Prestigious business award shortlisting for charity CEO for second year running

June 24, 2024

The boss of a charity based near Bath is competing for a top national business accolade for the second consecutive year.

Sonya Chowdhury, the chief executive of Action for M.E., has again been shortlisted in the Public and Third Sector category of the Director of the Year Awards. 

The awards are staged by the Institute of Directors (IoD) to celebrate England’s most outstanding leadership talent and showcase the achievements and contributions of directors across a wide range of sectors.

Hundreds of applications are received each year and considered by a judging panel made up of 20 directors, senior managers, non-executives, academics and other specialists to produce the finalists.

This year 52 directors will compete across 12 categories ranging from Sustainability and Innovation to Equality Diversity and Inclusion, as well as a newly introduced International category. 

Sonya, pictured, took over as chief executive of Keynsham-headquartered Action for M.E. which has a mission to end the ignorance about the chronic condition, in 2012.

Following her appointment, the charity carried out a root-and-branch review of its activities, which led to the publication of a bold and ambitious agenda for change.

This increased transparency and clarity for the charity, contributing to increased collaboration with stakeholders at every level.

Prior to joining Action for M.E., Sonya worked in senior management roles for leading children’s charity Barnardo’s where she was head of business support for two days a week and national lead for the family strategic partnership for the remaining three.

She co-pioneered the Innovating Futures programme which used a newly created business generation model to help advance the practice of voluntary sector leaders.

IoD director general Jon Geldart said: “Our prestigious Director of the Year Awards bring together some incredible success stories and highlight the inspirational achievements of England’s directors, for their businesses and their communities, in the face of challenging times.

“Once again this year, the standard of entries was high and I wish the very best of luck to our deserving finalists for these top honours.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony held at The Grand Hotel, Birmingham, on 4 October.




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