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At a ceremony on Friday 23 November 2012 held in the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Painters in the city of London, the Trustees of the Company of Educators awarded this year’s prestigious Mary Lou Carrington Award to Dr Ann Limb OBE DL Chair of E-ACT, and non-Executive Director of Briteyellow.
Since 2010, this award has been made, annually, to a woman who has played a significant role in business and education. This year, the third year of the award, is the first to be operated on a competitive basis, with nominations received from across the Freedom of the City of London. Against a very strong field of candidates, Ann was judged to be an outstanding and worthy winner for the significant role she plays across the worlds of education, business, and the voluntary and charitable sector.
Ann will donate the award to two of the charities in which she is closely involved – the Helena Kennedy Foundation and Milton Keynes Women and Work.
Notes for Editors
Mary Lou Carrington was a businesswoman, with a distinguished career in the City, subsequently running her own business. She was passionate about education, not least forging links between business and education; she was a governor of City University. She was equally committed to the life of the City of London – a Common Counsellor for Lime Street Ward, alongside former Lord Mayor, sponsoring Alderman, and future Master of the Company of Educators, Sir John Stuttard. Like Sir John, she was a Freeman of the Glaziers Company in whose Hall the award ceremony is held.
Mary Lou was one of the very early Freeman of the Guild of Educators that subsequently became the Company of Educators. Following her death in 2008, her family established this award in her name.
A panel of judges drawn from the Freedom and including Jennie Somerville, Caroline Haines, Susan Cousins and Karen Willis made selection for the 2012 award.
Dr Ann Limb OBE DL is a business leader, educationalist and charity entrepreneur. The citation given on receipt of her award read as follows:
Ann began her career in education and served as Principal and Chief Executive of Milton Keynes College and Cambridge Regional College. In 2000, she took on the role of Group Chief Executive of the University for Industry, the organisation set up by government to lead the development of the e-learning services learndirect UK online and Direct Gov. In 2004 she became Vice-President of the international strategic management consultancy ‘gov3’ now operating worldwide as Citizen Service Transformation. Ann writes and publishes on strategic leadership and corporate culture change and features amongst the top UK executives in the publication 50 Lessons.
From 2003 – 2012, Ann was a main board Director of DRS Data Research and Services Group, a plc that designs, manufactures and distributes scanning technology and also served on the National Council of the Institute of Directors during that period.
Ann currently holds directorships of two other fast growing companies in the South East Midlands - briteyellow and Skills2 Learn.
In June 2011, Ann was appointed Chairman of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and, in the same year, was awarded an OBE and invited by Her Majesty the Queen to serve as Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.
Ann devotes a significant proportion of her time to both public service and charitable activity. She was a member of former Prime Minister, Tony Blair’s Digital Inclusion Panel and has sat on David Cameron’s Public Services Improvement Policy Group. In 1991, she founded the Women Leaders Network in Further Education and from 2005-2011 was a non-executive director of Entrepreneurs in Action, a social enterprise that trains young people to aspire to move from the classroom to the boardroom. From 1998 - 2011 Ann was Chair of the National Extension College, Cambridge and for six years between 2006-2012 chaired the national educational charity Anne Frank Trust UK.
Ann is an Honorary Fellow of the City and Guilds, has a doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University in recognition of her contribution to the learning and skills sector, and holds an honorary Professorship in Leadership and Management at the University of West London and an honorary doctorate from Manchester Metropolitan University.
One voluntary activity, which is very close to her heart, is the Helena Kennedy Foundation which Ann founded in 1998 to take forward in a practical way the recommendations of ‘Learning Works’, the report by Baroness Kennedy QC, which drew the attention to the needs of adult learners and, in particular those who face significant barriers to continuing with or returning to education. Ann is the Chair of the Foundation that over the last 14 years has grown from strength to strength, thanks to Ann’s vision and leadership. She has clearly brought together her multi-faceted skills in business, education and entrepreneurship to benefit thousands of people and is an outstanding and worthy recipient of this year’s Mary Lou Carrington award.