Meet the judges : Blue Patch Business Awards 2017

The 2017 Blue Patch Business Awards are now closed for judging. Why not sign up for our newsletter and have a go in 2018! We’d like to introduce you to the fabulous and talented people who’ll be judging five out of the six categories. They are leaders and innovators from across different industries, people who contribute to sustainability in practical ways and have been committed to helping others, protecting the environment and raising the bar for business development, design and craft. Without further ado and in no particular order of importance…



Jessica Brodrick joined the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) a year ago as Business Development Officer. LWARB are committed to increasing London’s reuse and recycling rates and transitioning London to a Circular City. Jessica’s role is to identify opportunities for collaboration and investment to provide a range of programmes to support SMEs operating in the circular economy.



Sian Conway is an ethical business mentor trainer and speaker who is passionate about inspiring and empowering change makers to create positive impact, reach their goals and create businesses that do good. She’s worked around the world on a wide range of social impact projects and is now an ambassador for women in the social enterprise sector. She has founded and run several successful businesses, including an ethical fashion brand, and is now the Founder of #EthicalHour, a global online support network and community for ethically-focused brands.


Abigail Forsythe is one half of the KeepCup founding team. KeepCup was founded as a response to the large volumes of disposable packaging in the food industry, as a more sustainable and environmentally conscious way to serve food. KeepCups are now sold in 65 countries and over 4 million cups have been sold globally.



Joe Murphy manages the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 business network. In practice this means managing the Foundation’s business relationships, designing and delivering bespoke innovation workshops, brokering and facilitating collaboration across the network, and hosting multi-day immersive events. Joe also leads the Foundation’s work with Emerging Innovators and is responsible for growing networks within the venture community and identifying leaders in innovation.



Angus Ross is an award winning international designer and maker with a loyal client base across the globe. Nominated for numerous awards and exhibited internationally he has been hailed as one of the leading lights in British furniture making. Angus is committed to celebrating the traditional craft skills involved in fine furniture making.




Having studied Textile Design at Chelsea School of Art, Ros Badger designed for her own label and became a consultant knitwear designer for a number of leading fashion houses. In 1994 Ros began the influential children’s clothing company Little Badger specialising in beautifully produced hand knitwear which sold around the world. As the author of nine successful books, Ros now writes ‘A month in the country’ for Country Living magazine.
Kate Owen studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London. Having a particular interest in words and narrative she did an apprenticeship in letter carving in stone. The following 14 years she was self-employed as a letter carver/sculptor. During that time she collected a range of lettering tools and studied the method and craft of applying them to various materials. Ros and Kate have created the new lifestyle brand Beggar’s Velvet.



Blue Patch Business Awards - Gill-Saunders

Gill Saunders is Senior Curator of Prints at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and an Honorary Member of the Printmakers Council. She was a selector for the inaugural International Print Biennale in Newcastle in 2009, and has continued to adjudicate the V&A prize at the Biennale. More recently she has curated touring exhibitions of prints by street artists and by modern masters including Picasso and Warhol. Her latest V&A exhibition Pop Art in Print is currently touring the UK. She writes, lectures and broadcasts regularly on 20th-century and contemporary art.



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Doug Simpson has been working in the waste and recycling sector for the past 12 years. He leads on the Mayor’s waste and recycling policy and delivering environmental priorities across major development projects at the GLA. More recently his focus has been on policy development and public procurement, supporting circular economy outcomes such as reuse and repair and working with small enterprises to grow using circular economy business models.


Blue Patch Business Awards - Judges

Jo Taylor works with small and start-up charities and social businesses to grow their impact. She brings real-life experience to support clients with strategy development, income generation and governance, drawing on her 20 year career in the sector, including over a decade in leadership and Trustee & Director roles.


Blue Patch Business Awards - Judges-Elena-Todary

Bringing together brands influenced by culture rather than fashion trends, The Collaborative Store is Elena Todary’s showcase for under-the-radar emerging designers that are not widely available. It is a space for people curious about the story behind the pieces they buy to discover niche independent labels. The Collaborative Store is more of a concept store and gallery space than simply a fashion boutique.



Sarah is Chief Executive at IOEE, working with national and international partners to ensure that the continued strength and growth of SME’s in the UK becomes a reality. Prior to her taking over as CEO of IOEE, Sarah was Head of Operations at SFEDI Group, the Sector Skills Body for Enterprise and Enterprise Support during which time she successfully led many projects including Get Mentoring. Sarah contributes to working groups committed to raising the standard of enterprise education within Schools, Colleges and Higher Education.


Blue Patch Business Awards - Judges

Victoria Whitbread and Jackie Piper are the creative geniuses behind Designed in Colour. Their Oxo Tower Studio and showroom is a creative hub dedicated to offering the very best in shopping for contemporary & colourful design-led products.


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Katie Walker  produces original, elegantly crafted contemporary furniture. Having studied at the Royal College of Art, she has a Fine Art based approach, striving to create pieces which are as beautiful as they are functional, often with an added element of surprise. Since 1994, her designs have been recognised with many awards and pieces can be found in public galleries and private collections worldwide.



Lloyd Atkin is the Managing Director of Bio-D a sustainable cleaning products company and a Blue Patch member. Bio-D is committed to making cleaning products that don’t cost the earth and helping consumers contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet. Bio-D is now the UK’s leading independent manufacturer of eco cleaning products and is growing year on year.


Blue Patch Business Awards

Bruce Aitken makes contemporary mechanical clocks in wood to a unique and innovative new design. Each clock is painstakingly crafted from UK hardwoods chosen by the client. Bruce’s background is in engineering and education and he uses his engineering skills to teach people how to slow down and appreciate the passage of time.


Prior to joining the Big Issue Invest, James was a Director at RBS, working within the leverage finance team, responsible for originating and executing transactions of private equity backed UK mid-market corporates. James has a BA in Economics and Management studies from Leeds University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.


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Natalia Komis is an adventure maiden, creative activator and business strategist. She works with entrepreneurs and social businesses to uncover their true strengths and develop a more creative and intuitive approach to achieving their dreams. She is also  the founder of Remote Mission, a jobs site for fulfilling remote jobs in socially minded businesses.