Leicestershire business leaders celebrated at regional awards

Some of the top business leaders in the region were recognised at the 2021 LeicestershireLive Business Executive of the Year Awards on Thursday, supported by the University of Leicester.

The University served as headline sponsors for the event at Leicester Tigers’ Welford Road stadium, which highlighted key members of the Leicester and Leicestershire business community.

Winners on the night included the boss of one of the fastest growing companies in the East Midlands, the CEO of a taxi firm taking on Uber, and chairman of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Professor Philip Baker, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester, spoke at the evening’s awards ceremony to affirm the University’s commitment to enterprise and innovation in its Centenary year, and also presented the Overall Business Executive of the Year award.

He said: “As Citizens of Change, we believe in celebrating the passion, commitment and achievements of business executives in the region – the bright beacons who are driving forward industry in our community.

“We build on our international reputation and strengths in sectors such as space, medicine, environment and transport by collaborating with multinationals, leading pharmaceutical companies, small and medium businesses, public and third sector organisations.

“For nearly 100 years, the University of Leicester’s pioneering research and innovation has transformed lives by delivering local, national, and global impact. As the University enters its second Century, innovating for positive change will continue to play a role at the heart of our activities.”

Space Park Leicester hosted a drinks reception for finalists earlier in October, inviting business leaders to the new research, enterprise and education cluster for networking opportunities and to learn more about the University’s support for regional businesses.

The full list of winners from the 2021 LeicestershireLive Business Executive of the Year Awards includes:

  • Executives in a Small Business – Tom Willday and James Coulthurst, founders of Willsow books
  • Executive in a Medium Sized Business – David Hunter, chief executive Take Me (Group) Ltd and ADT Taxis
  • Executive in a Large Business – Jason Ashby, chief executive UK Flooring Direct
  • Young Business Executive – Kate Walker, founder EXPHand Prosthetics
  • Tech Business Executive of the Year – Tom Jeliffe, founder Tzuka earpods
  • Non-Executive of the Year – Kevin Harris, LLEP chairman
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Wheeler, life member Leicester Tigers
  • Overall Business Executive of the Year, category sponsored by the University of Leicester – Jason Ashby, chief executive UK Flooring Direct