IoD Scotland names winners of Director of the Year Awards - honouring their 'resilience'

The Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland has revealed the winners of its Director of the Year Awards 2021, with organisers paying tribute to the “resilience and tenacity” demonstrated by leaders during the pandemic.

The live online ceremony last night was hosted by Shereen Nanjiani, and the awards, headline sponsored by high-level recruiter Badenoch + Clark, saw the naming of the national winners of the 12 director categories, seven regional categories and four discretionary awards to celebrate business accomplishments in 2021.

Duncan MacLean, chief executive of Candle Shack, was named Director of the Year – Large Business. The IoD highlighted his “agile leadership that enabled the company to continue strong growth even during the pandemic, expanding markets in the UK and Europe”.

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The awards honour leaders 'who are continuing to drive Scotland’s economy and communities forward', according to the Iod Scotland's national director Louise Macdonald. Picture: Phil Wilkinson.

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Also honoured at the event was Simon Poole, owner and MD at Jerba Campervans, who won the Director of the Year – Small-Medium Business award. He was praised for his leadership on strong customer service and championing high levels of employee wellbeing.

IoD Scotland added that this year also saw a new award to pay tribute to the commitment and drive shown by leaders during the pandemic. The inaugural Agility and Resilience Director of the Year prize was won by Lynn Laughland, MD of HRM Homecare Services, with judges saying she “went to extraordinary lengths to increase HRM’s critical-care service offering during the pandemic, providing the highest level of front-line support to the most vulnerable”.

Other categories included the top leader of a family business, which went to Michael Longstaffe of Smith Anderson Group, while discretionary awards included the IoD Scotland Chair’s Award, which was presented to Vivienne MacLaren, chair of Scottish Women’s Football, who was credited with having “transformed” the organisation. Additionally, Alastair Davis of Social Investment Scotland triumphed in the Third Sector category.

Louise Macdonald, national director of the IoD in Scotland, said: “Leaders have faced an incredibly challenging two years in businesses and cross-sector organisations across the country, with many being forced to pivot operations and switch from thriving to surviving – and back to thriving.

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"The awards honour the resilience and tenacity of those directors, celebrating the leaders who are continuing to drive Scotland’s economy and communities forward with passion and determination despite the most extraordinary conditions.”

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