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Inspirational Cumbrian business leaders celebrated at 2018 IoD Awards

The 2018 winners and IoD NW regional Chair, Mike Blackburn OBE (second from the right)

[T]wo Cumbrian business leaders were awarded prestigious Institute of Directors (IoD) Director of the Year awards last night at a sold-out ceremony in Manchester.

Accolades went to outstanding entrepreneurial individuals from throughout the North West who each reflect the success of the business community thriving here in the region.

Amongst the winners was MacRebur Ltd’s Toby McCartney who won not one but two categories for Innovation and Start Up, and Playdale Playgrounds Ltd’s Barry Leahy MBE who was awarded the Global award.

Playdale Playgrounds’ Managing Director, Barry Leahey MBE began working for Cumbrian based playground manufacturer Playdale in 2004 as Sales and Marketing Director and progressed more recently to Managing Director in 2015. Barry’s drive and passion to ensure that Playdale is the best they can be at export have been relentless in the last seven years, having started and led Playdale’s export mission to ensure they are now a growing global business covering 48 countries.

Barry Leahey at Midland Hotel prior to IoD NW Award Ceremony

Speaking about receiving this award, Barry said “The Institute of Directors is a dynamic and highly respected organisation, so to even be shortlisted for this award was an incredible honour and fantastic achievement. To then be announced winner of the Global Director Of The Year Award is something else! I am delighted to have received the award and would like give huge thanks to my team at Playdale for their hard work and support in helping us achieve our export goals.”

The Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice, which was selected by the IoD regional Chair, Mike Blackburn OBE as someone who truly reflects the values of the IoD and is making a huge difference in our North West community, was given to Geoff Thompson MBE, the Executive Chair at Youth Charter.

The ten winners, who are listed in full below will go on to represent the North West at the national IoD awards final in London on the 18 October.

Claire Ebrey, the IoD’s Regional Director for the North West said: “This year’s entrants were truly outstanding and tonight is a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing pool of leadership talent that we have here in the region. We are extremely proud of all of our finalists. Establishing and running a business well is no mean feat, and doing that in a way that shines in our region, captures the imagination of other business leaders and exemplifies the highest standards for business practice, growth and innovation, is truly marvellous.

“All of our winners will go on to a national final in London later this year – I’m pretty confident that we will bring a lot of silverware back to the North West”

The full list of winners is as follows:

  1. Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice | Geoff Thompson MBE, FRSA, DL, Youth Charter
  2. Non-Executive | Christine Gaskell MBE, DL, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership
  3. Public / Third Sector | Richard Jeffery – GC Business Growth Hub
  4. New Business | Kelvin Wood – The Shield Safety Group
  5. Family Business | Alison Reuben – Bluebell Fitted Furniture
  6. Inclusivity | Erica Ingham – MediaCom North
  7. Global | Barry Leahey MBE – Playdale Playgrounds Ltd
  8. Innovation | Toby McCartney – MacRebur Ltd
  9. CSR | Dr Julian Skyrme – The University of Manchester
  10. Start Up | Toby McCartney – MacRebur Ltd

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