Saatchi chief will be host for business awards night

Kevin Roberts of Saatchi and Saatchi
Kevin Roberts of Saatchi and Saatchi
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One of Lancashire’s most successful business exports will host the prize-giving ceremony of one of the county’s leading awards.

Kevin Roberts, global chief executive of creative agency Saatchi and Saatchi, will fly in from New York City to be the master of ceremonies at for the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, ceremony at the Blackpool Tower.

The former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil, who was born and bred in the county, follows 
celebrities including Eamonn Holmes, Julian Clary and Christopher Biggins as the awards’ host.

Mr Roberts, whose firm is the ceremony sponsor for the awards, said he was delighted to be returning to his home county to present the awards in September.

He said: “I recognise Lancashire as somewhere that business thrives through never being willing to accept second best. From what I have seen of the quality of the BIBAs, in terms of the calibre of entries and the attention to detail of its organisation, I have no doubt the winners we will be unveiling in September will be the very best of the best.

“It is a great honour to be invited to be master of ceremonies for the awards and I am looking forward to standing up in front of a sell-out crowd at the iconic Blackpool Tower.”

Mr Roberts began his career in the late 1960s with iconic London fashion house Mary Quant before going on to hold senior marketing roles with brands including Gillette, Procter and Gamble and Pepsi-Cola.

He took up his role a global Chief Executive of Saatchi and Saatchi in 1997 yet has not forgotten his Lancashire roots having accepted an Honorary Professor of Creative Leadership at Lancaster University.

Mark Oulson-Jenkins, Managing Director of RTR Digital, sponsors of the Creative Business of the Year Award, said Mr Roberts was “the perfect choice” for the BIBAs.

He said: “Kevin Roberts is a true Lancashire success story; having come from the county and worked to the top of one of the biggest businesses in the world.

The BIBAs recognises those businesses which bring something very special to our business community and I cannot think of any better example of business success to host the ceremony.”

In recent weeks, the BIBAs revealed it is launching the BIBAs Academy, in partnership with Lancaster University Management School to provide growth support to the winners of its 2014 award.

It will see the winners offered leadership masterclasses with the likes of mountaineer and LUMS Chancellor Sir Chris Bonington, Jo Fairley, the founder of chocolate brand Green and Blacks and Will Butler-Adams, the boss of folding bicycle brand, Brompton Bikes.

Last week, the award announced it is also founding The BIBAs Foundation with the Lancashire Community Foundation, in partnership with asset management firm, Investec, and The Grand Theatre in Clitheroe.

The body will create 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.