Shortlist announced for Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards

People in Business awards
Jo Fleming

Businesses and employees from across the region have beat the competition to become finalists within eleven categories at the Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards.

Selected by a judging panel of accomplished businessmen and women, the shortlist has been chosen for their exceptional contribution to their workplace, excellent performance against targets, and a general can-do attitude to any problem presented to them.

The Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards focus on recognising both individual and team talent, with a vision to raise the profile of talented, hardworking and dynamic individuals, as well as businesses as a whole.

With Wilberforce Sixth Form College as its headline sponsor, the business awards will take place on Friday 12th July at DoubleTree by Hilton in Hull.

Jo Fleming, founder of the awards, said: “Though it was difficult to narrow down, we’re proud to announce our finalists – which we believe is full of the best talent Hull and East Yorkshire has to offer.

“Having worked myself for many corporate firms, I truly understand the importance of not only recognising the staff within a business, but of also rewarding the business itself, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them for an evening of celebrations.”

Those who attend on the evening can expect a night to remember, with BBC Apprentice 2008 winner Lee McQueen acting as compere, and entertainment from five-piece party band The Tzars. Key speakers Rob and Paul Forkan will also be in attendance to talk about their successful brand Gandys, which was created after the brothers were left orphaned in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. There will also be a silent auction for guests to bid on throughout the night – with 100% of the profits donated to the award’s chosen charity, The Smile Foundation.


The shortlist:

Rising Star – sponsored by Sapphire Signs

  • Jasmine Rhodes – ICS Cleaning, SPS Group
  • Declan Whiting – APD Communications Ltd
  • Ellie Dickens – Informed Financial Planning
  • Emily Rymchuk – Forward and Thinking
  • Jessica Clark – Blab Digital
  • Harry Gamble – Chameleon Business Interiors

Above and Beyond – sponsored by St Stephen’s Shopping Centre

  • Sam Bevan – Associated British Ports
  • Jo Nicholls – Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Immy Hussain – Summit
  • Abigail Slide – Whitehills Dental and Skin Clinic
  • Emily Rymchuk – Forward and Thinking
  • Joanne Mankel – Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
  • Brendon Smurthwaite – KCOM

Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Hull City Council

  • Sam Phillipi – Cranswick Country Foods Poultry
  • Joshua Cooper – Associated British Ports
  • Katie MacFarlane – Trans2 Performance
  • Damian Graczyk – KCOM
  • Laszlo Villanyi – SPS Group

First Class Service

  • Joshua Smith – Cobus Communications
  • Sophie Scudder – Whitehills Dental and Skin Clinic
  • Zofia Thompson – Fit4dogsuk Ltd Canine Hydrotherapy Centre
  • Rachelle Gray – HBP Systems Ltd
  • Ashley Biglin – Informed Financial Planning

Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by Sewell Group

  • John Hemingway – Dark History Museum
  • Amy Hills – Whitehills Dental and Skin Clinic/ Whitehills Wellness Spa
  • Martin Johnson – Trans2 Performance
  • Courtney Farrow – Bloom Creative Solutions Ltd

Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by Sewell Group

  • Courtney Wood – Blab Digital
  • Simon Pownall – Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery
  • Michelle Shenton – Lion Heart Hot Yoga Hull
  • Matthew Riley – Studio Six Architecture Ltd

Inspiring Contribution

  • Joanne Dixon – HBP Systems Ltd
  • Jessica Crawford – Informed Financial Planning
  • Natalie Downie – Forward and Thinking
  • Darren Clewes – Forward and Thinking
  • Lee Holgate – SPS Security, SPS Group


  • Liam Peck – Sapphire Signs
  • Cliff Dick – HiViz Safety
  • James Foston – Informed Financial Planning

Manager – sponsored by Humber HR People

  • Daniel Casey – Sapphire Signs
  • Natasha Barley – HEY Children’s University
  • Laura Stubbs – AB Mauri
  • Suzie Sonnabend – Whitehills Dental and Skin Clinic
  • Dave Gregersen – KCOM
  • Claire Clark – Sauce

Team Impact – sponsored by Cobus Communications

  • The EOA Team – Employee Ownership Association
  • The Design Team – Chameleon Business Interiors
  • HEY Children’s University
  • OPCC Engagement Team – Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • The APD Development and Test Team – APD Communications
  • Packaging Department – Cranswick Country Foods Poultry

Grit – sponsored by NEC Services Ltd

  • Rachel Naulls – Informed Financial Planning
  • Hannah Cheshire – InspireIgnite
  • Samantha Hart – Ultimate Blu
  • Matthew Riley – Studio Six Architecture Ltd

A lifetime Achievement award will be made on the evening.

Tickets for the Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards cost £70 each, £650 for a table of ten or £780 for a table of 12.