Personnel Today Awards: profile of judges – no dragons here

With a record number of entrants for the 2008 Personnel Today Awards, competition has never been tougher. Here we introduce this year’s esteemed judges.

RBS Group Employee engagement award

Nita Clarke, director, Involvement and Participation Association

Nita Clarke is a former adviser on trade unions to ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, working as assistant political secretary at 10 Downing Street from 2001 to 2007. Her role included liaison with individual unions and the TUC, the developing national policy in areas such as the two-tier workforce and work-life balance, supporting ministers by troubleshooting during industrial disputes, and helping to manage relations with MPs and the Labour Party. She was one of the key architects of the 2004 Warwick Agreement.

Clarke has also worked for public sector union Unison, the Jamaican government and the former Greater London Council.

Chiumento Award for Talent Management

Marcus Powell, head of talent management, Ashridge Consulting

Marcus Powell works with organisations around the world helping them to develop a strategic approach to their talent management. He has worked in a variety of HR and organisational development roles within large retail environments, and also worked for more than 10 years as a clothing buyer. He has managed teams of more than 150 as well as small teams, and developed and implemented team development and coaching at different organisational levels. As a consultant, he is interested in encouraging and making sustainable changes to organisations within their current realities to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

Celre Award for Reward and Recognition

Charles Cotton, reward adviser, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Charles Cotton has worked with some of the UK’s leading private, public and voluntary sector organisations to create a range of good practice reward products and diagnostic tools for HR practitioners. He manages the CIPD’s annual reward survey which shows the current trends and developments in UK pay and benefit practice. His areas of expertise include pensions, flexible benefits, short- and long-term incentives, performance-based pay and reward communication and education. Cotton is currently heading up projects focusing on the business case for pensions and the role of reward in employer branding.

Employer Branding Award

Kaye Thorne, founding partner, the Employer Brand Institute

Kaye Thorne is a well-known writer, international talent coach, branding expert and online media developer. She is Founding Partner of the Employer Brand Institute, an international organisation designed to share best practice in employer branding. She is also co-founder of Hot Brands Cool Places, an online luxury lifestyle magazine. She has worked with a number of corporate boards in developing either their employer brand, or supporting the creation of their brand identity. This has included new product development, sourcing market intelligence, creating case studies, developing web content, and creating internal and external communications. Thorne recently developed the Entrepreneur Brand Index to support her work with embryonic new businesses. Award for Excellence in Business Partnership

Gary Miles, principal consultant, Roffey Park

Gary Miles has more than 20 years’ experience of working in commercial organisations, both as an HR practitioner and business manager, including roles at Unilever and Reed Business Publishing. Since joining Roffey Park he has been involved in a number of major client projects, spanning private, public and not for profit sectors. At Roffey Park he is programme director of Strategic Human Resources and HR Business Partnering as well as Director of Associate Relations, responsible for the recruitment and development of Roffey Park’s associate team. Gary has also served as a local government councillor and been an active member of the CIPD.

Award for Excellence in HR through Technology

Allan Boroughs, founding partner, Orion Partners

Allan Boroughs has a proven track record in HR technology delivery spanning more than 20 years. He specialises in the planning, development and implementation of technology solutions in global blue-chip organisations, and has extensive knowledge of the strategic planning and delivery of business applications for HR, e-HR, workflow and enterprise resource planning. Boroughs leads Orion Partner’s HR transformation technology practice and has recently published a book entitled HR Transformation Technology – Delivering Systems to support the new HR Model.

Pinsent Masons LLP Award for Diversity in the Workplace

Catharine Pusey, chief executive, Employers Forum on Age.

Founded in 1996, the Employers Forum on Age is an independent network of leading employers who recognise the value of an age diverse workforce. In addition to supporting employers, the EFA influences Government, business and trade unions, campaigning for real practical change. Catharine joined the EFA earlier this year following a range of varied roles in media and not-for-profit organisations. Most recently she was director of BFI Trading, responsible for founding and managing the commercial division of the British Film Institute.

Investors in People UK Award for Delivering Business Improvement through People

Mark Wilcox, director and founder, RedThread Consulting

Mark Wilcox works with leading organisations on developing a clear line of sight between their strategic goals and their people activities.

