The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

Our Judges

Andy Green
Andy Green | Co-founder | Dublin Conversations
Andy Green FCIPR FRSA is cofounder of the Dublin Conversations, the Modern Cockney Festival, and wrote 21years ago, the very first book on ‘Creativity in Public Relations’. He is a consultant in identifying purpose, brand storytelling, creativity, and managing Fake Purpose to enable his clients to fulfil their greater potential and make the most of opportunities. He is also a part-time university lecturer. Andy has written six books, translated into eight languages and believing inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of sources, even runs creativity classes on the London Tube.
Charli Briggs
Charli Briggs | Account Director | simplybetter
Charli Briggs is an Account Director at simplybetter, an award-winning creative events and engagement agency nestled in the heart of Yorkshire. The agency blends together strategy, psychology and creativity to make amazing things happen and connects you to your audience on a deeper level. Charli is formerly the Founder and Director of multi-award-winning staffing agency Eventure, recognised amongst the Top 50 Most Influential People in the UK Events Industry in 2023 and awarded CN Rising Star of the Year in 2022. Leveraging her entrepreneurial experience and her decade-long journey overcoming mental health challenges, Charli is also a qualified Coach. With a true passion for employee welfare and development, Charli is delighted to return as a judge for a second year at the UK Company Culture Awards.
Chris King
Chris King | Joint Managing Director | Wildfire
Chris has spent the last 20 years working in technology PR for a broad range of tech clients ranging from niche start-ups right through to huge global corporations. Part of Wildfire’s senior management team Chris drives a thriving client portfolio while also shaping Wildfire’s evolving service proposition. And as a specialist in international campaigns he is also responsible for Wildfire's membership of the PROI Worldwide network and strategic relationships with partner agencies. In his spare time Chris also co-chairs the PRCA’s International Communicators UK group. Chris' clients include Samsung, Fractal Analytics, Elastic Path and Miller Heiman Group.
David Carrasco Pamies
David Carrasco Pamies | SEO Product Manager | DCP
David Carrasco embarked on his SEO journey when the field was still emerging, with no courses or masters available, learning through the trenches by exploring, experimenting, and innovating. With over a decade of experience in SEO, he has participated in an extensive range of projects, offering support to a multitude of clients. In recent years, he served as the CEO of a Spanish PR and link-building tool, a company he founded and later sold. Currently, he works as a freelance SEO Product Manager, leveraging his knowledge and experience in web positioning, growth, development, and business strategies. As a prolific content creator, he engages in producing audio, video, and written content. This not only provides a platform to connect with new people but also fuels his ongoing journey of learning and discovery. Why not connect?
Dolores McLaren
Dolores McLaren | Head of SEO | Vodafone UK
Dolores is a highly experienced and knowledgeable professional in the field of Digital marketing. With 20 years of experience in the industry and a specific focus on SEO, CRO, and UX for the past 12 years. As the Head of SEO at Vodafone, she is responsible for overseeing the company's SEO strategy and managing both internal team members and external partners. Dolores has a strong track record of delivering results and maximizing ROI for clients, as demonstrated by her previous roles at Publicis Media and Reprise. Her passion for technology and innovation drives her to continuously improve her digital and coding skills. She has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.
Erin Portsmouth
Erin Portsmouth | Associate Director of Strategy Planning and Development | NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care
Erin is a Chartered public relations practitioner who worked for ten years in private sector marketing and communications consultancies, and for the past thirteen years has worked in the National Health Service. She is currently Associate Director of Strategy, Planning and Development for the Oldham team within NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, where she oversees a strategic portfolio that also includes communications, engagement, public affairs, equality and diversity, organisational development and governance. She has a Masters degree in public relations, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and served on the CIPR North West Group Committee as a volunteer for ten years, also holding a three year term as Chair. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of homelessness charity Emmaus Salford in 2017, and is a Non-Executive Director of Oldham Community Leisure.
Gareth Healey
Gareth Healey | Managing Partner | Cactus Consulting Limited
Gareth is the Managing Partner at Cactus. He has spent most of his 25 year career in the agency sector and for 15 years was CEO and co-owner of CreativeRace. Gareth now uses his experience to help agencies grow, and agency owners to unlock their potential.
Gary Cookson
Gary Cookson | Director | EPIC HR
Gary is a father of four and a husband of one, and runs a successful business in his spare time. He’s an expert in workplace performance, with extensive experience leading and directing HR, OD and L&D functions across all sectors. His clients like working with him as he is authentic, honest, knowledgeable, communicative and people focused, with a broad and deep range of skills and experience – and a glance at his prolific social media output will verify this. Gary is a leading expert in the design and delivery of online / virtual training programmes, as well as an inspiring and entertaining keynote speaker and trainer on a range of leadership and HR issues. He was been recognised in many industry lists and been the recipient of numerous industry awards. His book, HR for Hybrid Working, was published in June 2022 by Kogan Page. He’s sure to mention this more than once.
