The Bath Life Awards Judges
Each year a new panel of impeccably independent Judges are solely responsible for deciding all the Winners. They will give time to go through all the Finalists’ nominations with care.
Alan Phillips / CEO, Paragon Structures
Alan is a former professional cricketer following injury who re-trained in financial services. His background naturally led him to start his own business and he founded the Fidelius Group based in Bath that now employees over 100 staff. After 16 years he decided to switch back to his passion of sport and founded Paragon Structures that develop modern sports and activity facilities to promote health, wellbeing that will inspire others to achieve their goals. He is dedicated to helping Dorothy House Hospice Care and TOFTigers with their charitable work and for fun will disappear to the Alps to Cycle, Ski and Yoga. A father to his “heroes”, Oscar, Scarlett and Sebastian, he also loves the guitar and the Foo Fighters!
Alison Vowles / Reporter and Presenter, BBC Points West and BBC Radio Bristol
Ali is a reporter and presenter for BBC Points West and BBC Radio Bristol. Based in Bath, she loves covering some of the stories that really matter in the city and beyond. Ali is a west country girl – born in Gloucestershire from a farming family. She always loved meeting people and finding out what makes them tick, so this is her dream job. It’s a real privilege to be able to share people’s lives and stories and bring them to a wider audience. Ali says: “It’s great to be part of this talented community and I think being a judge could be an impossible task!”
Carole Banwell / General Manager, Bath City Football Club
Born in the West Country, and with a background in Computer Brokerage, IT Recruitment and Law, Carole, a lifelong football fan, took on the role of General Manager at Bath City Football Club in April 2017.
Founded in 1889, Bath City FC is enjoying a new vision and fresh energy following the success of the supporter ownership bid in 2016. Carole and the rest of the team at the Club are determined to create a vibrant and sustainable club which sits at the heart of the local community, and reconnects with the rest of the city, and she is excited to be bringing a Twerton Park perspective to the judging process.
Dan Fallon / Managing Director, SearchStar
Dan started off his ad career in 1995 working in London ad agencies as a media buyer. In 2002 he moved South West and after a brief flirtation with Bristol landed with his family in Bath. He set up SearchStar from his spare room in Combe Down in 2005 and has steadily grown the digital media buying business to 45 staff and still rising. SearchStar has clients nationally & internationally with local clients including Royds Withy King and London & Country.
Giles Lunt / Director, Boniti
Having worked as a teacher, Giles spent 10 years working in London and made the “totally liberating” decision to leave. He moved to Southern Spain and helped set up a property investment company which gave him the opportunity of being his own boss. The success of the business allowed him to move to Bath in 2005. Giles never looked back; he set up Boniti which has now being going for 11 years, growing every year as a thriving local business. Bath is where he met his wife Rosie; they have three children. “Life is good and I’m a lucky man!”
Graham Street / Managing Partner, Royds Withy King
Graham Street has been managing partner of Royds Withy King for seven years. Under Graham’s leadership, Royds Withy King has grown to become a progressive and ambitious UK Top 100 law firm, with a national reputation in specialist areas. The firm prides itself on its unwavering commitment to client service and developing its people and is ranked 30th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For 2017. With its headquarters in Bath, Royds Withy King is an integral part of the community and is involved in a wide range of initiatives, including support for Bath Boules, The Forever Friends Appeal, The Bath Rugby Foundation and Bath Mind.
Neal Slateford / Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Lovehoney
Neal Slateford is the co-founder and co-CEO of Lovehoney, the multi-award winning online retailer of pleasure products. Founded in 2002, the company employs 250 people worldwide in Bath, Atlanta, Hong Kong and Brisbane. The company turned over £75m last year and recently won a Queen's Award for Enterprise. Before that he enjoyed a successful career in the music industry, producing hits for the likes of Kylie Minogue and himself as one half of remixers DNA.
Nicholas Wylde / Owner, Nicholas Wylde (Jeweller)
Nicholas Wylde is the founder and owner of Nicholas Wylde (Jeweller), an independent bespoke design jeweller in Bath and Bristol which specialises in unique commissions with in-house workshop. Nicholas originally trained as a jewellery designer/goldsmith at the prestigious Birmingham School of Jewellery. As a young man, he perfected his craft in the workshops of local jewellers before realising his ultimate dream, at the age of 24 in 1987, of opening his own branded store in Bath. His creative talent and consummate customer care have ensured the Wylde Brand has blossomed over 30 years to become an internationally recognised and respected name in bespoke jewellery. To mark his 25th anniversary in 2012 Nicholas launched his unique, registered and patented Wylde Flower Diamond® placing him among the top diamond designers in the world.
Nicola McHale / Vistage Group Chair, Vistage
As a Vistage Chair Nicola works across the south west after an international career with clients like American Express, Microsoft, Diageo, JP Morgan and Jaguar LandRover. She lives in Bath and is passionate about Bath business after starting and building her own business into one of the most trusted and respected suppliers of Executive Leadership Development. Her experience means that she understands what running a business is like, how tough and lonely it can be and what it takes to be a success. Nicola says: “To be a Judge for the Bath Life Business awards is an honour and a privilege.”
Sue Porto / CEO, St John's Foundation
Sue has been CEO of the St John’s Foundation since May 2015, leading an organisation committed to working with organisations and individuals to build a resilient Bath and surrounding area. Sue’s illustrious career has spanned the third and public sectors. She was previously the CEO of Beanstalk, the national children’s literacy charity and Regional Director of the Prince’s Trust for the South West of England. Before these roles, she worked for over 14 years in HM Prison Service, and was responsible for the training and clinical supervision of staff delivering accredited psychological interventions to tens of thousands of offenders.