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South East of England

Battersea Cats & Dogs Home CEO is IoD’s Director of the Year

03 Oct 2017
IoD Director of the Year Awards

Claire Horton, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and IoD South member, has today been named the Institute of Directors’ Overall Director of the Year at the Institute’s annual awards ceremony in central London.

The IoD commended Horton for demonstrating that good governance is not just important in the corporate world, but is essential for all boardrooms, including those of charities and not-for-profits organisations.

The awards, sponsored by Hiscox, the Centre for Board Excellence, and Nasdaq, bring together finalists from regional heats across the UK, in categories ranging from Early Stage Start-ups, to Family Business and Large Company Directors.

In the category for New Chartered Director of the Year, Nathan Warren, a board director at the charity Sanctuary Group, which represents housing and care providers, beat the competition by scoring higher than any other candidate in the IoD’s exams. The IoD flagship Chartered Director qualification, launched 10 years ago, aims to equip directors with the all-round skills, knowledge and understanding required to successfully direct an organisation from a strategic perspective.

For the first time, the IoD has this year introduced a Disability Confidence Award, with Mike Adams, CEO of Purple, collecting the prize. The IoD granted Adams the award in recognition of his mission to “change the conversation on disability” by helping to bring down the barriers preventing companies from accessing the vast talent pool within Britain’s 11.5 million disabled people, 79 per cent of whom do not have a job. As chief executive, Adams has transformed a regional business run solely by disabled people into a national not-for-profit organisation.

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“Congratulations to all of the winners today for their contributions to business and their communities. Success is built on great leadership and it is important to reward those people have made outstanding contributions to their sector. Particular congratulations to the overall Director of the Year, Claire Horton. The judges were very impressed by Claire, who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and strategic thinking needed in the every-changing charity sector.

“This year seems to demonstrate the importance of governance in not just corporate boardrooms and that is something to be proud of. Like business, the third sector has too suffered its own charity governance setbacks, but this is exactly why today shows that both businesses and charities alike, when run effectively, can benefit everyone.

“It is also a great honour to be able to give the IoD’s first Disability Confidence Award to someone who has dedicated so much time and effort to this cause. I cannot think of anyone more deserving. More and more directors understand that opening up their companies and their businesses to disabled employees and consumers is important. The IoD has a big role to play in ensuring that busy directors have the tools and wherewithal to begin these conversations in the boardroom or with their staff in order to drive change in both individual attitudes and wider cultural perceptions. I am proud that the IoD itself has become Level 2 Disability Confident, and I look forward to working with the recipient of this award in getting our status to Level 3.>

Full list of winners:

Public & Third Sector

Claire Horton Chief Executive, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Leadership in Corporate Responsibility

Patrick Nash Chief Executive, Connect Assist

Family Business

Gareth Loye CEO, M&M Contractors

Early Stage Business

Sonia Cottom Director, Pain Association Scotland

New Chartered Director

Nathan Warren Group Director, Sanctuary Housing


Paul Lindley Founder & Chairman, Ella’s Kitchen


Marc Wileman Director, Sublime Science


Alex Gatehouse Co-founder, Head of Growth, Pelico


Tim Crowley, Managing Director, La Mare Vineyards Ltd Managing Director, La Mare Vineyards Ltd


Jamie Christon Managing Director, Chester Zoo

Large Company

Janet McCollum Chief Executive, Moy Park

Non-Executive Director

Chris Brindley Chairman (NED), GreaterSport

Disability Confident

Mike Adams Chief Executive, Purple


Claire Horton Chief Executive, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Contact IoD South

For more information, please contact

020 8078 4127


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IoD South
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