Judging Panel

Sir John Southby Bt
 
Having graduated and trained as an electrical distribution engineer, and holding various engineering posts throughout the East Midlands, Sir John Southby Bt came to Milton Keynes in 1991 as District Manager. He quickly became involved in the business community. This led to the formation of the Large Employers Association (LEA) which he Chaired until 1998. The LEA represented large businesses both Local and International in Milton Keynes, and has now evolved into Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership (MKBLP).
 
Whilst also being involved with Rotary International, both in Milton Keynes and at a wider District and National level, Sir John continues to support MKBLP and attends as many events as possible. Throughout his time in Milton Keynes Sir John has been committed to supporting businesses of all sizes and is delighted to be able to help recognise their achievements tonight. 
 
Josie Fraser, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The Open University
 

Josie joined the Open University in March 2017, but describes her interest in the Open University and it's mission as 'long term' after being a tutor on a OU MSc course back in the early 2000's, an experience that influenced her teaching for many years. Josie was previously Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics beofre taking up the DVC role from January 1st 2019.

Josie started her academic career as a neurobiologist with interests in animal behaviour and treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Her BSc degree (Leeds) and PhD (Bradford) were folled with research posts at the Medical Research Council, The University of Cambridge and University of Massachusetts Medical School, where Josie was part of an international team at the cutting edge of brain scanning technologies. Josie's focus shifted towards teaching and making a difference to a wide range of students from varied backgrounds, developed as Senior Lecturer and Assosciate Dean (Learning & Training) at the University of Bradford.

She has championed team-based learning as a teaching-style on the national and international stage, resulting in invitiations to consult at other Universityies, and to sit on the board of an international healthcare organisation. In previous roles, and now at the Open University, Josie promotes initatives to broaden access to STEM subjects for under-represented groups, and continues her long-standing interest in technology-enhanced learning. She is a role model on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education "Aurora" programme (developing women academics' leadership skills and aspiration).

A passionate believer in opening up opportunity, Josie enjoys outreach (bringing amazing OU research into schools and out to the general public), supporting the development of academic careers, and lvoes working at the Open University where a myriad of student journeys are a constant source of inspiration.

 
Jon Corbett, Director; Head of SME, South East Midlands, Cambridgeshire & National Pensions, Barclays
 
The Regional Head of SME for Barclays across the Beds, Bucks, Northants, Cambs and National Pensions Team , Jon has previously worked across a variety of roles within Barclays having joined the organisation in 1987 in Milton Keynes.  Predominantly Jon’s career has been within the corporate environment where he has led various teams across the Northern Home Counties and South Midlands area.
 
Having lived in the Milton Keynes area all his life, Jon was delighted to be appointed the as Head of Larger Corporate Banking for the Northampton and Milton Keynes team in 2009. Subsequently Jon has been leading the Barclays Corporate & Business Banking Team across the counties Beds, Bucks and Northants before taking on his current additional broader responsibilities during the course of 2016.   During this period of time Jon has also over seen the opening of the Corporate Banking Teams new premises based in The Lakes, Northampton
 
Jon is a Board Member of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and sits on various committees within SEMLEP. Jon is also a Board member of the Silverstone Technology Cluster having been a founder member of the organisation.  Furthermore Jon sits on the Strategic Oversight Board for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund where he represents the SEMLEP.
 
An avid sports fan Jon is a passionate Derby County supporter whilst he also played football to a semi-professional level up until his retirement and is also a Uefa B Qualified football coach. More recently Jon has become a committed runner, having completed several marathons.
 
Jon is married to Alison with 3 children Sam, Jacob and Molly and lives in Milton Keynes.
 
 

Peter Rowe, Partner, KPMG

Pete is a Partner in the KPMG Milton Keynes office, which provides business advice, tax support, audit and consulting projects to companies across the city and surrounding areas.
 
Pete leads our Corporate Tax team in Milton Keynes. He works with a range of clients providing tax support across all areas of their business in many different sectors. A local lad, Pete joined KPMG in 2002 and since becoming partner last year, has taken on additional responsibilities including judging the MKBAA awards. Pete is also involved in other local initiatives and is keen to support the growth plans for the area.
 
Outside of work, Pete is married with two young daughters and is a keen sports enthusiast – he enjoys watching and playing football and is also hoping to improve his golf handicap. 

Ben Turner, Managing Director, Simply Race and Virtually Entertained

Founder and Managing Director of Simply Race, a motorsport simulator venue in Stacey Bushes Milton Keynes. Ben started Simply Race as a social but competitive venue where people can race cars and tracks against friends, colleagues and families on state-of the-art hardware. The venue features 15 simulators alongside a bar/café and caters for groups of corporate events, junior parties, eSports competitions and more. Over the last two years, the venue has received hundreds of five-star reviews, received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and was voted ‘Leisure Attraction of the Year’ by members of the public at the MK Food and Leisure Awards 2017.
 
Ben also heads up Virtually Entertained, a eSports event company. Virtually Entertained provides specialist gaming PCs, tech support and live broadcasting solutions for some the world’s largest virtual racing competitions and are currently involved in running the “World’s Fastest Gamer” competition for McLaren.
 
