organisations from Centrica to The MoJ.
Jane started her career delivering communications programmes for clients including Orange and TetraPak at global agency, Golin, moving over to talent and operations from 2010. A passionate advocate for workplaces which allow individuals to thrive, in her spare time Jane can be found cooking, walking the dog or watching sport at a gig with friends and family.
Former Assistant General Secretary of the British Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Kay Carberry held several positions in the TUC and was Assistant General Secretary until 2016. She is a past member of several Government advisory bodies on equality and employment matters. She also served on the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the Civil Justice Council. She recently completed a ten year term as a commissioner of the Low Pay Commission. She is currently a board member of Transport for London, a trustee of the People’s History Museum, a director of TU Fund Managers, and an alternate member of the Takeover Panel.
Kay is an honorary fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. She was awarded a CBE for services to employment relations.
Group Sales and Marketing Director, WTA
Keri has over twenty years of experience leading a range of commercial functions, from strategy, product development, communications, marketing, sales, account management, investor relations and customer service. Her experience is across an array of industries both B2B and B2C and has included Restore plc, a leading provider of digital and information management and secure lifecycle services and Lloyd’s the insurance marketplace. Her specialty is change management, building high-performing teams that allow hyper-growth.
The Founder of One Earth, a Global speaker and serial entrepreneur
Linzi Boyd, successfully owned and sold two businesses before the age of 24. The second was a renowned footwear brand with a global distribution channel in 7 countries, she sold this company to Caterpillar.
She went on to build her third business working with some of the most famous brands on the hight street and became very well known for building Famous Brands.
Eleven years ago she found Purpose and moved out of the world of consumer brands, to set up One Earth, (one-earth.global) a platform for good, a purpose driven movement, amplifying the voices of united communities by connecting together on purpose, learning together to grow and trading with each other to impact change in the world.
She is a Global speaker, leading with purpose and has grown and scaled thousands of businesses globally combining both business and people. Linzi works with the London Stock Exchange, The Mayor’s Office and the UN Global Compact.
One Earth is revolutionising industries to impact change in the world.
With an aim to help millions of organisations and businesses to build and scale their causes/purposes, by supporting them to achieve sustainable change on the planet and showcasing the vision, insight and determination of the entrepreneurs leading their businesses, industries and societal causes to create a brand new world.
Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME)
Professor Monder Ram OBE is the Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston University. One of the foremost international scholars researching ethnic minority entrepreneurship, Prof Monder Ram’s work has helped to shape the field over the past 3 decades. From his considerable research output to the founding of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship, Prof Ram has become established as a leading scholar and impactful researcher. His commitment to engaged scholarship has resulted in several social science inspired initiatives that have benefited diverse and overlooked communities. His research outputs are complemented by a lengthy record of external research funding awards from prestigious sources such as ESRC, NERC and Low Pay Commission as well as from national and regional public bodies. Prof. Ram has held visiting Professorships at Lund University and Turku University in Finland. He serves as an advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group for BAME Business Owners and is a member of the Ethnic Minority Business Group at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Neil is a member of Amazon’s public relations team, and has spent more than 30 years in a variety of PR, internal communications, marketing and media roles. He began his career in regional media before moving into public relations working on behalf of a number of clients in the steel, pharmaceutical and oil & gas exploration industries. Neil moved client-side to join GlaxoWellcome before joining Rolls-Royce, Wolseley and, latterly, Amazon. He is a non-executive director at the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and is a committee member at the Peterborough and Stamford Chamber.
Chief of Staff & Carbon, Heathrow
As Chief of Staff & Carbon, Nigel leads Heathrow’s Carbon Strategy, Communications and Sustainability & Communities Teams. His responsibilities include protecting Heathrow’s reputation and ensuring the airport maintains its global leadership role in the decarbonisation of aviation through both practical measures and advocacy. He leads the airports liaison with external stakeholders on all policy issues across international, national and local government as well as business and represents Heathrow in the media and in public meetings. As Heathrow’s Director for External Affairs between 2013 and 2016, Nigel led the communications campaign to win public and political support for a third runway at the airport, before taking on the role of Director of Communications which included overcoming the internal and colleague communication challenges presented by the pandemic.
Formerly Bank of England
Peter Harman has worked in the public and private sectors for over 40 years.
Initially in the Bank of England and subsequently in management and leadership development, most recently he held a number of senior roles in starting and growing businesses and their supportive environments across the UK and globally.
