Judging Round-Up – Week Four

The judging is now complete after the finalists in our last three categories: Manufacturing Excellence, Service Excellence and Retail Excellence, went before our judging panels 

We are grateful to all of our esteemed judges, who freely provide their time, wisdom and insights throughout the judging process for the Awards this year. 

Here’s a bit of background on our final three judging panels:

Manufacturing Excellence - Monday 8 October 2018 - The Priest House Hotel, Castle Donington 

Lead Judge – Parveen Kumar Mehta, Operations Director, Minor Weir & Willis Ltd

Parveen joined the family business, Minor Weir & Willis Ltd, in 1982 after graduating with a degree in Physics (BSc Hon) from Loughborough University. After starting out as a produce trader, he was promoted to Finance Director and then to Operations Director. He has over three decades of experience in various facets of business, such as finance, sales and marketing, operations, logistics, human resources, corporate affairs and project management. Since Parveen joined the business in 1981, Minor Weir and Willis Ltd has grown from a single business in the UK turning over £2.5 million to a group of family owned European business with a turnover in excess of £207 Million. 

Stuart Garner, Norton Motorcycles

Stuart is one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs. Founder of a number of very successful companies, Stuart is now CEO and owner of Norton Motorcycles - the famous British motorcycle brand. He is singlehandedly responsible for reclaiming and reviving the revered Norton name. He has become one of the heroes of UK manufacturing - 83% of parts for his bikes are made in this country, but with the creation of the British Motorcycle Manufacturing Academy, his dream of producing a motorcycle that is totally British-made could become a reality.

James Pinchbeck, Streets Accountants

James is Marketing Partner at Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 UK accountancy practice. James, as a specialist in marketing professional services, is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm's strategic marketing as well as its engagement in the community it which it works in and serves. As part of his wider interest in enterprise, marketing and education, James is a board member of NBV – the East Midlands Enterprise Agency, an FE College Governor and a board member of the University of Lincoln’s Business School. He is also an Institute of Director’s past Branch Chairman.

Service Excellence - Tuesday 9 October 2018 - Shakespeare Martineau office, Nottingham

Lead Judge – Chris Hall, Hallmark Consumer Services

Chris is CEO at Hallmark Consumer Services and founded the company in 1992 after a career with three multi-national firms: Proctor & Gamble, Mars and Mattel. Hallmark Consumer Services is an award-winning family-owned business specialising in fulfilment services and innovative direct mail, based in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Their key aim is to deliver a level of commitment that’s second-to-none through core principles of Flexibility, Reliability and Transparency. To reflect the growing importance of e-fulfilment, they have created a dedicated business unit that specialises in providing these services to a growing client base. 

Duncan James, Shakespeare Martineau

Duncan heads the Shakespeare Martineau National Family Business team, advising family-run companies on succession planning, exit strategies, shareholder structures and business structuring and restructuring. He advises local and regional entrepreneurs and growing businesses on a wide range of corporate, strategic and financial matters including MBOs, MBIs and business sales and purchases. Duncan has interests in various business sectors including life sciences, logistics and energy. 

Dr Natalia Vershinina, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, University of Birmingham

Natalia is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship who joined University of Birmingham Business School and the Department of Entrepreneurship and Local Economy in December 2015. Prior to the post at University of Birmingham, she spent 13 years working for Leicester Business School as a Principal Lecturer in Strategy and Entrepreneurship mainly teaching final year and masters students. Her subject knowledge includes Critical Management Studies, Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Leadership Development. She is Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

Paul Lovatt, NIG

Paul is Area Underwriting Manager for NIG Midlands, based in Leicester. He is a results-orientated commercial insurance professional with 20 years of commercial experience in the industry. He has in-depth knowledge and awareness of the commercial insurance market and an aptitude for delivering client objectives and building strong relationships based on trust and respect. Paul is passionate about providing excellent customer service and monitoring his own performance and that of his team, to continually improve the customer experience.

Retail Excellence - Wednesday 10 October 2018 - East End Foods, Birmingham

Lead Judge – Roger Wouhra, East End Foods

Roger Wouhra is a Director of East End Foods. Established over four decades ago, the family business has grown into one of the UK's leading spice, lentil and rice specialists, with an annual turn-over in excess of £185m. They currently run three cash and carry depots in Birmingham and offer their own extensive East End product range alongside every other major brand required to suit their customer’s needs. 

Rob Wallwork, Buckles Solicitors

Rob is a commercial property lawyer who also has over 16 years’ experience in the retail industry as director of a number of retail businesses. He has worked with leading brands to develop new retail concepts and with property owners to deliver innovative development solutions for challenging sites, leading to extensive knowledge of franchising and concession agreements. Rob’s commercial experience, combined with his unique understanding of the issues and pressures faced by directors and managers, means he is a calm and creative negotiator who provides clear and pragmatic advice, allowing clients to focus on their business.

Andrew Simkins, Meli Patisserie

Andrew is an experienced professional within the food industry who provides support in a range of functional disciplines - manufacturing, mechnical, engineering, change management, procurement and project management. He is co-founder of Meli Petisserie -  a start-up project bringing a unique, high-quality Greek Bakery concept to the UK, targeting high footfall shopping mall kiosks supplied by a central manufacturing unit with highly qualified patisserie bakers from Athens. 

Annabel Prow, CEO, The Wilson Organisation

Annabel joined The Wilson Organisation, a third-generation family business, in 2002 and became CEO in September 2009. Annabel is responsible for existing client relationships, all financial and compliance matters and Wilsons' relationship with its providers. She is a member of The Wilson Organisation board. Annabel and her sister Charlotte, MD of The Wilson Organisation, launched The Midlands Family Business Awards in 2010 to highlight the successes of the region's family businesses and build links and contacts with other family businesses. 

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