Scotland’s best in business scoop Director of the Year Awards

Douglas Whyte
Douglas Whyte

Scotland’s top directors have been honoured at this year’s Institute of Directors Scotland Director of the Year Awards, celebrating individuals’ business achievements in 2016, at the Crowne Plaza Glasgow.

15 top executives have collected Director of the Year Awards, honouring the best in business across nine key director categories and six regional categories, after a record number of nominations were received.

The IoD Scotland Director of the Year Awards went to:

IoD Scotland Director of the Year Large Businesses

Douglas Whyte, CEO, Hydro Group plc

IoD Scotland Director of the Year Medium Size Businesses

Jennifer MacKenzie-Hallwood, Managing Director, TEFL Org UKHighly Commended: Michael Young, Chief Executive Officer, MBN Solutions

IoD Scotland Director of the Year Small Businesses

Tom Campbell, Chief Executive, North Highland Initiative


Passing comment on the three Director of the Year Award winners, the judging panel, which was chaired by Raymond O’Hare, owner of OCSolutions and previous Chair of IoD Scotland, said: “We were impressed by Hydro Group’s growth in turnover and profit at a time when the Aberdeen economy has been weak. Douglas has led the business through successful structural change, and driven investment in export markets.

“Jennifer at TEFL Org UK has combined her personal skills, enthusiasm and talent to bring out the absolute best in her staff, achieving sustainable and socially-aware growth in a difficult market. Against challenging international circumstances she has built both the company and profitability.

“Tom Campbell is leading a truly innovative business model. The North Coast 500 has economic sustainability and growth at its heart. His accomplishments in creating from scratch a world-renowned tourist destination that brings visitors to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland is a tremendous achievement.”

IoD Scotland Director of the Year Awards were presented in a further six categories:

IoD Scotland Emerging Director of the Year

Sonia Cottom, Director, Pain Association ScotlandHighly Commended: Andrew Dobbie, Managing Director, MadeBrave

Badenoch & Clark Female Director of the Year

Shirley Campbell, Director for People, Workplace & Organisational Development, Scottish WaterHighly Commended: Rhona Baillie, Chief Executive, The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice

Bank of Scotland Non-Executive Director of the Year

Marie Macklin CBE, Non-Executive Director, Appointedd

mclcreate Public Sector Director of the Year

Prof David Hillier, Executive Dean at Strathclyde Business School,and Associate Principal at the University of Strathclyde

SCVO Third Sector Director of the Year

Theresa Shearer, Chief Executive Officer, ENABLE Scotland

Scottish Business Pledge Workplace Innovation Director of the Year

Gregory Chauvet, Cycling Enthusiast Officer (CEO), Glasgow Bike StationHighly Commended: Stephen Robertson, Director, Metis Partners Ltd


The Scottish category winners will also have a shot at the prestigious UK Director of the Year Awards, which take place in London, in September.

The Awards reflect the diversity of business life in Scotland, with categories for big business, SMEs, charities and the public sector and applaud those individuals whose creativity, leadership or innovative business practices have led to success for their organisation and the communities they serve.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to supporting sustainable business growth, and fostering a fairer and more prosperous Scotland. The Institute of Director’s Scottish Awards provides an annual opportunity to showcase the innovation and excellence of Scottish companies that underpins growth in our economy and which I see regularly as I visit companies across Scotland. It is only right that we continue to celebrate their achievements and I congratulate all those nominated tonight.”

As well as the main categories, two discretionary awards were made:

IoD Scotland Chair’s Award

Lady Susan Rice CBE

IoD Scotland Young Enterprise Scotland Award

Natalie Roberts, Managing Director, Glass Act


Individual awards were made across the six regions:

Aberdeen & Grampian Regional Director of the Year

Douglas Whyte, CEO, Hydro Group plcHighly Commended: Stuart McLeod, Managing Director, Delphian Ballistics Limited

Edinburgh, Lothians & the Borders RegionalDirector of the Year

Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Registers of Scotland

Fife & Central Scotland Regional Director of the Year

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive Officer, Keep Scotland Beautiful

Glasgow & West of Scotland RegionalDirector of the Year

Theresa Shearer, Chief Executive Officer, ENABLE Scotland

Highlands and Islands Enterprise RegionalDirector of the Year

Alasdair Ferguson, Group Managing Director, Ferguson Transport & Shipping Highly Commended: Michael Tait, Managing & Production Director, Shetland Mussels Ltd

Tayside Regional Director of the Year

John Reid, Director (General Manager of Michelin Dundee; Director of Michelin Northern Europe), Michelin


David Watt, Executive Director of the Institute of Directors in Scotland, said: “Although a diverse group, all the award winners share certain characteristics. They are all effective and dynamic leaders, full of ambition and creativity, which is exactly what we need at the top of our businesses and organisations, particularly at the moment, when strong leadership can remain a constant driver of performance amid overwhelming change inflicted by external forces.

“With a 25 per cent boost in the number of entries this year, it’s pleasing to see so many businesses recognising and valuing good leadership, and thriving across a diverse range of industries and sectors.

And this year we have once again been shown exceptional business success across the board - whether this has been achieved by leading success in turnover growth, taking an organisation from local to global, innovating and creating world class products, excelling in customer service or creating opportunities and having a positive impact on communities – this year’s crop of directors is living proof that Scotland is in an excellent position to compete on the global stage.”

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