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Isle of Man North West

The IoD Director of the Year Awards Shortlist is Unveiled

Claire Veale 13 Feb 2019

The Institute of Directors (IoD) North West and Isle of Man branches have unveiled their shortlist ahead of the 2019 Director of the Year Awards ceremony, which will take place at the Hilton in Manchester on Thursday 4th April.  

The event will celebrate the achievements of the region’s leaders from across all sectors. For the first time, it will merge the efforts of North West and Isle of Man entrants, championing leaders on both sides of the water.

The shortlist includes a range of names from businesses big and small; Timpson Group Chief Executive James Timpson OBE is nominated for two awards; SMEs meanwhile are represented by a shortlist comprising Onoriode Okeregha of the Immigration Advice Service, Sarah Goulbourne of gunnercooke llp and Phil Eckersley of Bridgewater Home Care.

The region’s leaders of the future will also be celebrated with the Young Director of the Year nominees listed as Andrew Avanessian of Avecto Ltd and Chloe Moore of National Care Group. North West’s charitable organisations will be recognised in the Third Sector award – a shortlist brimming with leaders including Suzanne Connerty of Walking with Giants, Maura Jackson of BACKUP, Rose Marley of SharpFutures Manchester CIC and Nickala Torkington of Flourish Together.

IoD North West and Isle of Man Chair Mike Blackburn OBE – who will also be responsible for judging and presenting the Chairman’s Award for Excellence on the night – said: “Each year we are honoured to celebrate this region’s spectacular talent.

“We have some exceptional organisations in the North West and Isle of Man, and it is imperative that their achievements are celebrated. Getting to the final is a fantastic achievement. Establishing and running a business well is no mean feat, and doing that in a way that shines in our region, captures the imagination of their peers and exemplifies good practice is truly marvellous.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 4th April at the Hilton on Deansgate in Manchester Tickets are available by emailing [email protected] or visiting  

The full shortlist is below:


Individual Applicant


Director of the Year - Corporate Social Responsibility

Matt Haworth

Reason Digital

Donald Moore

Rowlinson Knitwear Ltd

James Timpson OBE

Timpson Group

Director of the Year - Family Business sponsored by Crowe

Michael Darracott


Neil Fraser

Forest Group

Sally Fenton

Search & Select Offshore Limited

James Timpson OBE

Timpson Group

Director of the Year - Inclusivity

Debbie Francis

Direct Rail Services Ltd

Sarah Goulbourne

gunnercooke llp

Matt Haworth

Reason Digital

Leila McKenzie

Leila McKenzie Associates

Simone Roche MBE

Northern Power Women

Professor Julia Rouse

Manchester Metropolitan University

Martina Witter

Black Women in Business and Professionals Network

Director of the Year - Innovation sponsored by All Work & Social

Jason Barker

CNC Robotics Limited

Professor Simon Bolton

Edge Hill University

Dr Maurizio Bragagni MBA

Tratos Ltd

Martin Keelagher

Agile Automations

Steph Stephenson

Stephensons Dairy

Director of the Year - International sponsored by DIT

Robert Keeling

Airpure International Limited

Georgina Jones


Marnie Millard OBE

Nichols Plc

Luke Robbins-Wells

Chad Harrison International

Director of the Year - Non- Executive

Martin Keelagher

Walford Cunningham and Hayes Limited

Matthew White

The University Caterers Organisation

Director of the Year - Public Sector

Mike Haslin

The University Caterers Organisation

Steve Park

Warrington & Co

Director of the Year - Small- Medium Business sponsored by Forza

John Coughlan

TSP Engineering

Phil Eckersley

Bridgewater Home Care

Sarah Goulbourne

gunnercooke llp

Matt Haworth

Reason Digital

Donald Moore

Rowlinson Knitwear Ltd

Onoriode Okeregha

Immigration Advice Service

Mike Perls


Sunny Sandwell

Sunshine Events UK Limited

Director of the Year - Start-Up sponsored by ACCA

Paul Kerruish

The Fynoderee Distillery

David Marsh

Business Arena Limited

Austen Smart


Director of the Year - Third Sector

Suzanne Connerty

Walking With Giants Foundation

Maura Jackson


Rose Marley

SharpFutures Manchester CIC

Suzanne Pender

Ford Park Community Group

Nickala Torkington

Flourish Together CIC

Director of the Year - Young

Andrew Avanessian

Avecto Ltd

Chloe Moore

National Care Group

Chairman's Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice - sponsored by Kuits

Winner to be announced on the Awards Evening - Judged by Mike Blackburn OBE

For more information, please contact.

07624 355160

Monday to Thursday 10:30 am to 2:30 pm

At all other times please leave a message.

Isle of Man

Branch and staff contacts can be found on the main Contacts tab

IoD Isle of Man
6th Floor, Victory House
Prospect Hill, Douglas
Isle of Man IM1 1EQ

The Claremont 
18-22 Loch Promenade, Douglas
Isle of Man IM1 2LX

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