Meet The Judges

An introduction to our industry leading panel, who will select our finalists and winners.

Gradient Overlay for Banner on the Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards 2024 Website

The Judging Team4

Sandy Burgess

Head Judge

Sandy has been actively involved in the UK motor industry for nearly 50 years. He started as an Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) Apprentice, working on Japanese Datsun vehicles in a small regional garage during the mid-seventies. From there he moved into a junior sales role with a Ford Main Dealer and fell in love with the industry.

Over the years Sandy has been self-employed in a micro-independent repair and sales business, worked with Ford Motor Company of America under their dealer development plan, traded as a stand-alone Ford Dealer before, ultimately, owning two Ford Main Dealer sites operating a Ford CMA and four Peugeot sites across Scotland.

Later Sandy sold the business to a large national dealer group where he then assumed the role of Scottish Managing Director for several years. Then, once again going ‘out on his own’ Sandy acquired the Formula One merchandising business in Belfast and bought over one of the very first established online vehicle retailers.

Sandy was then offered a position with the Institute of the Motor Industry, managing their sector skills council in Scotland before eventually being appointed to look after the National Management Team across the UK. He then became the Chief Executive of The Scottish Motor Trade Association.

Along the way Sandy has served as a Director of Scottish Enterprise D&G for seven years, a main Board member for a Scottish College for six years, represented the Scottish Peugeot Dealers Association as President for two years and was President of the SMTA for five years.

Featured Image for Sandy Burgess

Vic Covey

Vic started Covey Advertising in 1975 and has been running his own agency ever since founding Covey in 2010.

He is a Fellow of The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and has been chair of the Scottish IPA where he was instrumental in setting up The Scottish Advertising Effectiveness Awards.

A former director of The Scottish Motor Racing Club he was responsible for running The Scottish Mini Cooper Cup.

He also had a distinguished motor racing career and was Scottish FF1600 Champion in both 1981 and 1982.

Featured Image for Vic Covey

Sue Robinson

Sue Robinson is Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK. She also has responsibility for all Government, policy, and media strategy.

Sue was named as number 10 in 2008 AM Power list, top 100 influential people and was given the Automotive Management Industry Personality of the Year Award 2010 for raising awareness of franchised dealer issues. In 2010, Sue won also the Motor Trader Outstanding Achievement Award. Sue has been named in the Motor Trader’s top 60 ‘Movers & Shakers’ of the motor retailing industry every year since 2013. In 2019, she was named number 31 and was the only woman mentioned.

Following a degree in Sociology and a PhD in Social Science from Birmingham University Sue started a career in magazine journalism moving into PR & Communications for the building services industry.

Sue joined the RMI as Press Officer, moving on to Public Relations and Policy Manager, and then Director of External Affairs. In 2006 she was appointed Director of the NFDA. Sue was responsible for raising the profile of the NFDA making it one of the most significant bodies in the sector.

Sue sits on a number of trade and government bodies representing the industry.

Featured Image for Sue Robinson

Martin Hutchinson

Martin has almost five decades of experience in the Northern Ireland retail motor industry. He started as a Technician Apprentice in the early 70s, before moving to a manufacturer representative role which covered the entire province. Martin then worked in the College training delivery sector before being appointed Sector Skills representative for the Northern Ireland Retail Motor Industry.

Martin retired as CEO of Transport Training Services in 2020 but maintains a keen interest in the Industry which has given him a rewarding career.

From this wide range of roles over the years he has gained unparalleled unique insight into the needs of Northern Ireland retail motor employers, their staff, customers and training provision.

Featured Image for Martin Hutchinson