Judges for the GDS Awards have been formally Announced

The awards recognize distinction in executives across Europe and North America and reward those that deliver innovation for their organizations

GDS is excited to formally announce its panel of judges for the Leadership Excellence Awards. The panel, comprised of a dynamic group of industry experts and specialists, will help to assign the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards to those executive leaders who are fully embracing and delivering change in their respective organizations.

The awards will run alongside the GDS Digital Summits which provide a forum to learn from peers about how they are approaching common challenges and opportunities within their respective organizations.

Each of these summits will then host an award ceremony at the end of the event, giving outstanding individuals the chance to be recognized for their achievements.

In particular, the judges are interested in executives embracing innovative technologies, encouraging operational efficiencies and delivering robust solutions.

From 2021, our previous winners will be invited to join the panel, bringing direct expertise, and helping to define the next generation of business success.

To submit your entry prior to upcoming deadlines visit the dedicated awards page.


Adrian Wong – Chief Innovation Officer, Venture Agenda:

Adrian is a multi-disciplinary designer and technology innovator with a career spanning Creative Director and CTO roles across diverse sectors including 3D tech, video games, gambling, pharmaceuticals, travel & leisure and professional services.

Alex Embling – CEO, Strategic ABM

Alex has been the CEO of Strategic ABM, a specialist B2B Account-Based Marketing Agency for over 20 years. Partnering with some of the world’s largest global B2B technology brands he helps them to win, grow and retain their high-value customers.

Anita Rolls – Founder, Career Intelligence Academy

Anita is an executive coach, with over 20 years’ experience in financial services, who is on a mission to change the way careers are managed and developed within organizations the world over.

Atholl Duncan – Chair, Black Isle Group

Atholl is currently Chair of the global leadership development business, Black Isle Group. He is also Chair of Scottish Salmon – which is the UK’s largest food exporter – and Chair of UK Coaching.

Bola Lafe – Managing Director, Opus Innovations

Bola Lafe is the founder and Managing Director of Opus Innovations Ltd and a Director of TickleTec Ltd, both businesses are multi award-winning healthcare product companies that develop innovative and sustainable healthcare solutions.

David Millary – Founder, EDU-Plus International

David has been a thought leader in the development and implementation of multiple software solutions and process redesigns since 1994. He now has over 30 years of experience, helping to deliver innovations and solutions the world over.

Julie Ashmore Dann – CEO, NatWest Rapid Cash

Julie has been working in finance and banking in the UK and internationally, for over 30 years. In January 2020, she returned to NatWest, to take up the position as CEO of NatWest Rapid Cash, an award winning, market leading digital lending business.

Naily Makangu – Founder, Athena Leaders

Naily is an award-winning Trainer and Leader with several years of experience working in the STEM sector. Naily has a proven track record of turning around struggling organizations as well as complex projects and programs.

Nelson Derry – Culture and Inclusion Leader, North Highland

Nelson is an organizational culture and inclusion expert, and trusted advisor to leaders looking to unlock the potential in their teams and organizations through building high performing cultures, behaviors and habits.

Nicola Mann – CEO, Floreat Ventures

Nicola is the founder of Floreat Ventures, an Executive Talent Advisory business that works with Technology businesses, investors, business owners and C-suite to advise on restructuring, growth and international scaling from a people and talent view.

Richard Jones – Banking & Fintech CEO, Cambridge Sustainable Investment Partners

Richard is an early investor and advisor to several tech-led entities. Lately, he set up his own venture, Cambridge Sustainable Investment Partners (CSIP), pushing the use of systems-based thinking in sustainable investment decision making.

Wayne Clarke – Partner, GGI

Wayne Clarke is the founding partner of the GGI, based out of the UK/Netherlands. He works throughout the world designing and delivering strategic growth focused programs within the private and public sector.

Karl McCarthy – Chief Information Security Officer Oodle Car Finance

Karl is currently serving as the CISO and IT Executive for Oodle. He plays a key role in all critical, strategic and technical security initiatives that the company is engaged in whilst leveraging data to mitigate threats and drive business growth.

To submit your entry, visit the dedicated awards page.

About GDS Group

GDS Group is a global events, research and technology services company dedicated to helping clients meet the challenges posed by a fast-moving, disruptive business environment. Our B2B summits and events bring purchaser and provider communities together to find solutions to real-world business challenges. To learn more about the events we produce and the challenges we help overcome, check out our website here.

Media Contact: Georgie Beer

Email: Georgie.beer@gdsgroup.com

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