Personnel Today Awards 2009: Meet the judges

There are a total of 29 judges for the 2009 Personnel Today Awards, bringing a very wide range of expertise to the process of choosing the shortlisted teams and winners in each category. We profile them below.









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Louise Aston, campaign director, Business Action on Health

Since joining Business in the Community in February 2007, Louise Aston has produced groundbreaking research, developed practical tools, by business for business, forged partnerships with government departments and secured the commitment of UK’s top companies to boardroom reporting on employee health and wellbeing by 2011.

Ellen Bard, managing consultant, SHL UK

Ellen Bard joined SHL UK in 2003, having previously worked for GfK NOP and PSL (now Kenexa). She has led the development of SHL’s engagement proposition since 2007 and is familiar with issues around attracting and engaging modern and ‘Gen Y’ employees. She is a chartered occupational psychologist and member of the British Psychological Society.

Duncan Brown, director of HR development, Institute for Employment Studies

The Institute for Employment Studies is a leading independent think-tank and research body on employment and HR issues. Duncan Brown has more than 20 years’ experience in reward consulting with firms including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Towers Perrin. He also spent five years as assistant director-general of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Judith Cherry, head of research and insight, Opportunity Now

Opportunity Now is the only membership organisation representing employers who want to transform their workplaces by insuring inclusiveness for women. It works with its membership of 350 employers, from the UK’s largest to some of the smallest. Judith Cherry has worked with Opportunity Now since 2000.

Mark Childs, director, Total Reward Solutions

A founder of the search and interim practice Total Reward Careers, Mark Childs is a former CIPD vice-president reward and was previously global compensation and benefits director for five FTSE 100/Fortune 500 companies.

Helen Giles, HR director, Broadway Homelessness & Support, and managing director, Real People

Helen Giles won Personnel Today‘s HR Director of the Year award in 2008 as a result of her work in setting a model of best practice and raising standards across the homelessness and wider not-for-profit sector. Broadway has won multiple awards for its HR strategy and practice, and through the Real People consultancy, Giles has supported many other organisations to reach the same high standards of people management and employee engagement. She was awarded the MBE in 2008 for services to homeless people.

Alex Gourlay, chief executive, health and beauty division, Alliance Boots

Alex Gourlay was appointed to his current post and as a member of the board of directors of Alliance Boots in January 2009. He is also managing director of Boots UK, with responsibility for health and beauty. In November 2006, he was appointed chairman of the Business Action on Health Leadership Panel for Business in the Community. He joined Boots in 1976 as a Saturday assistant and qualified as a pharmacist in 1981.

Kevin Green, chief executive, Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)

The REC is the professional body for the UK’s £26.6bn private recruitment and staffing industry. Before starting the REC, Kevin Green worked for the Royal Mail from 2003 to 2008, and before that was managing director of HR consultancy Qtab. He has written many articles on HR strategy and organisational change.

Mike Haffenden, director, CRF

Mike Haffenden has worked in the UK, US and Europe for Avon, Unilever and Hewlett Packard. In 1993, he formed the Leading Edge Forum with London Business School. He is now a director of HR research consortium CRF, HR recruitment business Strategic Dimensions, and Parc, which is a research body for reward professionals.

Jo Hennessy, director of research, Roffey Park Institute

Jo Hennessy oversees an extensive research agenda, including a current research project into leadership, trust and employee engagement. She says she is a pragmatist at heart, making sense of research and theory against 15 years’ experience of consulting in talent management, leadership development and employee engagement.

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy, Origen

Steve Herbert is an established commentator on employee benefits, and is widely known to HR decision-makers through seminars and media comment. His experience includes developing new concepts in employee benefits and design of bespoke reward packages.

Gillian Hibberd, corporate director, people and policy, Buckinghamshire County Council, and president, Public Sector People Manager’s Association (PPMA)

Gillian Hibberd took over the presidency of the PPMA in April 2009. Before joining Buckinghamshire in late 2005, she was corporate director of organisational development and HR at Buckinghamshire County Council, and before that assistant director of HR at Hertfordshire County Council. She was named as one of the Top 40 Power Players in 2008 by Personnel Today.

Linda Holbeche, director, Holbeche Partnership

Linda Holbeche’s special interests include leadership, HR capability development, change management and high-performance organisations. Regularly judged an HR Power Player by Personnel Today, she was until recently the CIPD’s research and policy director. The Holbeche Partnership is a research-based consultancy providing services in high-performance working, strategic leadership, organisational and HR capability development, and ethical parliamentary advice.

Nick Holley, executive director, HR Centre of Excellence, Henley Business School

Nick Holley works with a number of global businesses to advance the art, craft and science of HR. His background was initially in investment banking, and more recently in senior HR roles in major organisations. He has also worked with numerous organisations in Europe, Asia and Africa, not only on HR issues but on leadership, strategy implementation and change management as a consultant and coach.

