Our Judges

We have developed our judging over 18 years and our judges, all top business people within their chosen arena, have cited our awards as both the most transparent and professionally executed. Each application is scored by up to 4 different judges from a panel of up to 30 judges, all applications are seen by different members of the judging panel. The judges spend several hours and score not only their own sponsored category but several others too, this ensures transparency. The first page of questions is designed to give the judges a real feel for your business, followed by several questions that are scored from 1 to 5. It is worth noting that although all judging is computer based please ensure you upload images or screen shots of all important pages. There are no site visits or presentations involved. The finalists are chosen by adding all the scores and up to 16 entrants can make it through to the final, however if scoring is low, less entrants make it through. Should you wish to read our Top Tips, please click HERE

Brian Harding Bsc

Managing Director | Catalyst Land Solutions

Brian Harding Bsc, Managing Director, Catalyst Land Solutions Ltd & New Homes Audits

Having been involved in the construction and property industry since the age of  16, he established  Catalyst Land Solutions (CLS)  in 2015 and new Homes Audits(NHA ) in 2023  having gained extensive experience in project management, housing quality and land acquisition. He prides himself on delivering   a customer focused consultancy.

A large amount of CIS’s business is focussed on addressing the housing shortage within the UK and we are rapidly expanding our network of clients that are Registered Providers.  NHA is focussed on ensuring purchasers of new homes can be proud of the quality of their new homes.

Sue Cullen

Director| PWM UK Limited

Sue Cullen is a highly accomplished professional with extensive experience in construction, education, and community service. Currently serving as Owner, Director, and Company Secretary of PWM UK Limited since 2006, Sue and the team manages trades and labour recruitment, construction services, and turnkey solutions in rail and the built environment. She will now take on the role of judge for the UK National Building and Construction Awards 2023 , collaborating with PWM managers and engineers to review entries and acknowledge industry excellence.

Prior to her role at PWM UK, Sue worked as a Teaching Assistant at Kingsmoor Lower School, where she ensured a safe and clean learning environment. She assisted teachers, monitored student progress, supervised activities, and supported children’s well-being. Sue also held the position of Senior Claims Officer at McNicholas Construction Services Limited, handling property and liability claims and coordinating with various stakeholders.

Sue’s dedication to community service is evident through her voluntary roles. She served as Chair and Nearly New Sale Coordinator for the National Childbirth Trust, contributing to fundraising efforts. Additionally, she actively participated in Toddington Area Helping Hands, providing transportation services and serving as Secretary.

Sue’s involvement in education continued as a Reading Helper and SATs exam support at Toddington schools. Her commitment to supporting children’s learning and well-being is commendable.

With her diverse background, expertise, and passion for excellence, Sue Cullen is well-positioned to contribute as a judge for the UK National Building and Construction Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in the industry.

Gauri Talathi-Lamb

Co-Founder | Iolas Capital

Gauri is a Co-Founder of Iolas Capital, a family run private equity firm based in London with a portfolio of companies in the construction and building services sector. Gauri is the Commercial Director at FHP ESS, part of Iolas Capital Group, a UK-wide mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy who draw on almost 50 years of experience providing building services engineering support to the property industry.

Gauri trained as a Chartered Engineer at a top Mumbai University before moving to the London to complete a Masters in Management. Gauri progressed her career in construction initially growing the White Stuff real estate portfolio from 20 to 103 stores then progressing to Hugo Boss where she ultimately led the North Europe property function with £50m of Capex and c.100 projects per year, setting global construction standards and included being the youngest board member for the region. Gauri then shifted her focus to consulting for brands such as Godiva.

As a business owner, Gauri works with like-minded team members who are passionate to make a change in the industry and use business as a vehicle for doing good.

Gauri understands the importance of diversity in the workplace and is passionate about opening the doors to our industry and debunking the myths of who can join the industry. She is involved in speaking at schools about women in engineering and construction and is a member of WISE.
Gauri is also a mother of a 6-year-old. She loves to paint, is a trained Indian classical dancer and loves walking and cycling over the weekends with her husband and little one.

Steve Broughton

Executive Chairman | Legionella and Fire Safe Services

Steve lives with his family in Sussex after moving back to the coast following 13 years living in London pursuing a corporate career after he graduated from Keele University with a degree in Biology.

After working in the corporate environment in his twenties, Steve set up his first business. Steve was the CEO of what grew to be the UK’s largest independent specialist cleaning company employing 120 staff. Recently he sold that business as part of an MBO deal in 2022 to spend more time focussed on Legionella and Firesafe Services.

Steve splits his time between his young family and his current role as investor/shareholder and Chairman of Legionella and Firesafe Services where he applies the knowledge he has gained as an entrepreneur and his passion for building successful businesses.

