Awards Judges

We’ve been busy recruiting some brilliant minds to judge this year’s #insidestory awards.

We’ve invited some past winners and people we admire who work in internal communication or employee engagement. Here’s our list so far, more details will be added soon.


Anna Russell, Manchester Airports Group


Anna Russell

Anna has 18 years’ experience working in communications, from her first role out of university as a football writer to her current role as Head of Communications and Stakeholder Management with the Manchester Airports Group, she has a great appreciation for bright, engaging communications.

With significant experience in change communications, she now manages an in-house team of communication specialists, overseeing communications on the largest single construction project Greater Manchester has ever seen.

Catherine Nestor, Verve Communications

Catherine Nestor

Catherine Nestor

As an account director with Verve Communications for the last five years Catherine provides strategic communications development and senior level interim support, primarily in the NHS. She has many years’ experience across a range of communications specialisms including internal communications, media relations and public affairs. As well as managing clients accounts in consultancy she has held senior in-house roles in large voluntary sector organisations.

Charlotte Curle, Standard Chartered Bank


Charlotte Curle

Charlotte is a communications director at Standard Chartered Bank, specialising in digital communications.  

For the last nine years she’s advised, developed and launched award winning communications and platforms for internal and external audiences; most recently rolling out a new global Enterprise Social Network (Jive) for 80,000+ staff.

Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Charlotte held internal communications and online marketing roles at global real estate company Savills.



Emma Bridger, People Lab


Emma Bridger

Emma Bridger is one of the UK’s leading employee engagement experts.

Emma has designed and developed the CIPDs range of public employee engagement courses and is a contributor to Engage for Success. She is a regular conference speaker and case studies detailing her work have been published in industry journals. Her first book ‘Employee Engagement’, published by Kogan Page, focuses on developing employee engagement is attracting 5-star reviews on Amazon.

With over 20 years’ experience, Emma has lectured on graduate and post-graduate courses in psychology, her specialist area being behaviour change.



Emma Savage, Powys County Council


Emma Savage


Emma has over 15 years’ experience in communications including employee engagement, event management, media relations, PR and digital. As well as local government, she has worked in communications/marketing roles in the private sector as well as the Cabinet Office.



Jackie Poole, BP

Jackie Poole

Jackie Poole

Jackie has over 15 years experience in communications, specialising in all things internal communications, advising and coaching leaders and major change programmes from organisational change to systems / processes. She’s also held consultancy roles, managing large client accounts.

Jason MacKenzie, President elect

Jason MacKenzie

Jason MacKenzie

Jason is the 2017 president of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and serves as both executive board director and council member of the CIPR.
He is a Founding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner and a Chartered Marketer, as well as being a Fellow of both the CIPR and the CIM.
Jason is a visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University and a consultant, conference speaker and trainer.

Jim Cockin, Sky

Jim Cockin

Jim Cockin

Jim is part of Sky’s Internal Communications team, helping to keep 30,000 employees across Europe up to date and engaged with what’s going on around the business.

Before joining the team, Jim spent fifteen years in broadcast journalism working in news at ITV, BBC and Sky Sports.


Jonathan Elliot, BBC

Jonathan Elliot

Jonathan heads up Internal Communications and Engagement at the BBC, working with the corporation’s television teams and the newly-formed BBC Studios.

Prior to joining the BBC, Jonathan has held positions across corporate affairs at Santander and in internal communications at Transport for London.

During his career, Jonathan has advised senior leaders and developed communications strategies to drive and support acquisitions, mergers, rebrands and culture change programmes. Much of his experience has come during times of industry-wide change and significant shareholder and political scrutiny.


Jonathan Phillips, Intranetizen


Jonathan Phillips

Jonathan Phillips is a communication and collaboration expert with over 15 years experience of internal and external communications, specialising in intranet, internet, social media, social enterprise and other digital communication technologies. He is a regular keynote speaker and a global thought-leader. He is the co-founder of Intranetizen, a world-leading intranet resource.

Jonathan is the Chair and non-executive director of two Bristol charities, and a communication advisor to UK Government and the University of Bristol.



Kate Shaw, Nationwide

Kate Shaw

Kate Shaw

Kate Shaw is Internal Communication Manager in Nationwide Building Society’s award winning comms team, having collected awards for a variety of campaigns, films and events. With over 10 years experience in internal communication, she was awarded Melcrum’s Internal Communicator of the Year award in 2014 and also part of Nationwide’s very own Team of the Year 2016 for communicating pension changes within the society.



Kate Simpson, Perrigo

Kate has over 18 years’ experience working in HR, across the Retail (food and fashion), Financial Services and more recently Pharma industries, covering a range of roles and experiences, with a real passion for employee engagement and enablement.


