Thirteen awards were presented virtually on the night, with the prestigious Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice Award presented to Simone Roche MBE of Liverpool-based Northern Power Women.
Ms Roche, who was also recently appointed as Honorary Lieutenant Commander for Royal Navy and Royal Marines, was presented the award following her work in promoting gender equality.
Additional accolades were presented to Manchester-based Matt Haworth of Reason Digital who won the Social Value and Sustainability Impact Director of the Year award; Helen Tonks of Hydraulics Online Ltd, based in Alsager, was announced winner of the Family Business Director of the Year award, with Andrew Preston of Knutsford-based Geometric Results International Ltd (GRI) recognised as Large Business Director of the Year.
The 2020 Innovation Director of the Year award was awarded to Carolyn Willitts of Manchester-based CW Studio Ltd, followed by the International Director of the Year award presented to Paul Baker of St Pierre Groupe based in Didsbury.
Chukwudi Onwudiwe of the Chuck Gallery, Manchester’s first African art gallery based in Longsight, won the Start-Up Director of the Year award, whilst the Small-Medium Business (up to £50m) Director of the Year Award was presented to Ono Okeregha of Salford-based Immigration Advice Service.
The Third Sector Director of the Year award went to Gail Heath of The Pankhurst Trust (incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid), while Susanna Lawson of Onefile Ltd scooped the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director of the Year award.
The Young Director of the Year award winner was announced as Lee Cunliffe of Sporting House in Manchester, and Public Sector Director of the Year award was presented to Ian Hopkins QPM of Greater Manchester Police.
Congratulating the winners, Claire Ebrey, regional director for the IoD, said: “While this year’s awards ceremony was very different than those in the past, we were delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate great Directors and quality leadership in the region – especially at a time when they are facing huge commercial challenges.
“The awards embody the IoD’s motto of ‘integrity and enterprise’. Establishing and running a business is no mean feat. Doing that in a way that shines in our region, captures the imagination of other directors, and exemplifies good practice is truly marvellous.