Our judging panel is made up of a selection of industry experts.
Andy is the HR Director at Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). Prior to joining GTR in 2014, he was HR Director at Southeastern for six years. His prior experience includes senior HR roles in Sport & Leisure, LUL, the NHS, and Printing. He is a NED of a large sport and leisure social enterprise organisation and a guest lecturer on the HRM MSc Programme at London South Bank University. He has a Master Degree in Employment Strategy.
One of Andy’s passions is helping young people of all abilities to realise their potential – be it through employment, graduate or work experience programmes – and mentoring and supporting individuals.
As Commercial Customer Experience Manager at Heathrow Express Daniel leads a growing frontline team and takes full ownership of the ‘Plane to Paddington’ customer experience. His team of 130 Customer Concierges and Mobile Sales Advisors are customer service experts and Daniel is passionate about ensuring they are ready to make every journey better through strong engagement, leadership and open communication. Daniel also leads the communication work stream for the Heathrow LGBT+ network and is passionate about making Heathrow a great place to be for both colleagues and customers.
Daniel has extensive travel sector experience, working first in airlines with Flybe as Training Academy Instructor, then with British Airways as Customer Service Manager. In 2016 he joined Northern Rail as Hub Station Delivery Manager, leading frontline teams at the five biggest northern rail hubs. Daniel became Head of Customer Experience at Northern delivering a step change to the customer experience and engagement strategy.
After leaving Leeds University where he had been researching in organometallic chemistry, Gary Cooper joined British Rail in 1984 being attracted to it as a commuter because of the then Government's and BR Chairman’s policy to ‘run the railway as a business’ that focussed on its customers.
Starting as a station supervisor, Gary moved through the management grades before becoming one of the first Commercial Directors for British Rail and later the Deputy Managing Director at Network SouthCentral - the BR-owned forerunner to Southern.
After privatisation, Gary undertook a number of roles for Connex at TOC and Board level including Group Engineering Director, Group Planning Director and Group Major Projects Director. In 2002 he was invited, by the Strategic Rail Authority, to take the then full-time post of Business Director for the industry’s National Task Force Punctuality (NTF). While retaining his role with the NTF, in 2007 Gary became a change consultant to the rail and bus industries before being asked to become Head of Operations at ATOC in 2009.
He became Director of Operations Engineering and Major Projects in May 2012 and Rail Delivery Group Executive Director Planning Engineering and Operations in November 2016.
His non-work interests include real ales; cooking, organisational design; classic cars; the works of JB Priestly; and walking in the English countryside.
Glynis Appelbe joined the G&W UK/Europe region in March 2016 as HR Director – UK/Europe/Middle East.
Prior to G&W UK/Europe she was the Head of HR for a FTSE listed global diversified mining company, Eurasian Natural Resources (‘ENRC’) PLC, spanning Europe, South America, Africa and Kazakhstan. Prior to RNRC she spent 16 years working in financial services related environments in subsidiaries of Barclays, ABN Amro and Hitachi Capital.
Ms Appelbe earned a business degree from University of Limerick, Ireland and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
Alison Rumsey is Group HR Director and Executive Committee member at Network Rail.
She has been working to establish a customer focussed culture since she was promoted from her role as HR Director for the Infrastructure Projects division, in 2017.
As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Alison has gained over 30 years’ experience in both the public and private sector; providing HR leadership to major organisations for: Infrastructure, Rail, Financial Services and Government.
In her role as Group HR Director, Alison acts as a role model for female professionals and an advocate for collaborative working. Her passion for putting people at the heart of an organisation is developing Network Rail into an inclusive and diverse organisation; a major requirement of the Network Rail People Strategy, for which she is accountable. Alison is working to make the rail industry an employer for everyone; through the 20by20 strategy (which aims to achieve a 20% female employee population by 2020) and through a focus on early engagement with young people and STEM subjects.
She has recently established an effective approach to strategic workforce planning which will enable Network Rail to nurture and develop existing and emerging talent; creating the workforce of the future. Through her concerted leadership style and dedication to improving the employee experience, Alison was nominated for Chief HR Officer (CHRO) of the year, EMEA leaders of distinction, 2017.
She believes that HR has a fundamental role to play in supporting a business to be people-centric. In her previous role at the Department for Transport (DfT), Alison delivered a People Strategy which future-proofed the organisation. It was designed to identify, retain and recruit the skills and capabilities required in the immediate term and in the future. Having dedicated her early months at the DfT to gaining a thorough understanding of the transport sector, Alison used her commitment to professional development to deliver the first high-potential transport development scheme (in partnership with CASS Business school) and later, in 2014, she established the Rail Executive; designed to ensure greater co-ordination of improvements to track and trains and to develop a framework agreement governing the relationship between DfT and Network Rail.
Carolyn has worked in the rail sector throughout her career and continues to do so.
She is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Fellow of the Royal Academy. She has worked on mainline railways as a depot technician, supervisor and manager, as Senior Maintenance Engineer on Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit establishing and managing the organisation’s rail vehicle maintenance capability; on light rail as Engineering Director, of the then new South Yorkshire Supertram where she was responsible for setting up and managing the maintenance arrangements for of all aspects of the infrastructure and rail vehicles.
