Meet our judging panel for 2021

Our judging panel is made up of business experts from a variety of industries. They carefully assess the entries and decide based on the information supplied which entrants will be selected as finalists and winners.


Roma Bhowmick

Roma spent 16 years in the City of London working for a Blue chip service based organisation, culminating in a role as MD/Head of Division. Subsequent to this she moved into the technology sector and started a ‘high growth’ business delivering innovative technology solutions. In 2003, having achieved her business goals she sold half of the business to her partner and became an independent consultant, a Business Link Adviser and then an approved Grant Thornton ‘Growth Coach’ (via the Government funded, Growth Accelerator programme) helping CEOs/MDs and their management teams to achieve their growth objectives in a variety of sectors. Her specific area of expertise has been in challenging and developing business strategy and supporting organisations and teams through change - helping business grow faster.

In 2006 she was awarded Freedom of the City of London for ‘services to management consultancy’ in recognition of her work. Roma also works part time at the University of Hertfordshire as a Senior Lecturer teaching strategy at post graduate level where she is also completing a Doctorate.

Roma now concentrates on working with a mixed portfolio of established, “high growth” business owners and Boards on further development of business strategy, as well as programmes for change (including senior level management development training and coaching). Her current client base includes businesses from turnover of £1m to £43m and sectors – PR, Fashion, Luxury retail, Investment Management, Brokerage, High Tech and Aviation services.


Krishma Vaghela

As a Franchise and Business Development Consultant, Krishma has 10 years of experience in the franchise industry leading, operating, transforming, developing and turning around multiple small businesses, using her diverse skills, restructuring, optimisation, new process and service implementation. The past 4 years, Krishma has very quickly been recognised for her efforts, securing her place as a 5 times awards finalist. Krishma also has a wealth of experience recruiting and training franchise and business partners and supporting them with business development. Krishma specialises in working with start-ups, small businesses and emerging franchisors, mentoring and supporting them through the different stages of franchising

Cleveland Scott York 

This company have been part of our judging panel since the awards started in 2015. As intellectual property lawyers they work with a wide variety of companies and bring a wealth of business knowledge to our judging panel.


Cheryl Luzet

Wagada was started by Cheryl Luzet and having won one of our awards in 2016 Cheryl came onboard as a judge and sponsor. Cheryl has grown her company into a thriving digital marketing agency and brings her expertise in business to our judging panel.


Crane and Staples

Crane and Staples have been part of our judging panel since the awards started in 2015. They bring a team of solicitors  to our judging day who all have great business knowledge and experience and an eye for detail!



Darrin Salt

Darrin Salt is Managing Director of the SCA Group and he has been delivering his IT and business process expertise to clients for more than 25 years. In his leadership role at SCA, Darrin has worked on a broad range of projects relating to software, IT installations, Digital Transformation, information security and cloud computing.

Darrin’s personal ethos is all about quality customer service and ethical sales policies that have been with SCA throughout its transition from being a traditional hardware/software supplier to becoming a leading managed IT service provider. Darrin is particularly proud that in 2018, SCA was awarded as one of Britain’s Top 50 Managed IT Companies.


Roni Savage

Roni Savage set up Jomas Associates in 2009. It is an innovative company of engineering and environmental geologists, serving the construction industry. They assess ground conditions before any buildings or structures can be constructed and design foundations that keep buildings standing; clean up contamination in the ground and ensuring all sites are suitable for use.

Roni volunteers with YMCA and Mayor’s fund for London, supporting the social mobility campaign, and helping other women find their feet and pursue dream careers. She is a regular speaker at events and provides free mentoring and coaching. She has appeared on Skynews Sunrise, promoting female bosses and gender balance.


Justine Perry

Multi Award winner Justine Perry is the owner and founder of Cariad Marketing. Established in 2009, Cariad Marketing is a multi-award-winning digital marketing agency based in Hertfordshire.

Taz Thornton

Taz Thornton is an award winning coach and owner of specialising in working with entrepreneurs to improve their visibility.  With a background in business, PR, journalism and self development spanning over 30 years.


Lorraine Thomas

Lorraine is Founder of View From My Window a property company which coaches, mentors and partners with budding entrepreneurs who want to get into the world of property but don’t know how to.  Lorraine is currently developing a £3.2m project with Help to Buy in Croydon.

With a background in heading business development and marketing in major city law firms Lorraine has spent over 15 years coaching some of the sharpest minds and teams in the country.  Previously an examiner at the Chartered Institute of Marketing she understands what it takes to be the best you can be and has a razor sharp eye for detail.

Currently sitting on the Board of Healthwatch Lambeth leading on HR Lorraine has no shortage of understanding people and process.

Listed as one of the top 100 small businesses in the UK by f: Entrepreneur #ialso100 2020 Lorraine has a winning formula.

Denise O'Leary

Denise O’Leary is the founder and owner Purpol Marketing and is a board level Marketing Director who has maintained her ongoing accreditation as a Chartered Marketer with the Chartered Institute of Marketing every year since 2005. Denise also holds both a Master’s Degree specialising in Marketing with Business Strategy and a First Class Honours Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. As well as her academic credentials, she has 20+ years of marketing experience in demanding business environments, within the Construction sector.

Denise is an experienced keynote speaker. By engaging with UK government at No10, the Cabinet Office and the House of Lords she will share knowledge on how businesses can realise their potential and win critical bids. She will define critical elements in the bidding approach and showcase the attributes of consistently successful bids. Denise measures her business success by how much her clients win.

Sharon Gaffney

Sharon has over 20 years experience working with small businesses. She has been a judge on the Shining Stars since it started and is also a judge for The Best Business Women Awards.
Sharon has vast experience of dealing with start-ups and supporting business growth with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Supporting over 1000 business through start up stage to becoming established businesses. She has strong professional skills in Business Advice, Business Strategy, Development of Training, Negotiation, Business Planning, sustainability, Coaching, and Event Management, including organising from scratch The Watford Fringe Festival.