Big names join the judging panel for the Forward Ladies national awards

SOME of the biggest names in business will be joining the judging panel at the 2018 Forward Ladies national awards.

Rachel Hannan. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Fourteen independent judges have been selected to assess entries submitted by companies, small businesses, young entrepreneurs and social enterprises from across the UK.

There are 12 award categories in all, with the winners being announced at a ceremony at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, on Friday December 1. The Yorkshire Post is media partner for the awards.

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Griselda Togobo, Forward Ladies managing director, commented: “The judging process is rigorous and has been shaped over a number of years, and to see the list of judges supporting us and our National Awards is very exciting. The level of talent and experience on the panel is remarkable.”

The judges include Rachel Hannan, who previously co-founded GatenbySanderson, the public sector executive search firm, and successfully exited after the company achieved a turnover of nearly £24m in seven years.

Since then she has become one of the region’s most active angel investors with investments in the education, medical, technology, food, human capital and recruitment sectors.

Other judges include Sahar Hashemi, the founder of the Coffee Republic, Ajaz Ahmed who established Freeserve, and Jan Flawn, who is the founder of PJ Care, an award-winning provider of specialist neurological care.

The event is sponsored by HSBC and the judges include Jennifer Crawley, HSBC’s UK head of performance for business banking, who is the chief judge, and Debra White, HSBC’s customer experience director for UK business banking.

For tickets visit