Oliver North, Managing Director of emergency vehicle manufacturer O&H Vehicle Technology, was awarded the coveted Young Director of the Year award at the 2019 finals of the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Awards on 18 October. The Young Director of the Year award recognises leaders under the age of 40, who have demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial potential, ambition, creativity and vision in established businesses.
Having been the MD of O&H since January 2019, Mr North is said to have won the award because of his tenacity in turning around the formerly-struggling, 130-strong organisation. He was also recognised for his entrepreneurial background, and his ability to make the right business and career decisions at the right times.
Oliver left the company he founded, North Fire, in December 2018, to pursue a new avenue and challenge after becoming disillusioned with his role following a majority acquisition of his company.
Commenting on the move, and his award win, Oliver said, “People thought it was a strange move stepping out of the thick corporate comfort blanket at the start of the year. The passion I have for UK manufacturing far outweighs any comfort zone which a ‘continental giant’ can offer, and to be recognised at the Institute of Directors’ national awards for taking the plunge and striving to take O&H to bigger things, really is flattering.
“With Brexit impending, I genuinely believe that UK manufacturing is the key to a strong economy, and I am proud to now lead a company which will boost the British system.”
The finalists were chosen from the hundreds of directors that entered or were nominated across nine different categories from across the UK, so winning this coveted award was no mean feat.