Wilcox was the director of people and organisational development at Sony Europe, where he was responsible for the company’s European talent management strategy. He started his working life in manufacturing and engineering, and went on to complete an MBA with Distinction at Bradford School of Management. In his consulting work Wilcox continues to support Sony across Europe on a number of projects as well as working with clients such as the British Army, Sony Ericsson, Hilton, Harris Corporation and HSBC.

Award for Health at Work

Dame Carol Black

The government’s wellbeing tsar, Dame Carol Black qualified in medicine in 1970 and went on to specialise in internal medicine and rheumatology. Her unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London became the major centre for clinical care and research in Europe and is internationally renowned. In 2002, professor Black was awarded the CBE for her work in scleroderma and in 2005 she was honoured for her services to medicine. Black has lectured extensively abroad and has a particular fruitful clinical and research collaboration with US colleagues.

HR Impact Award

Nick Holley, director, HR Centre of Excellence, Henley Management Council

Nick Holley’s career includes experience as an army officer, 10 years as a successful futures and foreign exchange broker and 16 years in senior organisational, leadership and people development roles. In his past two roles Holley was partner in charge of learning for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa for business services firm Arthur Andersen and director of global people development for telecoms giant Vodafone. Holley is a visiting executive fellow at Henley Management College and director of Henley’s HR Centre of Excellence. He also has his own business, is a consulting partner of Dave Ulrich’s RBL Group, and is a member of the editorial advisory panel of Personnel Today.

Hays Award for Innovation in Recruitment and Retention

Ron Eldridge, co-founder, TalentDrain

Ron Eldridge co-founded engagement consultancy TalentDrain in 2003 and has been closely involved in the design and development of the company’s products and services. Prior to that he spent 14 years at occupational psychology and testing firms SHL Group and PSL and has a further six years’ commercial experience. His expertise includes recruitment, retention, management, training & development, marketing and global partner relationship management. He is a recognised industry expert on employee engagement and retention, a regular contributor of articles to trade magazines and a frequent speaker on the HR conference circuit.

Award for Excellence in Training

Hugh Murray, director, Scott Bradbury

Hugh Murray is a trainer, writer, speaker and all-round HR entrepreneur. A Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, Murray’s 30-year career includes roles as the general manager of McGraw-Hill Training Systems, managing director of Gower Tfi (later Gower Training), co-founder and managing director of training firm Fenman and publisher of Training Journal.

In 2002, Murray sold his stake in Fenman to co-found Scott Bradbury. Murray is also the author of many successful multimedia and video materials and a popular public speaker on management and learning issues.

NorthgateArinso Award for Best HR Strategy in Line with Business

Peter Reilly, director of HR Research and Consultancy, Institute for Employment Studies

Peter Reilly joined the Institute for Employment Studies in 1995 after a 16-year career with Shell where he held a number of HR posts in the UK and abroad. He leads both consultancy and research work on reward/performance management and on the HR function. He also contributes to projects on HR and skills planning. Clients come from all sectors and his involvement ranges from facilitation, through expert advice to design and evaluation.

Reilly has co-authored a number of books, including How to get best value from HR: the shared services option and Strategic HR: building the capability to deliver. He has also co-led research projects for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Ceridian HR Director of the Year Award

Sharon Benson, HR director, Trinity-Chiesi Pharmaceuticals

Sharon Benson is HR director of Trinity-Chiesi Pharmaceuticals, the sales and marketing affiliate of Chiesi Pharmaceutici, a European pharmarceutical company. Her work at Trinity-Chiesi earned her Personnel Today’s HR Director of the Year award in 2007. Heading a small team with limited resources, Benson demanded a £30,000 budget to deliver increased performance levels and reduce employee turnover. Having gained management buy-in, a number of the initiatives she introduced in the UK have since been adopted in Italy and at affiliate companies across Europe.

Judging panel for overall winner

  • Jonathan Austin, managing director, Best Companies
  • Stephen Moir, director of people and policy, Cambridgeshire County Council and president of the PPMA
  • Chris Parry, co-founder and chief executive, Centre for High Performance Development
  • Sarah Veale, head of the equality and employment rights department, TUC

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