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Marketing professional, Abby Corfan, has been crowned Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2016 at the 16th annual event.

Last night saw over 800 of Greater Birmingham’s professionals attend BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship awards, which recognise and reward top talent in the business and professional services sector.

This year’s overall winner is Abby Corfan, Director of Marketing & Digital at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. With over a decade of experience promoting the city’s cultural offering, Abby picked up the Marketing & Communications award before being crowned Overall BYPY16 Winner.

Ahmed Farooq, Chair of BPS Birmingham and a member of the BYPY16 judging panel, said:

“Abby demonstrated to the panel what it takes to be a director. She is knowledgable about her product and passionate about reaching and attracting audiences; skills which are clearly core to being a successful marketer.

“She understands the power of establishing a collective voice – something critical to the cultural and professional sectors, but also to the future of Greater Birmingham at large.”

“Soon after becoming director of marketing and digital at the CBSO, Abby scored a major hit with a front page splash in a national newspaper announcing the orchestra’s eagerly anticipated new Music Director.

“Now it’s time for her to make some headlines.”

Rebecca Simkiss, Chair of BPS Birmingham Future, added:

“This has, by far, been one of the most competitive years – we have seen such fantastic talent and our decision on judging day was extremely difficult. A huge well done to Abby.”

Rebecca added: “BYPY is our flagship event, part of a programme of activities which aim to develop talent and ensure young professionals can help shape the future of our sector and Greater Birmingham. Initiatives like the Future Mentoring Academy which launched last October; our new Professional Services Week taking place next month as well as a brand new Leadership Development Programme connect senior leaders, young professionals and students to provide real opportunities for personal and professional development.”

“Everyone at Birmingham Future is looking forward to working with Abby on our programme over the coming year and making a real difference to the city!”

Abby joined five of her fellow young professionals who also picked up awards on the night:

  • Finance: Ben Collins, Assistant Director, EY
  • Legal: Russ Hill, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
  • HR, Recruitment & Training: Ruqia Sharif, Human Resources, HS2 Limited
  • Property & Construction: Mike Lally, Associate Director, Buro Four
  • Technology: Mike Brooman, CEO, Vanti

In addition, Mary Agbesanwa from the University of Birmingham picked up the 2016 ‘Aspiring Talent’ Award, which acknowledges the rising stars of the business and professional services sector. Gateley Plc’s Mike Ward was also recognised as the 2016 ‘Inspiring Leader’, for his dedication to the region’s BPS sector.

As part of her prize, Abby secured a place on the Common Purpose Navigator course, designed for emerging leaders. Other sponsors of BYPY16 included Santander UK, Gateley Plc, Squire Patton Boggs, SCC, the Mailbox, Malmaison Birmingham, SimkissGuy Recruitment, Hotel La Tour, and the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy. The event was held at the ICC and hosted by TV personality Jake Humphrey, alongside BPS Birmingham Chair Ahmed Farooq.