Powered by

Leadership Excellence Awards

The Leadership Excellence Awards are hosted at the globally respected GDS Summits, bringing together senior executives from the biggest global brands who are actively seeking to learn, engage, and find the best technology solutions.

Enter today

The Awards

The events provide a forum for leaders to learn from peers about how they are approaching common challenges and opportunities. Each GDS Summit hosts a Leadership Excellence Awards with the ceremony held at the end of the conference agenda. This gives outstanding individuals the chance to be recognized for their achievements in front of the industry in which they serve.

FOUR LEADERSHIP AWARDS ARE GIVEN FOR EACH CATEGORY

Each award category is aligned to a Summit of the same theme. At the end of the Summit the gold, innovation, integrity and impact awards winners will be announced.

Leadership Gold
Leadership Innovation
Leadership Integrity
Leadership Impact
Enter today

How it works

The Awards

Innovation & Transformation Award

This award goes to the applicant who demonstrates how they have successfully innovated and/or transformed their operations, team, technology, processes to improve outcomes for their organisation.

The Leading with Integrity Award

This award goes to the applicant who can demonstrate their achievements in terms of ‘doing the right thing’. For example, they might have improved ethics, improved the working lives of colleagues, supported marketplace change, or reduced environmental impact.

The Business Impact Award

This award goes to the applicant who has delivered outstanding business performance. This does not have to be purely in terms of tangible financial benefits, it can also be less tangible, such as reputational impacts or reduced risk.

THE JUDGING PROCESS

The judging process is unique and externally audited by the Independent Awards Standards Council to ensure it is ethical, transparent and robust. The market insight team at GDS will gather the information necessary to invite the right people to participate, and then allow written evidence (supplied in the strictest confidence) into the awards platform to bolster the case of nominees

Once as much information as possible has been gathered, external independent expert awards judges will review the nominees and select which are worthy of the awards, which will be given out at the associated summit events run by GDS.

THE SCORING SYSTEMS

Applications will be evaluated based on three key criteria: Delivering innovation and transformation, Doing the right thing (workplace, marketplace, environment or community), Improving business performance.

Calling outstanding senior leaders

Are you, or do you work with, a senior leader that has delivered the greatest value to your businesses over the past year?
Light Bulb Icon

DO YOU INSPIRE YOUR COLLEAGUES?

This could be through innovation, inspiring colleagues, making excellent decisions, bravery, or achieving outstanding business growth.

Target Icon

DO YOU INSPIRE YOUR COLLEAGUES?

These awards are designed to recognized C-Suite (or equivalent) leaders who are the most deserving of recognition for delivering real value through innovation.

Upcoming entry deadlines

Data & Analytics Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 14 May)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) executives with data-related roles, who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and operational efficiencies.

Energy Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 14 May)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) oil & gas industry executives who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and operational efficiencies.

Supply Chain Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 6 August)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) Supply Chain executives who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and operational efficiencies.

Retail Leader of the Year - Europe (Deadline: 13 August)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) retail executives who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and operational efficiencies.

Digital Marketing Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 3 September)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) digital marketing executives who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and operational efficiencies.

Sales Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 10 September)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) executives in sales / revenue generation roles who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and customer experience.

HR Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 24 September)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) executives in HR roles who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and customer experience.

Digital Innovation Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 24 September)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) executives in digital innovation roles who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and customer experience.

Omnichannel Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 8 October)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) executives in omnichannel roles who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and customer experience.

CMO Brand Leader of the Year - Europe (Deadline: 8 October)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) marketing executives who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the applied creativity alongside innovative technologies and strategies over the last 12 months, which have led to improved business performance and reputational benefits.

Banking Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 29 October)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) executives in banking roles who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and customer experience.

Healthcare Leader of the Year - USA (Deadline: 29 October)

This award will recognise outstanding C-Suite (or equivalent) executives in healthcare roles who can demonstrate exemplary leadership through real-world achievements in their field. Judges are particularly interested in seeing evidence of the application of innovative technologies or strategies over the last 12 months that have led to improved business performance and customer experience.

