Birmingham's Professional NetworkJoin Today

BYPY17 Judging Panel

Our exceptional panel of judges decided this year’s winners of each of the six categories: Finance; HR, Recruitment & Training; Legal; Marketing & Communications; Property & Construction and Technology. They also decided an overall BYPY17 winner, in addition to the Aspiring Talent and Inspiring Leader titles, which will be announced on the 18th May.

Sir John Peace – Chair of Judges

Chairing our judging panel for our 2017 awards is Midlands Engine boss, Sir John Peace.

With a distinguished business career spanning technology, financial services and retail, the former Chief Executive and Founder of Experian led the seven-strong panel to identify and celebrate this year’s leading business professional services talent.

Sir John, who is also Chairman of Burberry, said: “I think BYPY is very important to the city. If we’re going to be successful in the Midlands region – here in Birmingham particularly, one of Britain’s greatest cities – it’s about people, it’s about young people that are going to go on to do great things. So it’s a great privilege and honour to be chairing this panel.”


Ian Barnes

Chair, BPS Birmingham Limited

Head of Business Tax, Deloitte

Ian is responsible for the Midlands’ corporate tax practice at Deloitte, based out of the firm’s Brindleyplace office, leading delivery of a wide range of support around tax for large corporate groups.

Specialising in international taxation, Ian supports national PLCs with tax strategy and policy, offering market-leading support around tax impacts on funding pension schemes.

An alumni of the University of Warwick, Ian is responsible for more than 250 staff across Deloitte UK and in March 2017, he was announced as the new chair of Business Professional Services Birmingham (BPS Birmingham).

Lynda Brennan

Director Human Resources, BNP Paribas Personal Finance

Lynda has 35 years’ experience in HR, holding various regional and European HR roles within global hospitality and business process outsourcing organisations.  

HR Director at BNP Paribas Personal Finance (LaSer UK) for over seven and a half years, Lynda has recently been successful in achieving Stonewall Top 100 Employer accreditation for the organisation.


Abby Corfan

BYPY 2016 Overall Winner

Director of Marketing & Digital, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Abby Corfan is Director of Marketing & Digital for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where she is responsible for the CBSO’s marketing communications and digital activities. Abby has worked in the arts in Birmingham for a decade since graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in Modern & Renaissance History.

Abby also has a Diploma in Professional Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, chairs the Culture Central Communications group and is a board member for the Arts Marketing Association.

In May 2016 she was awarded Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 16.


James Hall

Director, Associated Architects

Working primarily in the higher education, commercial and residential sectors, James has led a series of large scale projects across the country since joining the practice in 2008. He was made an Associate Director in 2010 and Director in 2012.

James has headed the design team on multi-million pound phases of development for Birmingham City University, and is actively involved with the British Council for Offices (BCO). He currently sits on the BCO’s Midlands region committee.

He previously sat on the BPS Birmingham Future Infrastructure Committee and was responsible for organising its biennial development update.



Dave Maclean

Founder and CEO, Packt

Dave is the founder and CEO of tech publishing and eLearning company Packt. With a team of over 400 in Birmingham and Mumbai, Packt is a leading producer of technical learning eBooks, video and course materials for developers globally.

He is a supporter of multiple socially-focussed businesses including the School of Code, a platform that helps people learn to code and get into technology, as well as Birmingham’s Silicon Canal – the city’s very own tech hub.

Dave is a prominent supporter of BPS Birmingham Future’s charity partner LoveBrum, to which his organisation has donated significantly to support its community projects. He is also a supporter of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).


Sue Summers

Chief Executive, Finance Birmingham

Providing venture capital and loans to SMEs, Sue helped form Finance Birmingham with Birmingham City Council and has led the growth of the business from a Business Loan Fund of £10 million to £300 million.

She has over a decade’s experience of CEO posts in regulated businesses including, The Exchange, Regional Stock Exchange and Finance Birmingham.

She is passionate about the SME community and the role they play in the economy’s recovery and growth.


Tara Tomes

Managing Director, EAST VILLAGE.

Chair, BPS Birmingham Future

Tara founded EAST VILLAGE. in 2013, after seven years working in the PR, marketing and events industry, specialising in retail and leisure brands.

After being a member of BPS Birmingham Future for over eight years, Tara became Chair in August 2016.

She is passionate about the city – both its talent and offering – and is involved with a number of organisations, including the Colmore BID Place Marketing Group; homeless charity Let’s Feed Brum; and BYPY 2017 charity partner LoveBrum.

Tara won CIPR Outstanding Young Communicator in 2010, was shortlisted in the communications category in BYPY 2011 and for Entrepreneur of the Year at the West Midlands Women of the Year Awards 2015.