Our Judges for West Kent
Jo Ellis //Town & Country Housing Group Operations Director
Jo was appointed Operations Director at Town & Country in March 2013, prior this role she was Chief Executive at Eastbourne Homes.
Jo started her career in housing as a housing manager at Orbit Housing Association. She was an area housing manager at Southern Housing before joining West Kent Housing Association, Swan Housing Association and then Eastbourne Homes in director roles.
In her role at Town & Country Jo is responsible for the delivery of housing management services to residents of more than 9,000 homes. This includes specialist services for older and vulnerable residents.
Lorraine Nugent // Managing Director // Media Word Waves
Lorraine Nugent heads up a leading public relations agency, Media Word Waves, based in the South East. Lorraine has no shortage of expertise in media relations. Lorraine has developed strong links in both local and national media. Previously, Lorraine worked at both Price Waterhouse Coopers and Deloittes in their marketing Departments.
As one of the original initiator’s of this project, Lorraine is in the community to further inspire and create employment opportunities.
Matt Turner // Managing Director // Creative Pod Ltd
Matt started his own business at just 20 years old and won young entrepreneur of the year and Business Person of the Year at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. Matt is MD of Creative Pod who are a leading design, marketing and print agency based in the South East. As one of the initiators of Young Start-up Talent. Matt is passionate about encouraging enterprise and other young people to start their own business.
Roger Casper// Senior Editor of the Courier Media Group
With 31 years experience as a journalist, Roger Casper is a Senior Editor of the Courier Media Group. When editor of the Sevenoaks Chronicle he was solely responsible for the launch of the Sevenoaks loyalty card to support local businesses.
Michael Stevens // Senior Partner // Cripps Harries Hall
Cripps Harries Hall’s Senior Partner, Michael Stevens is responsible for developing relationships with key clients at the firm. He is also a top ranked commercial property lawyer who acts for major occupiers in the public and private sector and holds a number of non-executive positions throughout Kent. Michael is an entrepreneur at heart and his forward and strategic thinking has been instrumental in implementing a number of significant initiatives at Cripps.
John Redfern// Head of Corporate lending in the South East// RBS Group
John is newly appointed as head of the Corporate lending business in the South East of England for RBS, with a responsibility to support local businesses in their growth and development. John spent 8 years in RBS in London working with clients across all sectors, and all scales (from private-equity backed businesses to FTSE listed companies). He spent 2 years as FD of a small venture capital backed business and initially trained as a Chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers with whom he spent 10 years.
Simon Warne // Partner // Crowe Clark Whitehill
Simon is a tax partner in the Kent office and is responsible for the provision of the tax service to the firm’s clients in the region. He advises a wide range of businesses from entrepreneurial startups to listed clients. He particularly enjoys advising growing businesses on efficient capital structures and cash positive tax reliefs as well as tackling succession issues of the sort that bedevil some family businesses.