CEO & Co founder, Something Big
A passionate believer that the workplace can (and urgently needs to) be fairer, healthier and happier for everyone, Sally Pritchett, CEO of Something Big, works tirelessly to help organisations become great places to work, through improving their internal communications and employer engagement, championing health & wellbeing and improving inclusivity. Something Big, is a leading creative communications agency working with a range of global and local organisations from DHL to Wates and Ofcom to Centrica.
Certified International Trade Advisor
With over 35 years’ experience in international trade, from desk-level to becoming the corporate shipping manager for the Ferranti International Group until its break-up, Sandra formed Strong & Herd LLP (S&H) in 1995, together with Brian Herd (now deceased).
She was a graduate member of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IoE) until being awarded a Fellowship of the Institute in 2011 for services to UK Companies involved in all areas of international trade. Her exceptional contributions were recently acknowledged when she received an MBE in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours list in June.
Sandra is a Certified International Trade Advisor and a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). She is a National Councillor for the British Exporters Association (BExA) being the Chair of the Customs & Export Licensing sub-committee and representing British exporters at the HMRC Joint Customs Consultative Committees (JCCC) and on Brexit related government forums.
Associate Director in H/Advisors Cicero
Sonia is an Associate Director in H/Advisors Cicero’s UK Public Affairs team. She has widespread sector experience, working with clients across financial services, tech, management consultancy and transport. Sonia also provides political counsel to senior stakeholders, drawing on her 10 years’ experience in politics. She oversees work on cross sector domestic political risk tracking and manages the delivery of political products including political advisor mapping. Her clients have included Accenture, Barclays UK, BlackRock, Funding Circle and the Oversight Board.
Sonia is passionate about animal welfare and volunteers at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home as a member of their Global Advancement Board where she promotes Battersea’s capabilities abroad. She is also keen on expanding access to politics to minority groups and has written about this as a regular commentator in British newspapers such as the Times and on broadcast television. Sonia was recognised as ‘One to Watch’ by Women in Westminster 2021 and one of the most influential PR professionals in Britain in the PR Week PowerBook in 2021 and 2022.
CEO, The Lens
Steve is CEO founder and designer of The Lens, a purpose driven social enterprise that develops people, ideas and organisations by enabling intrapreneurship and innovation. Established in 2015, The Lens has a proven track record of developing innovation skills, culture and life changing ideas. It helps organisations harness the amazing potential and creativity that often lies dormant. With a passion for improving the lives of people in communities he has held a number of senior roles creating and leading award-winning services. Steve is regular presenter at conferences and a speaker at TEDxGlasgow. When not working, he is a committed climber, braving whatever weather Scotland can throw at him
Head of Communications at Severn Trent Water
Tamsin Morgan is Head of Communications at Severn Trent Water, a FTSE 100 based in the Midlands. She is responsible for all aspects of communication, marketing, community engagement and driving their social purpose agenda. Tamsin previously worked at the BBC as Head of Communications and at the Gambling Commission as their Executive Director of Communications and Engagement.
Victoria utilises her executive experience and coaching expertise to support her clients to reach their full potential. With an unusual mix of marketing and operational experience Victoria moved into a general management role for almost a decade as MD of the EMA region for an international outsourcing company delivering customer service and technical support to a wide range of clients from multiple industries. Victoria’s own experience spans international locations and multiple cultures, giving her the ability to understand multi-cultural organisations and help those dealing with such complex work environments.
Victoria enjoys cooking and gardening, loves to travel, is a member of two book clubs, a Friend of the Royal Academy of Art, and a lifetime member of the National Trust. She is on the Development Board of the charity Wellchild, and is delighted to once again be a judge for the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
Director of Employers and Partnerships, The Open University
Viren started his career in accountancy before moving into the commercial world 20 years ago. He has worked across diverse sectors including education, telecommunications, healthcare and retail and joined The Open University in 2015. Now in his role as CEO of OU Worldwide and Director of Employers and Partnerships, Viren manages the OU’s commercial activity portfolio which includes working with employers and educational partners both within the UK and internationally, as well as identifying new potential income diversification opportunities.
During Viren’s time at the OU, the university has launched higher and degree apprenticeship programmes, Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) and microcredentials. This complements a wider offering of degree programmes, short courses and free learning through OpenLearn. In the last two years, Viren and his team has worked with the Office for Students and the Department for Education on improving Level 4 & 5 provision in FE colleges. All of this work has had a huge impact in filling skills gaps in the public, private and third sectors.
Viren’s team has also collaborated with the British Chambers of Commerce on the Business Barometer report, which analyses the size, nature, causes and impacts of the UK skills shortage.