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

Nykki Rogers

Economic Development Manager | Economic Development Manager

Nykki leads the Economic Development team at Huntingdonshire District Council.  Her 30 year career in the private and public sector encompasses companies at all stages from start-ups, global biotech, early stage tech through to regional and central government.

Nykki has worked in a number of sectors including electric vehicle, digital media, online B2C start-ups where she worked with Founders and CEOs to build the operational delivery of the company.  Nykki has spent the last 15 years working in the Life Sciences sector for Amgen and then went on to lead the inward investment activity for Cambridge and then nationally for the Department for International Trade.  She was the Chief Operating Officer of a government team catalysing global markets to deliver increased Foreign Direct Investment and has been involved in supporting hundreds of businesses with their UK market entry strategy.

Prior to joining HDC, Nykki worked in an R&D commercial surveying company supporting land owners from Universities, NHS Trusts and private holdings to bring forward commercial development in R&D intensive places and innovation districts, such as Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Citylabs Manchester and hospitals in London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Richard Ryan

Head of Customer Service | CALA North Home Counties

Richard has been the Head of Customer Service for CALA North Home Counties for 5 years.  CALA are a prestigious 5* home builder and operate from the Welwyn Garden City office.  CALA pride themselves on producing and delivering 5 star homes and offering a 5 star customer service journey thereafter.  Currently our NHBC customer service recommend score is 96.4%; this demonstrates the excellent quality of finish in a CALA home and the outstanding level of satisfaction from our valued customers.  Richard is responsible for a team of co-ordinators, managers and operatives to ensure that the after-sale remedial works are completed to a high standard and in a timely fashion.  Richard is heavily involved in the pre-delivery inspection process of our new homes and improving the standards for our customers across all CALA sites.

Rebecca Ryan

Solicitor | Leeds Day LLP

Rebecca is one of Leeds Day LLP’s  solicitors who specialises in employment law and HR. As a firm, Leeds Day LLP offers the full range of legal services to the local community and beyond and, accordingly, Rebecca advises companies and individuals alike on the full range of employment law issues. Rebecca is based in the Huntingdon office(we have offices in St Ives and St Neots too) and has been with Leeds Day LLP for over 4 years.  Prior to that, she worked in London and Manchester both in private practice and in-house in industry for a FTSE 250 company. Leeds Day LLP has a long history of supporting local business awards and Rebecca has enjoyed judging before. Working with you, to help you to a brighter future is what we do and being an active supporter and advocate for the local business community is a fundamental part of that ethos.

Alex Hughes

Founder | Shift Momentum, Shifties

Founder of Shift Momentum, an Entrepreneurial Business Consultancy that serves the businesses we have founded, invested in and the projects we are invited to work on.

Alex is also the founder of Shifties – The Micro Business Community and an investor in multiple start-ups across sectors.

It is safe to say he is passionate about the power of entrepreneurship; “it is my belief that building businesses which solve problems and create opportunities for those around us is the aim of the game. I am now lucky enough to be involved in businesses across different sectors that achieve exactly that result.”

Having left school before picking up even one GCSE’s, Alex has found the process of starting and building businesses a vehicle for personal development. As a result, he is dedicated to championing others to ignite ideas, launch businesses and accelerate growth.  Entrepreneurship has armed Alex with an education which school simply could not provide and has created opportunities for him that he never knew existed.

Alex is an advocate for collaboration and paving the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs. He has recently worked with other organisations to develop a programme that will take that message and solution to young, disadvantaged people, supporting them in taking steps toward their most uniquely optimal direction.

Christine Griffey

CEO | Shift Momentum, Shifties

CEO of Shift Momentum, an Entrepreneurial Business Consultancy that serves the businesses we have founded, invested in and the projects we are invited to work on.

Christine is also CEO of Silvertone Cleaning Company, an investor to multiple businesses in the service industry and mentor to the leaders of those organisations.

A huge advocate for mental health and leadership within micro-businesses, Christine leads with empathy and strength.

“Since leaving college I have had the opportunity to own and run multiple businesses, specialising in managing the operations of those businesses and helping them develop and into leaders in their industry.”

Christine has a genuine passion for helping people develop themselves and loves to see a well organised, efficient business serving its mission through great leadership.

She lives and breathes the collaborative approach to growth and transparency through her own entrepreneurial journey.

Steven Thompson

Management Accountant | Unified Retail Ltd

ACCA trained accountancy specialist overseeing all the financial activities of Unified Retail, reporting on management accounts, risk management and policy implementation.

Steve has over 20 years experience specialising in the complexities of eCommerce accountancy and pan EU taxation requirements.

Having played professional football, Steve has now turned to veterans football and is a keen Crossfitter

Debra Stuart

Debra Stuart | Unified Retail Ltd

A Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors, with a strong track record of creative problem solving and developing imaginative, effective business solutions.

Debra has substantial leadership experience with 10 years as CEO across a variety of corporate, SME and private equity backed business. Debra currently leads the strategic growth plan for Unified Retail.

Debra is a keen tennis player and is currently learning how NOT to throw pottery on her new potters wheel.

Bev Hurley

CBE, CEO | Growth Works

Bev has a wealth of first-hand experience of growing several successful businesses and overcoming the challenges of the key tipping points of the scale-up journey.

She has launched six ground-breaking and multi award-winning services to address market gaps and unmet business growth needs, all of which have been replicated and scaled across the UK. She also created a highly successful P2P mentoring community in Norfolk, raising a commitment of over 10,000 mentoring hours in less than three weeks from launch. Since then, Bev has created or delivered many mentoring programmes, including from the British Business Bank and J.P. Morgan, and was consulted by BEIS to improve the Mentorsme portal.

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