The Judges

The Comms Business Awards 2017 will be judged by our independent panel of industry experts.

The 2017 independent judging panel consists of people not employed by businesses eligible to enter for the awards. You can read more about each individual judge below. 


(click on the picture to read their biography)

Adam Harris

Adam Harris is a passionate entrepreneurial individual with extensive business experience, know-how and expertise. A leader with the ability to manage and implement innovative business solutions, develop people and commercialise all aspects of a business. Extensive experience in idea generation and converting opportunities into success; driving profit and growth. Excellent communication and networking skills and highly successful in implementing business process improvements, defining company direction, achieving goals, change and optimising business procedures.

Lucy Green

Dr Lucy Green has a proven expertise for finding and developing the hidden potential that lies within channels and businesses. Such opportunities aren’t always easy to spot, especially when juggling the many demands of today’s tough marketplaces. This is why Lucy’s specialist insight has proved so valuable to companies ranging from channel providers and resellers, ambitious start-ups and successful enterprises. Lucy has a talent for unlocking a company’s hidden potential, enabling it to improve and flourish. And it’s a talent that over the past two years has delivered business transformations worth over £300 million.

Outside of Larato Lucy is a popular industry speaker and an energetic advocate of women in science and technology.

Paul Richens

Having held senior positions at Daisy, Eclipse Internet, Coms Plc and TalkTalk, Paul is a successful Operations Director with 20 years experience of product development, operational software, service delivery, marketing and strategy.  Paul founded Tricca Consulting in 2014 and, using his experience, is helping businesses overcome problems with products, project management, software, voice and data networks, fixed and mobile connectivity, customer service and support. He says his key skills are that he is adaptable, focussed and and a self confessed tech fanboy.

Matthew Townend

Matthew joined the board of the Cavell Group in January 2012, when Cavell merged with   illume Consulting which Matt founded in June 2005. Matthew has been a pioneer in the Internet, VoIP and Content Distribution markets.  He is recognised as a thought leader and leading market analyst of these markets and is often found speaking at industry event and is a judge on a number of industry awards. He also leads major consulting projects around the world and has recently lead projects in Middle East, Africa and Asia. Prior to forming illume Matthew was Marketing Director at Inclarity. Inclarity was one of the first business VOIP providers in Europe. Prior to joining Inclarity Matthew was MCI’s Senior Director for Partnering & Solutions in Europe. During this period Matt was also European Managing Director for Digex an MCI owned subsidiary.

Stephanie Watson

Stephanie has held the role of General Manager at MZA since 2001. She retains full management of the range of multi client and bespoke consulting areas in addition to managing all business development and account management activities.

An important part of Stephanie’s role is ensuring that the services MZA offers are accurate, insightful and relevant to the opportunities and challenges within the enterprise and consumer communications market. Stephanie retains a very active role within the research programme of MZA and engages with the leading vendors, channels and service providers active in EMEA, North America, Latin America and Asia.

Stephanie notably leads key strategic consulting projects and is also engaged frequently to speak at industry, vendor and channel specific events and seminars.

Between 1993 and 2001 Stephanie worked within MZA’s consulting team and from 1997 held overall responsibility for MZA’s complete portfolio of multi client study services and related project work. Stephanie’s work has focused on the areas of Enterprise Communications platforms and applications, consumer telephony and channel and go to market strategies. Her responsibility extends across all consumer and professional areas. Stephanie speaks both French and German.


Adam Zoldan

Adam Zoldan has over 20 year’s experience in the telecoms and technology sector. He is founder Director of Knight Corporate Finance, a specialist boutique which helps businesses raise funds, acquire and realise value for their shareholders, which has completed over 60 transactions in the last 6 years.  He was formerly a managing director of V Networks which was acquired by Opal Telecom and prior to this he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance as lead advisor for telecommunication transactions.

Chris Pateman

As CEO, Chris has the ultimate responsibility for representing FCS members’ interests to policy-makers and regulators, and for developing the Federation as the authoritative voice on all issues which bear upon business-grade voice and data connectivity.

Chris spent more than 30 years serving the business to business sector, prior to joining FCS in 2012.  A former business journalist, he spent five years in business development with a national buying group and invoice factoring hub before joining the Builders Merchants Federation as managing director in 2007. In this role he managed both a national trade association and a market-leading training business.

Chris studied metallurgy at Aston University, and began his business life as a production engineer in a Black Country glassworks. He is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Freeman of the City of London. Away from work, Chris serves as a Free Church minister, a doting grandfather, a fellow of the Institute of Builders Merchants, a director of the Institute of Association Management,  and co-founder of a community interest company focused on sustainable intensive farming.

Ian Hunter

Here’s how the judging process works;

The first stage of the judging process will last fourteen days after the closing date for entries to the awards categories. The judges will assess all the relevant submissions and support material submitted via our website.

Judges will then submit their shortlist of up to five companies in each category to our non-voting chairman, Comms Business editor, Ian Hunter.

The second stage leads on from this, where a final meeting of the judges will take place in May in London. Here, the judges will discuss and debate the merits of each entry and will allocate points to their winning entry through to their fifth choice in their selection.

The winner will be the entry with the lowest number of accumulated points (1 point being the highest and 5 points being the lowest within the selection)

In the case of scores being equal, the judges will discuss tied entries once more and if no decision can be reached, the chairman will then cast his vote.

Please note that Comms Business Magazine and the panel of Awards judges will not enter ANY discussion regarding individual entries and/or awards winners. The judging process is strictly confidential to ensure that the judging process is fair.