The leaders behind Bettys’ tea rooms and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership received top honours from the Institute of Directors (IoD) at its Director of the Year Awards.
Lesley Wild and Roger Marsh OBE received the Judges’ Special Award and Lifetime Achievement Award respectively in the annual awards ceremony held at the Principal Hotel, York.
Lesley Wild joined independent family business Bettys & Taylors Group 40 years ago and is chair of the board. Her passion for creativity, design and food have boosted a business that prides itself on the finer things in life – tea rooms, handmade cakes, traditional breads, quality tea and coffee.
Roger Marsh has been chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2013 and has led the organisation through a period of significant transformation, including securing the country’s largest ever Local Growth Deal with Government.
Roger chairs the NP11 which brings together the 11 Northern LEPs to work with the Government to achieve its vision for the Northern Powerhouse.
The Director of the Year awards honour leaders from the public and private sectors along with entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds.
Linda Pollard CBE, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust won the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice. Jacqui Hall, managing director of Harrogate-based energy supplier CNG, won the Large Business award.
Guest speaker was Charlotte Valeur, chair of the IoD and the evening was compèred by BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Danni Hewson.
The judging panel was chaired by Simon Walton, managing partner at Berwick Partners/Odgers Berndtson, Leeds.
The winners go forward to the national Director of the Year finals, where they will compete against winners from across the UK.
Jon Geldart, chair of IoD Yorkshire and North East, said: “Exceptional businesses are only so because of the exceptional people who create, drive and sustain them. The Director of the Year Awards celebrates these leaders, often unsung and unrecognised. At a time when our country remains fractured by dysfunctional politics and politicians it is heartening that British business displays leadership where politics does not.”
The full list of winners is:
CSR: James Cain, Harrogate Water Brands
Family Business: Tim Rix, J.R. Rix & Sons
Inclusivity: Charlotte Armitage, Yorkshire Academy of Film and TV
Innovation: Dr Arnab Basu MBE, Kromek Group PLC
International: Prof Adam Beaumont, AQL
Non-Executive: Colin Glass OBE, Shine
SME: James Cain, Harrogate Water Brands
Start Up: Benjamin Maughan, Epic Social
Third Sector: Adeem Younis, Penny Appeal
Young: Oliver North, O&H Vehicle Technology
Large Business: Jacqui Hall, CNG
Chairman’s Award: Linda Pollard CBE DL, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Judges’ Special Award: Lesley Wild, Bettys and Taylors Group
Lifetime Achievement Award: Roger Marsh OBE, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership
Awards partners are CNG, Dine, Topic UK, Leeds Beckett University, BDB, Forward Ladies, RTC North, The Alchemist, Principal Hotel, York and Walking with the Wounded.