A top panel of judges will this week begin their search to find the best businessesin Cumbria.
A host of business leaders will be visiting the 45 shortlisted businesses in the inaugural in-cumbria Business Awards 2017.
Winners will be picked by the judges in the 15 categories and announced at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan, at the Halston Aparthotel, Carlisle on November 9.
Also revealed on the night will be the winner of the prestigious Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria Award.
Find out which firms are in the final shortlist for the in-cumbria Business Awards 2017 here.
Meet ten of our category judges:
– Best Exporter category judge
Director of multi-award-winning export business success story Hawkshead Relish and develops national strategy for food and drink exports.
– Best Innovation category judge
As director of West Cumbria innovation business success stories REACT, Createc, and R3i, and a passionate supporter of STEM opportunities for young people, Pete’s mantra is ‘successful businesses grow from smart ideas’.
– Best New Business category judge
A former winner of Cumbria businessperson of the year, Mark is managing director of West Cumbria based Forth Group, an advanced technology solutions business.
– Best Social Enterprise judge
As chief executive officer of Cumbria Community Foundation, Andy Beeforth OBE, has been at the heart of the organisation since its inception in 1999 and has led its drive to raise millions of pounds for Cumbrian causes.
– Best Apprentice/Trainee judge
From starting out as an apprentice, Alan has risen to become engineering manager of the global tyre giant Pirelli’s Cumbrian operation, and has held senior positions in its bases in Italy.
– Best Professional Services Company judge
As executive of English Lakes Hotels and Resorts and Venues, Ben is part of a major business success story in running a group of five flagship hotels in Cumbria and north Lancashire.
– Best Marketing Strategy judge
Former CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, Kevin recently joined UK communications agency Beattie Group as chairman and is known for sharing his invaluable advice to help businesses prosper.
– Best SME Business judge
Mark will cross the Pennines to give a regional view of the best SME business in Cumbria from his perspective as a director of a successful fourth generation steel service business in West Yorkshire.
– Best Large Business judge
Steve is the product supply commercial operations leader for global business Kimberly-Clark which has operations in 35 countries and sells its brands in 175 countries around the world.
– Best Family Business judge
Sue is founder and Family Business Ambassador of The Family Business Network Ltd for Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire. Sue is also the Institute of Directors NW Small Company Director of the year 2017 for Coulson Associates Ltd and recently heard she has now been shortlisted for IOD National Small Company Director of the year.