Lincolnshire Co-op’s Heather Lee wins People in Retail executive leader award

Lee says the award is ‘a true reflection of our collective efforts to make the society a great place to work’

Lincolnshire Co-op’s chief people officer, Heather Lee, has won the Executive Leader of the Year Award at the People in Retail Awards 2023.

Presented at the Marriott Hotel in London, the award is “a tribute to leaders who shape the future of their organisations and ignite industry-wide innovation and drive positive cultural change”.

The judging panel sought “senior executives who stand as trailblazers in their field, propelling operational excellence and cultural transformation from the highest echelons of leadership”.

A spokesperson on behalf of the judges said: “Heather Lee’s remarkable journey as a leader has left an indelible mark on Lincolnshire Co-op and the retail industry as a whole. Her strategic acumen, commitment to a people-centric approach, and unwavering dedication to positive change position her as a true beacon of visionary leadership. 

“It was inspiring to learn about Heather’s approach to the workplace and her profound impact on the local community. It’s Heather’s unwavering commitment to community that truly sets her apart.”

Heather Lee (right) receives her award from Zoe Lyons

Lee said: “It was a fantastic evening of celebrations, and I’m thrilled and honoured to have received such a prestigious award.

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the People Team at Lincolnshire Co-op. It’s a true reflection of our collective efforts to make the society a great place to work.”

Karen Howard, managing director of the Retail Bulletin, added: “Leaders like Heather Lee are the driving force behind enduring and impactful change within retail. In a dynamic and ever-evolving retail landscape, visionary leadership forms the bedrock of organisational success. Congratulations to Heather and all the nominees shortlisted this year.”

Natalie Fresen, chief people champion for PiRA, added: “Strong leaders like Heather Lee are indispensable. Their ability to envision, inspire, and drive positive change is vital for the industry’s future success. Heather’s achievements are a testament to the value of visionary leadership.”

The shortlist also featured exceptional leaders from Better Decisions Group, Sitoo, and XY Retail. This year’s entries were evaluated by a panel of industry experts, including Chris Brook-Carter, CEO of the Retail Trust, and Beth Samson, people director at Investors in People.

  • This article was amended on 26 September to show the correct photo of Heather Lee