Director of the Year

Sponsored by Spring

The Director Of The Year award is presented to Ian White by Erika Clegg of Spring. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Director of the Year Award is based on a belief that strong leadership is a vital ingredient in the success of a business.

The judges of this category were looking for a hard working, creative and innovative individual who has demonstrated vision, clarity and focus in responding to a range of business challenges.

Among the areas under consideration by the judges were growth in sales and profitability, business planning and engagement, both with employees and within the wider business community.


Ian White – Beckett Investment Management Group

Ian White has focused on the development of soft skills to deliver a vibrant and engaged organisation that has delivered tangible financial results over a sustained period.
This inclusive approach has achieved award-winning levels of customer satisfaction, and it is one of the three key foundations on which Beckett’s has been built: Empowerment, Engagement and Innovation. Getting all three right has demonstrated that a happy workforce produces exceptional results.
The judges said: “We were impressed by the growth and success of the business led by Ian White and the number of innovations that he has introduced over the last three to four years.
“Engagement with, and the contribution made by, the firm’s 53 employees is of particular importance to Ian as is the ability to measure and reward performance.
“He demonstrated a clear view of the future direction and growth for the business and is constantly innovating to maintain and improve their current market position.”

The runners-up

Karen Finch – The Hearing Care Centre

The Hearing Care Centre is a private hearing care practice based in Ipswich, with a further 23 local outreach centres across Suffolk and Norfolk.
Karen Finch is a successful, enthusiastic, driven individual who has a zest for life and for working with others. Having set up The Hearing Care Centre in 1998 she has gone onto improve the lives of thousands of local hearing impaired people. She is passionate about her staff, training and charity work.
The judges said: “We were impressed by Karen Finch’s continued drive to expand and grow the business in a market that is becoming even more competitive, and her belief that the customer is king.
“Karen is also hugely positive in everything she does and it’s clear that this view is shared across the business by her team.
“She is also a passionate ambassador for Ipswich and Suffolk and a keen supporter of the local business community and economy.”

Andrew Beasley – Flow Energy

Flow Energy provides home energy to customers all over the UK, challenging the status quo in the industry by offering lower prices and better service compared with the “Big Six”.
Andy Beasley, who has worked at Flow since its inception and is a board member, has held a number of senior roles in a range of energy businesses and stays active in national and regulatory energy forums. He is currently on the board at Energy UK, the industry’s trade body. He is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
The judges said: “We were impressed by Andrew’s calm, considered approach to running the business, which is growing rapidly, and his absolute belief that exceptional customer service is paramount in a competitive energy market place.
“Andrew also demonstrates an encouraging and open management style that allows his people to find their way, and he has a clear view and strategy for the future.”