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Cotswold Life EMI Awards 2018: Outstanding Leadership Award

PUBLISHED: 09:19 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:05 21 September 2018

Outstanding Leadership Award

Outstanding Leadership Award


We reveal the winner of this year’s Outstanding Leadership Award, sponsored by Quolux

On the evening of Thursday September 20, we celebrated the region’s best innovative engineering and manufacturing companies at the fourth annual Cotswold Life Engineering Manufacturing Innovation Awards, held at Cheltenham Racecourse.

The glittering black tie ceremony celebrated the incredible achievements made by companies who really do put the Cotswolds on the map, drive the region’s economy and keep the area at the top of the tree when it comes to entrepreneurship and business success.

Thanks to both the nominations of the public and our well-respected judges, we have picked a winner worthy of the Outstanding Leadership Award, sponsored by Quolux.

The finalists are:

Eoin McQuone, Kohler Mira, Cheltenham

Eoin is the Director of Business Strategy and Commercial at Kohler Mira. Among many achievements, his business drive has seen the development of the DRV mixing valve line of products, which secured a highly profitable partnership with US partners Armstrong International.

He joined Kohler in 2002 as Product Marketing Manager before moving on to Business Director - Commercial and Sustainability and he has helped to create a new brand mission and strategy that placed environmental and health issues at the heart of the business, as well as developing an ambitious global business plan to triple the size of the company. His personal commitment to the business is uniquely blended with an ability to have fun - particularly evident at the recent Mira Festival, where Eoin put on a spectacular performance with his Dire Straits tribute band Dire Streets.

Neill Ricketts, Versarien PLC, Cheltenham

Neill Ricketts has taken Versarien PLC from a business he set up in his garage in 2011 to a materials producer with an £8.5m turnover. In that time, the company has developed three leading technologies to commercialisation, acquired five businesses, set up two more companies and helped GFirst LEP secure £100m of investment from central Government.

He is a champion of the University technical college in Berkeley, to educate the next generation of engineers. And in January this year, announced Versarien would set up a £55m graphene research centre in China. He has recently been chosen to join the Prime Minister’s trade delegation to China, working closely with Theresa May and Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade.

And the winner is...

Mark Stewart, Stewart Golf, Quedgeley

A Manufacturing Engineering degree from Loughbourgh gave Mark Stewart, founder of Stewart Golf, a solid grounding in the practical side of the business. But to further his leadership skills, he undertook the Quolux LEAD programme in 2016, following on with an additional University of Gloucestershire programme, from which he graduated with distinction.

Mark’s focus on innovation and continuous improvement is an inspiration to the business, and the new £1m factory - along with the establishment of a subsidiary business in Tampa, Florida - is a lasting legacy of his drive, his vision and his leadership.


To find out more about the Cotswold Life EMI Awards 2018 and our sponsors, visit emiawards.cotswoldlife.co.uk.

Were you at the awards? Tweet us your pictures @cotsbusiness #CotswoldEMI

Click here to return to the full list of the finalists and winners.

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