We don’t envy our 2014 judging panel their task! ?Year on year, competition for our Awards becomes ever stronger, and this year has been no exception with over 25 WeDO members applying or being nominated for the Awards. ?Never ones to shirk a challenge however, they approached their task of shortlisting the nominees down to just 14 at Stage 2 with their usual gusto and enthusiasm. ?Having reviewed the stage 2 nominees applications and videos, they then faced a further challenge of whittling the 14 down to 10, resulting in 2 finalists for each Award. ?Their decisions were unanimous, however, they were keen to point out that the decision-making process had been extremely difficult and that they had been very impressed with the calibre of individuals as well as their businesses.
The interviews with the finalists in each category are taking place this Thursday when interviews will take place and no doubt the decision-making will once again prove challenging. ?It’s a long (but they assure us, highly enjoyable and motivating!) day and once the interviews are finished, we then film them all talking about the process and their thoughts about the day. ?We would like to thank them all for the considerable time and effort they put into the judging process, most especially given their hectic schedules. ?Their commitment to the process is hugely appreciated and we always manage to have a few laughs along the way given their excellent senses of humour! ?Read on to find out more about them.
Graham is chairing our Judging Panel for the third year and has been an Ambassador in the WeDO Scotland Executive team?since inception in 2008. ?Having identified a perceived gap in the corporate finance market serving SME’s in Scotland, Graham established Tiger Advisers in 2006 following a distinguished banking career with the Royal Bank of Scotland where he won a number of Outstanding Achievement Awards.
Prior to the economic meltdown, he led a successful team at Tiger Advisers that completed a number of significant deals in a variety of sectors including advising management in a substantial hostile, cross-border MBO with backing sourced from a major London PE house. They also refinanced several large property portfolios and hotels, advised on and sourced equity and debt funding for a number of SME businesses and advised on the de-listing of a Company from AIM.
He has worked very closely with owner-managers of SME businesses assisting with business development, strategy and funding across a broad range of sectors for many years. ?He is widely regarded as a trusted business advisor and is renowned as being innovative and an outstanding business developer with a well established track record of delivering results. He has an extensive range of trusted business contacts and a vast database of funders across the finance spectrum.
He founded GL Capital to utilise the wealth of relevant experience and contacts he has built up over many years to assist other businesses and management teams in times when the phones aren’t ringing the way they used to and access to funding is proving challenging. GL Capital is also actively involved in deal facilitation.?He is currently thoroughly enjoying assisting a number of businesses through a range of business development, funding and strategic consultancy and non-exec roles including Green Angel Investments Ltd, Estate Life, Chiene + Tait, MBM Commercial, Kelvin Capital, Rockfield Capital and is also an Enterprise Partner with the University of Strathclyde. ?Additionally, he provides one to one business development and networking mentoring to a number of individuals.
An Ambassador in our Executive team since January of this year, having spent many years in IT services and business development, Martin is proud to have founded the Rocela Group back in 2002 and to have grown it with Kenny Wilson up to late December 2013. ?They then concluded a deal to take Rocela to become part of the Dublin based IT services player Version 1.?He is now becoming involved in new and exciting organisations in investment or advisory roles and enjoying sharing his own warts and all experiences of start-up, funding, growth and exit. ?Martin spoke recently at one of our Spotlight Dinners when he shared his experiences of exit strategies which many members cited as one of the best and most interesting, relevant and honest overviews they had ever heard.
Since 2013, Martin has been helping to build a team to create a sustainable annual festival of photography. His vision and that of the Retina International Photography Festival?is to, year on year, grow a festival that creates a vibrant platform for celebrating the art of photography, its commercial application and the talents of emerging and established professional photographers. ?The festival is staffed by part-time but totally dedicated, volunteers, interns and contributing photographers. Their efforts are huge and their attitudes are a joy. ?They hope to widen and expand the team and create open opportunity for those that also wish to see photographers and their talents promoted annually in the festival city of Edinburgh.
Retina had its test-launch in July of this year at Edinburgh’s iconic Assembly Rooms and City Chambers. Other venues included Harvey Nichols and the Creative Exchange. ?The Retina team were excited and honoured to have brought new works to Edinburgh by two hugely respected artists, Rankin and Helena Christensen.
Dougie has spent more than 25 years managing teams in hazardous and hostile environments. His security experience began in the military and included close protection, maritime security and the secure moves of high value assets of major companies. His hazardous experience includes fire & rescue and tactical offshore firefighting and command and control, for both ships and other offshore assets. With an intuitive understanding of the needs of the client and a focussed and pragmatic style, Dougie has the experience to successfully run teams and advise individuals in circumstances requiring both confidence and confidentiality.
Claymore Global Solutions (CGS) is a strategic global business and risk consultancy company operating worldwide. The provision of effective risk management to their clients involves managing their risks and implementing processes and controls to address these risks. ?As a parent company, CGS oversees a global network of operative companies which includes Claymore Security Solutions (CSS) – providing clients with the most effective security solutions through a wide variety of bespoke services including maritime security, training, travel management and secure logistics, high value asset transport as well as UAV sand weapons supplies.
Claymore Afghanistan (CA) specialises in risk management consultancy to mutli-national companies conducting business in Afghanistan as well as services ranging from construction security support, management of APFF personnel and APPF to Private Security Detail (PSD) with journey management as well as Afghan-wide security for both USG and commercial projects. ?Claymore Aviation Services (CAS) provides turnkey aviation management solutions for airports and air navigation service providers around the world. ?They offer a world class selection of tailored contract and consultancy services including, but not limited to, Aerodrome Management, Air Navigation Service Provider (ASNP) services as well as Aerodrome Maintenance and Safety Management Systems. ?Claymore Middle East & North Africa and Claymore Pakistan will be launching soon.
Dougie spoke at one of our Spotlight Dinners earlier this year and also at our 2014 Conference where the story of his journey to date, along with his admirably humble and modest approach, kept our members on the edge of their seats with his tales of situations and experiences most of us could only dream (or alternatively have nightmares!) about.
Rod?is a business development and performance improvement specialist. He is experienced in helping business owners and leaders with strategy, people, organisation structure and challenging commercial problems resolution. ?Starting his commercial life at Trust Houses Forte for 5 years,?Rod?then became a divisional Managing Director of a small PLC at the tender age of 27. With 3 co-directors he performed a management buy-out of an electronic office supplies company, ISA International plc. ISA’s flotation on the full list of the London Stock Exchange followed 2 years later.
For the last 20 years?Rod?has worked as an independent Non-Executive Director and consultant to Directors and owners of businesses across many different business sectors, from international electronics manufacturing to football schools to online health products.
Rod?believes that business success can often be about having the right people doing the right things, sometimes easier said than done. Business leaders sometimes need an independent and experienced outsider’s view to help resolve challenging commercial situations. It can sometimes be necessary to be prepared to do ‘real work’ not just advise, and he always encourages his clients to invite him to do so.
Rod is currently involved in a new start-up, ?Quiz the Nation,?a brand new interactive quiz format from the team which brought the world The Krypton Factor. ?It will be on FAB TV (Sky Channel 254) every Sunday from 8pm to 9pm. ?Quiz The Nation are currently crowdfunding via CrowdCube and have raised ?234,210 from 150 investors against a target of ?195,000 for 22.65% equity in less than a month, with the largest investment they have received being ?50,000. ?Click here to find out more.