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Business leaders win Director of the Year award in UK finals

Institute of Directors, Director of the Year Awards. Winner pictures.
(L-R) Maxine Smith of award category sponsor, Nyumbani Estate; Michelle Hatfield of George Best Belfast City Airport; and ceremony host, Michael Portillo.
Rebecca Kincade on October 29, 2014 - 3:00 pm in News

Two business leaders from Northern Ireland have been recognised for their exceptional achievements, hard-work and dedication at the Institute of Directors annual UK Director of the Year Awards.

The awards, now in their fifth year, saw over 60 winners of the regional Director of the Year Awards gather in London for the national finals.

The two winners from Northern Ireland are Michelle Hatfield of George Best Belfast City Airport, named UK Director of the Year for Leadership in Corporate Responsibility; and Jim Dobson, Managing Director of Dunbia Meats, who won UK Large Company Director of the Year.

A Special Recognition Award was also given to non-executive director of Northern Ireland based Bryson Charitable Group, Brendan Mullan, for his contribution to responsible leadership, while Simon Campbell of Portview Fit-Out received a Highly Commended mention in the New Chartered Director category.

Paul Terrington, chairman of the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland, said:

“One of our objectives in the Institute of Directors is to develop and expand the skills, expertise and ambitions of our local and aspiring business leaders and to help them become the best in their field.

“And these are the qualities celebrated in our annual Director of the Year Awards.

“This year has been a huge success for Northern Ireland with two of our local, talented business leaders beating off stiff competition to each win an award in their respective categories.

“They are role models of how responsible and effective directorship can lead to business success.

“As always, the calibre of entrants was exceptional and our winners and highly commended business leaders deserve immense credit for impressing our panel of expert judges. We look forward to following their continued success in the years ahead.”

The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was won by veteran entrepreneur, Richard Branson, in recognition of his extraordinary achievements over nearly half a century in business. Accepting the award in a video message, the Virgin Group founder said:

“I am very honoured to receive the award … Over fifty years in business, I have always tried to surround myself with great people who have helped me direct the companies we created.”

Branson, who himself left school at just fifteen to launch his first business venture, magazine Student, had a message for other aspiring entrepreneurs:

“Create something you can be proud of, surround yourself with great people, take a few risks, and have fun.”




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