Shortlist revealed for IoD Director of the Year Awards

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has revealed the names of the business leaders shortlisted in its Director of the Year Awards 2021 for the Midlands.

The finalists represent the full spectrum and diversity of business and industry, from young entrepreneurs to experienced public and private sector leaders.

The winners will be revealed on 4 November at awards ceremonies at the Space Centre, Leicester and Grand Hotel, Birmingham.

Inez Brown, chair of IoD West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be staging our prestigious awards after a very challenging time for all in business. We look forward to celebrating our winners and showcasing their achievements which demonstrate the strength and diversity of directors in our region.”

Gary Headland, chair of IoD East Midlands, said: “It is great to be back, running our awards across the whole of the Midlands. Given the challenges of the pandemic, innovation and entrepreneurship shines through in all of our finalists.”

The shortlist is:

West Midlands

  • Jane Sommerville, Bower & Jones
  • Adam Kiani, Personal Trainer, trading as PT Academy
  • Lee Wilcox, Electric House
  • Shameem Kazmi, Birmingham County Football Association (supported by Britvic PLC)
  • Kamran Saleem, MotorServe UK
  • Dan Thombs, Bystronicuk
  • Danny Wilson, Thermaright Hire Solutions
  • Marisa Firkins, Safety Forward
  • Andrew Thompson, Groundwork West Midlands
  • Dale Parmenter, DPRG

East Midlands


  • Rachel Hayward, Derby Swap Shop
  • Matt Carson, EMCRC
  • Alex Roberts, Forest Holidays



  • John Fennell, Rotherwood Healthcare
  • Emma Hallam, Alex’s Wish
  • Ian McKellar, Quantum Meruit Credit Management Ltd T/A Overdue Invoices
  • Bushra Ali, Bushra Ali Solicitors
  • Mark Robinson and Andy Rudkin, Creative 62
  • Anita Baldwin and Anna Geary, Get Savvy Club
  • Julie Jordan-Spence, Jordan Motors Ltd
  • Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, Zinthiya Trust
  • Maria Peggs, Vispera
  • Karen Cureton, Cureton Consulting
  • Natalie Allen, NS Property Solvers
  • Mike Osborne, Focal Business Group



  • Tom Marsden, Lincoln College Group
  • Kerrin Wilson, Lincolnshire Police
  • Toby Ealden, Zest Theatre
  • Naomi Watkins-Ligudzinska, NW Counselling Hub CIC
  • Matthew McKeown, The EBP
  • Joe Verde, PSP IT Design and Development
  • Sarah Fairburn, Greater Lincolnshire LEP


  • Ashish Kumar, Web Alliance
  • Barry Tong, Stephensons Online



  • Philip Brooks-Stephenson, Backlit/NED
  • Stephen Goddard and Philip Brooks-Stephenson, KuKu Connect
  • Stephen Goddard and Philip Brooks-Stephenson, KuKu Connect
  • Lee Marshall, Viridis Building Services
  • Justin Donne, Autistic Nottingham
  • Sue Liburd, Abstract
  • Louisa Hackford-Gentle, Autistic Nottingham
  • Sam Hallett, Enable Life/Enable Future
  • Stacey Green, Freedom Foundation CIC
  • Matthew Chesney, Backlit
  • Daniel James, Hickman James
  • Matthew Bacon, TCC Casemix


Main sponsor of the awards is DRP. Other sponsors are Chamber Media Services; Elonex; Grand Hotel, Birmingham; IoD Young Directors; KryptoKloud; Man Protection Ltd; Morningside Pharmaceuticals; Nelsons Solicitors; Nottingham Business School; and Rational FX.