MKBAA judges outline the criteria for success

Nov 05, 2016

With 12 categories for businesses to enter, ranging from the Community Impact award to the Professional Practice award, businesses with a Milton Keynes postcode are being encouraged to apply for a maximum of two awards.

Head judge Sir John Southby Bt (pictured) has had a distinguished career in engineering and has been involved in the Milton Keynes business community for over 25 years.

When asked about what the judging panel would be looking for he advised, “Keep it simple and answer the questions. We are looking for something exceptional or different. Use your own words to sell this to us.”

Jon Corbett is regional director; head of SME at Barclays. He said: “I am really keen to see how businesses have contributed to the success of Milton Keynes and the surrounding area; through its contribution to the local economy, employability or promotion of our great city.”

University Campus Milton Keynes director Dr Gordon Mellor is looking for ambition from businesses entering MKBAA this year. 

“I am drawn to those entries that show ambition, imagination and drive,” he said. “If a business has those qualities it has potential to succeed in a difficult and demanding environment.”

Julia Upton, former chief executive at Milton Keynes Community Foundation, brings a wealth of knowledge and empathy to the judging panel and she echoes Sir John’s words.

"Begin early, be succinct and explain in a straightforward way what your organisation actually does,” she said. “This is not a marketing exercise;be clear and answer the questions, providing evidence of achievements (facts and figures). Tell us about your organisation’s strengths, what makes you stand out and what you are most proud of."

Fellow judge Carole Mills, chief executive at Milton Keynes Council, said: “This is not a time to be modest about your achievements – be clear, concise and compelling.  Tell us what you have done and the obstacles you have overcome to secure your success.”

Steve Hill, external engagement director at the Open University, added: “I want to see a business’s passion for excellent service and innovation shine through, this should come naturally if it is written with sincerity and genuineness.”

The entry deadline of November 23 is looming ever closer. To enter the MKBAA, or to book a table at the awards ceremony, visit

To find out more follow @MK_BAA on Twitter, and join the discussion on LinkedIn. 

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