Michael Parker took the overall title of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) last night (Thursday 18th May) as guests from the city’s business and professional services sector attended BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship awards ceremony at the ICC.
Associate Director at construction consultancy Gleeds, Michael took the title in the Property and Construction category before being crowned the overall winner at the awards, which were hosted by TV and radio presenter Colin Murray.
This year’s Inspiring Leader – someone who has shown unwavering commitment to the city – was revealed as David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham. The winner of the awards’ Aspiring Talent category, which recognises a stand-out individual aged between 16 and 24, was named as Sarah Fraser, Tax Consultant at Deloitte.
Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Engine and of this year’s BYPY judging panel, said: “Michael demonstrated a clear understanding of the strategic issues facing Birmingham over the coming years, as well as a clear commitment to developing talent in the city. His charitable work impressed all of the judges, and he is an immensely engaging and credible ambassador for Birmingham’s professional community.”
For the first time, the overall winner will receive a fully-funded scholarship to study for an Executive MBA from Aston Business School.
Chair of BPS Birmingham Future, Tara Tomes, said: “I can’t believe another year of BYPY is over – but what a celebration it was! For the past 17 years, through our high-profile event, we’ve been able to place a spotlight on young professionals who are already creating a positive impact within their firm, the business and professional services sector, our city, and their own careers.
“As with every year, the calibre of candidates was so impressive; and last night we showcased 18 passionate and talented finalists, who all deserved to be centre stage. Huge congratulations to our six category winners, including of course Michael Parker, who was crowned Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2017. His impressive career progression and dedication to the city really shone through on judging day and I am delighted that we have talent like his in our city. A big well done also to our Aspiring Talent winner and Inspiring Leader too!
Tara Tomes added: “BYPY highlights and celebrates the work that Birmingham Future does all year round so there won’t be much rest as we now begin the matching process for our latest Future Mentoring Academy cohort, which all BYPY finalists are invited to be part of, as well as launch our second Leadership Development Programme, which our six category winners will be invited to join. The end of June sees the second Professional Services Week, which engages the city’s BPS community with local schools.”
Andrew Cleaves, Principal and Chief Executive at BMet – headline sponsor for this year’s event – said: “BYPY champions everything that is pioneering and inspirational about our professional services sector. Many congratulations to this year’s finalists and winners on their success. We can’t help but be impressed by your entrepreneurial spirit, can-do attitude and outlook.”
The new West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, said: “BYPY is an excellent reminder of the wealth of talent, ambition and potential we have in our region. As Mayor, it’s something I am keen to harness and help to shape our future.
“That’s why I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak about the launch of my Mayor’s Mentors programme which will seek to use the experience and skills of our region’s successful professionals as a way of supporting the next generation. I hope many of those present on the evening will step forward and sign up, giving something back and maybe even inspiring a future BYPY winner.”
BYPY 2017 Category Winners
Adam Rollason – Higgs & Sons
HR, Recruitment & Training
Rob Markwell – Pitch Consultants
Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard – Thursfields
Marketing & Comms
Ria Blagburn – GrowBeyond
Property & Construction
Michael Parker – Gleeds
James Nestoruk – Stickee Technology Ltd