Meet our judging panel for the Michelmores Property Awards 2021
The Michelmores Property Awards judging panel will gather (virtually) on Thursday 1 July to evaluate the entries to this year's competition and select the winning and shortlisted projects.
Our nine strong panel includes professionals from across the sector, all of whom have highly-regarded insight and expertise. Eight returning judges will be joined for the first time by Jo Davis, Managing Director for Planning, Development and Regeneration at Avison Young.
The Property Awards were established 19 years ago and are a key event for the construction and property industries in the South West. Over 70 applications were submitted to the awards team this year, across 10 categories: Project of the Year (under 5m), Project of the Year (over 5m), Education Project of the Year, Leisure and Tourism Project of the Year, Heritage Project of the Year, Residential Project of the Year (35 units and under), Residential Project of the Year (36 units and over), The John Laurence Special Contribution Award and Masterplanning for the Future.
The Property Awards will take place in the autumn.
Meet our judges
Rachel Bell is an Architect, Head of Business Development and a Director at Stride Treglown. Beyond her role, Rachel supports numerous initiatives. She is currently on the SW Regional Board for LandAid and is an active Women in Property committee member. As a visible industry role model, Rachel has won many awards and accolades for her contributions. In 2018-19, she was named a UK Construction Week Role Model, Property Week RESI Trailblazer, Insider SW Property Personality of the Year, SW Mentor of the Year and was twice a finalist in the European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards. ‘Stand Tall’ is her mantra – something she encourages everyone to do.
Sarah Buck OBE
Sarah Buck is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer and was the first female President of Institution of Structural Engineers in 2007. She is currently Director of BSW Consulting, an Exeter-based company which she co-founded over 20 years ago. She has been involved in the design and supervision of a wide range of civil and structural projects during her career, both in the UK and overseas and has developed a particular interest in historic structures and sustainable construction. Sarah is involved internationally with structural engineering ethics and nationally with degree accreditation. Sarah was awarded an honorary degree (DEng) by the University of Exeter in 2008 and an OBE in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to Engineering and Education.
John established benjamin +beauchamp architects in Wedmore, Somerset ten years ago. He has over 25 years' experience in the conservation and repair of historic buildings, as well as the adaptation of existing buildings and the construction of new buildings within an historic context. John is involved in ongoing work on major medieval buildings including Cathedrals and churches throughout the South West and in the Republic of Ireland. He is a member of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) and an RIBA and AABC conservation accredited architect.
Nick Hole has over 30 years' experience in the property development sector. He is a director of Exeter-based property company Eagle One, which he first joined as a Chartered Surveyor in 1987. He is also Managing Director of Eagle One company Blue Cedar Homes, which specialises in the luxury retirement market in the South West.
Mike Leece OBE
Mike is a self-employed business consultant with a background in engineering. He became CEO for Devonport Management Limited (DML) in 1987, where he led the company's transition from a public sector organisation into a commercial entity. Subsequently, Mike was appointed CEO of the National Marine Aquarium – a position he held for over ten years. He was also Non-Executive Director of Ireland's largest house builder, Governor of the University of Plymouth, and Director/Chair of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.
A highly experienced architect, Peter Lacey co-founded the Exeter and Plymouth based Architecture and Urban Design practice, Lacey Hickie Caley in 1992 – later becoming Chairman of the LHC Group. Since retiring from the business, he has been Non-Executive Chair of property consultants Vickery Holman Ltd. and Pro-Chancellor at the University of Exeter where he held the infrastructure and environmental sustainability portfolios. He retired from both last year and is currently Chair of the Green Infrastructure Board reporting to the Exeter and Heart of Devon Growth Board and a director of Exeter Golf and Country Club.
Thelma Sorensen OBE
A well-known champion of the Cornish business scene, Thelma Sorensen has a wealth of experience in the construction sector, holding the position of Regional Administration Officer for Devon and Cornwall, for the Chartered Institute of Building for many years. She is also Hon. President of the South West Women in Construction group, an organisation she is extremely passionate about. Thelma is currently Chairman and Hon. Life Member of the Cornwall Business Partnership; she has been awarded Life Membership of, and sits on the Policy Advisory Board for the South West Business Council; she is a Director of the Architecture Centre Devon, and Non-Executive Director of Cornwall Care. In 2010, Thelma was awarded an OBE for her contribution to economic regeneration in Cornwall.