Judges for 2019 will be announced soon!


We pride ourselves on the integrity and diligence of our judging process. All judges are selected for their expertise and must have at least 10 years’ experience working in or around the marketing sector. They are well respected business leaders and influencers who excel in their position.


Judges from 2018:

Dr Joanna Berry
Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship, Durham University
View Joanna’s Biography

Jon Cowan
Chief Marketing Officer, Utilitywise
View Jon’s Biography

Helen Curran
Head of Marketing, Nuby
View Helen’s Biography

Ben Debnam
Associate Director – Sales & Marketing Recruitment Team at Nigel Wright Recruitment
View Ben’s Biography

Joanne Dolezal
Lead Consultant – Dolezal Consulting
View Joanne’s Biography

Kirsten Donkin
Head of PR, Marketing and Communications, PD Ports
View Kirsten’s Biography

Julie Drummond
Chief Executive, Drummond Central
View Julie’s Biography

Adam Dunlop
Marketing Director, Northumbria University
View Adam’s Biography

Dr Raffaele Filieri
Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Newcastle University
View Raffaele’s Biography

Julie Gibbins
Marketing Consultant, adam&eveDDB
View Julie’s Biography

Gill Gilthorpe
Business Development and Communications Director, Square One Law
View Gill’s Biography

Emma Greenwood
Group Marketing Manager, British Engines
View Emma’s Biography

Craig Harrison
International Trade Adviser (Creative & Digital Sector), Department for International Trade
View Craig’s Biography

Paul Hart
Founder, Cargo Creative
View Paul’s Biography

Robert Jefferson
Head of Marketing, Virgin Money
Biog coming soon

Andrea Kew
Global Product Marketing Director, Sage
View Andrea’s Biography

Paul Lancaster
Founder of Plan Digital UK
View Paul’s Biography

Elaine Magnani
Head of Business Development & Marketing, Hay & Kilner Law Firm
View Elaine’s Biography

Pete Mallon
Managing Director & Creative Director, North East Times
Biog coming soon

Natasha McDonough FCIM
Chair, Sunderland Committee for the Chamber of Commerce and MD, MMC
View Natasha’s Biography

Rob McInally
Director of Marketing & Communications, The North of England P&I Association Limited
View Rob’s Biography

Neil McLoram
Business Development & Marketing Manager, Brewin Dolphin
View Neil’s Biography

Ammar Mirza
Chairman & Founder, Asian Business Connexions (ABC)
View Ammar’s Biography

Russ Morrow
Managing Partner, Morrow Consulting
View Russ’s Biography

Charlie Nettle
Head of Commercial and Marketing, AV Dawson
View Charlie’s Biography

Tom Nightingale
Senior Marketing Manager, Baker Hughes, a GE Company and board member of CIM North East
View Tom’s Biography

Dr David Norris
Associate Dean for Marketing and Student Recruitment, Teesside University
View David’s Biography

Michael Owen
MD & Founder, Always Wear Red
View Michael’s Biography


Sasha O’Neill
Group Head of Marketing, Bellway Homes
View Sasha’s Biography

Geoff Phillips
Founder, Canvas Marketing
View Geoff’s Biography

Martin Pout
Group Director of Marketing and PR for Watson Woodhouse Solicitors
View Martin’s Biography

Martin Stout
Advertising Director, North East Times
View Martin’s Biography

Veronica Swindale
Managing Director of nesma and committee member of CIM North East
View Veronica’s Biography

Yvette Thompson
Newcastle United Foundation
View Yvette’s Biography

Fiona Urquhart, MBA, FCIM
Chartered Marketer, ADD Strategy Ltd & Durham University
View Fiona’s Biography

Paul Wilkinson
Global Marketing & Commercial Director, J Barbour & Sons Ltd

View Paul’s Biography

Lisa Wood
Chief Marketing Officer, Atom Bank
View Lisa’s Biography

Beth Wyatt
National Sales Manager, Northern Print Solutions
Biog coming soon

Prof. Natalia Yannopoulou
Professor of Marketing, Degree Program Director for MSc International Marketing, Newcastle University Business School
View Natalia’s Biography

Dr Joanna Berry, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship, Durham University

Joanna is Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship at Durham University Business School and Regional Chair of the IoD. Joanna was Regional Chair for the CIM for seven years and still sits on the NECC’s International Trade Committee. Joanna was born and brought up in the North East and remains passionate about increasing the profile and prosperity of the region, with a particular and personal emphasis on supporting women in (and into) business, particularly in the STEM subjects. Following a career in international business development she founded and ran a number of SMEs, nationally and regionally. She has been mentor to many Business Enterprise companies and still mentors senior individuals in large and small corporate organisations.

