Our Judges

We have built a large panel of experts from which we can select a bespoke judging team that has an in depth knowledge of the sector to which the individual entries relate.

The GBEAs take great care about the makeup of our independent judging panel. Unlike most other awards we don’t adopt a one size fits all approach and expect a small group of judges to be able to assess a broad range of entries for which they may have little or no knowledge. Instead, we have built a large panel of experts from which we can select a bespoke judging team that has an in depth knowledge of the sector to which the individual entries relate.

The panel is regularly evolving as we invite senior representatives from award winning organisations to join. This unique approach ensures that every entry is given the utmost consideration by people highly qualified to pass judgement.

Michael Tobin OBE

Michael was CEO of TelecityGroup plc, where he led the business from a market cap of £6m to Europe’s leading Data Centre operator worth over £1.5bn. He is currently engaged in non-executive roles across 4 continents, helping businesses within the TMT space to drive growth and profitability both at an early stage and at exit level. Michael is on the board of tech companies Pacnet in Asia and DataPipe in the USA. He is also chairman of Ultrahaptics, the developer of ultrasonic free-space haptics technology. He is author of ‘Forget Strategy. Get Results.: Radical Management Attitudes That Will Deliver Outstanding Success’.

In 2014 he was awarded an OBE by the Queen for Services to the Digital Economy. Michael has won multiple awards including the PwC Technology CEO of the Year and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year three years in a row. Michael is also engaged with many charities including being chairman of CEO Sleepout UK and of the Friends of the Loomba Foundation. In 2016 he will be completing 40 marathons in 40 consecutive days to raise £1m for the Princes Trust’s 40th Anniversary year to help disadvantaged children.

When asked to talk about his ‘radical’ approach to management, Michael said: “When I wanted to encourage my team to break old patterns of thinking, I treated them to an unprotected swim with sharks. When I needed to diffuse tension between colleagues who had previously been bitter rivals, I took them up to the Arctic Circle where they had to huddle together to keep warm at night”.

Stuart Lyons CBE

Stuart is chairman of Beales department stores. He is also chairman of the furniture manufacturer and distributor Airsprung Group Plc. In his executive career, he was a managing director of UDS Group plc, which owned the Allders Department Stores, Richard Shops, John Collier and Timpson businesses. Subsequently, he joined Pearson plc, where he was chairman and chief executive of the Royal Doulton group. He has been chairman of the British Ceramic Confederation, the West Midlands Development Agency, Gartmore Absolute Growth and Income Trust PLC, The Wensum Company plc and the Development Board of King’s College, Cambridge.

Stuart has served on the Ordnance Survey Review Committee, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, and as a parliamentary front-bench advisor on trade and industry, health and education, and transport and the environment. His publications on the privatisation of Royal Mail and the remodelling of the DTI as a Department for Business both proved influential. Recently, he founded the Entrepreneurship awards scheme at King’s College, Cambridge.

In 1993 Stuart was awarded a CBE for services to the china industry.

Leonor Stjepic


As the CEO of award winning charity – RAFT – which finds new ways of treating the injured, Leonor Stjepic is very different from the charity norm. She thinks and acts like an entrepreneur (having run her own consultancy for years) and won’t put limits on herself so achieves a lot. One example was launching RAFT’s subsidiary Smart Matrix Ltd in January 2012 and exceeding the investment fundraising target by 23%. Under her leadership, RAFT has won a number of awards, including

  • Health Investor Awards Third Sector category
  • Prize for Innovation awarded by the British Journal of Nursing
  • AMRC Best Practice in Medical and Health Research Peer Review
  • Finalist in the National council for Work Experience Awards

Leonor is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the RSA. By heading RAFT and helping lots of people to make lots of little changes, she hopes to create a big difference, because Leonor wants the thing she’s most proud of in her life to be something she has yet to do.

Visit: raft.ac.uk and smartmatrix.co.uk

Howard McKenzie

Managing Director, HMSL

Howard McKenzie spent 30 years as a manager and academic in education and training rising from tenant dairy farmer to Principal of a large College in Scotland. In 2008 he returned to the portfolio life of a consultant building an international client base in the engineering, financial services, education and publishing sectors. He remains the senior academic consultant for Pearson plc. – Direct Delivery who deliver education and training to 20000 students across the Gulf region. He is deployed to make high level educational management interventions including a four month assignment as Interim Dean at TQ Pearson Makkah College in Saudi Arabia. Howard is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Chartered Director with experience of providing high level advice and support for Boards and companies. He is also a published romantic novelist.

Matt Lumb

Chief Operating Officer and Director, Tangle Teezer

Matt Lumb is Chief Operating Officer and a Director at Tangle Teezer; the world’s first and best-selling detangling hairbrush with ten brushes now being sold every minute. Tangle Teezer has created a whole new category in hair care and has achieved global recognition in a remarkably short space of time. Since founder, Shaun Pulfrey, unsuccessfully pitched his idea on Dragon’s Den just six years ago, the company has gone on to win dozens of awards including two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: for Innovation in 2012, and for International Trade in 2014. The brand has also achieved “CoolBrands™” status for the last two years and has just been ranked the 19th fastest growing privately owned company in the UK in the “Sunday Times 2014 Fast Track 100” league table.

