We're very proud of our alumni and their achievements and want to help you celebrate success by sharing your news with fellow alumni. Read more about the latest success stories below.
Alumni Success in Business Award winners
This prestigious award is presented each year at graduation and is sponsored by the Luminus Group. It offers a public way for us to recognise and celebrate those of our alumni who have achieved success in their fields, demonstrating where their study at Anglia Ruskin has contributed to their success.
Nominations & selection
Nominations can be made by our staff or our alumni, or alumni’s friends and family. Nominations for our 2016 winner has now closed.
Read our selection criteria & general guidelines.
2015 winner: Mark Coulier
HND Illustration, 1984
Founder of Coulier Creatures FX
Mark Coulier is a make-up effects designer and twice Oscar winner: His first Oscar came after working with Meryl Streep on The Iron Lady, transforming her into controversial Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His latest award was for the make-up for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won the Oscar for Make-up and Hairstyling.
After graduating from Anglia Ruskin, Daniel did an MBA at Durham before beginning a career in sports and leisure. He worked for Admiral Sports and an indoor entertainments group before becoming Director of Ticketing at global events promoter Live Nation. In 2002, facilities management giant Sodexho appointed him Managing Director of their hospitals division. In 2006, Daniel became Chief Executive of the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, which he transformed in just six years. He turned a predominantly football-focused stadium into a sports, leisure and business facility, hosting high-profile sporting events and concerts by international artists such as Bon Jovi and Take That. Non-match-day revenues of over £10 million outstripped even those of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge.
In 2011, Daniel was awarded Midlands Businessperson of the Year. Now CEO of one of the UK’s most historic sporting arenas, Emirates Old Trafford, Daniel has ultimate responsibility for Lancashire Cricket Club’s players, staff and commercial performance. Over the past year, his arena has won multiple awards and posted a record operating profit of over £3.5million – indeed, the record for any first-class county, ever. Although at the club for less than two years, Daniel was awarded Trafford Businessperson of the Year 2014.
Having transferred her career from surveying to management consultancy, Amanda is now a partner at the South East consultancy division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world's largest professional services firm. As the Head of Profession for Programme & Portfolio Management, Amanda specialises in transforming private-sector businesses. Prior to PwC, Amanda was a partner at Hornagold and Hills, where she led the business transformation team and consulted to HM Government.
On graduating from Anglia Ruskin, Amanda did an MSc in Programme Management at Reading. After becoming one of the youngest-ever fellows of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), she is now its vice-president and a member of its presidential team. She is also a fellow of several other professional bodies.
Amanda is very active in the community. She is a trustee of the London Festival Orchestra, a Freeman of the City of London, and a member of the Surveyors Livery Company. She has also been a director of the Royal Burnham Yacht Club.
During 2011, Amanda participated in the Responsible Leadership Programme, developed by PwC with not-for-profit organisation Common Purpose. This places small groups of PwC partners into social organisations, where they volunteer their expertise. Amanda worked with Edinburgh Cyrenians, which supports people on the margins of society.
After graduating, David joined direct marketing agency MBO and, while there, completed the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing. After reactivating their account with Royal Mail, he increased MBO’s profits by £10,000 a month. In 2004, David became Marketing Manager at MR Plastic, where he increased sales by 25% and started a hugely successful e-commerce website.
The following year, David was appointed Marketing Manager at Excalibur Group, becoming Marketing Director within two years and Managing Director within four. Having switched Excalibur’s online focus from mobile phone contracts to accessories, he doubled their turnover and made them Vodafone's leading UK partner. In 2010 he sold his stake in Excalibur to start Foneshop.com, turning over £1.2million in his first year.
David says the knowledge, guidance and support he has received from Anglia Ruskin (as a student, graduate and businessman) has made him a confident leader and entrepreneur. His success inspires others, not least in his local community and at Anglia Ruskin. He has maintained strong links with us, helping us to secure two knowledge transfer projects while enabling Excalibur to launch in European markets. He is keen to create opportunities for our students and graduates through guest lecturing, mentoring, internships, the STEP Programme, KEEP and KT.
After a first qualification in engineering before working as a police special constable and for the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force, Paul began a career in the NHS. He now works as a team leader at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, managing health visitors and school nurses.
He began his healthcare career in a medical admissions unit, where he was offered a registered-nurse course at university. After completing his RN training, Paul worked in his local walk-in centre before finishing his degree in 2007 and then doing a PGCE. He has published over 30 journal articles, enabling him to promote many more public-health agendas, on a larger scale, than his day-job alone permits.
Paul is an innovative problem-solver. Having designed several medical devices, he is developing a portable asthma spacer device in collaboration with Health Enterprise East. The ‘Pocketflow' has a credible evidence base following extensive computer modelling plus independent testing. It has been described as potentially better than anything else on the market, and ViVO Smart Medical Devices launched the Pocketflow to market in 2011. The new device will significantly change the lives of those suffering with asthma while also delivering significant cost savings for the NHS.
Alexandra is editor-in-chief of Bloomsbury Publishing, where she heads up the company's adult editorial department — securing the rights to, and editing, a huge range of literary works. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from Warwick in 1999.
Despite this, Alexandra initially failed to secure a university place, so she took a secretarial course at Cambridge Tech before being accepted onto a degree course in English and English History at Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (later Anglia Ruskin University). Her involvement with the first Cambridge Poetry Festival developed her taste for writing – and writers.
She began her publishing career as editorial assistant at Art Monthly [note italics] magazine in 1976, joining Virago Press two years later where she edited the Virago Modern Classic Series. She became editorial director there, helping to steer Virago through its buy-out from Cape, Chatto & Bodley Head. In 1990, Alexandra joined Hamish Hamilton as editorial director, becoming a literary agent four years later. She joined Bloomsbury in 1999.
Alexandra is now an ambassador for Anglia Ruskin University, helping to raise our profile as a provider of publishing courses and demonstrating the hugely diverse ways in which people can get into publishing or get published.
Tom is Managing Director of Norwich-based Integro Languages. While studying at Anglia Ruskin, he discovered a taste for the international lifestyle as well as a passion for languages. He developed his French to near-native fluency while spending almost two years in France between university and various work placements and jobs. After qualifying as a language teacher in Spain, he decided to cultivate his interest in languages further by setting up his own business.
He had long been conscious of, and keen to respond to, the problems faced by businesses with branches, clients or providers overseas. He had known that Integro Languages was his goal even before going to university, and wrote its business plan when he was just 20. Seven years later, he was finally able to set up in business.
Tom’s company provides translation and interpretation services in niche markets. He works with a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors, and has increased his customer base to include international clients. He has since opened Integro Languages France, the company's first overseas office, and has expanded the company’s offer to include translations and interpretations in over 150 languages, including Braille transcription and British Sign Language.
Chan is group Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire-based Luminus Group, a company he first imagined when, at a local government conference in 1997, he learned that much-needed investment in public housing was unlikely to be forthcoming. Chan wanted to raise enough private finance to enable Huntingdonshire District Council to invest in quality of life for local people – in safety, health, development, leisure, education, and in supporting Chan to build new homes.
A year later, Chan started Huntingdonshire Housing Partnership (HHP). His wide-ranging consultation explained to 10,000 tenants the possibilities if HHP were to acquire their homes. He also persuaded the government that housing-stock acquisition was in the best interests of the whole community. The tenants voted overwhelmingly for HHP to acquire their homes and, the following year, Chan authorised payment of £65m to the council.
Next, a pressing need for new rental homes led Chan to set up the Luminus Group. Luminus now leads the way in socially responsible business in the East of England, providing homes, employment and real-estate services as well as building sustainable communities. Chan has received too many awards to mention, and Luminus has appeared more than once in the ‘Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For’.
Andre first had the idea of launching an online prescription glasses and contact-lens retailer while studying to be an optician at Anglia Ruskin University. As soon as he graduated, he began setting up SpeckyFourEyes.com from his bedroom in his parents' house.
Within just two years, SpeckyFourEyes.com was achieving a turnover of £0.5m, with Andre fulfilling up to 50 orders a day – not bad for a 25-year-old! He quickly bought out a competitor and added a further 10,000 customers to the amalgamated business.
Andre claims his success came from going against the grain and using a contrary business model. At university, he’d felt a slight push towards working for a high-street store, but he wanted more than that. He'd seen that high-street opticians were making a fortune, yet he could manufacture a pair of prescription glasses and sell them for as little as £12. Now, SpeckyFourEyes.com continues to challenge high-street opticians as e-commerce gathers pace.
Andre has won or been nominated for many business awards, including the Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 – the year in which SpeckyFourEyes.com smashed its targets by 400% in the first quarter alone.
In the midst of a fulfilling career in marketing and PR, Aneela discovered she couldn't find anything to wear which blended exotic eastern designs with western elegance. Having identified a gap in the market, she began writing a business plan and went on to open the AneelaRose boutique, with a friend, in Brighton’s famous Lanes in 2002. With a flair for both promotion and the dramatic, she publicised the boutique with Indian-themed events, including a Bollywood night with live pythons.
Within a year, the boutique was listed as one of the UK's top 20 new start-up companies in the HSBC/Sky News Start-Up Stars Awards. With celebrity customers including Carol Barnes, Natasha Kaplinsky, Wendy Richards and Joan Collins, the business soon outgrew its tiny premises and moved to a larger home in Horsham.
Only a year after opening the boutique, Aneela expanded her operation with Aneela Rose PR, a Burgess Hill-based consultancy offering a range of publicity support. She specialises in small to medium-sized businesses in healthcare, hotels & leisure, food & drink, retail, and technology. Aneela also writes celebrity features for magazines, and has interviewed rogue trader Nick Leeson and notorious property tycoon Nicholas Van Hoogstraten.
Within six years of graduating from Cambridgeshire College of Arts & Technology (later to become Anglia Ruskin University), Karen started her own business, Capital International HR Solutions, supplying contractors to the aerospace, defence and telecommunications industries. Her company has been on the National Star Performers List of the fastest-growing UK businesses, and was listed for three years in a row in the Independent on Sunday’s [note italics] Top 50 Fastest-Growing Private Companies.
In 1996, Karen was awarded Sussex Businesswoman of the Year and in 2000, she reached the semi-finals of Entrepreneur of the Year. Her company's Millennium Charity Project raised £7,500 for local charities and was also awarded funds from the government's Work Life Balance Challenge Fund. Karen also appeared on BBC2's Working Lunch [note italics] programme, extolling the benefits of good work/life balance. Capital International HR Solutions offers flexible working, and Karen believes in helping women to return to work after having children: the company provides above the basic maternity leave and pay.
To boost morale and camaraderie in a tough business climate, Capital International HR Solutions also encourages out-of-hours activities such as charity fundraising: it has entered several teams into the London-Brighton cycle race and relay-walked the South Downs Way.