The Judges

The Comms Business Awards 2018 will be judged by our independent panel of industry experts.

The 2018 independent judging panel consists of people not employed by businesses eligible to enter for the awards. You can read more about each individual judge below. 


(click on the picture to read their biography)

Itret Latif

FCS Deputy Chairman Itret Latif was appointed interim chief executive at the beginning of November by the board to manage the handover from Chris Pateman who retired at the end of November 2017.  He will continue to head up and manage the organisation and provide strategic guidance while the Board seeks a replacement CEO in the New Year.

Itret has an energy utility background where he was responsible for the development and integration of the successful multi million pound retail gas business and the retail telecoms business for Southern Electric and subsequently SSE.   He joined the FCS board in 2009 and was appointed FCS Deputy Chairman in Summer 2016.  As an experienced Board member, he has developed an appreciation and understanding of the essential nature of Business Radio and the Installers Group in addition to his understanding of Fixed and Mobile communication community needs. He appreciates the overall wireless and wired communication convergence and the challenges and threats it brings.   He also brings more than 18 years of telecoms and energy industry leadership, regulatory and policy development expertise and management experience to his interim CEO role.  He has held several leading non-executive director positions in Telecoms and Energy and has been invited to provide evidence to both the House of Commons and House of Lords on telecoms and energy.  In his evidence to the House of Lords in 2012 he was first to identify broadband as an essential service and a utility.   At the same hearing, he called for restructuring of BT with BT Openreach being separated to become a legal entity owning the infrastructure and engineers.

Cal Leeming

Cal Leeming
Security Advisor at River Oakfield

Adam Zoldan

Adam Zoldan has over 20 year’s experience in the telecoms and technology sector. He is founder Director of Knight Corporate Finance, a specialist boutique which helps businesses raise funds, acquire and realise value for their shareholders, which has completed over 60 transactions in the last 6 years.  He was formerly a managing director of V Networks which was acquired by Opal Telecom and prior to this he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance as lead advisor for telecommunication transactions.

Matthew Townend

Matthew joined the board of the Cavell Group in January 2012, when Cavell merged with   illume Consulting which Matt founded in June 2005. Matthew has been a pioneer in the Internet, VoIP and Content Distribution markets.  He is recognised as a thought leader and leading market analyst of these markets and is often found speaking at industry event and is a judge on a number of industry awards. He also leads major consulting projects around the world and has recently lead projects in Middle East, Africa and Asia. Prior to forming illume Matthew was Marketing Director at Inclarity. Inclarity was one of the first business VOIP providers in Europe. Prior to joining Inclarity Matthew was MCI’s Senior Director for Partnering & Solutions in Europe. During this period Matt was also European Managing Director for Digex an MCI owned subsidiary.

Ian Hunter
Lucy Green

Dr Lucy Green has a proven expertise for finding and developing the hidden potential that lies within channels and businesses. Such opportunities aren’t always easy to spot, especially when juggling the many demands of today’s tough marketplaces. This is why Lucy’s specialist insight has proved so valuable to companies ranging from channel providers and resellers, ambitious start-ups and successful enterprises. Lucy has a talent for unlocking a company’s hidden potential, enabling it to improve and flourish. And it’s a talent that over the past two years has delivered business transformations worth over £300 million.

Outside of Larato Lucy is a popular industry speaker and an energetic advocate of women in science and technology.

Paul Richens

Having held senior positions at Daisy, Eclipse Internet, Coms Plc and TalkTalk, Paul is a successful Operations Director with 20 years experience of product development, operational software, service delivery, marketing and strategy.  Paul founded Tricca Consulting in 2014 and, using his experience, is helping businesses overcome problems with products, project management, software, voice and data networks, fixed and mobile connectivity, customer service and support. He says his key skills are that he is adaptable, focussed and and a self confessed tech fanboy.

Adam Simon

Adam joined CONTEXT in 2013, working with distributors, retailers and vendors, to develop CONTEXT’s total market coverage in the ICT sector. He leads the company’s thought leadership programme, bringing together research groups on the channel (supporting the annual reseller survey) and new technologies (for example, smart home and virtual reality). He is responsible for organising CONTEXT’s proprietary events such as the Retail CEO Breakfast at CES, and is responsible for the Marketing function at CONTEXT. He has also piloted the company’s HR improvement programme for the last 5 years, culminating in the company’s recognition in 2017 as a Great Place to Work in the medium sized company category. Adam is a Board Director of Contextworld with overall responsibility for Finance.

Here’s how the judging process works;

The first stage of the judging process will last fourteen days after the closing date for entries to the awards categories. The judges will assess all the relevant submissions and support material submitted via our website.

Judges will then submit their shortlist of up to five companies in each category to our non-voting chairman, Comms Business editor, Ian Hunter.

The second stage leads on from this, where a final meeting of the judges will take place in May in London. Here, the judges will discuss and debate the merits of each entry and will allocate points to their winning entry through to their fifth choice in their selection.

The winner will be the entry with the lowest number of accumulated points (1 point being the highest and 5 points being the lowest within the selection)

In the case of scores being equal, the judges will discuss tied entries once more and if no decision can be reached, the chairman will then cast his vote.

Please note that Comms Business Magazine and the panel of Awards judges will not enter ANY discussion regarding individual entries and/or awards winners. The judging process is strictly confidential to ensure that the judging process is fair.