This process means that entry deadlines and awarding dates vary from category to category, so please visit our awards portal for more information and to enter.

How to enter

Your entry must be uploaded as plain text only written/pasted into the awards portal. To maintain a level playing field, no additional supporting material is required or allowed. There is no option for hard copy or email submissions. We recommend you draft your content in MS Word first. More details can be found on the live entry form itself, but in essence the content you need to prepare has the following structure:

What you need to supply

1
Submit your goals and challenges for the past year
2
Your achievements in terms of innovation and transformation
3
Your achievements in terms of ‘doing the right thing’
4
Your achievements in terms of improving business performance:

If you would like to be considered, but are short on time then please contact us and we will put you in touch with people who can help you.

Enter today

Award Judges

Graham Russell
Board member, Investor, Retired Global Shared Services and Outsourcing Executive
Juliet Slot
Consultant & Non-Executive Director
British Olympic Association
Earl Newsome
Chief Information Officer
Linde
Adrian Wong
Chief Innovation Officer
Venture Agenda
Atholl Duncan
Chair
Black Isle Group
Simon Featherstone
Serial Chairman and Advisor to Financial Services
Funding Xchange
Alex Embling
CEO
Strategic ABM
Parimal Kopardekar
Director of NASA Aeronautics Research Institute
NASA
Jeff Moore
Chief Product Security Officer
Draeger
Tim Richardson
Founder
Black Isle Group
Garry Evanson
Registrar
Chartered Security Registration Authority
Richard Jones
Banking & Fintech CEO
Cambridge Sustainable Investment Partners
Kelsey Porter
Director for NAZ Safety
Anheuser-Busch
Joshua Girard
Global Lead in Supply for Safety
AB InBev
Derek E. Brink
VP and Research Fellow, Aberdeen (part of Spiceworks Ziff Davis), CISSP
Adjunct Faculty, Harvard University and Brandeis University
Ramin Takin
Co-founder
Exabler
Jon Kirby
Co-founder
Blinx Solutions
Alyce Reopelle
Senior Vice President
Citi Group
Michael Bodner
CEO
Shipley Supply Company
Bobbi Landreth
Director
Human Resources at FedEx
Dana Wichmann-Chaves
Senior Vice President
First Federal Bank of Florida
Diego Blanco Moreno
Director of Digital Services
BBVA
Graeme Cochrane
Global Director Digital Transformation
ABInBev
Jamie P Walker
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
UnitedHealth Group
Mikio Fujitsuka
Head of Global Consumer Care
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health
Rose Jia
Head of Growth Marketing
Amazon Grocery
Stefan Latuski
Chief Information Officer
Siemens Mobility
John Dony
Senior Director, Thought Leadership
National Safety Council

2021 Winners List

gold

Winner

Nadine Thomson
Global Chief Technology Officer
MediaCom

innovation

Winner

Utku Barış Pazar
Chief Strategy and Digital Officer
Arçelik A.Ş.

integrity

Winner

Nadine Thomson
Global Chief Technology Officer
MediaCom

impact

Winner

Martynas Sarapinas
Chief Information Officer
Girteka Logistics

gold

Winner

Mary Lou Sinclair
Associate Vice President, Health, Safety & Environment
BGIS

innovation

Winner

Lauren Hubbard
ANA H&S Director
Acadis

integrity

Winner

Timmy Carey
Associate Director EHS&S
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.

