Goole businessman Oliver North wins IoD award

Yorkshire businessman Oliver North has has been named as Young Director of the Year award by the IoD.

Mr North, MD of emergency vehicle manufacturer O&H Vehicle Technology, won the award because of his tenacity in turning around the formerly-struggling, 130-strong organisation.

He was also recognised for his entrepreneurial background, and his ability to make the right business and career decisions at the right times.

Oliver left the company he founded, North Fire, in December 2018, to pursue a new avenue and challenge after becoming disillusioned with his role following a majority acquisition of his company.

He said: “People thought it was a strange move stepping out of the thick corporate comfort blanket at the start of the year. The passion I have for UK manufacturing far outweighs any comfort zone which a ‘continental giant’ can offer, and to be recognised at the Institute of Directors’ national awards for taking the plunge and striving to take O&H to bigger things, really is flattering.

“With Brexit impending, I genuinely believe that UK manufacturing is the key to a strong economy, and I am proud to now lead a company which will boost the British system.”

The finalists were chosen from the hundreds of directors that entered or were nominated across nine different categories from across the UK, so winning this coveted award was no mean feat.

The Young Director of the Year award recognises leaders under the age of 40, who have demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial potential, ambition, creativity and vision in established businesses.

Sir Trevor McDonald hosted the ceremony alongside the wonderful Roger Tilling, best known as The Voice of University Challenge. IoD Director General Jonathan Geldart said: ‘“I would like to congratulate all of our award winners, each of whom have shown dedication, ingenuity, and leadership, inspiring those around them. Better directors make for better businesses, which is to the benefit of the economy and society as a whole. The judges had a tough job on their hands picking the first among equals, with all of our finalists standing as beacons of excellence from every corner of the UK.”