She was Engineering Director of for the Rail Regulator during privatisation of the UK’s railways before moving into the private sector herself to, in Sweden, oversee the development of new rail traction equipment for the UK’s market. She was then promoted to take up a new role as Senior Vice President at the corporate headquarters in Berlin of a leading rail vehicle and signalling equipment manufacturer.
Her last full time role was to establish and then lead the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, UK (RAIB) reporting directly to the Secretary of State for Transport. By the time she left the RAIB it was ranked by its peers as a world class organisation and was one of the top performing organisations in the Civil Service in terms of team work and motivation. Under her management the RAIB conducted over 250 full investigations and 95% of the recommendations arising from those were accepted and implemented - creating real positive change in the industry. She went on to become the President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, completing her term in May 2018.
She is a former chair of the Institution’s Railway Division and a current member of the Institution’s Council. She is a Non-Executive Director of Irish Rail, Board Member of the Engineering Council and chair of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, Rail Working Group. She is an External Examiner for the University of Birmingham. She has previously been a Governor of Imperial College, London and has been awarded an honorary Doctorate by Cranfield University for her services to the rail industry. She currently spends her limited free time renovating a 17th Century cottage in Somerset, engaging in visual arts and travelling.
Chris Rayner joined High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd in April 2015 and holds the position of Director of Infrastructure Management.
Having started in the rail industry as an apprentice in 1975, Chris has extensive experience of railway operations in the UK and various other countries, including roles at the British Railways Board and Balfour Beatty in the USA, Sweden and Hong Kong. Joining Network Rail in 2001, he was Managing Director of the Network Rail subsidiary business responsible for the operations and maintenance of HS1 infrastructure.
In 2011, Chris became Transportation Director for Serco’ Middle East operation including operations and maintenance of the iconic Dubai Metro.
Gaynor joined rail in 2001, with a safety management degree and technology transfer experience with the UK MOD's R&D agency. She managed RSSB's cross-industry group for reducing SPADs and operational safety risk, introducing the 'opsweb' best-practice sharing site, and 'RED' videos for all safety critical staff, and progressed to lead on more national research and communication projects, including those underpinning the 2012 Rail Technical Strategy.
She broadened her experience, on BBMV's successful bid team for Whitechapel Crossrail station, before starting an innovative social enterprise, and implementing strategic partnerships in a high growth global private company.
With a renewed passion and respect for rail's challenges and the people in the industry who work to meet them, she returned to rail, joining RIA in 2015.
Gaynor is focused on delivering and developing more excellent, unique, services to meet the demands of RIA’s growing membership.
Shamit Gaiger has a wide ranging roles across the sector. She is the Director of Strategy at National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), Programme Director; Sector Policy at RSSB, seconded to DFT to lead on the Rail Sector deal as a Deputy Director; Industrial Strategy and a Non-Executive Director and DFT Passenger Services Board.
She has what some might think an unusual background for the railway industry; having worked on the floor of the London Stock Exchange as an analyst, and even including a spell of military service. Her first degree was in psychology and criminology, before taking a master’s degree in organisational behaviour at the London School of Economics. She has also worked for a major consultancy, advising diversification strategies and sitting on the boards of two foreign companies. She brings a fresh approach to her role, which has challenged the industry's conventional approach to strategic management.
Shamit influenced and developed industry and government policy at the UK and European level including Franchising, Rail Industrial Strategy and CP planning. She led the development of the Rail Sector Skills Delivery Plan and headed the industry’s strategic programmes on, Innovation policy, Skills, Health and Wellbeing and Sustainable Development. Focusing on long term planning in response to the opportunities and challenges presented by the emerging legislation and, macro and micro economics.
Shamit is also guest lecturer on the Imperial College MSc course in sustainable transport and at Lancaster University’s MSc course in system engineering.
John Sheehy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Transport Benevolent Fund CIO (TBF) a membership charity for public transport workers.
TBF currently has over 60,000 contributing members and John sees on a daily basis the amount of help granted towards the Fund’s members who experience need, hardship or distress. TBF can sometimes be the difference between surviving and going under.
John joined TBF in 1998 as a Benefits Assistant and before that he started with LUL in 1989, firstly as a Guard before becoming a Train Operator.
John is proud to be part of the TBF because he says it is not every day that you can be part of an organisation that makes such a difference to people’s lives when they really need it.
Paul was appointed as Chief Operating Officer at Total Rail Solutions at the beginning of 2017. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the business and ensuring the efficient and safe running of all operational activities.
Paul comes from a commercial background, with a BSc Honours degree in quantity surveying and commercial management. He combines this expertise with 10 years’ experience in the rail sector, to ensure strong leadership of an excellent team at TRS.
Joined Westermo in 2005 starting as an Area Sales Manager with the geographical area being North of the UK.
In 2008 my role changed to Infrastructure Sales manager working mainly for the Rail Sector but also having responsibility for Highways and transport in general.
