Unveiled: judges for the 2015 Midlands Family Business Awards | Wilson Organisation


September 1, 2015

Unveiled: judges for the 2015 Midlands Family Business Awards

Unveiled: judges for the 2015 Midlands Family Business Awards

The line-up of leading business men and women from across the Midlands who are tasked with finding the very best family run and owned businesses and their leaders in the region’s flagship awards have been revealed.

The independent judging panel for the 2015 Midlands Family Business Awards comprises individuals from manufacturing and industry, as well as the heads and founders of some of the Midlands’ longest established and multi-generational family firms.

Each of the ten categories in this year’s not-for-profit Awards includes a senior family business figure as well as a leading industry expert.

Joining the independent judging panel for Manufacturing Excellence for the first time this year is the owner of great British brand Norton Motorcycles, Stuart Garner, who has become one of the heroes of UK manufacturing, not least as more than three-quarters of the parts for Norton bikes are made in the UK.

Alongside him on the Manufacturing Excellence judging panel is Parveen Kumar Mehta, Operations Director of family business Minor Weir & Willis Limited, and David Adams and Keith Ross of sponsors Barclays.

David Robinson, the President of Speedo International, will lead the judging panel of the Director of the Year category, alongside Bobby Kalar of award-winning family business Yu Energy and Paul Horsley of sponsor RSA.

Lead judge of the Retail Excellence category is Benjamin Fletcher, Managing Director of Boots Opticians and a board member of the British Retail Consortium, alongside Steve Powell, Director of Sales, and Elaine Rowlands, HR Manager, both from family business and category sponsor PCMS Group.

Mark Samworth of Samworth Brothers will lead the judging for the coveted headline Family Business of the Year, along with previous Leading Adviser winner Chris Romans of PwC, and Annabel Prow, CEO of Awards founder and category sponsor The Wilson Organisation.

Judging of the Service Excellence category will be led by John Horrell, the MD of Dodson & Horrell Limited – a family business founded in 1939 and specialising in manufacturing feeds for performance and leisure horses – supported by Bobby Kalar and Simon Rhodes of sponsor Yu Energy.

The Best Small Family Business category will be judged by David Evans of Manor Pharmacy and Serena Humphrey of F-Word Training, whilst Tim Storer of Pukka Pies will lead the judging for the Employer of the Year category, supported by Nottingham lawyer Ginny Hallam of Halborns and Robert Higginbotham from sponsor Royal London.

Jason Wouhra, Director of family business East End Foods, will judge the Fastest Growing category with Will Dowsett and Francesca Harris of sponsor PwC.

Previous winner of two Midlands Family Business Awards, Rebecca Manfredi of Suncream Dairies, will lead the judging of Environmental Sustainability, and Peter Westerman of 2014 winner Westerman International joins the International Development judging panel for the first time this year.

“The judging panel for each of the ten categories will meet with our shortlist of six finalists at their informal interviews during September and October,” explains Charlotte Perkins, MD of third generation family business The Wilson Organisation, which underwrites and organises the Awards.

“Following the interview sessions, the judges will decide on a winner and two highly commended in each category, who will all be announced at the awards ceremony at Leicester’s Athena in November.

“We are exceptionally grateful to all our judges, who provide so freely of their time, wisdom and insights throughout the judging process, and who make an invaluable contribution to the Awards experience for all the shortlisted businesses and individuals,” says Charlotte. “We are also indebted to our sponsors for their support.”

The ten categories for 2015 are:

  • Family Business of the Year
  • Best Small Family Business
  • Director of the Year (under 40)
  • Employer of the Year
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Fastest Growing Family Business
  • International Development
  • Manufacturing Excellence
  • Retail Excellence
  • Service Excellence.

Businesses and individuals shortlisted in the 2015 Awards will be announced later this month and will go in front of the judges during September and October. All winners will be unveiled at the prestigious Awards Dinner at Leicester’s Athena on Thursday 12th November.

For more information, visit www.familybusinessawards.co.uk, or contact Wilsons’ Ped Briggs, Tel: 0115 942 0111, email: pbriggs@wilorg.com.


Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

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