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Aston Martin CEO takes prize at IoD Director of the Year awards

19 Oct 2018

iodAndy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, has been awarded the Neville Bain Memorial Award for Director and Board Practice at the national finals of the IoD’s Director of the Year Awards.

Palmer was applauded for his work taking the car company to its first annual profit since 2010, and on to a stock market listing, which was described by the judging panel as “testament to good leadership skills”.

Further details and pictures of all the award-winners can be found here.

The University of Manchester’s Dr Julian Skyrme won the award for Corporate Social Responsibility. With Skyrme as Director for Social Responsibility, the University has led a skills initiative to help over three thousand local unemployed people find work. One judge commented that Skyrme’s work amounted to a “compelling story of impact at scale and with thoughtful strategic purpose”.

Collecting the prize for best Start-up Director was Toby McCartney, CEO of MacRebur. McCartney’s company has devised a way to use recycled plastic instead of oil to repair roads with a reduced carbon footprint. The start-up has raised over a million pounds in funding from 1200 investors, and has constructed roads across the UK and abroad.

Finnebrogue Artisan’s Chairman Denis Lynn took the prize for innovation, following his firm’s work producing nitrite-free meat products. Meanwhile, Siti Aishah Mohd Selamat won the Student Award, for her work with

Simon Erlanger, Managing Director at the Isle of Harris Distillery claimed the SME award, with judges lauding his “vision, ethos and outstanding management”. The winner of the IoD’s award for Non-Executive Director also went to Scotland, with Jeremy Brettell, a Chartered Director, being recognised for his work in financial services.

The Award for Inclusivity went to Gary Thompson, Chief Fire and Rescue Officer for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, while Naveen Ahmed, of the Parklane Group, took the Family Business Director prize.

Bridgend College’s CEO Simon Pirotte claimed victory in the Public and Third Sector category. Daniel O’Toole gained the New Director award, with Retail Merchandising Services, while Tamara Sakovska won the Chartered Director prize. Finally, winning the Global Director Award was Danny Brooks, Managing Director of VHR, which operates across 28 countries.

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

“My congratulations go to all of our winning directors for the exceptional work they have put in over the year, contributing not just to the economy, but to society as well. Whether it be in private enterprise, charity, or the public sector, great leadership is immensely valuable, and our award-winners have set the bar in this regard, and well deserve to be recognised.

“Particular congratulations should go to Andy Palmer, who has led a flagship British brand with dedication and assurance. He has also guided the company to a stock market listing with all of the additional scrutiny that implies, underlining the role good governance can have in ensuring an organisation’s success.

“An attribute shared among many of this year’s winners is the ability to harness emerging technologies, often for wider social purposes. The essence of business leadership lies in grappling with new ideas and understanding how these can fuel the success of your organisation, and our award winners set a great example.”

Full list of winners




Daniel O’Toole, Chief Executive Officer, Retail Merchandising Services

Family Business

Naveen Ahmed, Managing Director, The Parklane Group


Denis Lynn, Chairman, Lynn’s Country Foods – Finnebrogue Artisan


Danny Brooks, Managing Director, VHR

Public & Third Sector

Simon Pirotte, CEO and Principal, Bridgend College

Chartered Director

Tamara Sakovska, Non-Executive Director, JP Morgan Russian Securities


Simon Erlanger, Managing Director, Isle of Harris Distillery


Siti Aishah Mohd Selamat, PhD Researcher,


Gary Thompson, Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service


Toby McCartney, CEO, MacRebur Limited


Jeremy Brettell, Non-Executive Director, Guarantee Protection Insurance Ltd,
Anderson Strathern Asset Management Ltd, Transact ,
Airdrie Savings Bank, Wesleyan Bank Ltd


Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility, The University of Manchester

Dr. Neville Bain Memorial Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice

Dr Andy Palmer, President and CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd

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