Meet the Judges

Meet the panel of independent experts who are judging the Dorset Business Awards 2023.

Inner Page Title Mobile

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

Inner Page Hero Title Tablet

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

Home > Dorset Business Festival > Awards > Award Judges

Cecilia Bufton

Chairman, Dorset LEP

Cecilia is an experienced Non-Executive and Chairman, now working on two Public/ Private sector Boards in Dorset and three Charity Boards, having successfully transitioned from a 30-year, private sector Executive career.

Cecilia is an enthusiastic Strategic Marketing professional with a strong interest in innovative product, service and business development. Her experience is mainly in B2B sectors in the areas of human health and care. A global leader, she has led the introduction of new business to markets in over 40 countries, supporting the establishment and development of teams to meet local customer demand.

Martin Edwards

CEO, Julia’s House Charity

Martin Edwards has been CEO since 2005 of Julia’s House, which has won the Dorset Business Awards Best Management Team, ranked 1st in Best Companies’ Top 100 Non-Profits To Work For and is rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC. Julia’s House provides palliative care for children and has led national research with Bournemouth University into the impact of respite breaks.

The charity is renowned for its staff engagement and has won Best Employer at the UK Third Sector Awards. Martin is a Trustee of the McCarthy Stone Foundation and previously worked in brand management with Procter & Gamble.

Cheryl Hadland

Founder and Chair, Tops Day Nurseries

Cheryl Hadland, MA(Ed), is the founder and Chair of award winning Tops Day Nurseries (1990), Aspire Training Team, GECCO (registered charity promoting a sustainable/Green Early Years Education)  and is CEO of Hadland Care Group.  Pre-nurseries she was a lecturer at B&PCFE and ran a retail shop and school (Scuba Diving) in Poole.

Tops became B.Corp in 2021, was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Sustainable Development) in 2022 for inspirational thought leadership and innovation in the sustainable early years education.  She is an experienced speaker on sustainability within her sector, nationally and internationally, an experienced judge (Nursery Management Today).

Dr Lois Farquharson

Executive Dean, Bournemouth University Business School

Dr Lois Farquharson is the Executive Dean of Bournemouth University Business School.  Specialising in leadership practice and organisational change, Lois works in partnership with organisations, including University Hospitals Dorset and Dorset Healthcare, to support strategic workforce development.  Lois believes in the value of kindness, positivity and courageous leadership as key drivers of continuous improvement and change.

As a CMI Fellow and Chartered Manager, Lois is the CMI Women Lead on the South West Region Board.  She is also an Academic Fellow of the CIPD.  The Business School recently launched a Senior Leader Apprenticeship and welcomes discussions with employers interested in skills development for their workforce.

Sarah Howard

Chair, British Chambers of Commerce

Sarah has a long history in the Chamber Movement and is a great advocate for the power of business for good. Sarah became Chair of the British Chambers of Commerce in 2019, is a Past President of Suffolk Chamber and sits on the board of the London Chamber. In challenging times for business, she has supported the BCC and international network’s growth and is working with her teams to ensure they support the growth and prosperity of our members.

She has a particular interest in skills development and bringing more diversity into the Boardroom and is currently working closely with Neurodiverity in Business. She was awarded the MBE in 2015 for her work on skills development for young people.

With a background in management consultancy, Sarah has worked for high profile organisations including JP Morgan and KPMG. She chairs Codikoat, a rapidly expanding British Biotech startup which is taking their unique antiviral, antibacterial technology to domestic and international markets.

She is also the Chair of Abbeycroft Leisure, a large not for profit Leisure Trust and is a Governor at West Suffolk College and a Member of Suffolk Academy Trust.

Nicola Newman

Board member of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, Board member of Kingston Maurward College, Dorset LSIP Lead.

Nicola Newman is a Dorset LEP Board Member and a Governor of Kingston Maurward College. She is currently leading the development of the Dorset Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) on behalf of the Dorset Chamber. Nicola has Non-Executive Director, CEO and Executive Director level experience in leadership, governance, strategic communications – including crisis planning and managing – and marketing, for charities, multinationals, small and medium sized enterprises, national governing bodies of sport, and government.

Most of her career has been in the education and sport sectors. She has owned an executive search consultancy and a public relations and events business. Nicola is also a member of the Dorset Skills Board and LEP Finance, Audit and Corporate Risk Committee. Previously she was the Chief Executive of Ansbury Guidance, a Dorset based organisation providing careers, employability and mentoring services across the whole of Dorset to young people, families and adults working in schools and the community.

Gail Nimmin

Managing Director, Ocean Automotive

Gail is an experienced and influential leader within the automotive industry. With a financial background as a qualified Chartered Accountant, Gail was promoted to Managing Director of Ocean Automotive (Poole Audi, Yeovil Audi, Volvo Cars Poole, Poole Accident Repair and Yeovil Accident Repair) in late 2019, and has successfully led the business to record years in 2021 and 2022. This has been coupled with an unprecedented hattrick of ‘Audi UK Centre of the Year’ awards for Poole Audi and Yeovil Audi, ranking them as the best Audi Centres in the country for three years in a row.

Gail is also passionate about supporting local causes, including acting as a Board Trustee for the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Philip Popham

Former CEO of Sunseeker International and Lotus Cars

Philip has held senior board level positions in organisations such as Lotus, Jaguar Land Rover and Sunseeker, to name but a few. Having come out of the corporate world, he now runs his own consultancy practice, is a non-executive director of a number of boards, and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science at Aston University, where he originally received his degree back in 1988.

Paul Tansey 

Group CEO, Intergage

Paul Tansey is the CEO of Dorset-based marketing technology business Intergage and a former Director and President of Dorset Chamber. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the MyTime charity for Young Carers and a Board Director of Growth Leaders – a new peer network for ambitious digital, tech and creative businesses.

Antony Woodhouse _ Hall and Woodhouse

Anthony Woodhouse

Chairman, Hall & Woodhouse

Anthony has had three differing careers spanning Investment Banking (for Schroders specialising in Corporate Debt Advisory), Voluntary sector/Social Enterprise (helping to set up and run an Emmaus Community for the homeless) and running his family business, Hall & Woodhouse.  My current role is Chairman of H&W, having been Managing Director for 10 years.  The company is a Brewer and Pub Co, brewing Badger Beer (c 20 million pints pa), owning the soft drink brand Rio (c 50 cans pa) and running 170 pubs spread across Southern England.

Rachel Atkinson

The People Choreographer®

With a mission to disrupt tradition to create inclusive workplace communities, Rachel specialises in supporting organisations to help their people work with passion and purpose and help create places that people want to be a part of.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are at the heart of the service that Rachel provides.

Loved by her clients for her sense of humour and pragmatic approach, Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources and Senior Leadership roles, but as a non-traditionalist, prefers to refer to herself as a People Choreographer.

Rachel is also an Enterprise Advisor for Victoria School in Poole.

Natalie Collins

Associate, Savills

Natalie is a Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working for Savills, who has lived and worked in Dorset for the last 7 years.

She is currently chair of a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group in the Savills Wimborne Office where employees get a chance to discuss issues important to them and organise events to educate and celebrate the diversity they have within their office and in the wider community.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get relevant news, business insights and much more with our newsletter.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce logo white

Where we are

Dorset Chamber of
Commerce & Industry
Ling Road,
BH12 4NZ

Key Contacts
01202 714800
Registered in England
Company No. 00503870
© 2023 Dorset Chamber

Social profiles

Copyright 2023 © Dorset Chamber. All Rights Reserved.