Janet Houlis
Janet Houlis | Change, EDI & HR Management Consultant | VALO Consultancy
Janet Houlis is an accomplished business leader who combines commercial aptitude with a people-centric approach to deliver change, improve services, and achieve unparalleled customer excellence within organisations. A Board member, Advisor and HR Professional with a breath of experience working Nationally & Internationally within Operations, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (EDI&B), Change & Transformation. Janet has a proven track record in directing change interventions, steering strategic planning and execution across multi-disciplined international communities, supporting both large corporates and SMEs within highly regulated environments. She has championed diversity and inclusion throughout her career, supporting clients in taking meaningful steps on their EDI, Belonging and anti-racism journeys, ensuring employees remain at the heart of their business. Janet is a trained People Professional, Coach and Mentor. A member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (MCIPD), and a Women on Boards Member.
John Jones
John Jones | Corporate Partner | Beever And Struthers
John leads Beever and Struthers' Corporate Team, having been made a Partner in 1999. Beever and Struthers is an award-winning firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors in Manchester, Blackburn and London, and currently rank in the Top 50 firms nationally and Top 10 firms in the North West. John is Vice President of the Manchester Business Group of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. He was Chairman of Pro-Manchester from 2014 - 2015.
Kellie Noon
Kellie Noon | Co-founder | Interkultura
Kellie is the co-founder of Interkultura, an organisation which helps English-speaking businesses to improve their cultural and linguistic skill set in order to communicate more effectively in the global market and boost their revenue. Kellie spent nearly a decade in Spain studying and working with organisations to enhance their international intelligence and reach, as well as develop key language skills to build careers internationally for university students and partners. Kellie is passionate about working with universities and international education partners on cross-cultural management and communication to create better team integration and outcomes. Driven by her experience as an international student and teacher trainer, she is highly motivated to empower academics to create an enhanced learning environment for all. Kellie is also a Spanish-English translator, a qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, and regularly assesses new applicants for the organisation. She is a board member of two UK-based SME’s.
Louise Terzza
Louise Terzza | CEO | Time Together
An experienced leader in the VCSE sector Louise is dedicated to championing inclusion and enabling others to realise their inner potential; she is currently CEO of charity Time Together leading a creative and caring team supporting disabled and autistic people to live life well. Passionate about the importance of giving back to your community, Louise volunteers her time as Chair of Governors for a local primary school, Trustee and Treasurer of youth charity Inspire Youth Yorkshire, and as a mentor to emerging leaders through Community First Yorkshire. Louise’s enthusiasm for giving back underpins her belief in the transformative power of inclusive community involvement as a catalyst for positive change.
Dr Michelle Gledhill
Dr Michelle Gledhill | MRT Employability Lead/Senior Lecturer | MMU
Dr Michelle Gledhill is a specialist in in advertising, branding and media. My former position (2010 to 2022) as Programme Leader for MSc Creative Advertising Strategy combined my expertise in strategic thinking when working on live briefs with brands such as Manchester City, the Happy Linen Company and Rockstar Spirits, with my passion for developing and nurturing student talent in the Manchester and across the UK. This has led to a new role where I am the Marketing Retail and Tourism Employability Lead. She will be working with agencies and businesses to enhance the career prospects of MRT students. Her fascination for branding led her to complete a unique doctoral thesis on how brands are processed whilst playing videogames. She is a highly experienced marketer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), CIM Senior Examiner and HE Examiner.
Nick Wilsdon
Nick Wilsdon | Founder & CEO | Torque Partnership
Nick has worked in digital marketing since 1998. Moving to Russia in 2003 he specialised in multilingual search and broadening his knowledge across digital channels, content and PR. During this time he contributed to the Russian digital startup community; working with Yandex, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the US State Department. Returning to the UK in 2011, Nick then built and led marketing teams at Arena Media, Havas Media Group and the Dentsu Aegis Network. As the technical SEO lead at Vodafone Group since 2014, he has improved online performance and customer experience across 22 international markets. As an advocate for raising standards in online marketing, Nick judges the UK Search Awards and EU Search Awards. He enjoys speaking at conferences on the topics of mobile/data-first marketing, cross-channel campaigns and technical SEO. Outside work, he enjoys cycling and taking part in Prince’s Trust cycling events.