impact

Winner

Mary Lou Sinclair
Associate Vice President, Health, Safety & Environment
BGIS

gold

Winner

Louise Clements
Global Chief Marketing Officer
Paysafe Group

innovation

Winner

Annica Conrad
Chief Marketing Officer
Global Franchise Group

integrity

Winner

Louise Clements
Global Chief Marketing Officer
Paysafe Group

impact

Winner

Lisa Bowen
Vice President, Marketing and Customer Experience
PharMerica

gold

Winner

Kei yun Wong
General Manager
New Era Cap

gold

Winner

Kate Johnson
President
Microsoft US

innovation

Winner

Steven Ferguson
Chief Information Officer
Technical College System of Georgia

integrity

Winner

Jack Smith
Chief Executive Officer
Fortuna BMC

impact

Winner

Kate Johnson
President
Microsoft US

gold

Winner

Christina Alexander Alexandropoulou
Director of Security
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel, Athens Greece

innovation

Winner

Joy Boyle
CEO
SaltDNA

integrity

Winner

Jay Bharvada
Head of Cyber Security
HSBC Kineti

impact

Winner

Christina Alexander Alexandropoulou
Director of Security
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel, Athens Greece

gold

Winner

Bradley Schaufenbuel
VP – Chief Information Security Officer
Paychex

innovation

Winner

Joni Trempala
CEO
Knox Company

integrity

Winner

Marcos Marrero
Marcos Marrero
H.I.G Capital

impact

Winner

Bradley Schaufenbuel
VP – Chief Information Security Officer
Paychex

gold

Winner

Eric De Neef
Executive Vice President & Global Chief Commercial Officer
Radisson Hotel Group

innovation

Winner

Luca Giacoma-Claire
Chief Marketing Officer
Cofidis Italia

integrity

Winner

Eric De Neef
Executive Vice President & Global Chief Commercial Officer
Radisson Hotel Group

impact

Winner

Claudia Ivanova Fotev
Area Director Revenue Optimization
Radisson Hotel Group

gold

Winner

Vijayakumar Veeramisti
General Manager
Aditya Birla Group

integrity

Winner

Ekamdeep Singh
CEO
IKIO LED Lighting

impact

Winner

Vijayakumar Veeramisti
General Manager
Aditya Birla Group

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline?

These awards are unusual in that the different awards are presented at different events. So, for example, the European CIO of the Year Award is presented at the end of the CIO Insight Europe summit. Please note that attending the summit, whether virtual or live, is not mandatory to enter or win the award.

As such the deadline for submitting evidence to support each application is different. Please see the schedule on the calendar and deadlines section.

How do we submit the final entry?

The entry is uploaded into the Awards’ portal. There is no option for hard copy or email submissions.

What is the judging process?

See the page about how winners are selected.

Does anything need to be signed or approved?

No, in submitting your evidence you are confirming it is accurate to the best of your knowledge.

Are there any important eligibility factors we should be aware of?

These awards are strictly for senior leaders within large organisations. Each award is suitable for either a specific role, or a specific industry. See the Categories page for details.

Do we receive feedback about why we did or didn’t win?

All those accepting their nomination and going through the judging process will receive feedback on their entry. All applicants will be invited to reapply the following year and either retain their crown or earn an award of a different colour (e.g Silver winners receiving Gold for their achievements the following year).

What format should the award submission be in?

The entry is uploaded as plain text only written/pasted into the Awards’ portal, but we strongly recommend that it is drafted and approved in MS Word prior to submission.

Is there a required structure for the written entry?

We recommend you draft your content in MS Word first. It is as follows:
– Your goals and challenges for the past year: 100-200 words
– Your achievements in terms of innovation and transformation: 100-300 words
– Your achievements in terms of ‘doing the right thing’ (workplace, marketplace, environment or community): 100-300 words.
– Your achievements in terms of improving business performance: 100-300 words

What is the confidentiality policy?

All the Judges, Administration Team and Project Directors will digitally sign a non-disclosure agreement. Please therefore rest assured that any evidence you submit to back up your case for winning the award will be treated with strictest confidence.

How many stages are there?

This is a single stage process. The written content is used to decide the winner, although judges are also at liberty to do desk-research into applicants too

What are the rules regarding supplying supporting documents/materials?

No supporting material is allowed. The entry is plain text only with the exception of a headshot of the entrant.

Who should I contact if I have any questions?

You can contact us via the form found by clicking on the ? icon in the top right of this page.