The Judging Process

All nominations submitted by the nomination deadline, 7th September 2015, will be placed before an independent panel of judges. The judges are all respected businesspeople with a passion for developing young talent.

The nominations will be scored by each judge, then the judges will then meet to discuss the nominations and together decide on the final shortlist and winners for each category. Should any of the judges have a personal interest or connection with any of the nominees they will forfeit their vote in that particular category.

The shortlist will then be announced later in September, and the winners announced at the Awards Ceremony on 17th November 2016.

2016 Judges

 Paul Kenyon

Paul Kenyon

Co-founder and co-CEO of Avecto Ltd

Avecto is an innovative, multi-award winning technology business specialising in endpoint security using its revolutionary programme ‘Defendpoint’. Paul describes himself as a serial entrepreneur, specialising in sales-centric management. His vast experience in building and driving sales teams from inception to target-busting success is what has allowed him to create a company named as the Deloitte Fast 50’s top software company in 2013, clocking up annual growth of 4751%! Other awards have included Ernst and Young North Business of the Year 2014; MEN Business of the Year 2015; and IOD North West Director of the Year 2016. When not at the helm of Avecto, Paul enjoys watching Game of Thrones, playing on his X-Box and doing the occasional workout with his personal trainer. He can also play the ukulele.

 James Hitchen

James Hitchen

MD of Neighbourhood Restaurant and Bar (operating under East Coast Concepts)

Greater Manchester-born entrepreneur James Hitchen is MD of East Coast Concepts, which runs popular Manchester city centre restaurant and bar Neighbourhood which has recently undergone a £1m refurbishment alongside Victor’s in Hale. Both brands have developed strong followings in the region due to their unique atmosphere and innovative menus, based around premium steaks, fresh seafood and sushi.  With a launch of Neighbourhood Liverpool set for November, the group is on course to hit the £11m turnover and 200 employees this year.


Adrian Anderson

Head of Corporate & Commercial, Ralli Solicitors, Manchester

Adrian is a veteran of the Manchester Law scene with 32 years’ experience as a business lawyer at his current firm, helping it grow from a small full service business in Bolton to a boutique commercial law firm in the city centre of Manchester offering expertise in Fraud, Business Litigation, Employment and Partnership as well as in his own specialities of Corporate and Commercial.   As well as the day to day practice and running of the business, Adrian frequently lectures in his specialist area of corporate partnership and commercial law at venues across the UK (including Scotland and Northern Ireland) including in-house courses at other law firms.  Adrian is a huge believer in JCI and the opportunities it presents young professionals, so was delighted to be asked to be a judge at this year’s MYTAs.  In his spare time you will usually find Adrian on a treadmill training for an upcoming marathon – he has completed 16 to date.


Mel Kirk

Founder and owner of Pulsar Healthcare

As the MD of Pulsar, Mel works with pharmaceutical and healthcare companies providing strategic and marketing support. Set up as part of a wider group, Mel undertook a management buy-out in 2014 and has since grown Pulsar to even greater national and international success.


Sarah Beckwith

JCI UK National President 2016 and a director at BNP Paribas Real Estate

Sarah leads the JCI national organisation and the 2016 National Board team, represents JCI UK both nationally and internationally, supports the local presidents of JCI UK’s chambers and develops and leads the implementation of the organisation’s national plan of action and strategies for the year.  Her local chamber is JCI London, of which she was local president in 2011.

Outside of JCI, Sarah works as a property expert witness and lease negotiator, especially in the sectors of leisure and high street retail.