We are grateful to our experienced judges drawn from business, public bodies and membership organisations to bring the broadest possible knowledge and expertise to the selection process.


Simon Argent

Human Resources Director, Newport Wafer Fab Limited

Simon is a Senior HR Leader with over 28-years’ experience primarily focussed in the manufacturing sector having previously worked for Hoover, LG Semiconductors, Senior Plc, TT electronics Plc and Infineon Technologies AG with brief forays into the NHS and Ministry of Defence. He is highly experienced in providing HR guidance and advice to the leadership community to Board Level, executive coaching, talent mapping and planning, organisation design and development, employee engagement/relations, change management, mergers and acquisitions and strategy development.
Simon is passionate about Organisational Development employee engagement, communication, culture and values and is currently the chair of the CIPD Wales OD network.

Caroline Belasco

Regional Facilitator, CIPD Wales

Caroline has recently been appointed as CIPD Wales’ first volunteer Regional Facilitator, working alongside Lesley with a focus on aligning the strategy and delivery of the three Welsh branches. With over four years as Chair of the South West Wales branch, and countless years in other branch roles, Caroline is well placed to provide the highest level of guidance and support to our volunteer teams.
Her ‘day job’ is Executive Director of HR and Corporate Services at Coastal Housing Group where she leads a team covering HR, OD, L&D, IT, Governance and Facilities and Communications. She has over 20 years’ experience of people management in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, holds an MBA, Law degree Masters in HR, is level 7 accredited in both Strategic Leadership and Executive Coaching, and is trained in Systems Thinking and Restorative Practice.

Nia Bennett

Independent HR & OD Consultant

A member of CIPD for over 30 years, Nia is passionate about the difference quality HR can make not only to organisational success but to people’s lives. Having worked across sectors in Business Partnership and Leadership roles, Nia now works as an independent consultant undertaking strategic HR & OD project work to support and compliment the work of internal HR/OD departments.


Nicola Montgomery

UK HR Director, Airbus Operations Ltd

Nicola has been UK HR Director for Airbus since October 2019, with two main UK sites: Filton near Bristol and Broughton in North Wales. Nicola grew up and was educated in Scotland and has a BA (Hons) in Business Studies & Languages and a PGDip in Human Resource Management from Edinburgh Napier University.
After joining the Airbus Graduate Programme, Nicola has spent 15 years with the company in various HR roles, including transnational Senior HRBP responsibility across UK, France, Germany & Spain. She is currently HRBP for the Wing Manufacturing organisation in addition to her role as HRD for the UK.

Paul Harris

Director of Regional Sales, Lee Hecht Harrison

Paul developed a career at Board Level as an HRD in the electronics sector including telecommunications and television manufacture in the UK and overseas. He has been extensively involved in managing major change programmes in heavily unionised environments involving restructure and business process re‐engineering.
Paul has spent the last fifteen years working in a Consultancy business development role with a broad spectrum of key clients across the UK on change programmes helping develop bespoke solutions for clients utilising the support from professional services within the portfolio of LHH on Outplacement, OD, Assessment, Coaching and Leadership Development.
Fellow CIPD member, active in promoting the profession across the UK.

Stuart Jaynes

Director of People Services, Bluestone Resorts Ltd

Stuart leads the people agenda at Bluestone Resorts Limited as Director of People Services. Stuart began his career as a Graduate Trainee at Marks & Spencer having graduated from the University of Wales with a First Class Honours Degree in Business and Human Resource Management, quickly progressing into senior leadership roles within the company. After 13 successful years at M&S, he joined KFC UK&I to lead HR strategy in Wales and the South West.
Stuart is tenacious, honest, grounded and firmly believes your personality is your “business card”.  In his spare time you’ll find Stuart walking the stunning coastal paths close to his home in South West Wales with his family and Cockapoo Maggie.


Peter Kennedy

Director of HR & Corporate Services, Welsh Government

Peter is on the Board of Welsh Government in his capacity as Director – HR & Corporate Services. Peter joined the organisation in 2004 having worked for several years within the Ministry of Defence. He is an HR professional with many years’ experience of both operational and strategic Human Resources together with experience of Health and Safety, Facilities Management and Emergency Planning.
Peter also has additional responsibilities as Lead Sponsor of Welsh Government Sponsored Bodies and, as the Senior Information Risk Owner.
Peter spent nine years in the RAF within aircraft maintenance and technical training roles.

