The first step in our judging process is the paper judging. Every entry received will be read, analysed and marked by our talented judging panel made up of independent experts and led by the team at SLR. It is their job to whittle all the entries received down to a shortlist.

We are delighted to have secured the services of the following:

Chair: Antony Begley

Publishing Director, SLR

Antony Begley

Antony launched SLR back in 2003 and has run the title for the past 17 years. SLR is Scotland’s only award-winning magazine in the sector, having won the PPA Business Magazine of the Year Award, among other accolades. Antony is also on the Scottish committee of GroceryAid.

Helen Lyons

Sales & Marketing Director, SLR

Helen Lyons

Helen is the former Publishing Director of Independent Retail News (IRN) and TalkingRetail.com. She also managed the Retail Industry Awards and the Quality Food Awards at Emap.

David Rees

Editorial Manager, SLR

David Rees

David worked at William Reed Business Media for 20 years, spending the last 15 of these as Editor of Convenience Store magazine before it was taken online last year.

Jamie Buchanan

Go Local Programme Director, SGF

Jamie Buchanan

Jamie has spent 33 years at senior management and Director level in Foodservices, Cash & Carry, Wholesale and Retail channels in Scotland. Overlapping with his retail career, he has spent 10 years as a Director for the Scottish Grocers Federation. He has also raised over £200,000 for charity.

Sam Coldbeck

Retailer, Wharfedale Premier Convenience

Sam Coldbeck

Samantha Coldbeck is co-owner of Wharfedale Premier Convenience, a busy Premier convenience store in Hull. A community retailer at heart, she also works closely with Tesco/Booker on the Premier Development Group, helping to build a symbol model that works well for all Premier retailers.

Tom Fender

Development Director, TWC

Tom Fender

Tom has worked in the convenience and wholesale sectors for over 20 years. Alongside Mike Greene, he led a management buyout of HIM before selling the business after a decade of rapid expansion. At TWC, he helps wholesalers and convenience retailers improve their performance through a better understanding of data.

Blake Gladman

Strategy & Insight Director, KAM Media

Blake Gladman

Blake has over 15 years’ experience delivering shopper and consumer insight. He started his career at Kantar before joining HIM in 2009. He left his Director role at HIM in 2018 to help KAM Media drive forward its expertise in delivering market-leading research products.

Lesley Ann Gray

Strategic Insight Director, Kantar Worldpanel

Lesley-Anne Gray

With over 30 years’ experience in the Scottish food and drink industry Lesley Ann has worked in roles across marketing, category management, new product development and in commercial positions for branded, licensed and own-label businesses, supplying retail and food service sectors.

John Murray

Founder & CVO, Highland Food & Drink Club

John Murray

With 30 years’ experience in the region’s food and drink industry, John founded the Highland Food & Drink Club to celebrate the great food and drink produced in the Highlands of Scotland. He also founder of a chain of Scottish convenience stores and served on the SGF’s executive committee.

Chris Noice

Comms Director, ACS

Chris Noice

Chris joined ACS in October 2009 and is responsible for all of ACS’s external and internal communications, media relations and a growing research portfolio which includes the industry-leading Local Shop Report. Chris is also an official spokesperson for ACS.

Karen Peattie

Freelance Journalist; SLR contributor

Karen Peattie

Karen, an honorary member of the SGF and contributor to SLR, is a highly respected freelance journalist, editor and PR consultant with almost 40 years’ experience. Specialising in the retail, wholesale, food & drink, and travel sectors, she is a recognised industry expert.

Jon Rons

Co-Founder, C-Store Collective

Jonathan Rons

Jon has worked for almost 30 years in convenience retailing, wholesaling and shopper understanding, including spells at Conoco, Musgrave and HIM. With vast experience in store development, store operations, buying and other support functions, he co-founded C-Store Collective to helps retailers grow sales, increase margins and add efficiencies into their business.

Peter Steel

Joint Chairman, GroceryAid Scottish Branch

Peter Steel

Peter started his career in convenience retail, moved to B&Q then spent 30 years with Glasgow-based field marketers McCurrach, sitting on the company’s operating board for 20 of these before heading up its Irish operation. Now semi-retired, he is actively involved with industry charity GroceryAid.

David Visick

Director of Communications, FWD

David Visick

Formerly Deputy Editor of Convenience Store magazine where he worked for four years, Visick joined FWD in 2010 as Director of Communications, a newly created role to help publicise the Federation’s work in promoting the interests of its members and their customers.

Kathryn Neil

Director, SGF Healthy Living Programme

Kathryn Neil

Kathryn has over 20 years’ experience managing and supporting operations within independent businesses. Since 2014 she has worked to promote the SGF Healthy Living Programme. As its Director, Kathryn is responsible for developing the Programme and works with the government, NHS and retail industry to help Scots lead healthier lives.

Stephanie Rice

Director, Rice Marketing

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie has spent over 35 years at senior management and Director level in the Wholesale and Retail channels. She has an in-depth understanding of the independent convenience sector and her consultancy helps local authorities, the GLA and charities to improve the local food environment. She is a non-exec Board member for Newtrade Media.

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