· 4 min read · News

HR Excellence Awards: Meet the judges


It is vital the judges represent as many sectors of industry and the public and third sectors as possible. Here is the line-up so far.

You have run a successful HR project, got clear and demonstrable results and now want to achieve recognition for the great work that you and your colleagues have undertaken. Last month, we told you how to enter the HR Awards 2009 with special advice on exactly what the judges are looking for (www.hrmagazine.co.uk).

But whom do you need to impress this year? HR magazine has pulled together a top panel of judges who will be digesting 2009's entries to come up with the best HR projects of the year.

Here we profile some of the 2009 judges who will be poring over and debating your entries. You can see from these profiles that we have a prestigious group of people, with decades of HR experience between them. We will be announcing more over the coming weeks.

These judges will be looking for HR excellence in 15 categories, including change management, benefits, employee engagement, learning and development and technology. New this year are categories recognising the best public-sector HR strategy or initiative, best third sector HR strategy or initiative and best use of CSR in HR.

For the full list of categories and details of how to enter please go to www.hrexcellenceawards.com. Deadline for entries is 20 March.

MATTHEW BREARLEY - HR director, Vodafone

Brearley has transformed the HR function since being promoted to HR director at the mobile phone operator in 2006. He has a place at the boardroom table and a close relationship with UK CEO Nick Read. He began his career as project manager with Exxon Mobil, progressing to supply co-ordination manager, before moving to Associated Foods in 1995. His first steps into HR came when he joined B&Q as an HR consultant, finishing as director of retail HR in 2002. He then moved to director of HR at Marks & Spencer 2004 before moving to Vodafone as HR business partner.

RACHEL CAMPBELL - Head of people management, KPMG Europe

Campbell joined KPMG LLP (UK) in 1989 and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1993. After periods working overseas, she became a partner in the consumer and industrial markets group in 2000. She was appointed head of people management in 2003, and became a member of KPMG's UK board in 2005. She was nominated as a Young Global Leader 2007 by the World Economic Forum and KPMG was described as 'unparalleled' when named 'Sunday Times Best Big Company to Work For' for the second year running.

JANE VIVIER, Senior reward manager UKBA reward team

Vivier joined the UK Borders Agency last year following a successful stint as reward adviser at Kent County Council. She is responsible for the direction of employee benefits at the immigration control organisation, which was formed in April 2008.

PATRICIA BACON - Chief operating officer, Instant Offices Group

Bacon is responsible for sales and operations, with emphasis on HR strategy for Instant Offices Group. Since joining in 2002, she has played a pivotal role in building the business to a company of over 70 people, based across the London, Miami and Sydney offices. The company won the small business category at last year's HR Excellence Awards.

SAUDAGAR SINGH - Group HR director, RWE npower

Singh joined the major UK energy retailer and generator of power in 2000 as HR director for the retail business and was promoted to his current position in 2003. From 1988 to 2000 he was employed at Thorn Lighting, the UK market leader in light fittings. Singh was promoted to HR director in 1994 and initially held responsibility for the UK and over latter years also for the company's European operations.

ALAN CAIRNS - HR director, Money Supermarket.com

Cairns joined Moneysupermarket.com as HR director last year from Littlewoods Shop Direct, where he was group director of performance and capability. His role is to drive progressive HR practices as well as positioning the company as an employer of choice. He is also responsible for employee communication, compensation and benefits, and instilling a performance management culture. Cairns has 20 years' HR experience working in high-profile companies such as General Electric and JCB.

ADRIENNE MCFARLAND - HR director, Sage UK and Ireland

McFarland joined Sage in 2002 as head of HR for the small business division and moved into head of remuneration and benefits in 2005. Prior to Sage, she worked for Accenture in both pan-European and International HR generalist roles. Previous experience also includes the NHS and KPMG and Ford. She has a BA (Hons) in politics and social policy (Newcastle University) and a post graduate qualification in HRM and is a corporate member of the CIPD.

JANE HANSON - Head of HR, First Direct

Hanson was voted HR magazine's HR director of the year in 2008. As head of HR at First Direct she knows a thing or two about customer service. The multi-award winning bank recently rebranded and refreshed all its products and Hanson led the people elements of this major project. Last year First Direct won the Yorkshire and Humber Contact Centre Network Awards People Award for initiatives supporting achievement, recognition and growth in people. It also walked away with the Mother at Work Employer of the Future award for work-life balance.

GRAHAM WHITE - Head of HR, Westminster Council

White joined Westminster City Council last year after 25 years' experience in both the public and private sectors. He is charged with helping align HR with the council's expectations and outputs. At Surrey County Council he saved £9 million by slashing the number of HR jobs from 400 to 40. Achieved through outsourcing, White's skill was to complete the process with little disruption. White plays the trumpet and cornet in the Salvation Army, as well as bass guitar and clarinet to unwind. He can also skateboard and is now learning how to in-line skate.

GUY PINK - HR director, Addaction

Pink is the director of HR for Addaction, a national charity supporting individuals to manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. He is a fellow of the CIPD and has over 20 years' experience working in public and not-for-profit organisations. He established the HR function at Victim Support where he also supported the merger of 400 charities into 45. He is on the board of the London HR Connection, a networking group of HR professionals in central London where he has been chair, vice-chair and secretary.

Other judges on board include Carolyn Gray, Group HR director, Guardian Media Group; Nigel Sullivan, HR director, Wincanton; Simon Carlton, HR director, InterfaceFLOR Full list available on www.hrmagazine.co.uk