We are delighted to be working with an experienced and knowledgeable panel of judges from many different industry sectors, who will bring wisdom and impartiality to the judging process.  Judges will not be given categories where there is any potential conflict of interest.

Debbie Harris

Debbie Harris has been an innovator in the later-life care sector for over a decade.
She launched Autumna just five years ago, now the UK’s largest and most detailed directory of care homes, home care agencies and retirement living communities. The platform, designed specifically to provide concise and clear information to families, during what can often be a very stressful time in their lives, received over 2.5 million visitors last year.
In addition, Debbie’s free advice line – open seven days a week - directly supports over 3000 care seekers a month.

Louise Robinson

Louise started her career on the Express and Echo in Exeter and then moved to Fleet Street working on the news and features desks of The Daily and Sunday Express, before being appointed Editor of S Magazine, the Sunday Express colour supplement.

She is now at the helm of Saga Magazine as Editorial Director, and the interaction she enjoys with her wonderfully engaged readers, who are all over 50, has made it the most enjoyable role of her career so far.

Mike Higgins

Always looking to drive results and having a keen eye for detail, Mike has perhaps an over enthusiastic interest in data, and how it can be used to improve results and better target the clients audience.

With almost 30 years of media planning and buying experience Mike started his career as a TV and Radio planner buyer with Zenith Media, before moving back to his native south coast. Mike is now a board director at Precision Creative and Media who have a long and rich history is direct response marketing to older audiences.

Chris Simmonds

Chris has spent his entire career of nearly 40 years focused on serving an older demographic in both the commercial and charity sectors.

In1983 working at Saga Holidays, he headed up Marketing, Sales & Operations, becoming Managing Director in 2001. After a period in the charity sector, Chris returned to Saga Holidays as CEO shortly before the pandemic began, and drove a strategic review to ensure that the business emerged in a strong position.

Chris joined the JG Travel Group in 2022 and as CEO he has led the development of a new strategy, ensuring that serving the older customer is firmly set as an organising principle for service, product and marketing.

Annabel James

As the founder of www.agespace.org Annabel brings a wealth of personal and professional experience to all aspects of elderly care. The website and consultancy service provides advice, guidance and support for the increasing numbers supporting and caring for their elderly parents and relatives. As a regular commentator on the care sector, and a champion for all of those navigating the labyrinthine world of later life and care Annabel also advises companies how best to communicate with this growing target audience. Previously Annabel was a charity director, with a first career in corporate communications.

Michael King

Michael King, Managing Director, Senior Response. Michael is an experienced Senior Contact Centre Professional with a demonstrated history of working across multiple industries over the past 25 years. He has vast experience in Contact Centre Operations, Business Process Improvement, Sales Operations, Customer Retention, and Stakeholder Management. He joined Senior Response Ltd in 2018 as Managing Director.

Martin Lock

Martin Lock, 65, launched Silversurfers.com in 2014 after seeing a huge opportunity for a website and online community of people aged over 50. Silversurfers has built up a following of over 1 million Facebook followers and has achieved Facebook engagement levels up to 10 million monthly with a reach of up to 51 million. Some posts have had over 100,000 comments. Silversurfers also has 350,000 website members and 45,000 Instagram followers.

Lance Hill

With over 33 years’ experience in the print and direct mail industry, there isn’t much Lance doesn’t know about the wonders & value of direct mail.
Starting out as an apprentice, he worked his way through the ranks for large scale organisations, business start-ups and everything else in between.
Most recently has seen Lance launch Eight Plus – the sister company to EDWPS – a print specialist, offering management of large scale, often complex, litho, web offset and sheet fed jobs. An active IPIA Council Member & Board Member of the Royal Mail SMP, Lance has built a vast network of customers & partners across all sectors & industries.

Deb Merrifield - Co-founder Marketing Radar

Deb Merrifield started her career in marketing working in publishing. After 5 years she decided on a change of scenery and moved into financial services, where she spent 13 years in senior marketing roles at Nationwide Building Society, Abbey (now Santander) and HSBC. Then time for another change of scenery, this time with Thomson Travel Group (now TUI) where she met her business partner, Ray Hazeldene. In 2002 Deb and Ray founded Marketing Radar and she has never looked back.

Derek Jones - Chairman & Non-Executive Director

Board Director at Thomson Holidays, then Managing Director of Lunn Poly (and later, Thomson Retail) overseeing a network of over 1,000 stores join the Kuoni Group, later taking the new position as CEO of Der Touristik UK, with responsibility for specialist UK travel brands . Derek stepped down as CEO in 2022, but is still active in the travel sector as a non-executive Director at Abta and Chair of Abta Lifeline.

Rachel Pease - Founder of Mash Marketing Consultancy

Rachel is the founder of Mash Marketing Consultancy, providing businesses with marketing strategy for brand and business growth. With sixteen years’ experience across multiple industries and eight years specialising in marketing for the later life demographic, she offers tailored Later Life Marketing Services, with an exclusive offer of support for Silver Marketing Association members (please visit the Member Resources page for more information). Rachel's recent work with the Silver Marketing Association on insight into the later life market has been an absolute pleasure and she’s delighted to continue the partnership.

John McEwan - Chairman & Non-Executive Director

John has enjoyed a lifetime career in travel, starting as a trainee and then reaching senior positions in the UK and globally. He was the 1st elected chairman of ABTA and now sits on the board of a variety of travel businesses.

Carole Tidball, Social Media Manager

Carole enjoyed a successful 35-year career in Education and Management where her responsibilities included managing marketing teams, curriculum managers, curriculum development and quality improvement. After taking early retirement to care for her disabled husband, she honed her writing and photography skills and embarked upon a second career in travel and lifestyle writing. Carole is very experienced in social media, particularly from the perspective of older consumers, and also works as Social Media Manager for Silver Travel Advisor. She enjoys travel worldwide and when at home, loves nothing more than pulling on her walking boots and getting out in her local hills and moors with her camera and/or binoculars to indulge in a spot of birding.