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The 2023 Judges


Our independent panel of judges for this year's Awards Programme brings together energy, experience, and above all a passion for excellence and deep knowledge of our sector. Collectively they bring a huge amount of expertise and insight to the challenging task of assessing nominations and selecting worthy winners.

Kerry Young

Kerry is the Chief People Officer and the Executive responsible for HR, HSQE and Shared Services at Vitrifi. Kerry is passionate about shaping the future of work through establishing truly inclusive and scalable People and Culture strategies, frameworks and processes across the complete HR Lifecycle.

Kerry is also the Chair of the Labour and Skills Special Interest Group with the Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) and is focussed on influencing employers, community groups, councils and the UK government to continue working together to encourage and support diverse talent cohorts to consider a career in the telecommunications sector.

Having held Executive, Change Director and Programme Management roles in both Private Equity backed and Listed companies in multiple industry sectors including airlines, banking, education, insurance, retail, technology and telecommunications throughout Japan, the Asia Pacific region and the UK, Kerry draws on her multidisciplinary expertise to provide unbiased and sound advice when partnering with Boards that are delivering large-scale HR, culture and customer journey transformations.

Kerry is a Chartered Fellow CIPD (Chartered FCIPD) in the UK and a Certified HR Fellow (FCPHR) in Australia.

Barry Forde

With a background in telecoms stretching back to his says as a radio officer in the Merchant Navy, Barry began deploying campus, regional and national networks across the UK while at Lancaster University, and went on to be a founder of Broadband for the Rural North Ltd (B4RN), a community benefit society deploying a full fibre FTTH network to hard to reach rural communities. This is now delivering 1GbE and 10Gbs symmetric broadband to over 12,000 properties in the deeply rural last few percent of the country, with extensions well beyond the original plan to deploy across North Lancashire, South Cumbria and parts of North Yorkshire.
Awarded an MBE for services to rural broadband in 2015. Barry retired as B4RN Chief Executive at the end of 2020. Holds a Professorial Fellowship in the Department of Computing, Lancaster University and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Kennedy Edmed

Currently at Giganet, Kennedy is known for her high achievement in a young career to date. Over the past five years, Kennedy has undertaken a number of influential roles supporting the delivery of full fibre to thousands of UK households nationwide. With an extensive skillset to drive technical delivery, in every position she has undertaken, she has made a significant impact on the telecoms landscape.
Demonstrating a commitment to excellence, Kennedy has been recognised as a thought leader and changemaker – advocating for greater diversity and inclusivity at all levels.Through her leadership and advocacy, she is helping to change the narrative around what it means to be a successful construction professional, showing young women that they too can achieve great things in the field.
Kennedy’s passion for connecting underserved areas with full-fibre connectivity stems from her belief that everyone deserves equal access to high quality internet services, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status. Her work is not just about building networks, is it’s about empowering communities and creating a more equitable society for all. As winner of the INCA 2022 Rising Star Award, Kennedy Edmed joins our panel of Judges for the 2023 Awards Programme.

Brian Dolby

As Founder and President of Proactive International PR Ltd, Brian works with telco operators, vendors and membership organisations around the world. Prior to becoming a consultant in 2001, he held senior Public Relations and marketing roles with British Telecom, GPT and Marconi Communications.
He is an Industry Fellow of Nottingham Trent University and a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the University of Lincoln. He is also a passionate Nottingham Forest supporter!

Melissa Cogavin

Melissa is Managing Editor at the SCTE (Society for Broadband Professionals) and has a long journalistic background in the film industry, where she was involved in international theatrical distribution at Disney and later at Paramount Pictures as Director of Film Operations over a ten year period.
She has achieved global recognition as the driving force behind the rise of Event Cinema; where her expansive strategic vision and superb commercial acumen enabled her to build a successful organisation and change the cinema industry.
In 2020 she took a new direction as Managing Editor of Broadband Journal for the SCTE, Society for Broadband Professionals where she is responsible for writing and editing the quarterly glossy and online magazine Broadband Journal, as well as producing webinars, podcasts and events for the Society. She also handles marketing and communications, membership management and advertising/sponsorship for SCTE.

Ian Adkins

Ian is a Principal at specialist telecoms advisory firm Analysys Mason, and a leading expert in broadband and utility telecoms with over 22 years’ experience in telecoms consulting. Ian specialises in issues related to public policy and market competition, and his experience ranges from strategy development through to procurement and commercial contract negotiations for public-sector, enterprise and operator clients wishing to develop innovative service solutions.
Ian has extensive experience in developing broadband policies, building network cost models, appraising commercial models and designing delivery strategies. He has managed over 40 broadband projects for public authorities that have resulted in successful broadband roll-out and the subsequent achievement of socioeconomic benefits for citizens and businesses through high levels of take-up. He authored the study to lower barriers to telecoms infrastructure deployment published by the Broadband Stakeholder Group that led to the formation of the UK government’s ‘Barrier Busting Taskforce’.
Ian is currently managing Analysys Mason’s role as technical adviser to the National Broadband Plan in the Republic of Ireland and advising operators on their bids for the UK’s Gigabit Programme.
Named as one of Connected Britain’s Top 100 Influencers, Ian is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.