Laura named Birm­ing­ham Young Pro­fes­sional ofYear

Birmingham Post - - FEATURE - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

AFINANCIAL plan­ner will “drive change and be a fan­tas­tic am­bas­sador” for the city after be­ing crowned Birm­ing­ham Young Pro­fes­sional of the Year.

Laura Thurs­field, from fi­nan­cial ser­vices firm Mazars, took home the top prize at the 18th an­nual BYPY Awards which cel­e­brate the city’s best pro­fes­sional ser­vices tal­ent aged 35 and un­der.

She was praised for her ob­vi­ous en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion for Birm­ing­ham.

Ms Thurs­field won the fi­nance award be­fore be­ing cho­sen ahead of five other cat­e­gory win­ners to be named over­all Birm­ing­ham Young Pro­fes­sional of the Year.

She will now re­ceive a fully funded schol­ar­ship to study for an ex­ec­u­tive MBA at As­ton Busi­ness School worth £18,000 and spend the next year rep­re­sent­ing the city as BYPY.

Vic­to­ria Ball, chair­man of busi­ness net­work­ing group BPS Birm­ing­ham Fu­ture which runs the awards, said: “A huge con­grat­u­la­tions to Laura.

“On judg­ing day, her en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion for our city, along with her hum­ble ap­proach, re­ally shone through and I have no doubt she will go on to drive change and be a fan­tas­tic am­bas­sador for Birm­ing­ham.

“The cal­i­bre of our can­di­dates has been out­stand­ing right from the ini­tial ap­pli­ca­tions, demon­strat­ing how fan­tas­tic our tal­ent pool is here in Birm­ing­ham.

“We had some truly dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions.

“BYPY con­tin­ues to show­case the city’s most tal­ented young pro­fes­sion­als who are all cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact and cham­pi­oning Birm­ing­ham at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

“With con­tin­ued growth in the re­gion and an increasing num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties for young pro­fes­sion­als, there is no bet­ter time for the lead­ers of to­mor­row to make their mark.”

The as­pir­ing tal­ent award, which cel­e­brates in­di­vid­u­als aged 16 to 24 and cur­rently in ed­u­ca­tion or train­ing for a pro­fes­sional ser­vices ca­reer, was given to Daniel God­dard, a trainee solic­i­tor at law firm Trow­ers & Ham­lins.

This year’s in­spir­ing leader award was pre­sented to Lorna Gavin, head of di­ver­sity, in­clu­sion and cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­ity at law firm Gowl­ing WLG.

A for­mer cor­po­rate lawyer, Ms Gavin is tasked with spear­head­ing projects aimed at help­ing the firm make a dif­fer­ence such as Busi­ness Ac­tion on Home­less­ness and the Ready for Work pro­gramme.

Since 2001 when the pro­gramme be­gan, more than 100 peo­ple have had work place­ments with Gowl­ing WLG and it still has em­ploy­ees there to­day who have come through the ini­tia­tive.

She also leads the firm’s pro bono work which sup­ports more than 80 char­i­ties in­clud­ing Bri­tish Red Cross, NSPCC and RNIB.

Deb­o­rah Cad­man, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the West Mid­lands Com­bined Author­ity, chaired the 2018 judg­ing panel.

She said: “Con­grat­u­la­tions to all of the win­ners and of course to Laura.

“It was a priv­i­lege to chair the judg­ing panel and we were re­ally ex­cited by the win­ners on judg­ing day.

“I think they will con­tinue to grow and de­velop and be­come even bet­ter.”

The awards were held at the ICC in Broad Street and hosted by TV broad­caster and pre­sen­ter Rick Ed­wards.

> Laura Thurs­field, from fi­nan­cial ser­vices firm Mazars, scooped the ti­tle

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