Female leaders the big winners at IoD awards

Pictured are Suzanne Wylie, Chef Executive, Belfast City Council, Ian Sheppard, IoD NI Chairman, Brian Gillan, Head of Business and Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank and Janet McCollum, Chief Executive Moy Park. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/ Press Eye

Female leaders were the big winners at the 2017 Institute of Directors (IoD) First Trust Bank Director of the Year Awards in Belfast.

For the first time in the event's history over half of the Northern Ireland titles were won by women, with Moy Park chief Executive Janet McCollum named ‘Large Company Director of the Year' and Belfast City Council's Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie taking home the ‘Public Sector Director of the Year' accolade.

They now have the chance to be shortlisted for the overall UK ‘Director of the Year Awards', which take place in London later this year.

Eleven local business leaders from across Northern Ireland were recognised for leadership excellence at this year's prestigious IoD awards on Thursday held at the Merchant Hotel and hosted by broadcaster Barra Best.

Coming from the public, private and third sectors and across a range of industries including communications, construction and manufacturing, the award winners were acknowledged for their proactive approach towards business growth, corporate governance and responsible leadership.

IoD NI Director Linda Brown said the calibre of this year's winners was a testament to quality of leadership in Northern Ireland business.

"At the IoD, we value high levels of corporate governance and continual learning among directors. Each of this year's winning directors demonstrated these qualities and showed that the future of their companies and the Northern Ireland economy is in good hands," she said.

Head of First Trust Bank Des Moore added:

"Amidst ongoing political and economic flux, I think we all appreciate the essential role strong leadership plays when it comes to success. It was evident from the judging process that the skills which contribute to exemplary leadership – from visionary thinking to innovative problem solving – are embedded right across Northern Ireland's business spectrum."

This year's winners were:

· Janet McCollum, Moy Park - Large Company Director of the Year (annual turnover of over £100m) sponsored by First Trust Bank

· Tina McKenzie, Staffline Ireland - Mid-Market Company Director of the Year sponsored by the William J Clinton Leadership Institute

· Norah Anne Barron, Pi Communications - SME Director of the Year (annual turnover of under £10m), sponsored by Ulster University Business School

· Colin Williams, Sixteen South - International Director of the Year sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland

· Suzanne Wylie, Belfast City Council - Public Sector Director of the Year sponsored by Capita Managed IT Solutions

· Gareth Loye, M&M Contractors & Mascott Construction - Family Business Director of the Year sponsored by BDO Northern Ireland

· Declan Cunnane, Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke - Third Sector Director of the Year sponsored by First Trust Bank

· Dr Bryan Keating, Learning Pool - Non-Executive Director of the Year sponsored by 4c Executive Search

· Michelle Owens Gregory, Miniversity - Leadership in Corporate Responsibility sponsored by Power NI

· Robert McConnell, CCP Gransden - Young Director of the Year (under the age of 42), sponsored by Carson McDowell

· Jill Rob, Origin Digital - Young Enterprise NI Director of the Year nominated by Young Enterprise NI and sponsored by Concentrix

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