Line-up of finalists revealed for IoD’s 2016 East of England Director of the Year Awards

Claire Woodman of Poppy Nursing and Care Services.

Claire Woodman of Poppy Nursing and Care Services. - Credit: Archant

Five business leaders from Suffolk and north Essex are among the finalists in the 2016 East of England Director of the Year Awards.

EADT Business Awards 2015
Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams

EADT Business Awards 2015 Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams - Credit: Jason Bye

The annual awards, run by the regional arm of the Institute of Directors (IoD), include Director of the Year titles for small, medium and large firms, plus other categories including Young Director of the Year and Family Business Director of the Year.

Short-listed candidates from Suffolk include Andy Wood of Southwold-based Adnams, Helen Rudd of Prominent PR in Ipswich and Claire Woodman of Poppy Nursing and Care Services, also based in Ipswich and a member of the EADT’s Future50 cohort companies with high growth potential.

Essex candidates include Gary Packham from the Lord Ashcroft International Business School, part of Anglia Ruskin University which has campuses in Chelmsford and Cambridge, and Oliver Lincoln of VestGuard UK, based at Tolleshunt Knights, near Maldon, along with Mark Abraham of Wilson James, Westcliff-on-Sea, and Christine Bhatt of Systematics International, Battlesbridge.

Other finalists include, from Norfolk, Frederick Furber of F&M Cosmetics and Sean Kent of Freebridge Community Housing and, from Cambridgeshire, Tom Fletcher of Jackson Fire and Security Solutions, David Gill of St John’s Innovation Centre, Michael Swinhoe of Z-Tech Control Systems and Emma Thornton of Visit Cambridge and Beyond.

The winners, who will go forward to a national final later in the year, will be announced at a lunch event at the Jockey Club in Newmarket on May 19, when an overall regional winner will also be named.

David Sales, chairman of the IoD in the East of England, said: “I am delighted to announce the short-list for the awards for 2016.

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“The people on the list represent the fantastic range of exceptional directors that we have across the East of England.

“Each is a star in their own right, providing exceptional role-modelling of innovation, determination, customer focus and building a fantastic workplace culture.”

Graham Kill, chairman of the Suffolk IoD, added: “I am thrilled that three of our Suffolk directors have been included in the shortlist for the 2016 awards.

“There are a fantastic range of exceptional directors across the East of England and Suffolk is no exception. These awards recognise excellence and all nominees are shining examples of leadership, innovation, outstanding determination and true commitment to their businesses.”