Last Friday was a bittersweet day.
In London, some of Yorkshire and the North East’s finest directors were rewarded for their excellence by winning at our UK Director of the Year finals, a fantastic achievement.
Around 180 miles north, at Wakefield Cathedral, family and friends of the late Terry Hodgkinson CBE gathered to remember, celebrate and exchange memories about the life of one of Yorkshire’s best loved business personalities.
Terry was an entrepreneur, a former chair of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. He was also a long-standing Fellow and passionate advocate of the IoD – a true role model for those seeking to further themselves as business leaders.
This year, he was a guest at the IoD’s Director of the Year regional finals for Yorkshire and the North East, for which he had once again generously given his time as a judge.
The year before, Terry was crowned our Yorkshire and North East Non-Executive Director of the Year.
I personally feel blessed to have had Terry as part of our regional business community, as a fondly thought of Chartered Director and a trusted friend.
It is testament to his skill as an awards judge that so many of our regional directors competed so strongly against their peers in the UK finals on the same day as his memorial.
Drawing together heat winners from across the country, the grand final resulted in four fantastic winners from our region.
Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, was awarded the Neville Bain Memorial Award for Director and Board Practice, one of the top honours in UK business.
Linda was recognised for turning around the £1.4bn revenue Trust, taking it out of special measures, improving core services and gaining an ‘Outstanding’ rating for use of resources.
IoD Director General Jon Geldart said Pollard represented “a prime example of the importance of good governance in the public and private sectors alike”.
The chair of Yorkshire Tea owners Bettys & Taylors, Lesley Wild, won the Family Business Award, capping off the firm’s 100th anniversary year. The judges commented that Wild kept a “firm eye on the future development of the business without losing the essence of their history and values.”
There were also trophies for Dr Arnab Basu MBE, CEO of Kromek Group, who won the innovation category; and Oliver North, managing director, O&H Vehicle Technology, who won the prized Young Director award.
I know that Terry would have been very proud to see Yorkshire put up such a brilliant showing. His legacy of leadership and entrepreneurialism lives on.
It is undoubtedly a challenging time to be a director, making the achievements of our winners even more impressive.
In 2018, Terry was guest speaker at our annual Director Skills Day, passing on his experience and advice to the next generation. Our new Director General Jon Geldart will lead this year’s event on 8 November, for which we are down to our last few places.
- Entries are about to open for our Director of the Year Awards 2020. We are also looking for judges to help us find the best of the best in business leadership. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.