Celebrating Success, Talent, and Collaboration across the Supply Chain: MDS Awards
Success and talent deserve recognition; that’s why the MDS Awards are so important. At our June Meet the Trainees event, over 200 Trainees, Members, and colleagues came together to celebrate the remarkable achievements of MDS Trainees, highlighting their hard work, dedication, and outstanding performance. The awards acknowledged individual accomplishments and captured the importance of collaborating to foster a thriving talent pool across the supply chain.
Rising Star Awards
The Rising Star Awards are an opportunity to showcase those Trainees who have been identified as having high potential in their secondments. Nominated by Secondment Managers, the awards demonstrate outstanding performance at work. This year’s winners came from a vast range of secondments in businesses across the industry:
- Kegan Stubbs – Nominated by Westfalia Group
- Fran Gwilliam – Nominated by Isle Fruits Ltd
- Lydia Buckeridge – Nominated by Syngenta
- Amelia Bailey – Nominated by Coregeo
- Megna Gohil – Nominated by AM Fresh UK
- Sebastian Daggett – Nominated by Protolan
- Luke Lewis – Nominated by Finsbury Foods
- Rebekah Fahy – Nominated by AM Fresh UK
- Francesca Pritchard – Nominated by Syngenta
- Katie Gray – Nominated by G’s Fresh
- Francesco Balducelli – Nominated by Protolan
Member Recognition Award
Another equally important element of MDS is our Member businesses. The Peter Shepherd Award is presented to a Secondment Manager who goes above and beyond to support their Trainees and always looks for ways to support their development and progression within secondments. This year, the recipient was MDS Alumna and Assistant Operations Manager with Fyffes, Sophie Ordish-Lawson. Sophie was nominated by Head of People Development, Gretta Ryan, who highlighted why she deserved the award, “With an understanding of how MDS works and the challenges a Trainee can experience, Sophie is always on hand to support a Trainee and ensure that they take every opportunity to develop. She also appreciates that challenges are part of the everyday workplace, and when these do occur, it is evident that she works tirelessly to ensure that the Trainee overcomes them whilst gaining in confidence.”
The Special Recognition Award celebrates an individual who goes the extra mile to become a passionate advocate for the programme. Syngenta Seedcare Institute Marketing Manager, Jennifer Chatwin, was the recipient for her advocacy of the MDS program, playing a pivotal role in fostering awareness within the broader Syngenta organisation. Also a part of the MDS Alumni network, Jennifer actively supports the secondment request process and has spearheaded numerous success stories, facilitating the growth and development of emerging leaders.
Apprenticeship College Skills Coach Hayley Williams joined the stage for the next award to celebrate a key aspect of the MDS programme, training and development. The David Bagshaw Award is designed to acknowledge outstanding performance in professional training, and this year the recipient was Samir Alam. Hayley gave an inspiring speech on why this year’s winner deserved the nomination:
“Samir moves with a passion and quiet confidence that has not gone unnoticed. He has been recognised by our internal quality assurer and myself for his exceptional quality of work and shining development throughout the programme. Samir demonstrates the integrity, professionalism, and humble attitude that this award stands for.”
Samir left us with some advice for future Trainees undergoing the apprenticeship training.
“I am incredibly honoured and thrilled to have received the award; it was a great surprise considering the high calibre of trainees in my group who are highly skilled and talented. To future trainees, my advice would be to embrace every opportunity given. Don’t shy away from taking on new challenges, and strive to apply everything you learn. While some tasks may appear daunting, remember that every puzzle can be solved. Seek guidance from your colleagues, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Furthermore, be open to learning beyond the MDS training sessions. During my second secondment, I had the chance to participate in sustainability workshops and subsequently lead a project to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. In my final secondment, I am exploring the exciting field of machine learning.”
The pinnacle of success: Doug Henderson Award
The pinnacle of recognition and achievement on the MDS programme is the Doug Henderson Award. Established to recognise excellence in performance, leadership qualities, personal achievements, team achievements and impact within a Member company, this award is the true mark of a high-performing talent and certainly someone to look out for. These Trainees are destined for success in their future careers, and this year’s one to watch was George Strainge.
George’s previous secondment managers left some kind words via a video to thank him for his efforts. Tim Johnson, Head of Technical with AM Fresh and an MDS Alumni, described George as “the very essence of you get out what you put in of your MDS experience.”
Tim said, “Intelligent, hardworking and very humble, George is a credit to himself and the MDS programme.”
Secondment Manager Tiana Du Plessis, Senior Commercial Manager with Keelings International, also explained why George deserved the award, “George has been instrumental in spotting continuous improvement opportunities, especially in a high-pressure environment. His positivity shines through, and he has inspired everyone around him.”
George is very proud of his award. “I am grateful and humbled even to be considered, let alone to have received this award. The Doug Henderson Award represents a set of standards I am proud to have achieved whilst on this special scheme where I have had my own unique journey.”
Take a look at the interview with George by Max MacGillivray from Beanstalk Global, following his big win.