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

Amanda Washbrook

Deputy Principal, Partnerships and Business Development | Barnfield College

Amanda has taught English and several other curriculum areas at FE colleges during her career. Amanda’s first leadership role was at Uxbridge College as Head of the Academy before moving to Weston College as Director of Quality. Amanda had a senior leadership role at Oaklands College before moving to WHC Group (Barnfield College and West Herts College), where she is now Deputy Principal for Partnerships and Business Development.


She has inspected for Ofsted since 2016 and is also a Major in the Royal Signals, Army Reserves. Having always had an interest in the extreme, Amanda enjoys alpine sports like mountaineering, ski mountaineering and ice climbing; she’s also a microlight pilot.

Cath Gunn

Principal | Barnfield College

Cath has undertaken a variety of senior roles in further education across her career, specialising in quality and curriculum development. In 2015, Cath was promoted to Deputy Principal which led to her role as Principal of Barnfield College, after its merger with West Herts College.

Cath has been involved with several committees throughout her career including the West Herts Free School Trust and, more recently, with Luton Careers Hub, Luton Music Education Hub and the Employment and Skills Partnership Board.

Cath firmly believes education can transform lives and is passionate about developing knowledge and skills in young people and adults so they can reach their potential.

Sara Searle

Head of HR and Payroll | Liebherr GB

Sara has worked within Human Resources for over 20 years for a variety of companies. She joined Liebherr-Great Britain and Ireland as Human Resources Manager some 14 years ago where she set up the HR Department from scratch. Now as Head of HR and Payroll with a team of 5, they support in excess of 400 employees spread out over 9 sales and service centres across the UK and Ireland. Sara feels privileged to be a judge for the fifth year running and is excited to see what the future holds for these outstanding businesses.

Gareth Steel

Commercial Director | Talk UK Telecom

Gareth is the Commercial Director at Talk UK Telecom and has a passion for commercial success, a strategic thinker in driving business growth, Gareth is able to give meaningful insights in data analysis and has excellent proficiency in managing technical projects, Gareth has worked for Talk UK Telecom for 15 years.

Justine Maroudias

Operations Director | Talk UK Telecom

Justine is an experienced Operations Director with a passion for business and a wealth of experience in managing day to day operations , Sales and Finance and has extensive experience in the telecom sector for over 25 years, she has worked for Talk UK Telecom for just over 10 years.

Beverley Weller

Assistant Centre Manager | Wrest Park Enterprise

Beverley is the Assistant Centre Manager at Wrest Park Enterprise, where she has worked since 2011. She is responsible for the day-to-day running of the 3 business centres, working closely with a team of customer service and conferencing staff to ensure that clients and visitors receive the best possible service.

David Taylor

Group Estates Manager | Wrest Park Enterprise

David is Group Estates Manager at Wrest Park Enterprise, overseeing the development of the business park from a cold start to the busy hub of Bedfordshire’s’ entrepreneurial community that it has become today and planning ahead to ensure it is ready for the challenges of the next decade!

He has also overseen the expansion of the company to provide business centres which are now established in 3 other locations in the South of England by both acquisition and redevelopment.

Married with three sons, David is a member of Woodside Church in Bedford and last year became FA qualified as a youth football coach (having finally given up his dream of becoming a player for his beloved Leeds United…

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