Meet The Remote Worker Awards' Judges
In association with
Remote Employment is delighted to announce the Remote Worker Awards Judges! We have lined up a prestigious panel of judges to oversee your applications and choose the winners of each prize. They are all keen to highlight how remote and home working benefits the environment, business productivity and employees' quality of work life.
Karen Darby - Founder, SimplySwitch
Karen Darby is a highly successful and inspirational entrepreneur with a classic rags to riches story. She founded SimplySwitch and sold it in 2006 to the Daily Mail for £22m.
"I am delighted to be a judge of the Remote Worker Awards! These awards highlight the benefits of remote working to the environment, businesses and our quality of work life. I am looking forward to unearthing an abundance of Remote Workers, Home Workers, Home Business Entrepreneurs and 'Employers of Choice' who champion flexibility with remote working solutions!"
One of five children, Karen grew up on a council estate in Mitcham and left school at 16 with one GCSE. SimplySwitch is her third and most successful venture to date. She initially launched as Simply Energy Ltd in 2002 offering consumers a comparison and switching service for gas and electricity.
In August 2006 SimplySwitch was sold to DMGT (Daily Mail & General Trust) for £22m. Karen was a finalist in Cosmopolitan's Woman of Tomorrow award. In June 2006 she won the Finance Award at the CBI's First Women Awards and was a finalist in the 2006 National Business Awards.
She is also a regular guest on BBC News, Sky News and BBC Radio 5 Live. Matthew Rock, Caspian Publishing has said of Karen:
" ... she is a super-inspirationa entrepreneur. Her story, of creating several major business success stories while also juggling a real life at home, is a tale of our times - of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, woman and mother in the 21st century."
Alex Johnson - Founder and Editor of Shedworking
Alex Johnson is the founding editor of Shedworking and The Shed e-magazine, both devoted to the lifestyles of those who work from garden offices and other shedlike atmospheres.
Alex is a freelance journalist, part of the online team at The Independent newspaper, webmaster at Designer Breakfasts, a regular contributor to Enterprise Nation and an editorial consultant for several major charities. He will be a judge in the third internationally - acclaimed Shed of the Yearcompetition in July.
As well as Shedworking he writes blogs on bookshelves, snooker - which he plays half decently - and optimistic creativity. He is married with three children and lives in St Albans.
Alex says: "These awards come at a critical time in the history of working environments when we are finally starting to see the end of needless factory-based presenteeism. I'm delighted to have the chance to see just how inventive and enterprising homeworkers - and shedworkers - have become in the 21st century (and maybe pick up some tips myself)".
Alex's first book, published by Frances Lincoln, will be out in July 2010 and is titled Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution!
Jackie Brennan - Founder of FreshIdeas Events
Jackie Brennan is the founder of FreshIdeas Events.
FreshIdeas Events run conferences, seminars and networking events for female entrepreneurs and corporate women in business covering a range of topics from branding, mentoring and online opportunities to discussions on the advancement of women in business.
FreshIdeas Events are currently running a Mentor Competition that gives small businesses across London the opportunity to have some of the UK's most high profile and successful businesswomen work with them to help them achieve their goals.
For further information or to contact Jackie, go to www.freshideasevents.com
Cath Roan - Founder of Careershifters
Cath Roan is one of the founders of Careershifters, a ground-breaking service for anyone making a major career change.
You could be an accountant who wants to be a polar explorer, or a sales rep with ambitions to start a business. Careershifters will help you find out what you want to do and how to get there, by offering expert advice, inspirational success stories, affordable career change workshops, recommended resources, career change programmes and a community of thousands of fellow careershifters.
Cath is an advocate for remote working as the Careershifters team are based all over the world (India, Edinburgh and London). As well as managing the Careershifters team, she is a freelance communications consultant working with businesses from a wide range of industries including marketing, new media, and obviously careers. To find out more visit www.careershifters.org.
Cath says "Many people say they want to change career, but just changing their working environment and gaining a better quality of life through remote working, is all some people need to be happy in their work. I hope these awards will encourage employers to recognise the value of remote working."
Tony Corbin - MATiSSE Project Manager, eHampshire
Tony joined the SEEDA initiated and Hampshire County Council managed MATiSSE (Mobile and Teleworking Initiative for a Smarter South East) programme in January 2006 having previously worked on the Authority’s rural towns regeneration programme.
A Teleworker of some fifteen years standing, Tony was responsible for the management of the SEEDA instigated MATiSSE pilot study and the subsequent MATiSSE Smarter-Working initiative in Hampshire. The initiative has received considerable acclaim – as far a field as Australia - and there are plans to use the Hampshire model for wider SE region-wide implementation.
Prior to his work for Hampshire County Council, Tony was operating as a Change Programme Project Manager having formed his own company, Apogeion Associates Limited, in 1998.
Before this, Tony held a number of business development, project management and consulting roles within the IT industry, notably for Digital Equipment Company Limited and training consultancy Global Knowledge Network. During this time, Tony led or initiated change and training projects for several major organisations in the automotive and Telco industries and the Public Sector.
Tony says “This is a superb initiative that supports so many topical environmental, political and business trends. Smarter Working in difficult economic times is a way to put money into your and your employee's pocket without increasing salaries.
MATiSSE helps and supports any organisation looking to move away from traditional fixed hours office working and instead introduce smarter, more flexible ways of working within their organisation. The Remote Worker Awards will help create a greater awareness for smarter working.”
Diana Robertson - Marketing and Communications Director of Business Link London
Diana has been Marketing and Communications Director for Business Link in London for almost exactly two years, joining the team when Serco took on the contract for the London Development Agency in April 2007.
Diana was already with Serco when she took on this post, working on a range of business development projects for Serco Knowledge Services, including their successful bid to run the Business Link contract in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
Diana has had a long and varied career in all aspects of marketing and communications, including running her own conference and video production company for 10 years, which took her to many exotic locations including Mauritius, Shanghai and Australia.
Prior to striking out on her own, Diana set up the events division for a leading video production company where one of her more interesting projects was the relaunch of Babycham. Diana has two children, both at University, and when not she is not working enjoys reading, going to the theatre and running. Her guilty pleasure is watching Mistresses on TV.
Remote Employment is delighted to add an exciting dimension to The Remote Worker Awards. A remote judge! Jeff Zbar is our only Remote Judge - all the way from the United States. This is remote judging ... or remote working at its best!
Jeff Zbar - Founder of Chief Home Officer
In 1989 at the age of 24, Jeff ditched his ill-paying day job as a beat reporter and writer and began working from his South Florida home office. He continues so to this day.
Since the 1990s, Jeff has been a weekly advertising, marketing and technology columnist and editorial contributor for numerous regional and national publications. Jeff was named the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2001 Small Business Journalist of the Year.
These include Advertising Age, Entrepreneur, Inc., JuggleZine, Costco Connection, the South Florida Business Journal, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, various trade journals, and countless blogsites (including his own), among others.
In July 2009, Jeff will depart with his family on Home Office Highway '09 (www.homeofficehighway.com), a month-long RV excursion across the American South created to showcase products and services designed to help road warriors, home officers and teleworkers discover that place where Vocation Meets Vacation on the Open Road.
Learn more about Jeff at www.chiefhomeofficer.com.
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