Paul Wilshaw
Paul Wilshaw | CPO | Zally
Over the last decade, Paul has carved out a niche as a beacon of innovation and strategic leadership in the digital realm. The creation of award-winning digital products and steering start-ups towards uncharted territories with a blend of creativity and technology. A relentless drive to foster change is at the heart of Paul’s success. This has manifested in the formation of high-calibre creative and technology departments, nurturing teams to thrive, and empowering performances that not only meet but exceed business goals. Paul is a vocal champion for harnessing technology to unravel complex business challenges, and he thrives on collaboration with both internal and external partners to craft solutions that are consistent, accessible, and ground-breaking. To Paul, diversity and inclusion are more than buzzwords; they are essential pillars that drive organisational progress Paul is dedicated to championing initiatives that foster an inclusive environment and break down barriers, embedding a forward-thinking culture at every level.
Rumyana Miteva
Rumyana Miteva | Performance Marketing Director | Deliveroo
Rumyana is currently a Performance Marketing Director at Deliveroo. She is leading a global team of Paid Search, Display & Video, Paid Social and Affiliate specialists, who are delivering growth for the company through a rigorous test & learn agenda. With more than 14+ years in Digital Marketing Rumyana has expert knowledge and valuable experience helping brands acquire & retain customers through Paid Media channels. Outside of work Rumyana enjoys being a Digital Consultant for small businesses, mentoring young professionals and sharing her knowledge by speaking at events.
Sarah Knight
Sarah Knight | Owner | Mind The Gap Business Academy
Sarah is a behaviour changemaker, a business & mindset coach, Human skills & leadership trainer & facilitator and an ADHD workplace champion As an award-winning workplace culture consultant, a L&D trainer and facilitator, Sarah is a business change maker working with businesses to develop and deliver people first strategies building the mindset, behaviours and human skills of the people in the business to supercharge productivity, profit margins; and crucially the mental well-being of individuals. As a regular on the conference circuit and contributor to publications including being featured in Forbes Sarah is passionate (and vocal) about helping to equip the workforce of tomorrow with the employability skills they need to harness success and helping all individuals bridge the skills gap regardless of gender, background or belief system.
Steve Kuncewicz
Steve Kuncewicz | Head Of Creative, Digital & Marketing | Glaisyers ETL
Steve is a Partner and Head of Creative, Digital and Marketing at Glaisyers ETL in Manchester. He specialises in intellectual property, media social media and privacy law and is listed as a "recommended lawyer" in the Legal 500, and was a oo-founder pf the Bulletproof Agency Network. He is a regular media spokesperson, and has given interviews to the local and national press through BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC London. Steve is also the Manchester Publicity Association’s Honorary Solicitor.
Valentina Hynes
Valentina Hynes | Founder and CEO | SVH Inc. CIC
Valentina Hynes, Founder and Director of SVH Inc. CIC, stands at the forefront of workplace wellbeing innovation in the UK. Her company, celebrated for its comprehensive wellbeing services, reflects her deep-seated commitment to employee welfare and mental health. Valentina’s leadership has earned her notable recognitions, including Business Woman of The Year at the Yorkshire Choice Awards and an Associate Fellowship from The Royal Commonwealth Society. A frequent speaker on topics such as happiness, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, she brings a wealth of experience and insight. Under her guidance, SVH Inc. CIC champions progressive practices like Mental Health First Aid training and unique Away Day experiences. A resilient entrepreneur who has overcome personal challenges, Valentina is passionate about creating Strong Vibrant Happy communities.
Vusa Tebe
Vusa Tebe | Group D&I manager | Howden Group Holdings
Vusa is a transformational change expert with vast experience in delivery of behavioural change and improvement programmes. Currently Group D&I manager at Howden Group Holdings Vusa’s passion for Inclusion and Diversity inspires her to design and deliver diversity strategies to embed an inclusive culture and increase representation across organisations as industries. Holding a degree in psychology she understands what it takes to truly shift mindsets and embed robust and lasting change. In 2021 she was invited to contribute to the Financial Times Guides: Inclusion and Diversity

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We’re immensely proud and grateful for this recognition and the kind words from the judges. At the Awards ceremony, it was hugely inspiring to be amongst businesses and individuals who share our vision and commitment to fostering positive transformations in both corporate and workforce culture.
Tech City Teams
Our thanks to Don’t Panic Events for celebrating companies that care and nurture their workforces. SmartBear is proud to be amongst those recognised in the 2023 UK Company Culture Awards in the category of Best Working Environment (Location). After all, it’s all about people.
We’re honoured to have received this award which gives recognition to all of the fantastic development programmes our People team have put in place to help grow and develop each individual across our agency.
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