• Jim Burtles
  • Michael Crooymans
  • Lesley Grimes
  • Sharad Karia
  • Andrew MacLeod
  • Ahmed Riad Ali
  • Roberto Grosso-Ciponte

Judges' biographies

Jim Burtles KLJ, CMLJ, Hon. FBCI

Jim Burtles is well-known and respected as a business continuity professional with over 40 years of experience, spread across 4 continents and 23 countries.  He received the Freedom of the City of London in 1992, a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 and an Honorary Fellowship of the BCI in 2010.

As an IBM systems engineer, back in the 70s and 80s, he was an early pioneer of what was to become our business continuity profession.  In 1994 he helped to found the Business Continuity Institute and currently serves on the Global Membership Council.  His practical experience includes hands-on recovery work with victims of a number of disastrous events such as bombings, earthquakes, storms and fires.

His published works include ‘Coping with Crisis’, ‘Principles and Practice of Business Continuity’ (now in its 2nd edition) and ‘Emergency Evacuation Planning’.

Michael Crooymans CBCI

Michael is a passionate and well experienced Business Continuity Management consultant at Sogeti. He currently actively serves the BCI and its members in various roles. He is Chair of the Global Membership Council where he also represents the Be/Ne Chapter of which he is a founding member. Michael leads the Netherlands Forum and is currently expanding the awareness of BCM in the region. He represents the BCI the Dutch Standards Organisation’s (NEN) NCM Mirror committee where he is involved in the development of BCM (related) standards.

Michael has been involved with Business Critical systems (Tandem / HP NonStop) since 1985 and after switching to Business Continuity Management in 2003 he has helped many companies to implement and/or improve their BCM capability.

As a respected BCM Subject Matter Expert he is involved in various workgroups, presents on BCM, reviews updates to the GPG and training courses and also acts as judge for various BCI awards.

Michael won the 2015 BCI European Award: Continuity and Resilience Professional (Private Sector) and was shortlisted for the Global Award.

Lesley Grimes Hon FBCI

Lesley is a Business Continuity Professional with over 12 years of experience in establishing, embedding and maintaining Business Continuity across Nuclear, Utilities, Logistics and Manufacturing sectors across the UK, Europe and the US. 

Lesley has delivered a range of Business Continuity Management projects and solutions in a number of large, unique and complex organisation which brings exceptional challenges -from heavily regulated areas such as Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA) and many other regulatory bodies. She has held positions as Head of Resilience at Atomic Weapons Establishment and she has held Business continuity management positions within Centrica PLC group of companies including British Gas and the Automobile Association.

Lesley has served as a BCI Membership Committee Member and BCI assessor since 2006. 

Sharad Karia MBCI

With background in the IT industry, Sharad progressed into Business Continuity industry through Disaster Recovery over 20 years ago.  He was Business Recovery Manager at Royal Mail for a number of years, then moved to a consultancy serving high profile clients internationally.  He now continues to do this through his own company since 2002.

Sharad has been a Member of the Business Continuity Institute since 1999 and has participated in the mentoring and assessment programmes.  He is also an active committee member of the BCI London Forum.  



Andrew MacLeod MBCI

Andrew MacLeod is an award winning business continuity and crisis management director with experience developed as a director at Needhams 1834, a leading independent provider of business continuity and crisis management consultancy, planning and training services, and previously as a business continuity project manager at Canary Wharf Group and an Army officer.

Andrew prepared the complete Needhams 1834 business continuity management system which was the first in the UK to receive certification to ISO 22301, and since then has supported more than ten organisations in preparation for their successful certification to ISO 22301. He is certified as a Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI) and an ISO 22301 Lead Auditor, and has been an elected member of the BCI Global Membership Council since 2015.

Ahmed Riad Ali MBCI

Ahmed has a wide experience of Business Continuity Management, Information Security Management, IT Disaster Recovery and IT Risk Management as he has worked in these sectors for over twelve years. He has used his knowledge and experience to contribute to both local and regional markets.

As a dedicated ambassador of Business Continuity, Ahmed is currently one of the leading business continuity consultants in the Middle East and worldwide. He regularly organizes voluntary events and seminars to promote the concept of business continuity amongst his clients, peers and other practitioners.

He has built an innovative model for business continuity management that can be easily adapted to any organization’s needs, but especially those operating in the MENA region that has an Arabic culture embedded in their working environment.

Ahmed has been recognized for his outstanding contribution to business continuity. He was awarded winner of the BCI Middle East Awards in 2015 and 2014 and has also been elected as the Middle East Region Representative for the Member of Global Membership Council for the Business Continuity Institute

Roberto Grosso-Ciponte

More than 8 years expertise in managing Call Centres and more than 5 years expertise in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) within FMCG.

Implemented qualitative and quantitative standards and dashboards for all Nespresso Call Centres. standards Improved operators effectiveness by implementing unified technology, scripts and other concrete actions.

Increased risk awareness and embedded Business Continuity Management culture at all company’s levels.

Implemented and improved Business Continuity Management methodology at Nestlé.

Ensured robustness of Business Continuity framework by delivering policies, guidelines, communication plans, and reporting insights to Executives.

Built and trained network of Business Continuity Champions in all Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Regularly involved in Business Continuity Management congress in order to share Nestlé’s best practices and to evaluate the maturity of our methodologies.

Specialties: 

  • Business Continuity Management
  • Call Center Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management / Risk Management
  • Insurance / Risk Financing
  • Loss Prevention Management