Meet The Judges
Founder, The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation
Naomi Thomas is the founder of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, a charity dedicated to organising and funding weddings for couples affected by terminal or life-limiting illnesses. No stranger to illness herself Naomi is living with secondary breast cancer, although she doesn’t let that slow her down in any way – she often works eighty hours a week in order to make couples’ dreams come true. In addition to her tireless work for the charity Naomi has extensive wedding planning experience, and is co-founder, organiser and judge of The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards. She brings not only her passion for this industry to the judging panel, but also her commitment, and experience of working with suppliers, companies, and clients from around the UK.
Lead Merchandiser, Hobbycraft
Samantha has worked for Hobbycraft as a lead merchandiser for 3 years. Hobbycraft are the largest arts and crafts retailer in the UK with more than 80 stores nationwide. With over 25,000 products for 250 inspirational activities and hundreds of exciting ideas, you’ll discover everything you need to get crafty. Hobbycraft believe that nothing is as unique, personal or well-received as something that’s been lovingly handmade. Samantha’s favourite department is Bridal, where you can find everything you need to craft the perfect handmade wedding. Whatever the colour scheme or wedding theme, you can find everything you need to make your big day picture perfect. Samantha likes to craft in her spare time; upcycling old into new but her favourite thing to do is to bake where she regularly experiments in the kitchen.
Samantha accomplished a life goal this year by running the London Marathon and is excited about what her next big challenge will be!
Owner & Principal, The Boardroom
Kevin heads up The Boardroom Advisory – providing support and direction to owners of independent businesses in the South Coast region, by way of 121 consulting, and facilitation of business owner peer boards.
Across a diverse range of local and not-so-local businesses, Kevin has, during the past 25 years, developed strategy, led customer insight and market research, evaluated markets, designed propositions, and transformed business models around customer experience.
The author of ‘Social Media in Dorset’ and co-creator of the innovative Breaking Social Media Programme, Kevin is a regular speaker and subject matter expert at events and training seminars.
Kevin gained his MBA from Bournemouth University Business School, and is a Certified Management Consultant, and a full member of the Institute of Consulting.
Kevin’s regular blog posts draw on his passion for real-world business strategy, genuine competitive differentiation and market disruption, along with ad-hoc business commentary and musings.
Director of Boho Weddings
Set up in 2009, Boho Weddings is a leading UK wedding blog written by Kelly Hood – an award-winning wedding planner and wedding blogger. Boho Weddings is all about all things ‘Boho’ from luxe to rustic, modern to vintage, as long as your wedding reflects your personality then Boho Weddings is the place for you.
Boho Weddings offers expert advice to couples all over the world trying to do things differently and provides inspiration and ideas to the wedding industry as a whole. It’s all about individuality!
Events Manager, Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Vikki currently works at Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry, a business support organisation based in Poole. She delivers a diverse programme of events and training sessions for the company, organising over 70 events per year. Vikki is also part of a small team responsible for organising the Dorset Business Awards which celebrates the achievements of businesses in Dorset.
Vikki is artistic and creative with a keen eye for style, skills she has used to great effect when organising private parties and weddings. Vikki is a keen baker, always looking for an excuse to create something fun and challenging.
Having studied and worked in the events industry for over 8 years, Vikki brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the judging panel. With this experience, she particularly appreciates the fantastic diversity of suppliers based in Dorset.