England Director of the Year Awards

England Director of the Year Awards

Celebrating England’s finest leadership talent

The IoD Director of the Year Awards celebrates the achievements of outstanding business leaders in our society. Hosted once a year, awards are given to those who excel in areas such as innovation, sustainability, equity, diversity and inclusion, and more.

Open to all – whether you’re an executive, non-executive, partner or even a chief constable – we want to hear about the work you’re doing as a senior decision-maker to help build a better world through business.

Key 2024 Dates

Nominations and applications

12 February — 29 March 2024

Select an option below to start your own application or to nominate someone else. The IoD will contact those nominated to inform them and guide them to make an application.


22 April — 12 May 2024

Our external, dedicated panel of volunteer judges will scrupulously review each application multiple times to determine each category’s Director of the Year, along with any highly commended applicants.

Awards ceremony

4 October 2024, The Grand Hotel, Birmingham

This year the England Director of the Year Awards will be reaching its grand finale in the city of Birmingham; you’ll be able to book your tickets at the button below when sales go live, later this year.

2024 Categories

Chartered Director

The award recognises an outstanding business leader in England who scored the highest exam total of this year’s qualifying Chartered Directors. An overall winner is then selected from all those qualifying in this year and presented at our annual Chartered Director’s Summit. Sponsorship available.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion within any business are key factors in determining organisational success. Over the years many organisations have worked hard to embrace diversity within their workplaces and create an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or cultural background or disability, can flourish and succeed. Sponsorship available.

Family Business

This award recognises individuals in a family business who have responded to the specific challenges that face directors in family firms and who have contributed to the success of the diverse, dynamic, and innovative family business sector. Emerging leaders in a family business are eligible providing they demonstrate the right trajectory and ethos of this very important part of the private business community. Sponsorship available.


This award recognises leaders that have achieved success through bringing an innovative and disruptive approach to their marketplace; a leader that has developed an innovative and transformational idea that displays creative thinking, has beaten the competition and has been developed and applied to improve commercial performance, operational effectiveness or customer engagement. Sponsorship available.


We are looking for an international business leader with evidence of credible growth and development plans in place to build further on their company success globally. The leader will operate across borders and could be in any industry sector but is likely to be gaining market share due to strong international growth from a great product or service.


This award recognises individuals that have made a significant contribution to the organisation’s strategy, impacted on the financial success of the company, demonstrated high ethical standards and promoted the practice of good corporate governance. Sponsorship available.

Public and Third Sector

Leadership is critical to good public governance, including good planning, efficiency, transparency and accountability. This award is open to directors of Third Sector organisations and leaders of public services, including public agencies, national bodies and governmental departments. Sponsorship available.


This award is aimed at leaders who can demonstrate how they integrate the success and smooth running of their business with a commitment to innovative initiatives & investments in green decarbonising and is designed to recognise the most ethical, socially responsible green business leader in England. Sponsorship available.

Young and Start-Up

This award celebrates founders/co-founders of start-ups. It looks at the market opportunity identified by entrepreneurs, the model to capitalise on it and how it has been executed within the first three years of trading. Sponsorship available.

SME (up to £50 million)

This award will go to the business that can show outstanding initiative, boldness and imagination in enterprise, sustainability, as well as sound management practice, good corporate governance and commercial success. Sponsorship available.

2024 Judging Panel

Our judging panel brings together a wealth of business knowledge, with individuals boasting extensive experience in areas like innovation, sustainability, and corporate governance.

Jo Barnes

Jo Barnes CDir

Managing Director of Sewell Group

Claire-Marie Boggiano

Claire-Marie Boggiano

Director and Coach at Lurig Leadership & Change

Sarbani Bose

Sarbani Bose

Founder and Director at Ei Square

Alk Brand

Alk Brand CDir

Former Group CEO of Westfalia Fruit International and CEO of Hans Merensky Holdings

Paul Cadman

Professor Paul Cadman

Chair of Trustees and a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Birmingham City University Business School

Sarah Clarke

Sarah Clarke CDir

CEO and Founder of Think Organisation

Chris Cliffe

Chris Cliffe

Director at CJC Procurement

Ian Dormer

Ian Dormer CBE, CDir

Managing Director at Rosh Engineering

William English

William English CDir

Owner and Chair at Owen English & Son

Argentina Hung

Argentina Hung

Director at A.H. Procurement & Supply Chain

Tokunboh Ishmael

Tokunboh Ishmael

Co-founder and Managing Director of Alitheia Capital

Keith Jackson

Professor Keith Jackson CDir

Chair and Non-Executive Director at Hong Kong UK Business Forum

Joanne Kennedy-Reardon CDir

Joanne Kennedy-Reardon CDir

Non-Executive Director

Andy Leask

Andy Leask CDir

Director at Rodgers Leask

Lilly Miller

Lilly Miller

Chief Financial Officer at Planet Mark

Jules Quested Williams

Jules Quested-Williams

Director for EU and UK at Built for Marketing

Dr Richard Smith

Dr Richard Smith CDir

Chief Operating Officer and Director at 2M Group

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Lewis Stringer

Senior Manager, UK Network – East & South-East Midlands at British Business Bank

Simon Walton

Simon Walton

Partner at Berwick Partners/Odgers Berndtson


Headline sponsor

University College Birmingham is a proud sponsor of the England Director of the Year Awards.

University College Birmingham focuses on career-focused education ensuring its students can follow their passion, while learning industry skills employers need to meet today’s skills agenda.

University College Birmingham

For all IoD Director of the Year sponsorship opportunities, please contact our dedicated team.


Here you’ll find many common questions about the Director of the Year Awards.

Do I have to be an IoD member to apply to the awards?

No, our awards are open to entry to both IoD members and non-members. The only exception is where a region awards a Chartered Director of the Year Award – only IoD members can be awarded this award.

I’m not a director, am I still able to apply?

Yes, so long as your role is one that makes decisions for a business at a senior level, then generally you can apply for our awards – please make sure to read the eligibility criteria for the category you’d like to apply for. Some categories are naturally aimed at non-directors i.e. Public and Third Sector, or Start-up & Young. Download eligibility criteria here.

Is there an entry fee?

No, our awards are completely free to enter, whether you apply to one category or to multiple categories.

Can I apply to multiple categories?

Yes you can, we encourage you to apply to all categories where you have exemplary achievements. However, you must only apply to one region i.e. if you work in both England and Wales, if you apply to IoD England then you are unable to apply to IoD Wales.

Can someone else fill in an application for me on my behalf?

Yes, it’s fine for someone else i.e. an assistant, to fill in an application on your behalf, but we would ask that they use first person to respond to questions and be clear who the nominee for the award is.

How are the awards judged?

Each region employs an impartial panel of judges – made up of previous awards winners, IoD Fellows and exceptional members of the business community – to judge all applications multiple times, once the application period has closed. Our judges follow a clear set of criteria to complete judging and finalists for each category are chosen based on the highest percentage of scorers.

Do I apply on behalf of my company?

Our Director of the Year Awards look to celebrate your personal achievements – while we recognise that many achievements are made through teamwork and the support of your colleagues and employees, we want to hear about your efforts in making it happen.

In your application you will be asked to list your company name and this information will be used in press releases; where you have ties to multiple companies, we recommend listing the name of the company which supports the evidence you give in your application best.

Why can't I apply for the 'Chair's Award for Excellence' category?

This award is the highest accolade in the Director of the Year Awards, recognising the personal imprint of the UK’s most high-profile leaders on the culture and success of their organisations through outstanding professionalism and the implementation of best practice in governance and leadership. Winners will be selected by our national or regional IoD Chair.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on [email protected].

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