Sussex bosses shortlisted for business Oscars

Five Sussex businesses leaders have been shortlisted for one of the region’s most prestigious business awards – the Institute of Directors’ London and South East Director of the Year.

Boris Wolstenholme, chief executive of AJW Aviation of Partridge Green, has been shortlisted in the International Director of the Year for a Business over £25 million and Young Director of the Year categories. Nigel Lambe, chief executive of Horsham brewers W J King is a finalist in the New Business Director of the Year category and Young Director of the Year, while Martin Howe, chief executive of Global Immersion of Haywards Heath, features in the International Director of the Year for a Business up to £24.99 million.

WJ King was bought by Nigel Lambe and business partner Ian Burgess in June 2010, and has doubled in size and grown its workforce from six to 13. Its brewhouse in the town has a capacity of 115 barrels a week and the beer is distributed within a 50 miles radius of Horsham.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“To be shortlisted for an award such as this is a reflection of the business and a measure of just how much progress we have made in the last 18 months,” Mr Lambe said.

AJW Aviation is a specialist in the supply, exchange, repair and lease of spare parts for aircraft. Its award-winning 24/7 AOG critical-response service guarantees delivery from a significant inventory of Airbus and Boeing spare parts valued in excess of $425m. As well as its UK base, it operates out of Dubai, Singapore and Miami, with a total of 310 employees.

Boris Wolstenholme, who joined the company’s logistics centre 16 years ago as a graduate trainee, became CEO in October 2009 and has overseen company growth of over 60 per cent.

“I am delighted to be a finalist,” he said. “The board’s confidence in appointing me to the demanding role of CEO acknowledged my achievements and capabilities within AJW Aviation. But this recognition from the outside business community is also highly valued.”

Global Immersion resulted from a 2007 management buy-out of a company building flight simulators. With offices in Haywards Heath and the USA, its expertise in building planetariums and 3D and 4D cinema systems has seen it win contracts around the world.

Martin Howe said: “It was a very pleasant surprise to learn I had been nominated for the award. As a small, fast growing company, it is a pleasing reflection on the team. They are delivering incredibly complex projects which have already earned several international awards. Without our people, we wouldn’t have got to where we are now

Other Sussex nominees include Wayne Story, CEO of Worthing-based Equiniti Group, a finalist in the Director of the Year for a Business with a turnover of £100 million and over category, while James Bryant of Bryant Recycling of Lancing, is a finalist in the New Business Director of the Year category.

All now go forward to a formal reception and gala awards dinner at the Landmark Hotel, in London, on Thursday March 29. The Oscars-style awards ceremony will be hosted by Channel 5’s Emma Crosby, with broadcaster Gyles Brandreth as the keynote speaker.

Tickets are available from the awards office on 02380 266548 or by emailing [email protected]