Vince Dignam

Business Performance & Group Transport Manager | City of London

Vince has been in the transport industry for over 30 years. His primary duties involve coordinating the cleansing, waste and transport contracts for the City of London. He is the ‘O’ licence holder for the City of London and responsible for the implementation of the Corporate Transport Policy.
Vince is a member of Chartered institute of Logistics Transport, a member of CIWM, a Carmen Liveryman and Freeman of the City of London.

Since 2008, he has been involved with the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) and was one of the first local authorities to gain gold accreditation. Vince is part of the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) Governance group (GSAG) and in 2017 became Chairman of the FORS Executive Group. He is also a member of  Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) AND A Champion promoting work-related Road Risk Strategy. Involved in construction working groups such a BITA promoting safety standards and best practice.

Bridie Cunningham

Director | Portman Scott

After a successful career in a variety of senior positions for leading retail and telecom companies Bridie co-founded Portman Scott –an Executive Search Agency that focuses on senior level hires. Understanding that cultural fit, aligned values and ambition are as important as strong technical skills Portman Scott uses scientific behavioural data to support their many years of experience in hiring for construction and related sectors.

Bridie is also the London Chair of BITA (the British and Irish Trading Alliance) which is the original and largest chapter within BITA. She has been a judge for a number of different awards over the years and is excited to be involved this year with the National Building and Construction Awards.

Drew Montague

Managing Director | Montague Fine & Rare Wines

Drew Montague has an expert eye with a heartfelt passion for enabling people to enjoy and make money from wine.
As a company, Montague Fine & Rare Wines specialises in advising clients looking for a CGT-free form of investment and offers discreet management of their fine wine investment portfolios from purchase through to final sale.

Among the senior roles held by Drew are the Wine Manager at the Sunday Times Wine Club, UK Director for the Wine Institute of
California, Head of Buying for Wines, Beers and Spirits at Harrods, Sales and Marketing Director for Buckingham Vintners and Managing Director of Geoffrey Roberts Agencies, and for three decades as a much-respected judge for the International Wine Challenge competition.

Following 30 years in the international wine trade, Drew’s vision was to create a family-run wine business that incorporated his wealth of experience with values of integrity, superb customer service and outstanding value for money; Montague Fine & Rare Wines was established in 2009

Rebecca Wall

COO | Alliance Intelligent Scaffolding Ltd

Rebecca is COO of multi award winning Alliance Intelligent Scaffolding in St Albans, Hertfordshire. A former Hertfordshire Business Person of the Year, Rebecca is a national and international business awards judge and has a wealth of experience in both starts up and established SME’s within a diverse range of sectors, from Professional Beauty and Spa to Construction.

Angie Pool

Director | Atelier de Linde

Angie Pool is a highly accomplished architect with over 20 years international experience. After leaving university in South Africa, Angie spent 4 years gaining experience with a developer before founding Dzelik Architecture in 2002, specialising in residential architecture for private, gated communities and eco estates. She consulted on Unique Restaurants and boutique hotels through Southern Africa and co-designed repurposed container pods for low cost housing projects. After emigrating to the U.K in 2011, Angie began consulting on residential projects throughout London before moving to Kent. There, she established Atelier Design Consultants, offering turn-key solutions for architectural residential and redevelopment projects, whilst simultaneously working on private development projects in and around Kent. Her experience flipping properties lead to Angie redeveloping multiple sites in the South East. These ambitious projects inspired her to travel to Europe to form direct relationships with manufacturers and suppliers.

Most recently, Angie has joined forces with Tara de Linde to form Atelier de Linde Architects, focusing on their joint passion for sustainability and ethical architecture.

Brendon Kenny

Managing Director | Ellanstone

Brendon Kenny is a visionary leader and sustainability advocate with a dynamic career spanning over four decades in the construction supply chain industry. His relentless commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles has revolutionised the way businesses approach sustainability.

Throughout his illustrious career, Brendon has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at minimizing the ecological impact of construction supply chains. His groundbreaking work with Changing Streams, an organization he co-founded, has been instrumental in transforming traditional practices and fostering a more environmentally conscious approach in the industry. Under his guidance, Changing Streams has successfully introduced innovative strategies to reduce waste, promote recycling, and promote sustainable sourcing.

With a wealth of experience garnered over the years, Brendon has emerged as a thought leader in sustainable construction. His exceptional contributions have earned him recognition as an Enterprise Champion in Merseyside in 2004, a testament to his unwavering dedication and exceptional leadership skills. Additionally, he was honoured as one of the North West Insider’s 42 under 42 people to watch, highlighting his visionary approach and potential for driving industry-wide change.

Brendon Kenny continues to inspire and lead the way for sustainable practices in the construction supply chain sector. His tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to ESG principles have set a benchmark for businesses worldwide, demonstrating that environmental responsibility and commercial success can go hand in hand. As the industry moves towards a more sustainable future, Brendon’s expertise and passion remain invaluable in shaping a greener and more responsible world.

