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Director of the Year Awards 2016 Winners Announced

29 Jun 2016
Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive of R&R Ice Cream, has been crowned overall winner at the prestigious IoD Yorkshire and the North East Director of the Year awards 2016.

Najafi joined the Northallerton-based business in 1998, and was appointed to the board in 2000. During a period of considerable growth, he has guided teams responsible for building and running ice cream manufacturing plants in the UK and mainland Europe. He became group CEO in 2014. 

Najafi was also named winner of the Yorkshire – Large Company category.

The black-tie awards ceremony was attended by more than 200 guests at Leeds Civic Hall last night. The evening was compered by BBC Look North presenter Danni Hewson. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter Wilkinson, a non-executive director of two companies and former Scarborough Business Person of the Year.

North East winners included John Savage of Flame Heating Spares (Young Director) and Lucy Winskell OBE, pro vice-chancellor at the University of Northumbria (Judges’ Special Award).

Richard Tuplin, managing director of Humber-based Jelf Insurance Partnership, chaired the judging panel for the awards.

This year’s winners go forward to the national IoD Director of the Year awards to compete against winners from across the UK.

The awards partners are: Virgin Trains East Coast, Leeds Bradford Airport, Leeds Marriott, GE Capital, Microsoft, Leeds Beckett University, Enterprise Services, Topic UK, UKTI and Vista.

The winners:
Yorkshire - Large Company: Ibrahim Najafi, R&R Ice Cream
Yorkshire and North East - Mid-Market: Gillian Southern MBE, Wessington Cryogenics and Paul Teasdale, Premier Technical Services Group (joint winners)
International: Jon Geldart, Grant Thornton International
Public & Third Sector: Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council
Yorkshire - Small Company: Keith Jackson, JRI Orthopaedics
North East - Small Company: Dean Benson, Visualsoft
Yorkshire - Young Director: Euan Craig, Exemplar Healthcare
North East - Young Director: John Savage, Flame Heating Spares
Non-Executive Director of the Year: Terry Hodgkinson CBE DL, NCFE
Overall Director of the Year: Ibrahim Najafi, R&R Ice Cream
Judges’ Special Award: Lucy Winskell OBE, University of Northumbria
Lifetime Achievement: Peter Wilkinson, Unison Ltd

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