As the winner of ‘Young Businessperson of the Year’ at last year’s awards, Ben is delighted to be joining the judging panel and contributing to a fantastic event from the other side of the table.
 
Ian Revell, Chief Executive, Milton Keynes Community Foundation 
 
Ian has worked in the Voluntary and Community Sector for over 20 years throughout that time Ian has served on a number of Boards both business and charitable and has a track record of public service work with local, regional and national bodies throughout his career.
 
As CEO of MK Community Foundation he leads a team which promotes philanthropy, manages 50+ charitable funds that enable the Community Foundation to give grant to over 180 community organisations totally over £2M each year.
 
Since joining the MK Community Foundation Ian has led the adoption of a new Strategic Plan, and engaged in a series of “city?making” activities.  MK Community Foundation seeks to support the growth and development of the MK voluntary, community and cultural sector, to inspire giving to our communities through philanthropy and other social action and to take a lead in connecting and growing sustainable communities. Ian’s speciality is to facilitate great outcomes by getting the community to work together to deliver cross-community impact.  He is passionate about the Voluntary Community and Cultural Sector and is activist by nature, always seeking to make positive change happen. Ian is said to be very much a glass half full person.
 
Previously, Ian led the YMCA locally, bringing forward its redevelopment project in CMK. Before moving to Milton Keynes, Ian worked in the Brixton area of South London developing and running numerous community programmes for young people, children and families. He also led on developing engagement and education initiatives for what was at the time the UK’s largest refugee and asylum-seeker hostel.
 
Ian describes himself as a true Milton Keynian, living in MK for over 20 years, fully engaging in all the city and borough has to offer including the local ice hockey junior teams. He has been a member of the judging panel for several years and comments that he is regularly humbled and amazed by the diversity and range of businesses operating in the city and by the spirit of innovation that runs through everything.
 
Safia Boot, Chairman CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development) Milton Keynes Group, and Founder, Respect at Work Limited
 
Safia has provided leadership to the CIPD MK Group for 16+ years supporting the professional development of c1800 HR professionals in a range of local organisations to promote ‘improving working lives’.
 
Safia is an experienced Employment Tribunal Panel Member of 19 years, Mediator and former CIPD Disciplinary Chair for the Professional Code of Conduct. She is highly regarded in the private and public sector as an independent HR/ER Consultant, Trainer, Mediator and a sought-after Independent Investigator for complex/high risk discrimination, bullying, harassment and professional misconduct cases of a sensitive nature. She has particular expertise in the practical application of diversity and inclusion and dealing with conflict management. Safia was a Finalist in the 2016 MK Women Leaders Awards (Professional Services Category). 
 
Safia also serves as a Trustee with St. Francis Children’s Charity (Adoption) and since May 2019, Community Ambassador for MKIAC (Milton Keynes Islamic Arts & Culture). She has previously served on the HR Committee for Badminton England (Milton Keynes) and as a Trustee for A2 Housing Association.
 
Safia is married to Geoff. They have two working age children having relocated from Winchester when Geoff took up his role as HR Director at Accenture and he is currently studying for his PhD at Cranfield University. 
 
Pam Gosal
 
Pam has a wealth of knowledge and experience gained over 20 years across all aspects of business within the private and public sector; including legal, financial, HR and regulatory policies. 
 
Pam until very recently worked at Milton Keynes Council (MKC) for 15 years, her work spanned many areas, including Regulatory Service, Policy, Events and Economic Development, and she has lead on numerous policy and strategy areas that have benefited businesses and residents in Milton Keynes (MK). Pam created the Economic Development function in MKC 10 years ago and took on the Inward Investment function in 2012. More recently in the last two years at MKC Pam had also welcomed Culture, Arts and Heritage into her service area, an area she has great passion for. Pam strongly believes in equal opportunities for all, therefore she led on the first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan within the cultural sector across MK. Pam’s work at MKC was instrumental to receiving a host of accolades including being recognised as the best place for business investment and job growth. Pam has delivered MK’s most challenging but significant inward investment projects resulting in the creation and retention of thousands of jobs.
 
Pam is also a very successful entrepreneur, starting from the age of 17; she has built up a portfolio of properties and many successful businesses. Her belief is to never stop learning; and therefore places great importance to furthering her own education by completing an MBA in 2011 and is currently studying for a Doctorate of Philosophy specialising in skills and training within the business sector. 
 
Pam is a great believer in giving back. She is a trustee for the MK Women Leaders Awards, having won the Women Leaders Business Award in 2015 and the Public Service Award in 2018. Pam is also a trustee of CBM UK, the largest disability charity in the world, and Vice President of MK Community Foundation. Helping others is her mantra, providing her own time mentoring people from diverse backgrounds into education and employment. 
 
Pam is extremely honoured to be part of this year’s judging panel, having supported the MKBAA since inception, she is passionate for businesses to be recognised and showcase their achievements.
 
 

Robin Webb, Partner and Head of Milton Keynes Office, Shoosmiths.
 
Robin is Partner in the Commerical Team of UK law firm Shoosmiths. Robin primarily advises clients in the finance, technology automotive and retail sectors. Robin specialises in advising clients on major projects and outsourcings, including business process and technology outsourcings, business critical systems procurements and integration, telecoms network roll-outs, software development and licensing, e-commerce and other technology related projects.