Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive of R&R Ice Cream, has been crowned overall winner at the prestigious Director of the Year awards, organised by the Institute of Directors in Yorkshire and the North East.
Najafi joined the Northallerton-based business in 1998, and was appointed to the board in 2000. During a period of considerable growth, he has guided teams responsible for building and running ice cream manufacturing plants in the UK and mainland Europe. He became group CEO in 2014.
Najafi was also named winner of the Yorkshire – Large Company category.
The black-tie awards ceremony was attended by more than 200 guests at Leeds Civic Hall and was compered by BBC Look North presenter Danni Hewson.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter Wilkinson, a non-executive director of two companies and former Scarborough Business Person of the Year.
North East winners included John Savage of Flame Heating Spares (Young Director) and Lucy Winskell OBE, pro vice-chancellor at the University of Northumbria (Judges’ Special Award).
Richard Tuplin, managing director of Humber-based Jelf Insurance Partnership, chaired the judging panel for the awards.
This year’s winners go forward to the national IoD Director of the Year awards to compete against winners from across the UK.
The awards partners are: Virgin Trains East Coast, Leeds Bradford Airport, Leeds Marriott, GE Capital, Microsoft, Leeds Beckett University, Enterprise Services, Topic UK, UKTI and Vista.