With significant experience in HR and Organisational Development and Design, Kate has designed and developed a number of award winning initiatives aswell as advising and coaching leaders and teams on how to engage and enable their teams to excel at the day to day as well as leading through change. Kate has also held consultancy roles, working with varied clients.

Leanne Taylor – Flett, AXA

Leanne Taylor-Flett

Leanne Taylor-Flett

Leanne is Employee Communication and Engagement Manager in AXA Business Insurance’s award-winning marketing and communications team.

During her career, Leanne has worked in a variety of communication and marketing roles across construction, retail and the public sector before joining the world of financial services three years ago.

Leanne’s recent achievements include picking up Best Internal Event at the CIPR #InsideStoryAwards 2016, being named Best Internal Communication Manager at the Institute of Internal Communication’s ICon Awards last month and recently starting a communication consulting business, Just Flair.



Mark Davies, Post Office


Mark Davies

Mark Davies is Communications and Corporate Affairs Director of Post Office Ltd, the largest retail network in the UK. He started his career as a journalist with the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, later moving to the BBC and CNN. He worked in Government as a Special Adviser for six years at the Foreign Office, Ministry of Justice and Houses of Commons and Lords. In 2010 he joined Rethink Mental Illness as Communications and Campaigns Director before joining the Post Office two years later.



Matthew Gale, Deloitte

Matthew Gale

Matthew Gale

Matthew is Head of Firmwide Internal Communications at Deloitte in the UK.

Working closely with the firm’s Executive Matthew and the team work to connect our people with our strategy – helping them to make an impact in their roles and to feel engaged in a large and multi-dimensional firm.

Matthew is a multiple awarding-winning communicator. His #AgileMe campaign won Best Example of Employee Engagement at the CIPR #Insidestory awards in 2015, while our respect and inclusion film ‘Ask yourself…’ has scooped over 10 awards, including recognition from Cannes Corporate Film Awards and the New York Film and Television Awards.



Milly James, Blue Goose


Paul Thomas, Grant Thornton


Rachel Miller, AllthingsIC


Rachel Miller

All Things IC offers senior level counsel to help organisations and communicators achieve excellence.

Rachel’s clients include Harrods, O2, PRS for Music, Heathrow Express, London Ambulance Service and the Zoological Society of London.

She’s a multiple award-winning professional and Fellow of both the Institute of Internal Communication and CIPR. Her thoughts have been featured in a number of best-selling PR books and Rachel regularly shares her knowledge through her popular blog and All Things IC Masterclasses



Rebecca Thody, RS Components

Sarah Purdie, Nuffield Health

Sarah Purdie

Sarah Purdie

Sarah is an experienced Internal and Change Communications specialist, working in-house and as an independent. She has worked in a variety of sectors including logistics, retail and currently in healthcare where she is the Change Communications Lead at Nuffield Health. Sarah is a previous CIPR Inside conference speaker and with her team at Clarks, the winner of the CIPR Inside Awards Best Use of Video category in 2015, gaining the highest ever score in the Awards history.



Sarah Roberts, Essex Fire and Rescue Service


Sarah Roberts

With more than eight years’ experience, Sarah is Communications Manager at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service working to develop two-way communications to support the Service’s largest ever transformation programme and tackle deeply-rooted cultural issues.

Prior to this she worked to empower leaders to become better communicators at one of the UK’s largest NHS Trusts in special measures.

Sarah sits on the CIPR East Anglia Committee, was elected as CIPR Council member for 2017, and is one of the IOIC’s 30 under 30.



Sue Palfrey, National Trust

Sue Palfry

Sue Palfrey

I’m lucky enough to have my dream job as Head of Internal Communications at the National Trust. I’ve got almost 15 years of experience in internal communication roles, cutting my teeth at Virgin in a variety of roles from Customer Service communications through to business transformation roles. Before joining National Trust I spent five years working for the award winning agency Home, helping global organisations deliver brilliant internal campaigns and engaging employee communications



Tim Rutter, Tata Steel

Tim Rutter

Tim Rutter

With over 27 years’ experience in a variety of Communications, Marketing and PR roles in the steel industry, Tim leads a UK-wide team centred in Port Talbot that won the CIPR Inside 2015 award for Best Internal Newspaper / Magazine.

As well as leading the Internal Communications for Tata Steel’s UK-based businesses, Tim manages the company’s UK Community Relations programme and is closely involved in external media relations and political affairs in Wales.



Tom Wilkinson, Grant Thornton


Tom Wilkinson

Tom is a senior internal communications manager at Grant Thornton UK, part of a global network of accounting and business advisory firms. Over nine years of communications roles in B2B and B2C financial and professional services, he’s worked alongside leaders through major mergers, acquisitions and disruptive change programmes, largely driven by the persistent volatility and uncertainty in the market. He’s also led on internal channel strategy development, recently integrating a video platform with our established enterprise social network and reassessing our ability to communicate with an increasingly agile working population.