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      Tuesday 03 Dec 2013

      A director at George Best Belfast City Airport has been awarded the esteemed title of ‘Leader of the Year in Corporate Responsibility’ at this year’s Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) Director of the Year Awards.

      Michelle Hatfield, Director of HR and Corporate Responsibility, picked up the accolade at the prestigious ceremony held at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

      Sponsored by Abbey Bond Lovis, the awards were presented to directors who were deemed to have made significant and valuable contributions to the success of their companies and typify excellence in leadership and corporate governance.

      The category winners were:
      • Family Business Director of the Year - Mark Hutchinson, Managing Director of SJC Hutchinson Engineering
      • SME Director of the Year - Tracy Hamilton of Mash Direct Limited
      • Large Company Director of the Year - Jim Dobson of Dunbia
      • Third Sector Director of the Year - Ian Jeffers of The Prince’s Trust Northern Ireland
      • Young Director of the Year - Aidan Flynn of Maurice Flynn & Sons Limited
      • Leader of the Year in Corporate Responsibility - Michelle Hatfield from George Best Belfast City Airport
      • Public Sector Director of the Year - Gordon Milligan of Translink
      • Non-executive Director of the Year - Brendan Mullan of the Bryson Charitable Group
      • Special award for Excellence in Corporate Governance - Jill Robb of Ambition Digital

      The judges said: “In an industry that requires excellent relations with the local community, Michelle has ensured that the company and its employees have engaged with local people including children, politicians, community groups and educational establishments.
      “They recently developed an apprenticeship programme to provide meaningful work experience and job specific skills to young people.”

      IoD NI Chairman, Paul Terrington congratulated the winners. He said: “The IoD vision is to support, empower and set the highest standards for directors and business leaders; to provide professional development that helps them attain their leadership potential and to encourage them to create and grow profitable businesses that contribute to sustainable economic growth and social and community responsibility.
      “Our Director of the Year Awards support that vision by recognising leadership excellence across all sectors of our economy and acknowledging those directors who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills that help deliver success to their organisations.
      “The number of entries this year was the highest in the Awards’ history with the nominees displaying tremendous business acumen, good corporate governance and above all, leadership.”

      Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: "I commend all the award winners on their achievements. These Awards provide a great opportunity for Directors to demonstrate their leadership expertise.
      “Developing leadership and management skills is vital in improving the competitiveness of the Northern Ireland economy and the Institute of Directors is making a valuable contribution in enhancing these skills locally.”

      The winners of the Northern Ireland Director of the Year Awards will now be entered into the national awards to be held in late 2014.

      Last month, two of last year’s local winners, John McMullan CEO of Bryson Charitable Group, and Helen Kirkpatrick, Non Executive Director of UTV Media plc, beat off tough competition to be named UK Directors of the Year in their respective categories.

      This year’s Northern Ireland winners will also be nominated for the IoD Lunn’s Award of Excellence which will presented at the IoD Annual Dinner in Belfast on 6 February 2014.
      For more information, visit


      Michelle Hatfield from Belfast City Airport was presented with her award by IoD NI Chairman, Paul Terrington, and Maurice Boyd, Managing Director of the awards' sponsor Abbey Bond Lovis