Paul Whitnell

President | British and Irish Trading Alliance Ltd

Paul Whitnell has a background the varied arenas of politics, business and the music industry, and is well placed to spot trends and needs in the current diverse and rapidly changing economic environment. After arriving in the UK looking for work in 2008 during the economic crash, Paul realised that there was a need for a different kind of networking group to fill the gap. He founded BITA in response to this need, creating a friendly, relaxed networking community that is focused on creating business opportunities for UK and Irish businesses and offering advice. A pre-requisite of membership is that connections and knowledge are shared, so all have the opportunity to forge successful and profitable networking relationships.

In 2018 Paul signed an agreement with similar networking organisations in Scotland and America – Causeway and IN USA. “We enjoy working with businesses in the UK and Ireland but recognise we need to expand our gaze and look to further afield. Not only are there incredible opportunities for UK and Irish companies looking to trade with America, but there are also great markets here for American businesses looking to expand. We are looking forward to working with Causeway and IN USA and offering their members what we offer our BITA members – advice, opportunity, and a guiding hand if needed. With these new friendships we will be extending our brand and offering more.”

BITA is a not-for-profit membership organisation that adheres to their motto of being the ‘People who Know People that Help People’. Aside from business and events, they value their communities and look for chances to give something back, supporting various charities through fundraising and promotion.

Nicola Barden | BSF Solid Surfaces Ltd

Managing Director

Nicola joined her parents in the family business, BSF Solid Surfaces Ltd, in 1999, as Office Manager, which was meant to be a temporary position.

Now 24 years later, Nicola is now the Managing Director, running the business alongside her brother, and fellow director, Paul Bailey.

Nicola has extensive experience in the construction and interior fit out industries, and has worked with many of the large fit out companies, and on a number of high profile prestigious projects.

BSF Solid Surfaces Ltd, her family business, is a market leader in the production of Solid Surface items- not just high end kitchen work tops, but wash troughs, reception desks, retail counters, shower trays, wall cladding, vanities and anything the imagination can dream up.

Jacqueline O’Donovan | O’Donovan Waste Disposal Ltd

Managing Director

Jacqueline O’Donovan is a dynamic powerhouse heading up the multi award-winning O’Donovan business. Recognised as one of the waste, logistics and construction industry’s leaders, the influential trailblazer passionately advocates for operational excellence across the sectors, championing improved standards and compliance whilst advocating for greener and more sustainable innovations.

Jacqueline is the first female CEO worldwide to earn a Master’s Degree in Demolition Management. She has received numerous accolades for her work and holds a number of respected fellowships and affiliations with professional organisations and bodies in the sector. Her awards include PwC Private Businesswoman of the Year and the Building Award for Female Leadership as well as twice being named the IoD’s Family Business Director of the Year. The Women’s Economic Forum have previously named Jacqueline as their Woman of the Decade in Enterprise and Leadership.

James Maguire

Director | Crannull

James was brought up within the construction industry and prior to graduating from university, James spent many summers working on site with Byrne Bros, giving him a great understanding of how this sector operated.

With a Degree in Business Studies, James was originally going to pursue a career in accountancy, however, taking a temporary sales job highlighted a natural ability in corporate sales, which later turned into a permanent role.

James spent many years in the Corporate Finance Market where he realised that the more sales opportunities you have, the more you can pick and choose which ones to focus your time on. James progressed up the Corporate ladder, leading sales teams with the philosophy being built into his teams of having more choice!

After 15 successful years in this arena, James set up Crannull with his Business Partner Tom Fitzgerald, to provide companies within the construction sector and whole built environment more sales opportunities and more choice. 11 years on and servicing over 70 different clients weekly, Crannull are still providing new sales opportunities to their clients, with many having secured several £m’s worth of business through their efforts.

Sarah Ainslie

Director | Network Engineering Services

Sarah is an experienced consultant, providing strategic advice and guidance to an award winning construction skills training centre in the North East of England. She is focussed on sourcing innovative funding and training solutions to encourage new entrants into the construction sector.

Sarah’s latest project is development of a new Civil Engineering Academy, working collaboratively with private sector, further education and local authority organisations to create a regional centre of excellence for practical civil engineering and construction. The new academy will upskill and reskill individuals to ensure they are equipped with specific industry accreditations that are essential to bridge existing skills gaps and current employment challenges within the construction and civil engineering sectors.

As a company director and former Policy Manager, Sarah has represented the interests of SMEs at regional and national level, managing SME policy campaigns and building key partnerships with political decision makers, business and community stakeholders. She holds a Master of Arts in Regional Development, formerly co-founded a women’s business network and is Trustee of a local charity.

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