Meet the judges
We are delighted to announce our 2020 judges! Check back soon as we will be announcing more judges shortly.
Seafish is a
Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) set up to support the £10 billion UK
We know that
seafood is the way forward for business, for our communities, our environment
and for our health and personal well-being.
Our vision is
for a thriving UK seafood industry and we offer a unique, industry-wide outlook
working in partnership with all parts of the seafood industry across the UK to
unite the industry in our vision. This includes everyone involved in the
seafood journey - from when it’s caught to when it’s bought – fishermen,
processors, wholesales, food service, retailers and the end consumers.
actively work beyond our traditional stakeholder base with universities,
research institutes, public bodies and other food industries to leverage
additional value for the seafood sector.
comes from a levy on the first sale of seafood products in the UK and we work
at arm's length from our joint sponsors, the four Fisheries Administrations.
I have enjoyed the last 25 years carving out a career in both retail and hospitality working across a variety of sectors, from value brands to casual/ family restaurants, fine dining enterprises and food halls.
I have been running a Londis Symbol store in Bracknell for over thirty years with my partner and have won several industry awards including Asian Trader of the year. I have also been chair of the National Retail council with Londis under the Musgrave group. I have also sat on IT commitees and current sit on the Londis Retail Forum.
Benjamin has over 15 years experience in retail market measurement and insight. Across this time Benjamin has worked across both manufacturers and retailers both locally and globally. Benjamin currently leads the Nielsen Impulse team serving our impulse and convenience retailer partners
Bryan has 20+ years working in partnership with retailers and FMCG suppliers; using data and insights to create better commercial outcomes and enhance shopper loyalty. His most recent roles include stints at TCC Global, Kantar and Planet Retail.
45 years in the Convenience Sector from Sperrings in Dec '74 working through all roles except Marketing including store development and running my own store for nearly 20 years !
Retail Consultant for 30 odd years and now also with the C-Store Collective and Main Board Director of the ACS ...
I have worked for Bestway Wholesale Ltd for 12 years, starting as a Business Development Manager for Best One symbol group for 6 years and then progressing my career to Regional Controller for Best One for the Midlands Region.
An agile category and insight expert in shopper behaviour, who works across a wide-range of product sectors.
With many years in the food industry, Debbie founded Contigo Management 12 years ago out of a desire to deliver relevant insights and strategies in the food industry, blending the needs and wants of consumers and those of retailers and food outlets. With a proven track record of adding value, she and her team unlock business potential by working with you to bring consumer insight to the heart of your thinking. Contigo works with convenience stores through to major supermarkets, either directly with the store or store group or through their suppliers (own brand) as well as established and start-up FMCG brands. Ultimately, Contigo drives category value collaboratively through understanding shopper behaviour and market trends that are relevant to you or your sector.
As a consumer and shopper champion, as well as a seasoned foodie, Debbie is looking forward to applying her wealth of experience yet again to the Retail Industry Awards judging process.
As Government Relations Director Ed is responsible for communicating ACS’ policy positions across Westminster, Whitehall and the devolved nations with civil servants, parliamentarians and external stakeholders.
Ed has given evidence to numerous parliamentary committees in Westminster and devolved nations and contributes to policy developments across a range of government working groups including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Home Office.
Ed completed the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Diploma in Public Relations in 2013. Ed is currently studying for his MBA at Surrey Business School
For the last 15 years Eimear has established herself as
an influencing figure in the convenience, retail, wholesale and distribution
sectors. She has run projects and campaigns for numerous clients and also
partnered long term with leading names in grocery retail and wholesale,
implementing and executing public relations and business transformation
Highly regarded across the industry and trade press,
Eimear has built a reputation based on knowledge, network and the ability to
I have 40 years experience in the fuel industry including 30 years at BP. Career highlights include UK Fuel card manager, UK Country Manager and Strategic Projects Manager, I worked in the UK and also internationally.
I have my own consultancy company and have worked mainly for the PRA for the last 6 years. This has allowed me to develop a detailed understanding of Roadside Retailing, it’s key dynamics and future trends.
I have been in convenience/grocery business for 42 years starting in Tesco’s, I then worked for Spar and Costcutter. I also had two convenience stores of my own. I then worked at Wightlink ferries controlling the retail shore/onboard operations. I am currently with Unitas wholesale looking after the Today’s and Lifestyle symbols operations in the south.
