Leaders go 'awol' at directors' awards - for good reason

IoD regional chairman Paul Terrington and Richard Ennis of sponsors First Trust Bank with category winners in the IoD NI First Trust Bank Director of the Year Awards. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE leadership and talent cadre of Northern Ireland was formally recognised in Belfast yesterday . . . yet only around half of the winners were there to pick up their prizes.

Such is the hectic corporate schedules of those honoured that many were either stuck in the office, in board meetings or on overseas business and therefore sent their apologies to organisers of the Institute of Directors (IoD) First Trust Bank-sponsored Director of the Year Awards.

But that's the nature of the beast for these captains of industry, who were applauded in their absence for "demonstrating high levels of corporate governance and setting exceptional standards of leadership".

The IoD honoured 10 business leaders in their regional director awards, and each now has the chance to be short-listed for the UK Director of the Year Awards which take place in London later this year.

Wrightbus chief executive Mark Nodder was among the impressive list of successful directors from across the private, third and public sectors who were recognised at yesterday's lunch in the Merchant Hotel.

He won the Director of the Year category for large companies (those with an annual turnover of more than £100m), but wasn't able to attend as he was overseas. Other winners were:

• Mid-Market Director of the Year – Brendan Mooney (Kainos Group).

• SME Director of the Year (annual turnover of under £10m) – Paul McElvaney (Learning Pool).

• Family Business Director of the Year – Brian McErlain (Genesis Crafty).

• Young Director of the Year (under the age of 42) – Brendan McGurgan (CDE Global).

• Third Sector Director of the Year – Brian Murray (Workspace Group).

• Public Sector Director of the Year – Alastair Hamilton (Invest NI).

• International Director of the Year – Gareth Loye (M&M Contractors).

• Director of the Year for Leadership in Corporate Responsibility – Carla Tully (AES UK & Ireland)

• Non-Executive Director of the Year – Colin Coffey (Flint Studios)

• IoD Young Enterprise Alumni Award – Reuben McFeeters (WAY NORTH).

The IoD's outgoing regional chairman Paul Terrington, in his last formal function before being succeeded by Bank of Ireland's Ian Sheppard, said: “This awards initiative is an ideal platform for recognising the fantastic work being carried out by leaders of a wide range of organisations across the private, third and public sectors, from large multinational firms to SMEs, and from recent start-ups to long-established family businesses.”


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