The finalists for the EADT Business Awards 2024 have been announced.

Here we meet the finalists in the Director of the Year category, sponsored by Churchmanor Estates.

Jon Neal – Suffolk Mind 

Jon Neal is the CEO of Suffolk Mind, an independent mental health charity with offices in Felixstowe, Bury St Edmunds and Saxmundham.

It provides a wide range of support services to over 18s and delivers The Mental Health Kitbag for young people and the adults who support them, along with mental health training for businesses.

East Anglian Daily Times: Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk MindJon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind (Image: Suffolk Mind)

The judges said that “Jon is dedicated to making Suffolk the best place in the world for mental wellbeing and has made great strides over the last few years to achieve this”.

They recognised the ways in which Jon takes an active leadership role and said that “under his leadership, Suffolk Mind has implemented various initiatives aimed at promoting mental health awareness”, as well as increasing its fundraising efforts.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Lucy Smith, owner and founder of Clarity UmbrellaLucy Smith, owner and founder of Clarity Umbrella (Image: Lucy Smith/Caroline Horne Suffolk Photography)

Lucy Smith – Clarity Umbrella  

Lucy Smith is the owner and founder of Clarity Umbrella, a PAYE umbrella company in Copdock that offers an employment solution to UK contractors that are tax residents in the UK working on assignment for an end client. 

It runs an efficient payroll every single day, taking care of pensions requirements and ensuring all deductions are reported directly to HMRC, and it has received consistent positive feedback.

Lucy set out on her own to set up Clarity, a journey that the judges said “is a testament to perseverance, innovation and unwavering commitment to excellence”.

They said Lucy has “built up a loyal customer base and cultivated a dynamic workforce”, and still shows an “obvious” commitment to Suffolk.

East Anglian Daily Times: Luke Broadley, founder of Longfields insurance brokersLuke Broadley, founder of Longfields insurance brokers (Image: Suffolk Sound)

Luke Broadley – Longfields

Just before the pandemic, Luke Broadley set up Longfields in Otley, an insurance brokerage specialising in agriculture, commercial and high net worth private clients.

As well as working with commercial businesses, Longfield is also renowned in haulage and logistics, farming and agriculture.

It exclusively partners with a carefully selected panel of insurers known for their comprehensive policies and reliable claims processes.

The business also embraces cutting-edge technology and is committed to offering “unrivalled” customer service.

Recognising Luke’s “obvious entrepreneurship”, the judges said that his “hands-off management style has clearly earned him the respect of his staff”.

They concluded by saying that “Luke is passionate about business in Suffolk and helping everyone he can achieve success”.

Samantha Cage – Ocala Healthcare

Ocala Healthcare in Stowmarket was launched by Samantha Cage and Adam Storey in 2017. They built the social care recruitment agency with the aim of delivering better agency care services and valuing care workers in the way they deserve. 

Today, Ocala is a CQC registered care provider, with Ocala Recruitment continuing the recruitment service. It has also implemented a ‘Community Response Team’ to deliver emergency care in learning disability services. 

Praising Ocala for going “from strength to strength”, the judges said that Samantha “not only excels in business but in doing so strives to make a positive impact on society and the environment of the people Ocala supports”.

They also commended Samantha for “recognising the need for support for carers, providing appreciation throughout the year”.

To find out more about all of this year's finalists, please click here.

For more information about the East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards, visit