The Portsmouth Business Excellence Awards are judged independently by a selected panel of business experts. The panel of judges will be chaired by Mark Waldron Editor of The News with a group of representatives from our sponsors. 

Initial entries submitted via the online entry portal will be reviewed by the judges and the shortlist decided upon. Shortlisted businesses will then receive a visit by a judge as the final stage in the process to establish the winners of each category.

Mark Waldron

Editor, The News
Editor of The News in Portsmouth, Editorial Director for JPIMedia Hampshire and Group Commercial Content Editor. Returned to edit his home-town newspaper in September 2007, 20 years after carrying out work experience while training to be a journalist at Highbury College. Previously worked for the Aldershot News & Mail, Sunday Sun in Melbourne, Hull Daily Mail and South Wales Echo in Cardiff before gaining his first editor's post at the Swindon Advertiser.

Peter Hooley

Director of Business Development at the University of Portsmouth Faculty of Business and Law
Peter Hooley is the Director of Business Development at the University of Portsmouth Faculty of Business and Law. Before joining the university Pete worked for 15 years in the retail and hospitality industry in senior and operational management positions. Pete leads a team of fantastic education professionals who are all aligned in terms of the University’s strategy to aid the development of our undergraduate cohorts, as well as develop long-lasting and mutually profitable relationships with businesses both in the UK and globally. Peter is responsible for the faculty’s external business profile and reputation as well as ensuring that the business community understands who we are and how to get in touch. Discuss your ideas by emailing: pete.hooley@port.ac.uk

Aaron Butson

Aaron has been judging the Business Excellence Awards since HSDC first sponsored over 5-years ago. Throughout this time, he has been overwhelmed by the outstanding quality and range of businesses in the Portsmouth community. He particularly enjoys meeting the business owners and leaders to learn about their vision and then have their claims verified by their staff, which they always are! Whilst that makes identifying a winner very difficult, it is a brilliant experience each year to learn just how good the business community is locally. HSDC engages with a large array of employers to make sure our fantastic students get the training they need to meet the high demands of employers. Whether that is in Apprenticeships, traditional Vocational education or the new T Levels. Sponsoring the awards is the perfect way to help them recognise business excellence which in turn helps us to inspire the future workforce.

Kim Pellet

Deputy Economic Growth Manager, Portsmouth City Council
The cultural, creative, digital and visitor economy combined is the largest employer in Portsmouth supporting more than 12,000 jobs. These amazing businesses that contribute so much to Portsmouth's economy have a crucial role to play in both the economic and the social wellbeing recovery of the city. They really deserve recognition and to be celebrated"

Charlotte Howden

Senior Marketing & Events Advisor
Charlotte joined GetSet Solent in early 2022 as the new Senior Marketing & Events Advisor. Get Set Solent is a business support programme delivering specialist, fully funded access to finance and marketing support to help businesses with the potential and ambition to grow, through a range of engaging workshops and 1:1 support. Grants of up to £25,000 are available to eligible businesses to enable them to invest in their future growth through capital or revenue investment purchases. GetSet Solent services are available to SMEs across the Solent area, delivered by YTKO and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Before joining the programme Charlotte has helped multiple SMEs, Charities and Associations growth their business through specialist marketing growth support

Lynda Povey

University of Portsmouth
Lynda is an award winning Enterprise Educator with a range of skills and experience, including developing and delivering Enterprise & Entrepreneurship educational programmes for community and Higher Education Institutions; she is also an experienced business adviser and mentor (including on the Queens Young Leaders programme for 2 consecutive years), specifically working with students and graduates. Possessing a range of management, support, mentoring, business development and teaching skills Lynda is passionate about helping to grow the next generation of entrepreneurs. At the University of Portsmouth Lynda leads on designing and delivering curriculum and operational initiatives to create a robust and comprehensive ecosystem of entrepreneurship support across the organisation. As well as being an enterprise adviser at the University Lynda is also a Fellow of the International Enterprise Educators Programme and has gained her Masters in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education.

Emmanuel Godin

Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Emmanuel Godin is a Principal Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has led teams of academics, students, employers, recruitment consultants, career advisers, entrepreneurs and educators to develop a range of credited and non-credited courses aimed at raising students' professional aspirations and facilitating their transition from HE to graduate markets and entrepreneurship. Emmanuel has recently led an AdvenceHE collaborative project on "Embedding Enterprise in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences" . He is passionate about community partnership, social enteprise and fostering new forms of engagement between humanities and social sciences students and local partners.

Rod Cameron

Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, Aerial Direct
Rod Cameron is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at Aerial Direct Group, with almost 30 years of experience across multiple business channels. He has direct experience of driving success in a range of environments, including award winning telecoms solutions, international technology solutions, luxury hospitality in the UK and cross-culturally overseas and UHNW's family office. He is also a golf professional and while working for Marriott Hotels, taught pupils that have moved on to perform on the biggest stage and was a cultural trainer of the Marriott brand. He is fascinated by people and has enjoyed working with and for some exceptional business leaders and as a result, he has a unique skillset; coupling this with a recent MBA through Roehampton University, Rod is well positioned to recognise the businesses who are on their own path of success.
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