Fight for the crown
The list of names vying to be crowned Leicestershire's top business executive has been unveiled.
Nine senior managers will fight it out to become Leicester Mercury Business Executive of the Year.
They will compete in three categories – business executive in a small firm: business executive in a medium firm; and business executive in a large firm.
The winners from each category will then go head-to-head for the overall title of Business Executive of the Year.
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The University of Leicester is sponsoring the event, as well as an overall Business Executive of the Year award. UKTI and the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity are also sponsoring individual categories.
The finalists are:
Business executive, small firm – Matthew Hayes, Champions UK; Helen Johnson, Emery Johnson; Nikki McMorrough, Made by Nikki.
Business executive, medium-sized firm – Jane Albon, Nature's Purest; Anand Assi, Pall Ex; Richard Freeman, Zeeko.
Business executive, large firm – Justin Stead, Aurum; Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments; and Fiona Lambert, brand director of George at Asda.
Young business executive – Ravi Karia, Universal Textiles; Luke Pulford, Cell Drinks; Yan Sozugecen, Frydales.
A lifetime achievement award will also be presented.
A 10-strong panel of judges from business, education and the civil service will decide the category winners, overall winner and who will receive the lifetime achievement award in the next few weeks.
Martin Traynor, chief executive of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, who is one of the judges, said: "These 12 people highlight the depth and breadth of business success in our city and county."
Leicester Mercury publisher David Simms, who is also a judge, said: "Choosing four winners and an overall Business Executive of the Year from this quality of finalists is going to be a tough task."
The judges are looking for executives who demonstrate drive and dynamism and show quality leadership.
The winners will be named at a ceremony at Leicester City's King Power Stadium on November 22.
Profiles of the finalists will be featured in Business Weekly over the coming weeks.
There are opportunities to sponsor the four categories and the lifetime achievement award. For details and to book tables/seats, call Nikki Kandola on 0116 222 4310 or e-mail: