The pro-manchester Made in Manchester Awards crowned the city’s youngest professional talent on Thursday night.

New categories at the ninth annual edition, held at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, included sustainability champion, diversity & inclusivity champion and hospitality professional of the year.

Along with the inclusion of The Manchester Community Hero award, these new categories created the biggest award line-up in the event’s history and attracted a record number of attendees.

Returning to the big stage after a virtual event in 2021, the event was hosted by radio and TV personality Jenny Powell and celebrated excellence in innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, training and development and leadership. 

“It has been amazing to see a record number of applicants this year but even better than that to see a jam-packed room of people ready to celebrate that fantastic talent in-person,” said chair of future pro-manchester Laura Guillon, also a senior associate at Hall Brown. 

“Despite taking the chair of future pro-manchester role back in 2020, this has been my first ‘live’ Made in Manchester Awards and it was worth the wait. 

“It has been the most challenging 18 months some of us may ever experience in our careers and the quality of applicants and sheer talent on stage this evening has been the ultimate testament to the resilience of Manchester’s business community and leaders of tomorrow.”


Apprentice of the Year – Kieran Wilkinson, Koderly

Business Development/Sales Professional of the Year: – Joseph Venables, Bruntwood SciTech

Business Owner/Entrepreneur of the Year – Duane Cormell, Realm Recruitment 

Business Support Professional of the Year – Samuel Bafunso, GC Business Growth Hub

Diversity and Inclusivity Champion – Emily Hopkins, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 

Finance Professional of the Year – Andrew Kilheeney, NatWest

Graduate of the Year – Thomas Felton, BNY Mellon

Hospitality Professional of the Year – Becky Wilkes, D&D London 

HR Professional of the Year – Hollie Ward, Creative Support 

Lawyer of the Year – Megan Christie-Copeland, JMW 

Manager of the Year – Toni Rollinson, Creative Support 

Manchester Community Hero – Robert Philip Jones, Thales

Marketing, Advertising or Creative Professional of the Year – Lily Shepherd, Dakota Hotels 

Recruitment/Talent Professional of the Year – Ruby Melling, IN4 Talent 

Sustainability Champion – Fatima Mohammed, All + Management

Team of the Year – Legacy Pets Cremation Services 

Technology/Innovation Professional of the Year – Ben Grubert, INEVITABLE 

Chairman’s Rising Star Award – Megan Christie-Copeland, JMW

Together was gold sponsor for the event while Squire Patton Boggs was silver sponsor. Category sponsors included Sharp, Hall Brown Family Law, Latitude Marketing, Vision Events, Rupee, Manchester Metropolitan University, William James Recruitment and Addleshaw Goddard.