Gaynor Morris

Executive Director People, Pobl

Gaynor is a qualified CIPD professional with over 30 years’ experience across several sectors, namely pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and recycling industries. She holds a master’s degree in Human Resources Development and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Gaynor’s role at Pobl covers people services including talent attraction, talent development, HR, people systems, along with organisational development.
Gaynor is passionate about people and has a special interest in talent development and colleague experience.

Jane O’Rourke

Director of HR, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Jane is the Director of Human Resources at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, a dual sector institution with campuses in West Wales and London plus learning centres in Cardiff and Birmingham.
Prior to joining the University, Jane was Head of HR Consulting for Eversheds‐Sutherland and led HR functions for Hugh James solicitors and Toshiba Information Systems (UK) Limited.
Jane is Chair of Universities Human Resources (UHR) Wales, the professional organisation for Human Resources practitioners in the higher education sector. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.

Lee Ann Panglea

Head of CIPD Scotland and NI

Lee Ann leads CIPD’s effort in Scotland and Northern Ireland to promote CIPD as the indispensable voice in people and development, and a career partner to almost 11,000 CIPD members in Scotland. Through strengthening relationships with local policy makers, key employers, strategic partners, and CIPD’s network of engaged volunteers, Lee Ann and her colleagues encourage influencers in the world of work to value people and development as key to better work and working lives.
With over 20 years’ commercial experience across the consumer, retail and professional services sectors throughout the UK, Lee Ann brings significant personal experience of the world of work to her current role.

Stephen Pobjoy

Senior Stakeholder Lead, CIPD

Stephen is the Senior Stakeholder Lead at the CIPD, where he helps develop and support the Senior HRDs within CIPD’s vibrant HR Leaders’ Network.
Stephen’s background includes several senior Head of Events and Head of Content roles in industry associations within publishing, logistics, IT and technology.
With over 20 years’ experience of content production, running leading exhibitions, C-suite networks, and online events he has managed events in every industry vertical globally. In 2019 Stephen set up Events Creator Ltd to aid companies’ growth and to advise on the strategy of their events portfolios with a specific foundation of research and content. He has been working with clients to shift to virtual and hybrid event planning and execution, for example on Ceridian’s global customer event ‘INSIGHTS 2020’ for an audience over 30,000 guests.

Mark Stevenson

Director of People and Organisational Development, South Wales Police

Mark joined South Wales Police in September 2018, having enjoyed a career spanning over 18 years within the private engineering and manufacturing sector, including Tata Steel.
Mark provides depth and diversity experience across the People Management agenda, having held senior roles within Industrial Relations, Reward, Talent and Organisational transformation.
Mark is a chartered fellow of the CIPD and a Member of the Industrial Law Society. Mark graduated with an MA Geography from University of St Andrews in 1998, has a Masters degree in HR Management (MSC) and Employment Law and Practice (LLM).




Harry Barton

Emeritus Professor

Up until his retirement in early 2017 Harry Barton was Professor of Human Resource Management and Professional Practice and Head of Research at Nottingham Business School (NBS), Nottingham Trent University. He currently works as a part-time HR consultant for Watson Marton Ltd.
Prior to this Harry held posts in policy development, research and management within the Metropolitan Police, Audit Commission and Cardiff Business School. His wider research interests are in the areas of international HRM; public services management; ‘lean’ in public services; police performance management and the future of management education, outputs of which have resulted in both national and international publications.
He has previously served as Chair of the South East Wales Branch of the CIPD. In 2014 he was he was elected as a Council Member to the British Academy of Management and the following year he was made a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.


Louise Price

Partner and Head of Employment and HR Services – Hugh James

Louise is the head of the Employment and HR Services team leading a team of employment lawyers who specialise in all aspects of employment law, data protection and immigration. Louise has been with Hugh James since 2001 and has 16 years post qualification experience as an employment lawyer.
Louise has extensive experience advising HR professionals across the full spectrum of employment issues including discrimination, business restructures, trade union issues, complex and drawn-out grievances and senior management disciplinary/exit strategies.