Matt has a strong background within accountancy and finance, but since joining Shaun in 2010 he now oversees the day-to-day running of the company, working closely with all department

Visit: www.tangleteezer.com

Ian Hughes

Managing Director, Consumer Intelligence

A graduate of Harvard Business School, Ian has always had a passion for information technology and combined IT with Marketing at M&S and MM Group where he created the first Internet shops for Wallace and Gromit. Ian formed eCharity.com during the .com boom before going on to become founder of Consumer Intelligence which provides access for companies to high-quality information about their price competitiveness to inform their marketing, pricing and product strategies. Ian is driven by a passion for information – the way it is collected, analysed, designed and delivered.

Visit: www.consumerintelligence.com
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Ady Moores


Ady was appointed as Group CEO of P2i in October 2016. Having previously served eight years as the Company’s Group CFO, Ady supported P2i’s fast growth from start-up to substantive, profitable business through his leadership of a series of successful funding rounds and responsibility for P2i’s financial, legal and administrative functions.

Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1996, Ady joined KPMG where he specialized in advising software and hardware companies. After spending time in the automotive industry, Ady spent three years as European Financial Controller for 3DO, a NASDAQ listed video games publishing company. In 2003, he was appointed Finance Director at Bright Things plc, an entertainment company, which he took from inception through IPO raising in excess of £11.5m. Before joining P2i, Ady was Finance Director at 1E, a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company; he also serves as Chairman of all three wholly-owned subsidiaries of P2i.

Visit: www.p2i.com

Greg Wixted

We Are Xpert

Greg Wixted is an award-winning entrepreneur with an impressive track record of delivering business growth and transformation though innovation and marketing for the past 19 years. Armed with an entrepreneurial mindset, a deep interest in innovation, strategy and marketing, he has hands-on experience in building, managing, developing growth businesses and ventures, both in the UK and Internationally.

He has gained invaluable experience of devising innovation, business, marketing strategies and value propositions for over forty blue chip global companies across many sectors, adapting them to the new economy to drive greater customer profitability. He founded London-based international agency, We Are Xpert, back in 2012 and before setting up the business he was an Executive Board Director at international advertising agency, Madison. In addition, he has held executive board positions at two of the world’s biggest advertising agencies: Grey Group, where he was a Regional Executive Director of the Middle East, and Ogilvy & Mather.

Visit: wearexpert.com

Nicky McCrudden


After graduating with a first-class honours degree and a stint in academia, Nicky had a fast-track career in the public sector where she studied Strategic Leadership at post-graduate level and became the youngest senior manager in her organisation. In 2010, she moved out of the public sector and founded what is now a thriving and multi-award winning training, coaching and consultancy company.

A Belbin-accredited practitioner, Nicky’s approach to workplace learning is characterised by theory and experience wrapped up in creativity, with just a light dusting of madness. This trademark style has seen Nicky and her company rack-up a multitude of awards for business, innovation, entrepreneurship, and nationally at the Training Journal Awards.

Visit: mccrudden-training.co.uk

Matthew Box

Founder, Inclusion.Me Ltd

Matthew Box has worked as an Occupational Therapist for over 18 years in various fieldworker and management roles. He is also an experienced disability access auditor, having worked with large organisations such as Selfridges, the Arab National Bank, Theatre Royal and various regional councils.

He is the founder of Inclusion.Me Ltd, a rapidly expanding nationwide independent Occupational Therapy (OT) & Disability Access Auditing company specialising in providing expert OT interventions, as well as advise on disability access issues to both the private and public sectors.
Matthew has played a key role in Inclusion.Me winning a Local Business Accelerator Award, as well as 2 Best of the Best awards (Outstanding Entrepreneur & Customer Service) and 2 GBE awards (Outstanding Professional & Customer Service).

Visit: inclusion.me.uk

Philip Young FBCS CITP

Philip Young Consulting Limited

Philip is a former winner of the ‘CIO Innovator Award for the UK’ and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society. He has over 35 years of experience gained working with well-known large brand companies, SME’s and start-ups in the UK, Europe and Globally.

Philip is a ‘Hybrid’ change specialist, working primarily in the complicated areas where successful integration of Technology and IT services into businesses functions is vital for success.

Philip is also a Strategist, NED, published author, professional speaker and a mentor to entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

Visit: www.philipyoung.me.uk

Niall Shanahan


Niall is an international consultant and Head of Training at Escalla, providing services to multi-nationals, systems integrators and central and local governments.

He has trained clients all over the world, in person and online, is an accredited assessor and online facilitator. He is also a previous winner of the Learning and Performance Institute’s (LPI) Trainer of the Year Award.

Niall led the submission that won Escalla a National Training Award and is an integral part of the team that consistently wins the company multi-million-pound training contracts around the world. He is a Fellow of the LPI and contributes to leading think tanks, especially around successful global training initiatives and developments in learning and technology.

Visit: escalla.me