Top judges for Business Awards
One of the best known faces from Birmingham’s professional community, an award-winning chef and a leading industrialist will make up the judging panel for the Birmingham Post Business Awards 2012.
Gary Cardin, who is head of office at Drivers Jonas Deloitte in the city as well as chairman of Birmingham Forward, will join Aktar Islam, the celebrated head chef from Lasan and recent winner of the Birmingham Young Professional of the Year, as new judges running the rule over all the entries for this year’s event at Edgbaston Stadium on Thursday, October 4.
They will be joined on the panel by former judge Russell Luckock, chairman of Jewellery Quarter-based pressings company A E Harris and regular Post contributor, and Post editor Alun Thorne.
Mr Cardin is a planning expert who worked for a number of leading property firms before heading up Drivers Jonas’s fledgling operation more than a decade ago. Since then he has taken the local office from strength to strength and been instrumental in its successful assimilation with Deloitte after the business advisory giant took over the firm. Mr Cardin also chairs professional lobby group Birmingham Forward and is also chair of the hugely successful Colmore Business Improvement District.
Mr Aktar shot to fame after his food impressed Gordon Ramsay enough for St Paul’s Square-based Lasan to win his F Word show in 2009. Since then he has built his reputation as one of the finest practitioners of modern South Asian cuisine anywhere in the UK.
His part in making Lasan one of the city’s most foremost food businesses and most recognisable brands was recognised earlier this year when he won the coveted Birmingham Young Professional of the Year award.
Birmingham Post editor Alun Thorne, who will chair the panel of judges, said: “This is the third year of our awards with each event building on the last and this year we have been overwhelmed by the number and quality of entries that will go before our judging panel later this month.
“Each year we have also tried to introduce some new faces to the judging panel and I am thrilled that two such eminent city figures have agreed to be judges for this year’s awards. Gary has been a fixture in the city’s property and professional services communities for many years and is one of its great champions so I know he will have some strong views on what makes a successful company, while Aktar is one of the leading lights in what is becoming an increasingly important business sector in the region and I am looking forward to the insights his entrepreneurial background will bring.
‘‘With Russell Luckock on board for another year this really is a formidable panel for our flagship event.”
Entries for this year’s event close next week with judging set to take place at the end of July.