Marianne Huggett, associate director, The Work Foundation

Marianne Huggett leads the Future of HR Programme team at the Work Foundation. It is currently working on a major research project to provide new insights into how staff should be managed fairly and effectively to achieve and sustain high performance. Huggett is a chartered occupational psychologist, consultant and business coach with a background in HR.

Simon Jones, acting chief executive, Investors in People

Simon Jones took over the helm of Investors in People on December 1 2006. This non-departmental public body is responsible for business planning, policy development and promotion of the Investors in People framework.

Sandra Kerr, national director, Race for Opportunity

Race for Opportunity is a business-led network of organisations from the private and public sector committed to race equality as part of their business agenda. Sandra Kerr previously worked in the Cabinet Office advising Cabinet ministers on diversity and policies on race, disability, gender, and work-life balance across Whitehall. She is also a consultant team adviser for the Work Foundation’s Leadership Programmes.

Oliver Mack, curriculum director, Common Purpose

Oliver Mack is a designer and facilitator of experiential leadership programmes. He is a former director for international leadership charity Raleigh International, and director of the worldwide student organisation AIESEC. Since 2003, he has worked for Common Purpose, bringing leaders together to tackle complex social problems and to develop their leadership ability.

Graeme Martin, director, Centre for Reputation Management through People, University of Glasgow Business School

Professor Graeme Martin has undertaken extensive research into the field of reputation management and employer branding, and has published widely in the field, including a book entitled Corporate Reputations, Branding and Managing People. He is currently working with a number of UK and overseas organisations helping them link employer branding to strategy.

Angela O’Connor, chief people officer, National Policing Improvement Agency

Angela O’Connor has spent most of her career in the public sector, including senior HR roles at three London local authorities. She is currently head of profession for police HR staff in England and Wales. She won HR Director of the Year at the 2005 Personnel Today Awards and also regularly appears in Personnel Today‘s Top 40 Power Players list.

Chris Parry, chairman, Centre for High Performance Development (CHPD)

Chris Parry co-founded the CHPD in 1996 and remains at the helm of one of the most successful leadership development consultancies in the UK. She has overseen the growth of CHPD from just three to around 200 people. The organisation is now owned by Capital H Group and has offices in Singapore, India, the US and Australia. Parry regularly speaks at international events on leadership, management and women in leadership.

Emma Parry, senior research fellow, Cranfield School of Management

Emma Parry’s research interests include the use of technology in HR, recruitment (particularly e-recruitment), managing an ageing workforce, and HRM within the voluntary sector. She has conducted a wide range of research projects in both the public and private sector, including a large-scale HR and training needs survey for the NHS, several HR projects for the Ministry of Defence, and a number of CIPD-commissioned projects.

Martin Reddington, founder, Martin Reddington Associates

As well as running his own consultancy, Martin Reddington is a visiting research fellow at Roffey Park, the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh Napier University. He is a member of the CIPD’s national advisory group on technology and HR, and recently co-authored a CIPD research report that examines the impact of Web 2.0 in organisations.

Jane Saunders, managing partner, Orion Partners

Jane Saunders, a founding partner at Orion Partners, is a highly experienced consultant who has specialised in the area of HR transformation. She has led major change programmes in both the public and private sector – from initial design through to implementation. Most recently she has led Orion Partners’ transformation initiatives with Marks and Spencer, Electrolux, Transport for London and HM Prison Service.

David Smith, former people director, Asda

David Smith stepped down as people and IT director of Asda in January 2009 after more than 15 years with the supermarket chain. He has recently begun a portfolio career as business author, business change speaker, consultant on people strategy around performance and engagement, and as a non-executive director. He is currently writing a book about his experience at Asda entitled Asda Magic – The 7 Principles of Building a High Performance Culture.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive, Chartered Management Institute

The CMI sets standards for leaders and managers, with 78,000 members across every sector in the UK economy. CMI supports their professional development, advises companies on their leadership and management practices and provides research for government, partner organisations and for members.

Ed Sweeney, chairman, Acas

Ed Sweeney was appointed chairman of Acas – the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service – on 1 November 2007. He is also a member of council for Ruskin College, Oxford, an independent reviewer on the Occupational Pensions De-Regulation Review, and visiting professor at Leeds University Business School.

Kaye Thorne, founding partner, The Employer Branding Forum

Kaye Thorne is a business writer, international talent coach, branding expert and online media developer. The Employer Branding Forum is an online centre of excellence designed to share best practice in employer branding. Thorne is also co-founder of Hot Brands Cool Places, an online luxury lifestyle magazine, and author of Personnel Today’s One-Stop Guide to Employer Branding – one of only three global books on the topic.  

David Yeandle, head of employment policy, EEF

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has a membership of some 6,000 manufacturing, engineering and technology-based businesses in the UK. David Yeandle joined EEF in February 1995. His main responsibilities are the development and representation of EEF’s policies on employment, employee relations and pensions issues to the UK government and European Union, and advising EEF member companies on the practical implications of these policies. In June 2008, he was awarded an OBE for services to engineering and manufacturing employers.

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