The Lancashire-born global chief executive of creative agency Saatchi and Saatchi has been named a life patron of one of the county’s biggest business awards.
Kevin Roberts, the former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil, has agreed to take up the role with the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which he hosted in front of a sell-out crowd at The Blackpool Tower last month.
It will see him take a leading role in the development of the awards, known as ‘the one they all want to win’, and his firm will continue its role as ceremony sponsor, which it held at this year’s prize-giving event.
Mr Roberts said meeting the businesses which picked up the prizes at this year’s BIBAs had inspired him to take a permanent role up with the awards.
He said: “Being born and bred in Lancashire, I can relate to the entrepreneurial spirit and passion to push every boundary which I saw in abundance at the BIBAs.
“I have seen many business awards down the years but the BIBAs had an impact on me; these awards are about more than just handing out trophies, they aim to leave a legacy.
“The creation of the BIBAs Academy with Lancaster University Management School and the BIBAs Foundation with the Lancashire Community Foundation underline this commitment.
“I am looking forward to helping to build upon the already solid foundations these awards have.”
Mr Roberts will be among the hosts of a series of masterclass sessions hosted by Lancaster University Management School as part of the BIBAs Academy, a bespoke support package given to the winners of the awards’ 19 prizes which gets underway in October.
He will be joined by Wayne Hemingway, the Lancashire-born designer behind fashion brand Red or Dead, Giles Andrews, the founder of pee-to-peer lender Zopa, and Jessica Sansom, head of corporate social responsibility at drinks brand, innocent.
The BIBAs Foundation is a fund made up of donations from leading members of Lancashire’s business community which will be handed to organisations and charities throughout the county.
In September, the awards attracted a sell-out crowd of more than 1,100 members of the business community to witness 19 prizes handed out to some of Lancashire’s leading firms and individuals.
The lifetime achievement award, Lancastrian of the Year, was handed to Eric Wright, the founder of construction firm The Eric Wright Group, with Chemical Innovations collecting the Business of the Year prize.
The award for Most Inspiring Business of the Year, a category added to the 2014 awards, was given to Preston-based charity, The Foxton Centre.