Business leaders from across the city and the region have been recognised at the Institute of Directors 2017 Director of the Year Awards.
One finalist’s entry stood out for the excellent work undertaken in support of its people and the local community. Consequently, the IoD judges agreed to make an additional Corporate Responsibility Award to Andrew Scott of the Ascot Group in Weston-super Mare.
The Ascot Group has three independent trading business: Insight Data, Purplex Marketing and Business Leader, a B2B media, publishing and events company. Andrew speaks regularly at conferences and events, as well as local schools and colleges to students about aspirations and skills, and provides graduate and apprenticeship training programmes.
David Gilroy, co-founder of legal digital marketing specialists Conscious Solutions has been named South West Director of the Year. Challenges to the legal sector have caused firms to look for ways to modernise, reach clients and generate leads without compromising on professionalism and compliance.
Merle Hall, managing director of Bristol-based innovation and product design company Kinneir Dufort took the title of International Director. Specialising in innovation and product design in the consumer, industrial and medical sectors, Kinneir Dufort created products including the world’s first portable skin cancer treatment device, Coca Cola’s most sustainable water bottle ever and a ‘locating beacon system’ that helps save lives in the most extreme environments.
Louise Mitchell, CEO of the Bristol Music Trust, that runs the Colston Hall, was awarded Third Sector Director. Mitchell has been at the trust since it was formed in 2011 and was praised as an experienced leader with a strong and clear vision for the Colston Hall venue as well as the wider cultural economy in the city.
Simon Brown, founder and managing director of Forrest Brown, a Bristol-based consultancy specialising in tax credits, was name Young Director. Brown has established a fast-growing tax consultancy specialising in R&D tax credits. Today it employs almost 50 people and last year the business doubled in size. The judges commented on its role in fuelling further innovation and development across the South West.
IoD South West chairman Nick Sturge said: “Once again we had an extremely high standard of entries demonstrating the breadth and depth of talent, enterprise and leadership across the region. What the judges were looking for in particular was clear leadership as well as a commitment to people and values, both their own and those of the organisation they are leading.”