As a passionate marketer
in the Independent Grocery sector since 1973 I was one of the co-inventors of
the Independent Grocer - now Independent Retail News. I sat on the My Shop is
Your Shop steering committee and today work for Unitas and many of its independent
Hannah has eight years’ FMCG comms experience, with in-depth
knowledge of the trade media landscape. She joined Hanover in 2017 and now
manages the Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Mondelēz International and Camelot
accounts, where she helps clients solve their business challenges using trade
media engagement to address these through her media contacts and industry
I first caught the retail bug whilst working as a 'Saturday kid' for Woolworths in the 1980s. Following university I worked for WHSmith, M&S and Boots but returned home to run the family business in 1993. I'm passionate about the convenience sector and very proud to be part of it.
I have been in the retail sector for 26 years. Running 2 large Fourcourt convenience stores. I have also been a member of the Costcutter group for 19 years
Jemima has spent 25 years working with leading high street brands, including Trainline and Co-op Food where she was the architect of the seminal rebrand in 2016. Jemima founded Hello Finch, a disruptive brand consultancy in 2013; she is non-executive director Revolution Bars Group plc, as a non-executive director took Carpetright PLC private in 2020 and is a Trustee at the Football Foundation, the UK’s largest sports charity.
John Heagney through his business John Heagney Consulting Limited is the lead Judging Partner for the Retail Industry Awards.
Born and bred as a retailer, John's entire working life has been in the sector and his passion for excellence in food retailing is unquestionable.
John has a number of consultancies and non exec dirtectorships that keep him at the forefront of the industry.
30 years experience of convenience retailing, wholesale, shopper and data understanding. Forecourts at Conoco, larger format at Budgens, shopper understanding from ten years at him! and a stint with Zapper in the UK before starting his own consultancy business, working with Metro in Europe, TRDP in the UK and brand ambassador for Jake and Nayns.
Katie has worked in the UK retail industry for over 17 years, with her expertise covering everything from customer & consumer research and in-store experience, through to people development, customer service and marketing.
She spent 12 years working for a leading research & consultancy agency within both grocery retail and hospitality sectors, helping clients such as Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Coca Cola, Red Bull and Pernod Ricard deliver growth by better understanding their current and future customers. Her most recent role was as Head of Customer Proposition for Bolt Learning, where she developed the customer proposition for the fast-growing tech start-up. Her focus on customer experience and insight is second to none and she is obsessively focused on understanding the needs of our clients and how we can best deliver that for them.
Katie is responsible for expanding KAM Media’s presence as research and insight experts in existing and new channels whilst leading the integration and implementation of KAM Media’s events, PR and digital marketing strategies.
For nearly 6 years Keith has been a Business Adviser to the Food & Drink Industry.
Corporate roles included Franchise Director at Conviviality PLC, MD of Bargain Booze, Business Unit Director, J Sainsbury and Trading Director Spar (UK) Ltd
Ken has worked for many of the supermarket brands. After a spell at Post Office Ken set up Make More Margin using his knowledge to help the independents. The focus of Ken's business has shifted delivering a food safety consultancy Five Star Food Safety. When not working Ken can be found on the dance floor at folk festivals around the country, or working at his local city farm where is the chairman.
Laura has over 10 years experience
in the food retail industry. Having worked across both Marketing and Retail teams for a leading symbol group, Laura brings a wealth of knowledge from both the convenience shopper and independent retailer perspective.
Laura specialises in strategy
development and has succeeded in delivering many sales driving, multi-channel
marketing campaigns alongside top household brands and award winning digital
and brand campaigns such as the People’s Podium, RIA Initiative of the Year
A true believer in the power of
knowledge with 15 years’ experience in strategic and tactical FMCG market and
shopper research with Euromonitor International and him! research &
consulting, Loreta now oversees the provision of game-changing retail EPOS data, EPOS-based route to market, and rate-of-sale boosting campaigns for the convenience
Over the years, Loreta accumulated
a wealth of practical knowledge on how to establish fruitful relationships
between brands and independent c-stores and deliver on c-store shoppers’
desire for personalised nutrition and gastronomy solutions.
My retail experience comes from the UK convenience sector working with leading retailers who have changed the landscape of grocery retailing in the last 25 years. My particular strengths are in business reengineering and strategic direction, team management and manufacturer engagement.
Mike is Head of Retailer
and Business and Insight for Nielsen UK and is responsible for commercial development
with food, non food and e commerce retailers.
Before taking on his
current role, he was Senior Manager for Retailer Services with responsibility
for all of the Retailer relationships in the UK and for strategic planning
across the retail and wholesale channels.
