We understand the importance of a well-respected judging panel and are extremely grateful to all our judges for their time and expertise. Each judge has their own speciality and brings their expertise to the judging table. Once all the applications are in, they’ll meet at a secret location to choose the finalists before the round of face to face interviews take place. Exciting and busy times ahead!
Graham Lamont – Head Judge
Chief Executive of Lamont Pridmore
Graham has overseen the development of the firm from a sole practitioner into a Top 100 national award-winning firm. He was recognised as the 40th most influential financial person in the UK in 2014 by the Accountancy Age Financial Power List. Lamont Pridmore prides itself on being a family-run firm of accountants and advises a wide range of family businesses.
With almost 37 years in the finance sector under his belt of which 25 were with HSBC Bank in Liverpool, Surrey and Cumbria, Grahame comes with a very experienced understanding of the needs of businesses. Upon leaving the bank at the end of 2004, Grahame created a new financial organisation which provides finance to enterprises across the county, assisting those experiencing difficulty accessing finance from mainstream sources.
Managing Director of Progression Solicitors
Anthony Smith is the Managing Director and co-founder of Progression Solicitors, now one of the largest providers of legal services in South Cumbria. Progression’s philosophy of using the best available technology combined with a talented workforce has been their USP locally. Having first-hand knowledge of creating a profitable and continually growing business from scratch makes Anthony an ideal choice to help judge truly worthy businesses to be awarded one of the coveted Cumbria Family
Director at Thomas Jardine & Co and Former Head of Family Business Engagement at Lancaster University
Jacqui’s experience comes not only from her esteemed work at Lancaster University. As a fifth generation retail family business owner Jacqui understands the unique challenges family businesses face. Jardine Jackson Associates support family businesses specifically, through modelling stages right up to board management.
The Quirky Traveller
Sharing her travels in the UK and overseas, Zoë Dawes encourages people to look at the world with new eyes. Via her award-winning blog thequirkytraveller.com she tells stories about culture, history, food and drink, nature and tradition with a dash of the unusual.
Director at English Lakes Hotels
Ben represents the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the business at a senior executive level. The hotel group has been in the Berry family for over 60 years, with Ben’s father Simon currently at the helm as managing director. Ben also joins his uncle, Tim Berry, as a director.
The family business was originally established as a successful law firm by Robert Buckley, who passed the baton on to his son Norman. The family entered the hotel business in the 1950s when its first venue, Low Wood Bay, was bought. Michael Berry, Norman’s nephew and Ben’s grandfather, joined the group in 1972 and became managing director in 1974.
Ben Berry has worked for the hotel group as an executive since 2011 and prior to that held various posts across its venues, including roles in sales, reservations and the health club and watersports centre at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, now the Lake District’s first luxury resort hotel.
Director at Stephenson Halliday
Rachel is a director in a first generation family business established in 2001 providing planning and landscape architecture services to the development industry. With offices in Kendal, Glasgow, Newcastle and Ireland the company’s core values drive growth and success of the business.
Stephenson Halliday have a strong track record of securing planning consent for proposals ranging from national infrastructure projects to small scale local proposals and have supported numerous family businesses within Cumbria. Previously Rachel worked for Martin Rayner at Lakeland Limited.
Creator of Family Business United
Family Business United (‘FBU’) was created by Paul Andrews who is passionate about the sector and thereby champions it on a global level. Family business is at the core of all that FBU does and is the culmination of working in the sector for over 20 years. Since being founded in 2011 FBU has become an unparalleled rallying point and voice for the global family business community and an invaluable source of insight into the sector.
Employee of the Year Judges
What NXT don’t know about employees and bosses isn’t worth knowing. They’ll be sharing their expertise and specifically judging the Employee of the Year category. When they’re not judging the Cumbria Family Business Awards they’re recruiting the best for the best, priding themselves with their ability to meet all their clients employment needs in a friendly, professional and welcoming manner.
Finalist employees and their bosses will enjoy a special Employee’s Lunch courtesy of NXT in the run up to the awards.