Finalists announced for first Wales HR Awards

The finalists have been announced for the first ever Wales HR Awards. This event will recognise and celebrate the achievements of HR professionals in a black tie ceremony taking place at The SSE SWALEC Cardiff on 23rd March, hosted by the BBC’s Sian Lloyd.

Over the past few months, nominations have flooded in with a total of 28 HR professionals and 8 HR teams being named as finalists, putting them in the running to win one of the prestigious awards.

The event has been created by the Wales HR Network, a leading networking platform for HR professionals which is partnered by Acorn, Wales’ specialist recruitment and training agency and Cardiff-based commercial law firm Darwin Gray. On the night, there will be performances from Only Boys Aloud and Welsh National Opera as well as an address from guest speaker Lord Price, the Minister of State at the Department for International Trade and former Managing Director of Waitrose.

Fflur Jones, Head of Darwin Gray’s Employment Law and HR Department, said:

“Despite being at the core of every successful company, HR is very often an under-acknowledged profession. That’s why I think this event has generated such a positive response; it seems to have really struck a chord.


“We’ve been so impressed by the quality and diversity of the nominations and really value the effort and time put in by all those who entered these inaugural awards. We want this to be an annual celebration of HR excellence and couldn’t be happier with the way it’s been received by HR professionals all over Wales.”

Sarah Jones, Acorn’s Head of Marketing, added:

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to and support for the first Wales HR Awards. The number of entries received exceeded all our expectations, and the calibre of nominees is outstanding.

“It’s now down to our professional judges, which will include Acorn’s Head of HR, Genevieve Ryan, Darwin Gray’s HR Consultant, Fiona Sinclair and Director of Calland Wright Consulting, Alison Wright to make the tough decisions on the overall winners, but we know the awards on 23rd March will celebrate everyone’s achievements.”

The finalists are:

Category Finalists
Independent HR Consultant of the Year

  • Shakira Joyner, HCHR
  • Kay Walters, Pobol Cyf
  • Cherry Torrance, Torrance HR

HR Assistant / Apprentice / Trainee of the Year
(Sponsored by ACT Training)

  • Melissa Hale, New Directions
  • Sarah Howden, Cardiff Airport

HR Team of the Year
(Sponsored by Effective Communication)

  • Cardiff Airport
  • Bluestone
  • Willmott Dixon Construction Limited
  • NPT Homes Limited

Best Use of the Welsh Language in HR (Team)
(Sponsored by Cartefi Cyumnedol Gwynedd)

  • Menter a Busnes
  • National Assembly for Wales

Best Use of the Welsh Language in HR (Individual)
(Sponsored by Lingua Skin)

  • Bethan Emanuel, Talent HR Consultancy
  • Catherine Rees, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
  • Siwan Thomas, Mudiad Meithrin

Best HR Professional in the Education/Public Sector
(Sponsored by Capital Law)

  • Tracey Thomas, City of Cardiff Council
  • Rebecca Cooper, ACT
  • Catherine Rees, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Best HR Professional in the Manufacturing / Science (including Life Sciences / Biotec) Sector )

  • Lisa Angus, Panasonic
  • Ruth Knoyle, Tata Steel

Housing Association HR Professional of the Year
(Sponsored by Cardiff Airport)

  • Rhian H Evans, Tai Ceredigion
  • Jayne Jones, Hafod
  • Eleri Jane Edwards, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd

Best HR Professional in the IT / Technology sector

  • Toni Kemp, WCBS
  • Manjit Waters, Smartpipe Solutions
  • Alex Currie, Go Compare
  • Helen Baldwin, Inspire Tec

Best HR Professional in the Charity and Voluntary Organisations Sectors
(Sponsored by Quantum Advisory)

  • Angela Overment, Wales Co-operative Centre
  • Jayne Jones, Hafod

Best HR Professional in the Arts

  • Louise Halliday-Jones, Welsh National Opera
  • Prith Biant, The Creative Thinking Company

Best HR Professional in the Financial / Professional Services Sector

(Sponsored by Bowen Eldridge)

  • Phil Lewis, Source Insurance Ltd
  • Sophie Cecil, New Directions
  • Claire Humphries, Retail Merchandising Services
  • Rhian Langham, Principality Building Society

Tickets cost £60 and are available to buy at:

Author: Editorial Team

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