With over 30 year’s
retail experience, he is a lead contributor to white papers for Nielsen and regularly
shares his viewpoints on the `Retail State of the Nation` with the media and at
And is a member of the
Nielsen Global Thought Leadership team, supporting retailer, manufacturer and
financial services clients with retail, business and shopper insight for
Mike is also a member of
the KPMG/Ipsos Retail
Been in retail now for many a year and have been lucky enough to have worked with independent retailers for over 20 years, making great friends along the way, working for Budgens, Spar, Nisa in senior positions and for the last 8 years, heading up the Welcome franchise offer for Southern Co-op.
Market Research professional with over 20 years experience conducting consumer and business to business research.
Over 20 years of experience working within the market research industry working for Mintel across a variety of retail sectors, including grocery, fashion, home and online.
Nick specialises in providing insight and analysis on
the UK retail sector, with a focus on the leading grocers. He also manages
IGD’s market and channel forecasts and regularly leads a variety of bespoke
projects and presentations, in the UK and in international markets.
After 4 years as a Business Development Manager at Costcutter Supermarkets Group, I am now the Head of New Business and Acquisitions responsible for bringing new members into the group.
specialises in providing insight on retailers’ strategic development and sector
trends, with a focus on the UK market and the convenience and food-to-go
channels in particular. A CIM-qualified marketer, Nicola has over 20
years’ experience in the UK foodservice sector, working with food
manufacturers, wholesalers and operators in a range of brand management,
marketing and insight roles.
Parminder Gosal - a 26 year old young man - has over 10 years of experience in the Retail industry.
We offer an extravagant experience with great customer service and product offerings to our customers.
Serving our community and satisfying their needs is our only ambition.
Award winning independent SPAR retailer Paul Stone owns six convenience stores in the centre of Manchester.
In 2012 Paul created his own coffee brand "Cheeky Coffee" which is now available in more than 40 SPAR stores.
Paul is currently the Vice Chair of The Association of Convenience Stores and proudly represents the interests of smaller stores on the ACS Board .
I entered retailing in 2004 when, together with my wife, we
purchased a small
Village Stores and Post Office in Sherston Wiltshire and combined them
in to one business.
Initial turnover was just short of £250k p.a. Following a full refit and installation of an
additional post office counter, turnover soon doubled.
Lack of space inhibited further growth until we decided to
move premises across the road in to an empty old school hall providing 3 times
more selling space. This, together with
ongoing investment from our own resources transformed the business, culminating
in turnover increasing to £1.25m p.a. Due to family circumstances, we recently sold
the business but remain residents of the village very proud of the foundations
we have laid for the new owners to build on in the future
During our tenure, we
took the conscious decision to remain an unaffiliated independent store with a
strong emphasis on evolving our offering to meet customer needs and to be a fun
place to shop providing excellent customer service. These principles allowed us to grow our
business and to enjoy recognition at the highest level, including winning major
honours at the Retail Industry Awards.
Prior to owning the business, I spent 27 years in banking,
holding a range of positions providing credit to small and medium size
businesses. Whilst this provided an
excellent background to assist with the financial skills required to run a
successful retail operation, it was not until you actually own and operate a
business do you realise how many other skills are required and how they require
to be constantly adapted to remain effective!
I am proud to be a member of the judging panel to enable
hard working retailers receive the recognition they deserve and to showcase the
different ways how businesses can be successful and further improved.
Peter is an independent retailer with 43 years experience, owner of the multi-award winning NEWS on the WHARF stores in Canary Wharf and an Executive Committee member and past President of NFRN, Federation of Independent Retailers.
In 1999 he was a founding director and is currently the Executive Chairman of The Retail Mutual providing comprehensive business cover to thousands of independent retailers.
specialises in providing insight on retailers’ strategic development and sector
trends. She has a focus on the UK grocery market and the convenience channel in
My background is in Personnel Management.
I have worked for the following organisations from 1972 to 1996 - Metropolitan Police (civil staff),Ford Motor co, Quaker Oats Ltd and London Borough of Hackney. All positions were in Personnel/HR.
I left my last employment in 1996 to run our business on a full time basis. Our store in Wallington was just under 1000 sq feet. We ran that from 1986 to 2009 when we moved to an empty store in Woodmansterne village (just under 400 sq feet ) This was a challenge as the store had been closed for for just over three months. This is now a successful community store serving an ageing population.
I was elected National President in 2015/6 of the NFRN - helping retailers with a whole raft of issues. I am also the Branch secretary of the local Croydon branch.