During this period I have been developing the rail business for Westermo by building brand awareness performing various activities such as joining and taking part in industry focus and networking groups, developing the Westermo annual rail event, collaborating and forming partnerships with Key companies within the rail sector, working with Network Rail to gain product acceptance for the Westermo products.
As the GWR HR Director, Ruth oversees a diverse portfolio of HR functions, which includes: Recruitment; Employee Engagement & Reward; Employee Relations; HR Business Partnerships; Learning & Development; Internal Communications.
Prior to joining GWR, Ruth worked in a number of senior HR roles within the civil service and higher education. She has an extensive knowledge of diversity and inclusion, leading organisational change, employee relations, policy and employee reward.
Ruth’s key priorities at GWR will be to continue to put people at the heart of our cultural change within our transformation, maintaining relationships with the Trade Unions and shaping our strategy as we look ahead to the future.
Ruth was appointed CEO of Samaritans in August 2015. She initially trained as a Registered General Nurse but has spent the majority of her career in public health roles, following a degree in Social Policy from University of Warwick and a Master’s degree in Health Promotion from the University of Ulster.
Ruth was the founding Director of the Community Development and Health Network, a charitable membership network committed to addressing inequalities in health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland. Prior to joining Samaritans, Ruth was CEO of Relate and previously held senior executive leadership roles at Rethink, Alzheimer’s Society and Scope.
Ruth is a volunteer at the Bexley and Dartford branch of Samaritans. She has been a Trustee of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts since November 2015.
Stephen joined telent (formally Marconi) in September 1977 as a graduate engineer, delivering complex projects in the transport arena and more specifically in the rail environment, and has been in Project Management roles since 1999.
As Programme Director at telent, Stephen is responsible for the safe delivery of Operational and Station Comms projects in the rail sector.
Stephen leads a busy and diverse team of project managers and engineers, from apprentices and graduates to experienced rail professionals. As part of his role he is committed to the personal and professional development of his team.
As a Chartered Engineer, delivering critical telecoms projects for most of his career, Stephen is the perfect person to help judge the Lifetime Achievement award category.
Steve is an inspirational Senior Executive, attracting top talent to my team. Recognised as industry leader in Rail through extensive experience in functional and General Management. Strong team player with high emphasis on building collaborative relationships with internal and external customers.
Significant Commercial and General Management experience achieving sustainable growth with considerable experience of managing a P&L account with a strong focus on delivering improved shareholder value. Excels in challenging and high-pressure environments.
Functional expertise UK and Global in Manufacturing, Purchasing, Supply Chain, Product Engineering /Development and Project Delivery.
Extensive experience in bringing new technology from R&D through Product acceptance to Project Delivery.
Susana Gozalo is a Director of Operations with the Rail team in Jacobs. She has responsibility for growth and operations of the Jacobs Rail and Geotechnical Business in Europe.
Susana was named Best Woman Rail Engineer at the European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards 2018.
She has held Senior Project management roles in key projects for the rail industry including the HS2 Main Works Civils Contract for the Align JV and key projects for Network Rail to improve Rail Connectivity on the East Coast Mainline.
One of her career achievements was the management and coordination of the successful Technical and Financial Proposal presented by the Saudi-Spanish AlShoula Consortium for the design and construction of the railway systems, procurement of rolling stock train sets, and operation and maintenance services for the 450 km Haramain High Speed Railway line between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The value of this contract signed with the Saudi Railway Authority was 6,370 million euros.
During her more than 19 years’ experience working in different countries, in multi-cultural working environments, for diverse clients and as part of multi-disciplinary teams, Susana has brought to the table diverse experiences and ways of approaching projects which have enriched the quality of the solution presented to her clients.
She is very passionate about nurturing the next generation of Rail professionals and in particular driving the inclusion agenda to bring diverse thinking to the forefront of the Rail Industry. She is the sponsor of the Learning and Development Group for the Rail, Tunnelling and Ground Engineering Operating Unit in Jacobs. She has a passion for technical excellence and delivering projects of the highest standard. She actively promotes the Jacobs’ Women’s Network and is a Jacobs Performance Excellence lead. Susana strives to ensure that women in the construction and engineering arenas have access to all opportunities and learning and promotes and supports the Young Rail Professionals and Women in Rail Associations. Only by promoting our people in a consistent, fair manner can we ensure an industry that will grow and thrive.
Tyler LeMay is the Managing Director of Land Sheriffs, a private security and safeguarding specialist organisation in the rail sector.
Starting the business in 2005 with his father, Tyler began working on the ground and was soon responsible for the operational delivery, staff, fleet and finance within the business.
In 2010, after a successful period of growth, he was appointed operations director and was responsible for the operational strategy and delivery, but also still oversaw the finances, fleet and staff.
In 2014 Tyler was appointed the MD of Land Sheriffs, responsible for all departments within the business and also leading the strategic direction and shaping the future of the business. He has built upon company's strength and reputation, becoming a multi award winning, industry leading security and safeguarding specialist organisation.
In 2017 with over 13 years’ experience of running a successful business within security and rail industry, Tyler is now part of industry boards to help promote and drive industry best practice and change in both the security and rail sectors.