Kent Boss shortlisted for business Oscars

A Kent business leader has been shortlisted in two categories for the region’s most prestigious business awards – the Institute of Directors’ London and South East Director of the Year, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Sonja Wood, director of Ashford-based EcoSan Services, has been shortlisted in the Director of the Year for a Business up to £4.99million category and for New Business Director of the Year. She is the only female director and the only one from Kent to reach the finals of this year’s awards.

EcoSan offers eco-friendly washroom solutions to businesses in every sector. It was the first southern-based business to offer sanitary, nappy and incontinence recycling and recently recorded another first by recycling chewing gum.

Sonja said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be recognised for my efforts to help reduce our carbon footprint. I’m passionate about the environment and have created a company that lives and breathes green values. I’m incredibly proud of EcoSan’s achievements in recycling 75 tonnes of waste a year.”

EcoSan was winner of the Business Commitment to the Environment at the 2011 KEiBA award and Sonja was 2011 finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year category.

Sonja continued: “I have strived to deliver consistent growth and identified new opportunities to recycle waste, continuing to set and achieve ambitious targets.”

Sonja now goes forward to a formal reception and gala awards dinner at the Landmark Hotel, in London, on Thursday, March 29. The Oscars-style awards ceremony will be hosted by Channel 5’s Emma Crosby, with broadcaster Gyles Brandreth as the keynote speaker.

Rodger Broad, Director for the IoD in the South East, said: “These annual awards recognise the hard work, inspiration and management skills of business leaders in a wide variety of sectors.

“We are pleased and encouraged that we had 250 directors being put forward this year, despite these challenging economic times. From these we had more than 100 entries to consider for the awards. That means that the finalists have already survived a painstaking selection process.”

Andrew Latham, Partner heading up PwC’s private business practice in the South East, said: “During these tough economic times the importance of dynamic and strong leadership has never been more important. PwC are delighted to support an event that celebrates the success of those directors in London and the South East who have differentiated their companies in the market place in such a positive and inspiring manner.”