Dr Laura McAllister (UEFA Vice-President) and Dr Carol Bell (FAW independent board member) have been honoured by the Institute of Directors (IoD) Wales at their Director of the Year Awards for 2023.
At the awards ceremony in Newport today (12 May), Dr Carol Bell was named Non-Executive Director of the Year at the awards for her work with the Football Association of Wales, whilst Laura McAllister received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice.
The IoD is a membership community for directors in the UK and beyond, where they can connect with other leaders, develop their skills and be heard.
Richard Selby, National Chair of IoD Wales said: “It is truly remarkable to see someone like Laura McAllister achieve such significant accomplishments in various fields, ranging from sports to politics and leadership.
“Her work in promoting gender equality and women’s football is particularly noteworthy, and her election as Vice President of the UEFA executive committee is a testament to her dedication and hard work.
“It is indeed a great honour for her to receive this year’s Chair Award, and she deserves to be recognised for her outstanding contributions.”
Speaking about the honour, Dr McAllister said: “Being asked to accept the IoD Chair Award feels like a great honour, not that I think I deserve it but I’m very happy that someone thinks I deserve it!
“It’s an enormous privilege to accept it but as everyone says in these circumstances, these are always team efforts; more so for me as I come from a team environment in football. Lots of people in football, in UEFA, FAW, Sport Wales particularly have supported and encouraged me and I hope I can act as a voice piece for them in that work.”
The awards celebrate leadership, talent, success, and highlights business excellence and the significant contributions leaders can make to the social and economic prosperity in the community.
Dr Bell has been recognised as a director with such talent, having received an award for her work with the FAW. Carol is the first woman to serve on the board of the association and leads the FAW’s sustainability strategy – ‘Cymru, well-being and the world‘.
About her work, Dr Bell stated: “Sustainability is often associated with protecting the environment but, for us, this is just one aspect of creating a Sustainable association. As custodians of the beautiful game here in Wales, given the degree of change and challenge in the world around us, we are concentrating on the urgent need to nurture, protect and develop football for future generations.
“Within Wales, we are aligning with the Welsh Government Programme for Government and according with their priorities and those of Sport Wales. The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act is a tremendous asset for Wales and for the FAW in guiding us to take a longer-term view and make a valuable contribution to delivering a healthier, more environmentally friendly, and prosperous Wales with the Welsh language and culture at its core.”
Dr Bell has also been instrumental in the review and implementation of the FAW’s organisational structure, having chaired the ‘A Sustainable Association for the Future’ steering group. The governance changes have been essential towards the ongoing delivery of Our Wales – The FAW’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan for Welsh Football.
As an experienced industrialist and financier, Dr Bell sits on the board of the Development Bank of Wales and chairs its Investment Committee. She is also a member of the Council of Research England and a director of three international companies investing in the energy transition and mining sectors.
Dr Bell is a founding director of Chapter Zero, the network for non-executive directors to foster better discussion of climate risk and decarbonisation strategies on company boards.
The FAW congratulates both Dr Laura McAllister and Dr Carol Bell on their well deserved awards.