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The Society Awards 2022: Meet the judges

It's judging time... Judges, from left, Gary McDonald, Sam Robson, Amy Singer, Rebecca Carr, Ellie House, Ros Studd and Adrian Watson.
It's judging time... Judges, from left, Gary McDonald, Sam Robson, Amy Singer, Rebecca Carr, Ellie House, Ros Studd and Adrian Watson.

Hello there, we thought it was high time to introduce some pretty special people to you

The Society Awards 2022, held in association with Aberdeen Inspired, couldn’t go ahead without all the fantastic independent businesses across the city and shire.

That is after all, what we set out to celebrate when the awards were first launched in 2019; to recognise and reward hard-working businesses within Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire‘s retail, well-being, lifestyle, food and drink sectors.

From new categories to exciting plans for entertainment, we’ve also introduced some new judges.

We’ve chosen people who are, well, exactly like you.

Fellow business owners, proud to live in the north-east, and experts in their field.

So without further ado, can we say a big hello to the judging panel?

Ellie House, Editor of Society

Ellie House is the Editor of Society Magazine.

For those who don’t know me, I’ve been in the journalism industry for just shy of a decade.

I’ve tried my hand at everything, from court reporter to working on the digital desk of a national newspaper.

Now married to a proud Aberdonian, and raising a family in Aberdeenshire, Society feels like home to me.

As an award-winning journalist, and now editor of Society, it’s my job to tell your story.

And that’s what I love about these awards. Behind every business, every success is a very human tale.

The highs, the lows, the frantic juggling and moments of celebration.

That’s what we cover in Society every single week.

I can’t wait to see you all on November 10 at The Sandman Signature Hotel, because my goodness a good party is long overdue.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired

Adrian Watson, CEO at Aberdeen Inspired, and with an impressive career history.

Adrian spent 30 years in the police service, the last seven as Commander for Aberdeen City.

He had a varied career, which included lengthy spells in criminal investigation and Intelligence.

He was also seconded to government and other agencies, both nationally and abroad.

He retired in June 2016 but didn’t sit still for long.

Just one month later,  Adrian was appointed CEO at Aberdeen Inspired, the City Centre’s Business Improvement District (BID).

The BID has over 900 levy payers and accrues in the region of 850k in levy, which is significantly enhanced through sponsorship, funding and voluntary levy contributions.

This makes it one of the largest BID’s of its kind in the UK.

Adrian holds a BSc (Hons), MSc and an MBA from Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Adrian, he is in fact incredibly down to earth.

“The awards present an opportunity for business owners to showcase what they do and the part they play in making Aberdeen and the shire a great place to live, work and play,” said Adrian.

“We are proud to partner with DC Thomson to bring the Society Awards back to the heart of our city and look forward to celebrating the achievements and giving the recognition richly deserved to the fantastic businesses in the city and north-east”.

Amy Singer,  Illustrator and Owner of CloudyBlue

Talented artist Amy Singer is a judge at this year’s Society Awards.

Amy is a well-known artist and illustrator based in Aberdeen, working from her shop CloudyBlue, in Rosemount Place.

The business has been established for more than a decade and provides a range of unique gifts and artwork.

Amy produces her own range of prints, cards and creates bespoke commissions for corporate and private clients.

Her brand is instantly recognisable and has been featured in many weddings and business interiors in the area.

Amy values charity and community and is a huge supporter of both regularly.

Gary McDonald, Market Development Manager at Opportunity North East

Gary McDonald has worked with numerous food and drinks businesses to help them take their product global.

Gary is the Market Development Manager within the food, drink and agriculture team at Opportunity North East,  helping food and drink businesses across the North East of Scotland.

His role helps food and drink businesses identify, engage, and access new routes to market for their world-class products across Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Rebecca Carr, Owner, Rebecca Carr Hair Salon

Rebecca is a well-known name in the hair and beauty industry.

Rebecca has worked in a hairdressers since she was 12 years old as a Saturday girl, before going on to train with Toni and Guy at the age of 15.

Now 35, she owns five businesses, including her own hair and beauty salon, ‘Rebecca Carr Hair Salon’, which she launched six years ago, alongside The Residence which offers numerous spa treatments, plus her own shop and The Hummingbird Cafe.

Ros Studd, Fashion Textiles Tutor/Owner, Repair What You Wear

Ros Studd has worked with some of the biggest names in fashion and is now on a mission to change the way we think about textiles.

Having worked in fashion and textile product development and retail as it grew from being local to global, Ros has come full circle back to the promotion of sustainable practices.

As an educationalist in Fashion/Textiles for the last 15 years, her focus is on public education to support changes in the way we buy and maintain our wardrobes.

Her knowledge and passion goes beyond a needle and thread to the whole process of production, and Ros is incredibly excited to pass on her knowledge as a judge.

Sam Robson – Medical Director, Temple Clinic

Dr Sam Robson is a former GP, and now runs Temple Clinic in Aberdeen.

Dr Sam Robson qualified as a GP in 1997 and has been practising aesthetic medicine since 2004.

She is one of the leading aesthetic practitioners in Aberdeen, offering a comprehensive repertoire of treatments, including anti-ageing, problem skin, bio-identical hormone therapy, lifestyle medicine and weight management.

Dr Sam is also actively involved in ensuring that aesthetic medicine is practised safely and responsibly throughout the UK, and has been involved in advising the Scottish government.