IoD Director of the Year awards: Can Jersey leaders make it four in a row on the national stage?

| February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

The IoD’s Jersey branch is looking to recognise unsung heroes and heroines from all areas of the economy – private, public and third sectors – in its annual awards.

And the standard of their achievements may be high enough to compete on the national stage.

The past three years have seen winners of the IoD Jersey branch’s Director of the Year award (DotY) go on to win their category in the IoD UK awards.

As the deadline looms for this year’s nominations, the three reflect on their achievement:

Last year the local and national winner of the IoD award for Young Director of the Year was Eamonn Elliott, General Manager of Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa.

Eamonn’s award was recognition of his achievements in turning around a business that was ‘underperforming, out of touch with the local community and staffed by a fragmented team in need of reinvigoration’ to one with five star status, its first Michelin star and an 83% increase in turnover.

The judges said Eamonn ‘showed clear strategic vision and an unwillingness to sit back and rest on what are already significant achievements’.

Eamonn said: ‘Winning the IoD Young Director of the Year was one of the biggest achievements in my working life. To be acknowledged by such a brilliant organisation is a real tribute to both me and my team at Grand Jersey.’

What makes a good leader? According to Eamonn, ‘The skills I have found in the great business leaders are the DNA traits that they have inherited: a hard working ethos, charismatic, fun, trustworthy, loyal and most of all humility’.

In 2012 Eliot Lincoln, founder and CEO of Greenlight, the Channel Islands’ leading change management specialists, was named Director of the Year for a Medium Organisation in Jersey and went on to win Young Director of the Year in the UK.

Under Eliot’s leadership Greenlight went from start-up to market leader with a turnover in excess of £2 million in less than six years despite most of this being during the economic downturn.

The judges rewarded Eliot for his ’rounded and strong approach’ to his business, with positive revenue streams and active engagement with his team. They also felt the he showed a strong culture of community involvement.

Now Eliot is chairing the a Jersey panel of judges and says: ‘The fact that for the last three years many of the Jersey IoD winners have gone on to represent Jersey in the UK national finals and we have won at least one key award each year goes to show the quality of our industry leaders here in Jersey is of the highest level.’

In 2011 Richard Rolfe, former headmaster of Le Rocquier School, was named Public/Third Sector Director of the Year in both Jersey and the UK.

The story of Le Rocquier under Richard’s leadership is one of transformation from falling student numbers to an over-subscribed, award winning school.

According to the judges, Richard ‘turned a school described as unsatisfactory into one officially recognised as “outstanding” through strong leadership and involvement of both the staff faculty and student body’.

Richard said: ‘It was a great privilege to win the UK finals of the IOD awards.

‘The public sector often gets a bad press with regard to its level of commercial activity and its impact on the economy and jobs. However, there are lots of “unsung heroes and heroines” out there who make a huge difference to the life chances of other people.

‘The best teachers, nurses, social workers and charity workers have skills and expertise that are equal to those of the best business leaders. The IOD plays an important part in recognising leadership in all sectors of our economy.’

Who will be recognised in 2014?

The 2014 Director of the Year Awards, sponsored by Appleby and JT, have their own website,, where anyone can nominate someone in the seven categories, which include a new award that will recognise leadership in the growing field of corporate social responsibility (CSR):

1. Director of the Year for a Small Organisation (less than 10 employees)
2. Director of the Year for a Medium Organisation (11-100 employees)
3. Director of the Year for a Large Organisation (100+ employees)
4. Young Director of the Year
5. Public/Third Sector Director of the Year
6. Director of the Year for Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility
7. Global Director of the Year

The Nomination Deadline is Friday 28th February 2014.

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