The awards will be judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts. The judging is a rigorous two stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and to give entrants an insight into why our winners were chosen.

Meet our esteemed judging panel for 2019:

Ben Couriel

Business Development Director, Mercer Marsh Benefits

Ben joined Mercer Marsh Benefits (previously JLT) in August 2017 following a four year stay at CEB/ Gartner.

He has worked in senior business development and account management roles supporting HR leaders of some of the world’s best known companies for the last 10 years.

Ben is a true advocate of ‘total wellness’ so helping companies can ensure the physical, financial, mental and social wellbeing of their people.

Ben specialises in developing long term, sustainable relationships by understanding his clients’ people objectives and overarching business strategies.   Ben has written several articles and spoken at several industry events on topics such as exceptional benefits technology, driving business performance through an enhanced EVP, the future of benefits communications and organisational wellbeing.

He holds a degree in Politics from Newcastle University. He is based in our London headquarters at the St Botolph Building.

Jonathan Grey

CEO, Ovation Incentives

A native of Cork city and based in London, Jonathan Grey’s is the founder and 

CEO of Ovation Incentives, an award-winning incentives and rewards company specialising in multi-country programmes.  Ovation’s SaaS and mobile solutions help to influence, recognise and reward the behaviour of employees and customers to drive engagement and improve performance – clients include Sky, Nike, Best Western and Eurostar.

Through Ovation, Jonathan has always been an active participant in the business communities that seek to promote standards and forester relationships in the gift card and business incentive markets in the UK and Europe.

Jonathan is also very active in UK entrepreneurial networks and is a founding director and former Chair of the Irish International Business Network ( – a global non-for-profit networking group connecting Irish entrepreneurs and business professionals. He is also an angel investor and business mentor for emerging start-ups in the UK and Ireland.

Graduating from University in 1993, Jonathan holds an honours bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from University College Cork, Ireland. He also holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.

Marc H. Matthews

Marc H. Matthews, President and CEO of Corporate Sport Incentives DBA Pulse Experiential Travel,  has over thirty eight years experience in the incentive travel, special events and secondary ticket markets.  Primarily a strategic B-to-B service fulfillment partner, Pulse Experiential Travel specializes in providing sales incentive and customer relationship development programs based around group and individual sports and experiential vacation travel packages as well as premium ticket and ticket packages to all concerts, theatre and sports events worldwide.  Marc graduated in 1987 from the University of Maryland College of Business with a Degree in Marketing and a Degree in Finance and also earned two Associate Degrees in Architecture and Civil Engineering.  Mr. Matthews currently resides in Haymarket, Virginia with his wife Julie, and 4 children Grayson, Campbell, Georgia and Colton.

Alan Price

Group Operations Director, Peninsula

A leading authority on employment law and HR, Alan Price is CEO of BrightHR and  Group Operations Director of Peninsula.

Alan is responsible for the leadership of the Group’s operations strategy, presiding over 100,000 client monthly service interactions and client experience.

He also holds a number of non-executive positions across the Group companies, while maintaining a Group operational overview and Group HR responsibilities.

Alan is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD with 18 years’ experience in employee relations, a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the CMI, a certified practitioner and Fellow of the AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute), and a member of the Canadian Human Resource Professional Association.

Having demonstrated a significant contribution to business and society, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

In 2003, Alan was appointed to her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service and was one of the youngest judicial appointments to the Employment Tribunal Service, which he continues to hold.

For the last four years, Alan served as a charity trustee and Non-Executive Director for the global HR professional body, the CIPD, which represents over 140,000 HR professionals worldwide. 

As an industry leading thought leader Alan’s expertise is sought after regularly. His authoritative commentary on SME and people management issues has been featured in media outlets such as The Telegraph, BBC Five Live, The Guardian and Sky News. 

This year, Alan was named the Perkbox HR Hero of 2019. The HR Hero Awards celebrate HR professionals that go above and beyond within their role

Mark Smith

Head of Microsoft Solutions, Microsoft

Mark has been in IT Sales, Service and Management for 22 years covering all sectors and multiple solution areas from Software & Service providers including SAP, KPMG Consulting, webMethods joining Microsoft in 2004

Mark is a member of the Microsoft UK Leadership Team and runs Microsoft Solutions comprising of 325 diversely skilled people covering the three Microsoft Clouds. The teams comprise of Solution Specialist Sales and Technical Specialists in a shared service model serving over 800 business customers. (Global, Enterprise and Partner and Public Sector). Mark has previously held a variety of leadership roles at Microsoft most recently running the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud Business including Azure and AI. Mark is also the executive sponsor for the Microsoft UK AI Country Plan. Other leadership roles include Western Europe Dynamics Partner Channel, Healthcare and Corporate Accounts.

Additionally, there are over 150 Solution architects who work with this team having a singular goal of driving value realisation and enabling Digital Transformation for customers with Microsoft Services and Partners.


Kevin Coles

Payments and Digital Executive, A&N Consultancy

Kevin Coles currently works as a consultant and executive in the digital and payments arenas, often leading or supporting the innovation and strategic agendas in Senior Executive roles.

Kevin takes responsibility for M&A activity, strategy, proposition development and marketing.  He has been involved in the cards and payments industry for over 47 years and is highly respected and regarded having been involved in a number of high profile developments and industry deals.  He continues to be a leading innovator in the space and is currently working with a small select number of companies devising payment products and aligned services.  This includes assignments as Specialist Payments Advisor for Lloyds Bank Transaction Banking and a leading UK group designing their Commercial Payments digital and mobile strategies and solutions.

His roles have resulted in him operating in diverse environments including USA, Europe, Caribbean, Africa and Australia. Roles included Specialist Payments Advisor to Lloyds Transaction banking, interim Head of Business Enterprise for Lloyds Bank, an Associate Advisor to Consult Hyperion, Non Executive Director LFPL and an advisor on a number of M&A opportunities. In addition he was appointed Executive Chairman of Secure Electrans by private equity firm Calculus Capital in mid 2013.  Previous to that he spent a number of years, at senior executive level, developing a series of highly successful products and markets for Barclays Bank both domestically and internationally.

Kevin has also worked on a consultancy basis for Visa and a number of its members including CBA in Australia, Unicredit in Italy, Bank Of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and Nationwide. Additionally he has operated in other companies acting mainly as a Business Advisor on specialised deals, strategy and proposition development.  He advises Private Equity and Venture Capitalists on projects in the payments arena. He continues to work on payment solutions that enable secure commerce both in the physical and digital worlds.  This includes advising on and developing secure card and electronic payment methods including risk appraisal and review.

He was until March 2018 Executive Chairman of a specialist recruitment business (TPN Recruitment) and until 2016 a NED at a software company specialising in data visualisation, analytics and location based intelligence (Mapcite) for the Financial Services and Insurance industries. His most recent current NED role is with V9 Group, a Manchester based cloud based payments software group, providing multiple services to SME’s. In addition he has recently competed consultancy work for Starling and Monzo Banks in the UK. His latest role as a non exec is with Gifted to you helping them develop out a new online saving and payment product for business and consumers.

Karin Volo

Chief Joy Bringer and Director, Evoloshen

Karin is an expert in engagement, personal and organizational development, and is an international best selling author. With over 15 years experience working with international Fortune 500 companies on two continents, she has insights on business building, cultural transformation, and high performance. Karin loves working with cultural development, employee engagement, leadership training / mentoring, professional inspirational speaking and writing. She is also a Certified C-IQ™ Coach. Karin has been recognized as a global leader and employee engagement expert on the Engagement 101 list and recently named in the Top 30 HR Influencers. Her purpose is bringing joy to the workplace.