IMI awards: Meet the winners


Every year, the IMI champions and celebrates the automotive sector’s outstanding individuals and organisations across the UK. Presented at its IMI Annual Dinner, this year’s IMI Awards highlighted just how diverse, innovative and adaptable the sector automotive is.

Outstanding contribution to the automotive industry award

Winner: Gavin White, Autotech Group

This award recognises an individual or business that has made a long-term, sustainable, positive impact on the sector through hard work and/or leadership. The work of this individual or business is underpinned by professionalism, high integrity and dedication. They have faced many challenges in an ever-changing sector but have adapted and embraced those changes to see further opportunity.

Nominated: Alex Lindley, Garage Hive and Automechanika, Birmingham

Sponsored by Delphi

Contribution to the work of the IMI

Winner: Gus Macpherson, Dingbro Ltd

The IMI is one of the biggest automotive membership bodies serving the automotive industry. From professional recognition to accreditation and training, we want to ensure the sector is staffed by the best and most talented people. This award is for the businesses and individuals who go the extra mile to help us achieve our goals.

Nominated: Pro-Tech MOT & Automotive Academy and Our Virtual Academy
Sponsored by Messe Frankfurt

Apprentice of the year

Winner: Holly Darvell, Halfords

This award is for apprentices who are making a significant contribution in their workplace and have shown a dedication to excel in their professional development and learning.

Nominated: Sameer Rashid, Maitland Motors and William Macey, Inspiro Learning & BMW Group Academy UK
Sponsored by LKQ Euro Car Parts

Full-time student of the year

Winner: Aaron Linsey, Colchester Institute

This award is for students who are not only incredibly talented but show great dedication to their studies, while always pitching in to help others around them.

Nominated: Charlie Houghton, Hugh Baird College and Ronan Smith, New College Lanarkshire
Sponsored by GSF Car Parts

Partner of the Year

Winner: Thatcham Research

The Partner of the Year Award recognises those Partners who deliver outstanding results and have made a positive impact on the auto skills agenda.

Nominated: Exeter College and Our Virtual Academy

Sponsored by Autotech Group

Equity, diversity and inclusion award: Championing diversity in automotive

Winner: Jardine Motors Group

This award recognises an individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution to championing diversity in the automotive community. It seeks to highlight individuals and organisations that have gone the extra mile in their efforts to support people of varying lived experiences, truly playing their part in making automotive a more diverse and inclusive industry.

Nominated: TrustFord and Solus
Sponsored by LKQ Euro Car Parts

Presidents Award: Small changes, big difference

Winner: Ronnie Wilson MBE, First Step Trust

Recognising outstanding continued commitment to implementing small changes that make a big difference within an organisation, the sector or local community.

Nominated: Ben Scholes MIMI, Sytner Group and Jason Emanuel, Sytner Group
Sponsored by Snap-on

The Automotive 30% Club’s inspiring automotive woman of the year award

Winner: Alison Ross MBE, Chief People and Operations Director at AutoTrader UK

The ‘Inspiring Automotive Women – Who Inspires You?’ LinkedIn campaign saw over 300 women from all over the automotive sector nominated for this award.


Alena Woolacott, Finance Director at G Woolacott & Son Ltd T/A Fix Auto Mid Devon & Newton Abbot
Charlene Gavajena, Product Support Manager at Audi UK
Carol Henry, Group People Director at Arnold Clark
Denise Millard, Chief Executive Officer at Perrys Motor Sales
Cate Parker, Aftersales Manager at Jardine Motors Group
Hayley Pells, Policy and Public Affairs Lead, The IMI
Cece Hirst, Aftersales Manager at Vantage Motor Group
Kellie Smith, UK Remarketing Account Manager (Commercial Vehicles) at Enterprise Mobility
Mandisa Gordon, Finance Transformation Manager at Jaguar Land Rover
Raj Robinson, Commercial Strategy Manager at Bentley Motors Limited
Michelle Caveney, Brand Director at JCT600
Shamaila Madeley, National Account Manager at MotoNovo Finance Limited
Musonda Hobbis, Sales Support Executive at Return on Investment Ltd
Sophie Ogunbiyi, Manager External Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe
Natalina Sutherland, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Lookers Group
Stephanie Brindley, Area Operations Leader at Solus

Sue Brownson Award

Winner: Ronnie Wilson MBE

Created in honour of former President of the IMI, the late Sue Brownson OBE, this prestigious award is a celebration and recognition of outstanding leadership in the automotive industry.

Special Recognition Awards: Honorary FIMI

Tom Denton and Professor Jim Saker

Supporting sponsors: Boswell and Fellowship of the Motor Industry