Wales Director of the Year Awards

Celebrating the highest achieving business leaders in Wales

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.

Highlights from the IoD Wales Director of the Year Awards 2024

Held on 17 May 2024 at ICC Wales, this event recognised the exceptional talent and contributions of directors who drive social and economic prosperity in their communities.

Watch the video below to see the best of the IoD Wales Director of the Year Awards 2024!

Key 2024 Dates

Nominations and applications

24 November 2023 – 23 February 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.


4 – 15 March 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

17 May 2024, ICC Wales

Finalists will be announced in April, and the awards ceremony will be held on Friday 17 May at the ICC Wales.



This award recognises upcoming leaders who have demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial potential, ability, ambition, creativity and vision in new or established businesses who have operated at director level for less than three years. Sponsored by Sony Technology Centre.


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.


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. Sponsored by Halo Financial.

Skills Development

Nurturing talent is an essential part of any successful business. From offering apprenticeships through to the development of future leaders, we’re looking for Directors that are helping their people to develop their skills, achieve valuable qualifications and access future opportunities. Sponsored by Portal Training.

Start-up Business

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.

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.

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. Sponsored by Buffoon Media.


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 Wales. Sponsored by Welsh Government.


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. Sponsored by COPA-DATA.

SME (up to £15m)

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. Sponsored by Development Bank for Wales.

Chair's Award for Excellence

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. Sponsored by IoD Wales.

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.

Steve Dalton, OBE, CDir, FIoD (Dip) CCMI

Head judge and Founding Partner at Sunrise Leaders LLP

Kalina Konova

Marketing and Communications Manager at Sony Technologies UK

Tony Worsley

Commercial Director at Pixafusion

Ffrancon Williams

Chief Executive at Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd Cyf

Colin Sykes

Chief Executive at TG Partners

Geoff Hancock

Managing Director at Dragon Executive Management

John Williams

Senior Partner at S'investec

Sarah Hurlow

Director of Executive Education and Professor in Leadership at Cardiff University

Marianne Pettifor

Managing Director at Frogmore Consulting

Alys Smith

Director of HR Operations at Health HR UK Limited

Adam Amor

Director at Buffoon Media

Kate Carr

Director at Arc Cymru

Martyn Williams

Managing Director at COPA-DATA

Tim Edwards

Research Professor and Pro-Dean Research, Impact and Innovation at Cardiff Business School

David Roberts

Director at the Alternative Board

Jane Lynch

Academic Professor of Procurement at Cardiff Business School

Andy Medler

Head of Corporate Partnerships at Halo Financial

Gareth Jarman

Founder of Gentium International

Headline sponsor

Cardiff Business School is a proud sponsor of the Wales Director of the Year Awards.

We’re an AACSB International and AMBA-accredited business school with a clear public value purpose: to make a positive impact in the communities of Wales and the world.

Cardiff Business School's logo

Category sponsors

Sony's logo

Sony UK Technology Centre

A manufacturing centre of excellence, a trusted service and repair centre, and the home of a business hub of like-minded small and medium size businesses – our portfolio is diverse and ever-evolving to provide expert, turnkey solutions to our global customers.

Visit Sony's website
halo financial's logo

Halo Financial

At Halo Financial, we do things differently. We regard currency exchange as the commodity, not you. Since 2005, our currency specialists have been devising bespoke foreign exchange solutions to mitigate exchange rate risk for our business and personal clients.

Visit Halo Financial's website
Business Wales | Welsh Government

Welsh Government

Business Wales helps new entrepreneurs, existing micro-businesses and SMEs to build more resilient businesses and develop their business practices. The service aims to improve productivity and stimulate business growth in an inclusive and sustainable way, supporting access to investment, export, and the creation of good quality employment.

Visit Welsh Government's website
Development Bank of Wales' logo

Development Bank of Wales

We fund businesses that we think will benefit Wales and its people. The ones that will create ripples of growth. The ones that are more than a good business model or a great idea. We finance responsible businesses – those with a strong social, ethical and environmental standards, as well as real commercial promise.

Visit Development Bank of Wales' website
Portal Training logo

Portal Training

Founded in 2010, Portal is a dynamic bilingual training provider experienced in supporting organisations across Wales in developing leadership, management, coaching and mentoring capabilities within their workforce.

Visit Portal Trainings’ website


COPA-DATA is an independent software manufacturer that specialises in digitalisation for the manufacturing industry and energy sector. Its zenon® software platform enables users worldwide to automate, manage, monitor, integrate and optimise machines, equipment, buildings and power grids. COPA-DATA combines decades of experience in automation with the potential of digital transformation.

Visit COPA-DATA's website
Buffoon Media - Wales

Buffoon Media

Since 2011, we’ve been creating and streaming content for clients across the UK. We have worked with some of the UK’s biggest names including Unilever, Tata Steel, Nectar Card, UK Government and the NHS. Being a proud video production company based in Wales, we are experienced in producing Welsh language content for the public and private sectors and have bilingual staff who can take you through the whole process in whichever language you prefer.

Visit Buffoon Media's website

For all Director of the Year sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rebecca Davies or Joanna Price.


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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