Jo James

Chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, the county’s only accredited Chamber of Commerce that serves more than 1,300 members’ businesses across Kent.  Jo James also represents business on the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, and in recognition of her 25 years work at the chamber she was recently voted National Woman of the Year 2015.  Following Jo’s assistance in last year’s award ceremony as judge and co-presenter we are delighted that Jo has agreed to be our head judge for 2017.

Darren Austin

A partner/owner at Synergee, the chartered accountants and business advisers. He is himself a chartered accountant with more than 30 years’ experience. Most of this has been gained working closely with owner managed businesses covering all industries, although there have been one or two multi-nationals along the way. His main focus is business development which involves working with clients on defining and achieving their business goals.

Richard Moore

Editorial director of One Media, publishers of the Times of Tunbridge Wells and So Magazines. He is an award-winning journalist who has been News Editor of the Sunday Mirror, a current affairs producer with BBC Radio Four and financial journalist in Bermuda. He also ran a political lobbying company in London, worked on US Presidential election campaigns and in 2008 helped launch So Tunbridge Wells magazine.

Gavin Tyler

Gavin Tyler has been Managing Partner of Top 100 firm, Cripps, since May 2013. Having spent his entire career at Cripps, Gavin qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and joined their litigation department dealing with all types of criminal and civil litigation. Over the years he developed various specialisations within contentious practice. He has been top ranked by Chambers Directory in both Professional Indemnity and Employment. Prior to becoming Managing Partner he led Cripps Corporate Division for 8 years during which time he developed his interest in the business of law. He is now responsible for the operational management of the business and setting the strategic direction. He advises a range of clients, including corporates, charities, City executives and directors on employment law issues.

Martin Wilson

Martin Wilson is a self employed management consultant specialising in organisational transformation enabled through technological innovation. His particular area of interest is working with companies to assist them in developing IT strategy that can help them focus on change that will offer a clear return on investment. Martin is an advocate of digitalisation, mobility solutions and on-line service offerings  where they can deliver both savings and productivity. 

Martin previously worked as the Head of Innovation for Kent and Essex Police were he led on a number of large scale transformation programmes. This included the introduction of ‘body worn video’ as well as smartphones with custom built software for front line officers. These modernisation programmes offered substantial reductions in bureaucracy, reduced business transaction times and efficiencies that greatly exceeded the value of investment set against a backdrop of reduced public sector funding. 

In his spare time Martin has a passion for wrist watches and he has contributed articles on the subject for Times of Tunbridge Wells and our sister publications. 

Nicolas Heslop

Chairman of the West Kent Partnership, which works to support local business and deliver economic growth.  He is also Leader of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and holds the Economic Regeneration portfolio in his Cabinet.  With a background in skills,  he is employed as Head of Public Affairs at the Edge Foundation, an independent education charity dedicated to shaping the future of education to meet the demands of the 21st century global economy and ensure opportunity for all.