Meet the judges for the East Midlands Leadership Awards 2024

Entries are now open

Today we reveal just who will be in charge of picking the shortlist for the East Midlands Leadership Awards 2024.

Our panel in a powerful mixture of past winners and business leaders from across the region, who will meet in December to discuss this year’s nominations and decide on those going forward to the gala awards ceremony on the evening of March 14 at the Crowne Plaza in Nottingham.

The deadline for entries to’s East Midlands Leadership Awards  is Friday 17th November.

The awards are free to enter. Download an entry form and email it to us.

Chairing the panel is Midlands editor of, Sam Metcalf. He will be assisted by:

  • Past winner, Sara Boland, managing director at Influence Landscape Planning and Design
  • Former winner, Tracy Harrison, chief executive officer at Safe and Sound Charity
  • Former winner, Lawrie Moon, operations director at IDT
  • Nikki Paterson, Midlands regional director at CBI
  • Former winner, Jude Weston, director at NG Chartered Surveyors
  • Robin Johnson, press and PR executive at Marketing Derby

    Sara Boland created the East Midlands Leadership Awards to honour individuals who serve as role models in their organisations and set higher standards for their competitors. These winners will exemplify exceptional leadership qualities and illustrate the positive influence they’ve had.

These awards provide an excellent platform to acknowledge and highlight the accomplishments and prosperity of businesses in the East Midlands region.

Last year’s winners include David Bains partner at LDC, Robert Thiroff managing director at Profine UK, Joe Hudson CEO of Ibstock plc, Kiorhte Aghoghogbe senior account manager at Hallam and Jade Martin property manager at Rushton Hickman.

There leadership categories include:

Tracy Harrison

Young Leader Award: This honours exceptional leaders under 35 (as of April 1, 2023) who have positively influenced their organisation and inspired others.

Public and Third Sector Leader Award: Recognising leaders in public and third sectors who’ve shown innovation, resourcefulness, and the ability to drive cultural change despite challenges and scrutiny.

Mentor Award: Mentors play a crucial role in nurturing the growth of talented junior individuals who may lack certain skills or experience. Their guidance during pivotal moments can fast-track careers and business success. Mentoring is a selfless act of leadership, especially when the mentor and mentee come from different organisations. Recognising this willingness to give back is truly commendable.

Lawrie Moon

Emerging Entrepreneur Leader Award: Entrepreneurial leadership requires a unique blend of determination, vision, and the ability to inspire a team to achieve remarkable outcomes. This award is for a leader who has led their company for up to three years, whether as a founder or someone tasked with pushing forward an established business.

Diversity and Inclusion Leader Award: Recognising individuals who have actively promoted diversity and inclusion, either within their organisation or through external initiatives. They have worked to enhance opportunities for underrepresented groups, contributing to a more inclusive work environment.

Professional Services Leader Award: This award goes to a standout leader in the professional services sector who demonstrates strong leadership and makes a significant impact within their firm or in a broader context.

Nikki Paterson

Transformational Leader Award: This award acknowledges individuals who have not only executed change effectively but have also demonstrated exceptional leadership in delivering transformational change that has led to measurable success in their organization.

Green Leader Award: In a world increasingly focused on addressing climate change and environmental concerns, this award recognises a leader who has shown dedication to the green agenda, whether within their own company or by driving change throughout their supply chain and industry. Their leadership serves as a positive force for environmental responsibility and sustainability.

Jude Weston

Company Leader (up to 100 employees) Award: Leading small companies comes with unique challenges, often demanding flexibility and a personal approach. This award recognises the top leader in a company with up to 100 employees.

HR/ Sales/ Marketing/ Technology/ Finance Leader Awards: These important roles in companies may demand unique leadership styles to achieve excellent results in their specific areas. For the first time, our Leadership Awards seek to honour these essential individuals and emphasise their role in shaping and executing a company’s strategy.

Property Leader Award: Outstanding leadership in the property sector demands vision, dedication, resilience, and the capacity to inspire others on the path forward. This new award aims to acknowledge individuals who truly stand out and lead teams or organisations that create a significant impact.

Robin Johnson

Company Leader (100+ employees) Award: Leading a larger company involves the challenge of managing and communicating the company’s vision across multiple shifts, locations, and even countries. This award will be presented to the top leader in an organisation employing over 100 people.

Leader of the Year Award (no nominations): This exceptional individual or organization will be chosen from the other award winners and represent all of the outstanding leadership role models for the East Midlands.

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