The award was won last year by licensee of the Camden Eye in London, Mahdis Neghabian, and this year’s semi-finalists will now face another round before the judges narrow them down for the final.
The winner will be announced at the BII Annual Lunch on 14 May.
BII chief executive Tim Hulme, said: “Sponsored by our partners Britvic, the BII Licensee of the Year Award is the ultimate accolade in the licensed trade. The award not only recognises their contribution to the industry but their personal qualities and attributes as well.
“Entrants face a particularly robust process and are required to demonstrate an on-going commitment to raising standards, innovation and an in-depth understanding of the industry. Importantly, all short-listed entrants benefit significantly from the mentoring they receive during the judging process.
“This year saw an exceptionally high standard of entrant and among the highest number of applicants since the award was launched 28 years ago. Over the years, the BII has proudly watched as many of the previous winners have excelled in their particular area of work and I expect this year to be no different”.
Neghabian added: “If you are looking to be taken seriously in the industry it’s definitely the award to win. Even if you don’t win though, it’s a positive process to go through and it will give you the initiative to look for ways to drive your business forward.”
The Licensee of the Year 2013 semi-finalists are:
- Steve Herbert, the Old Spot Inn, Dursley, Gloucestershire
- Jo Eden, Reflex Arcadian, Birmingham
- Simon Bailey, the Bell Inn, Hampton, Middlesex
- Ashley McCarthy, Ye Old Sun Inn, York
- Richard Bell, the Silent Woman Inn, Wareham, Dorset
- Tom Helliwell, the Woodman, London
- Philip Cutter, the Murderers, Norwich, Norfolk
- Annie Power, the Coal Hole, London
- Marc Jones, the Sportsman, Lower Kingswood, Surrey
- Dennis Forsyth, Cheers Café Bar & Tavern, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
- Cheryl Hickman, the Bull Inn, Barton Mills, Suffolk
- Frazer Sutherland, the Thatch, Thame, Oxfordshire