Northern Ireland's top directors revealed at IoD NI & AIB NI's 2023 Director of the Year Awards

Twelve leading directors from across Northern Ireland have been recognised by the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland at the annual Director of the Year awards.

Among the list of winners was SHS Group director, John Stewart who was named Large Business Director of the Year, Consumer Council chief, Noyona Chundur CDir, who picked up the Public Sector award and Julie McKeown of Henry Brothers who topped the Family Business Director of the Year category.

More than 120 people attended the ceremony in the Merchant Hotel, Belfast which was held in partnership with AIB. On the day, two special awards were made celebrating excellence in philanthropy and excellence in director and board practice.

The Chair’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice sponsored by AIB, went to Paul Terrington, CBE. Mr. Terrington has been a partner at PwC since 2003 and has over 30 years’ experience as a consultant, dealing primarily with large-scale transformation projects. Judges commended Paul for his strong record in delivering change programmes both within the public and private sectors and recognised the contribution he has made to a number of boards including the Ulster Rugby Management Committee of which he is currently chair and his role with the NI Hospice.

The Community Foundation Northern Ireland sponsored the Philanthropist of the Year award which was presented to founder of online estate agents Purple Bricks, Kenny Bruce MBE. The Larne native was recognised for the contribution he had made to local sporting organisations, and in particular his role in rejuvenating Larne Football Club, having donated significantly to the renovation of Inver Park Stadium and supporting growth and development within the club.
Congratulating the winners, Gordon Milligan OBE FIoD, chair of the IoD NI, said: “Strong, authentic leadership can really set businesses apart and in today’s challenging environment, it’s more crucial than ever to have the right kind of leader holding the reigns.

“Each of this afternoon’s winners have demonstrated that they have the necessary skills and attributes to encourage and motivate their teams and it’s wonderful to see such a diverse range of winners from businesses across all sectors and sizes.

“At the IoD NI we’re passionate about developing the next generation of business leaders and these awards are a fantastic way to recognise those who are inspirational within the local business community.

“Thanks to everyone who joined us for the event and to those who contributed to this afternoon’s success including our partners at AIB who help us deliver a great event each year.”

Seamus McGuckin, head of corporate at title sponsor AIB, explained: “AIB Is proud to work in partnership with the IoD NI in support of these awards which recognise the exceptional achievements of business leaders here.

“Each of the winners honoured have a remarkable story to tell and rightly deserve to be congratulated on their accomplishments. It was fantastic to celebrate the leaders in our community who have made an important contribution to the private, public and third sector here.”

The full list of winners:

  • Director of the Year Family Business, sponsored by BDO Northern Ireland – Julie McKeown Henry Brothers Ltd
  • Director of the Year Innovation, sponsored by KPMG – Alison McFadden, Continu
  • Director of the Year International, sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland – Iann Kenny FIoD, Tekniplex Healthcare
  • Director of the Year Non-Executive, sponsored by Deloitte – Ian Sheppard FIoD
  • Director of the Year Public Sector, sponsored by EY – Noyona Chunder CDir, Consumer Council Northern Ireland
  • Director of the Year Third Sector, sponsored by EY – Lisa Keys, The Northern Ireland Boys’ Brigade (BBNI)
  • Director of the Year Small / Medium Business, sponsored by Ulster University Business School – Jack Duddy, HireIQ Ltd
  • Director of the Year Large Business, sponsored by ABL Group – John Stewart, SHS Group Ltd
  • Young Director of the Year, sponsored by Ciarán O’Neill, Radius Vehicle Solutions NI Limited
  • Director of the Year Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by Tughans – Don Leeson, Labour Relations Agency
  • Philanthropist of the Year, sponsored by the Community Foundation Northern Ireland – Kenneth Frederick Charles Bruce MBE
  • Chair’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice, sponsored by AIB – Paul Terrington CBE FIOD

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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