The Prestigious Professional Clothing Awards: Man and Woman of the Year 2018

The Professional Clothing Awards bring together the who’s who of the Professional Clothing Industry, celebrating its very latest innovations and achievements.
The event is a key networking event bringing together designers, buyers, suppliers, procurement managers, industry figures, key press and media in order to recognise and celebrate the latest achievements in the industry.
Man and Woman of the Year, one of the most competitive categories of the Professional Clothing Awards, is part of the Industry recognition awards, and this year we had a group of nominees that left everyone on the edge of their seats to find out the ultimate winners.
The nominees for Woman of the Year were:

  • Louise Johnson, Uniform Manager for RBS
  • Clare Babe, Senior Procurement Manager at Royal Mail
  • Natasha Grice, General Manager of EBW Route
  • Nicki Petrie, Uniform Manager of Nationwide

The uproar that filled the room when Natasha Grice’s name was announced as Woman of the Year fuelled an endless wave of excitement!
Natasha started her career with Virgin Atlantic, working as a flight attendant, before moving to Virgin Trains in 2002, where she worked as a Customer Services Assistant at Birmingham New Street, before being appointed General Manager of EBW Route (Euston Birmingham-Wolverhampton). Virgin Trains manages more than 11 million journeys per year.
Working as part of the front-line team, meeting customers every day, Natasha describes the position as ‘a great way to get under the skin of the railway’, and took on a senior role in the recent new uniform roll out for over 3000 staff. It was a privilege to see her take home the Woman of the Year Award 2018.
All the ladies nominated for this category are role-models for women in our industry, so they are all winners at the end of the day, and true assets to their respective companies.
As for the gentlemen, our nominees for Man of the Year 2018 were:

  • Vaughan Wallis, Head of Print Management at Commercial
  • Cliff Jennings, Assistant Sourcing Manager at John Lewis Partnership

After a very close run, it was Cliff Jennings who took home the trophy. Cliff has spent three decades with John Lewis, and he’s someone who understands the uniform buying business inside out. The John Lewis Partnership’s 85,000 employees own the leading UK retail businesses: John Lewis and Waitrose.
During his period with the company, Cliff covered several roles, from selling on the shop floor, to various administration positions. He also counts in his experience nine years in head office, within procurement, managing supplier relationships and brand operations. His victory was indeed well-deserved.

The Man and Woman of the Year 2018 was of special importance to the Professional Clothing Awards, as it recognised and divulged the importance of seeing how buyers go about choosing uniforms for different job roles, cultures, sizes and gender. By speaking to all of our nominees, we were able to get first-hand accounts that gave us insight into the buying side of the industry.
Congratulations to all of them! We are truly grateful for their continuous efforts to make our industry so strong and dynamic!

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