The Forward Ladies’ National Awards are judged by an independent judging panel, comprising professional men and women, successful entrepreneurs and business people.
BILL HENRY - INDEPENDENT EXECUTIVE COACH
In 2015 Bill retired as a partner of PwC where he led the Risk Assurance practice for the North of England. Having also been a partner coach in the firm he now operates as a qualified independent executive coach. In addition he is a non-executive director and a trustee of a large multi academy trust whose intake are among the most deprived areas of the UK.
SAHAR HASHEMI - FOUNDER OF COFFEE REPUBLIC
In 1995 Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with a turnover of £30m. Giving up a job as a lawyer in London, she staked everything on a dream - and made Coffee Republic one of the main players in the ‘coffee revolution’ that transformed a nation of tea drinkers into one obsessed with ‘triple half-caf lattes’.
RACHEL HANNAN - ANGEL INVESTOR
Rachel started with a successful career with one of the big 4 accountancy firms, working in tax, corporate finance and consulting. In late 2002 she co-founded a leadership and executive search consultancy that became a multi-million market leader in under 8 years, before her successful exit in 2010. Since then she has been instrumental in the success of a range of high growth businesses as an active Angel Investor, Chairman, Non-Executive Director and Board advisor.
PROFESSOR NIGEL LOCKETT - LANCASTER UNIVERSITY
Nigel Lockett is Professor of Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University Management School. He is a senior academic, experienced manager, entrepreneur and community leader. In 2015, he was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to enterprise in higher education and leadership of the successful submission for the Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship and the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the University of Leeds. Nigel also has over 25 years’ experience as a company director, with a track record in managing start-up, joint venture and social enterprises.
CATHERINE DORAN - NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CONSULTANT ADVISOR
Catherine worked in IT corporate life for over 40 years, in a number of different sectors (Telecoms, FS, Transport & Logistics). For 20 of those years she was a CIO, with a specialism in large scale delivery, driving business and IT transformation. She now serves as a NED for the Coventry Building Society and also works with clients in an advisory capacity regarding their strategic technology programmes.
AJAZ AHMED - FOUNDER OF FREESERVE
Ajaz Ahmed is best known for being the founder of Freeserve, which was once the UK’s largest ISP and is now known as Orange broadband. He came up with the idea when he bought a computer and nobody in the store could tell him how to get into the internet, the rest, as they say, is history. He persuaded Dixons to launch Freeserve and it was eventually sold by Dixons to France Telecom for ￡1.6bn.
JAN FLAWN CBE - FOUNDER OF PJ CARE
PJ Care Ltd is a leading and award-winning provider of specialist neurological care and neuro-rehabilitation for people with progressive or acquired neurological conditions. Leaving school with no qualifications Jan became a registered nurse, rising to be a senior manager in the Department of Health. In 2000 Jan started PJ Care after seeing young people with neurological conditions living inappropriately in care homes for the elderly.
MATT TURNER - FOUNDER OF TASTECARD
Matt is the founder and owner of the world’s three largest diners’ clubs, including Tastecard, with 12,000 participating restaurants and over 4m members. With turnover of £24m and a net profit of £12.5m, the Dining Club Group was recently valued at over £125m.
MARGARET CASELY-HAYFORD - NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & PORTFOLIO WOMAN
Margaret was for nine years Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary for the John Lewis Partnership. After 30 years as a lawyer, she decided to transition into a Boardroom portfolio career when she was appointed Chair of the charity Action Aid UK. She is also a Government appointed non-executive director of NHS England and is on the Metropolitan Police Panel that is overseeing investigations into police corruption.
HARRIET KELSALL - FOUNDER AND CHAIR OF HARRIET KELSALL BESPOKE JEWELLERY
Harriet Kelsall is one of the most respected bespoke designers and business trailblazers working in the UK jewellery industry today. She is the 2016 HSBC Forward Ladies “Retail Business Woman of the year”, was Everywoman’s “Retail Woman of the Year” in 2011, one of The Institute of Directors magazine’s six “women who have most changed the business world” in 2014 and is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and of the City of London.
LINDA PLANT - FASHION & STYLE ENTREPRENEUR
Linda established herself through a series of challenging executive roles and was a pioneer in women's collective ascent to leadership roles in the professional world. She is a self-made woman, and success has given her the freedom to enjoy all that life has to offer while remaining true to her values. Most days Linda is in London, running her successful property and interior design business. You may also have seen Linda grilling Alan Sugar's candidates on The Apprentice.
DALE MURRAY - CO-FOUNDER OF OMEGA LOGIC
Dale Murray started at PwC as a teenager. She is the co-founder of Omega Logic, a British mobile pioneer launching pre-pay mobile top-ups for networks including Orange and Vodaphone. She eventually sold the company to Eposs and then First Data Corporation, staying on as CEO and building turnover to £450m in just six years. Dale now focuses on angel investing and advising start-up and early-stage businesses.
EMMA MCGUIGAN - SENIOR MD OF TECHNOLOGY UK & IRELAND FOR ACCENTURE
Emma McGuigan is the senior MD of technology UK & Ireland for Accenture and the business sponsor for the global technology talent strategy. Her expertise is in large scale systems architecture and delivery management, and during her career she has worked with clients on large financial services programmes.