Responsible for Retail and Commercial activity at the NFSP, the voice of the UK's Sub-postmasters.
Formally Head of Retail Store Design at Signet Group (H.Samuel / Ernest Jones).
Previous experience in Area, Regional and Head of Retail Operation roles.
Sasi was born in to a family of 6 the second oldest, raised to respect one’s elders and understand the value of community, he has a natural flair to work with individuals and this is where he developed his passion for retailing, combining his talent to influence and get the best from people, coupled with his flair for presentation and business acumen. As a natural retailer, Sasi started working for Dixons Retail in 1994, where he started his career as a Customer Service Advisor in Cardiff, working hard and committed to his career, Sasi worked through the ranks and was promoted to the senior role of Regional Business Manager. This was a key role within Dixons B2B strategy and one Sasi was extremely successful with, responsible for 28 stores across the North of England, he was awarded Top Regional Performance in 2006 and 2007.
Sasi’s burning desire to work for himself, culminated into the opportunity to run his own business, acquiring the convenience store, Bargain Booze in Rochdale in 2008. This was the start of a fruitful venture, building his retail portfolio into 5 retail stores, incorporating the brands of ‘Nisa’, ‘Bargain Booze’, ‘Family Shopper’, ‘Premier’ and ‘Go local Extra’. A key highlight for Sasi, was winning the ‘Hot House’ completion for best store for innovation in 2013, one which drew on his entrepreneurial spirit and this was rolled out across the retail stores.
After the collapse of Bargain Booze in 2019, Sasi consolidated his retail estate to 3 stores, not an easy decision, but one that highlights his commerciality and forward thinking. He is currently working on a project of incorporating a delicatessen into his new store in Ashton.
As a committed individual, Sasi is involved in many local charity and community projects, where he has committed a large amount of his time to support less fortunate individuals. He has done some sterling work for Indian Assocation Oldham, Cancer Research UK, British Stroke Assocation and various Local Sport clubs and charities raising substantial amounts of funding all for local initiatives to support the community.
Sasi is thrilled and proud to be selected as a judge on this panel.
Stefan has more than 15 years' experience working in the FMCG sector, focusing on convenience retail and communicating key messages from big brands to independent retailers. Prior to joining Hanover, Stefan was Head of Product at Newtrade, a business-to-business publisher focusing on the convenience sector.
Stefan has extensive knowledge of the FMCG sector and has worked closely with leading companies to help them communicate the value of their brands, merchandising solutions and initiatives to the convenience retail market.
Stephanie has over 30 years' experience of retail and local marketing and runs her own consultancy, Rice Marketing Ltd. She is a convenience sector expert and is passionate about the positive impact convenience stores have on their local community.
She works with leading wholesalers, local authorities and independent businesses to grow profitable sales. She also informs London policy makers of the future of food.
Chair of Retail Economics and Bristol Energy Ltd. Board member of Timpson Group, Clipper Retail Logistics plc, Hargreaves Lansdown plc.
Previously CEO, British Retail Consortium following a career on the board of retailers: B&Q, Screwfix Direct, Woolworths.
Steve is the Managing Director of Retail at Christie & Co. He is responsible for all retail brokerage, valuation and advisory activity across Christie & Co’s network. Steve is a regular speaker at convenience and petrol retail events across the UK. As Chartered Surveyor Steve is involved with both transactional and valuation projects varying in scale from single sites to large groups of assets. He is an active participant in various industry events and assists in compiling the Forecourt Trader 'Top 50 Indies'.
Been trading for 37 years at the same store.
Sit on many retail forums.
Was involved with BBC how retailing was in the 1970's.
Enjoyed magistrate duties for 10 years.
professional Taranjit Dhillon has circa 20 years of experience within the retail industry and
holds in depth understanding of the independent, corporate and wholesale
sectors. His passion for working within dynamic changing business needs, managing and
retaining client relationships and investing in the development of his teams has been the stepping stones for his success.
Taranjit's extensive experience in identifying new
business opportunities, nurturing and maintaining relationships with executive
business partners and driving substantial sales to a close,
contributes positively towards his ability to grow the Franchise business at One Stop Stores Ltd. Where he has aided extensively towards profitable growth since its inception in 2013.
I've worked within the food retail industry since the age of 16, staring at Somerfield within the fresh foods sector.
This was followed by over 10 years at SPAR working with Independent retailers and multi site retailers.
At present I'm a Retail Development Manager for NISA working with our independent retailers across the midlands regions.
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