Jon Cowan, Chief Marketing Officer, Utilitywise

Jon joined Utilitywise in September 2016, in a new role created to lead the Utilitywise Product Marketing & Product Development functions. The following year, Jon progressed to become Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to Utilitywise, Jon was with Sage Group PLC for more than six years, most recently as VP Business Development, Europe. He also held a number of senior management roles as a member of the UK and Ireland Executive team, and leading the small business division Commercial Management and Product Marketing teams.

Jon has an extensive background in the field of telecommunications, having held leadership roles at Skype, T-Mobile and One2One in a number of disciplines including Strategy, Product Marketing, Product Management and Brand Management.

Helen Curran, Head of Marketing, Nuby

Helen is a marketing professional with 20 years’ experience in global marketing. She has worked in the North East for many brands: Hammerite, Ebac, Tommee Tippee, Berghaus and currently heads up the marketing for Nuby, a leading baby products brand. Her work has also led her to live in France and Spain, speaking the languages fluently.

In her spare time Helen is a qualified England Athletics coach and volunteers as a performance coach for middle distance running at Gateshead Harriers

Ben Debnam, Associate Director - Sales & Marketing Recruitment Team at Nigel Wright Recruitment

Ben is responsible for the leadership of the Sales & Marketing and IT recruitment consultants. He also takes personal responsibility for Marketing Director level recruitment throughout the North East of England. This experience places Ben at the heart of marketing teams throughout the region, where he gains insights into the latest marketing skills, campaigns and initiatives that multi-disciplinary teams are working on.

Joanne Dolezal, Lead Consultant - Dolezal Consulting

With over 25 years’ experience in both the UK and Europe, Dolezal Consulting works with CEOs, marketing teams, solopreneurs, charities, SMEs and established brands to improve the way they market themselves across the UK and abroad.  Areas of expertise include Marketing Strategy, Digital & Content Marketing.  Joanne Dolezal regularly trains and coaches marketers in digital and content marketing skills, and is an Associate Lecturer with CIM and Digital Marketing Institute in Newcastle upon Tyne. MA Marketing, Northumbria; Prof. Dipl. Digital Marketing, DMI; Chartered Marketer, CIM.

Kirsten Donkin, Head of PR, Marketing and Communications

Kirsten Donkin joined PD Ports in February 2006 as Marketing Executive.

A marketing graduate from Teesside University, she started her career as a marketing and events coordinator within the IT industry.

With more than 17 years’ experience in marketing and public relations, with 10 years at management level, Kirsten is responsible for the development of PD Ports’ Group-wide marketing and communications strategy.

The Northern Powerhouse agenda is a key focus for PD Ports where Kirsten is responsible for driving forward engagement and building long-term partnerships that will support the Government’s industrial strategy as well as deliver economic growth and development in the North.

Kirsten also leads the Company’s corporate social responsibility activities with a particular emphasis on providing ongoing support to the High Tide Foundation. The charity, which was co-founded by PD Ports in 2012, aims to raise aspirations and increase employment opportunities amongst young people in Teesside.

Named as one of the North East region’s Marketing Greats in 2017 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Kirsten is a passionate marketer and communicator who is actively engaged in both promoting careers in marketing and the value it can deliver for businesses of all sizes.

Julie Drummond, Chief Executive, Drummond Central

Julie founded Drummond Central, a strategic marketing, creative and digital agency in 2004 and over fourteen years, has built an award-winning company that’s proud to be part of the North East community. The agency has a 50-strong team that's recognised globally for its creative work. The agency is active in the majority of territories around the world.

Not only has Drummond Central made their clients famous, they also shot to fame in their own right in 2016 with the global phenomena of Drummondpuddlewatch setting Newcastle firmly on the live-streaming map and launching Periscope’s new technology.

Julie has been responsible for leading some of the most effective advertising and brand communication campaigns in the UK, Europe and globally. She has a master's degree in Marketing.

Adam Dunlop, Marketing Director, Northumbria University

Adam Dunlop is Northumbria University’s Marketing Director. He joined Northumbria in January 2013 and is responsible for the Marketing Department which includes Admissions, Advancement, Brand, Corporate Communications and Reputation Management, CRM, Digital, Insight and Propositions, Postgraduate, Undergraduate and Resources.

Prior to joining Northumbria University Adam's roles included working for 17 years for Procter and Gamble in a senior global leadership position in marketing, leading communications and marketing for Carillion Plc and as a partner and director in a consultancy firm. 

Adam is an alumnus of Northumbria University and he attained a MBA in 1989.

Dr. Raffaele Filieri, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Newcastle University

Prior to joining this position, Raffaele has worked as a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Northumbria University. dr. Filieri has also convered positions at 'Kemmy Business School' at University of Limerick',  at La Sapienza' Università di Roma and at Università del Salento in Italy. Raffaele owns a PhD in Business Engineering (Complexity Science) from Universita' Roma Tre.
dr. Filieri has work experience in the private sector, where he has worked as instructor, consultant and business analyst for SMEs and multinational companies (e.g. Merck, Fiat Auto).

Raffaele’s main research interests include: electronic word of mouth; social media marketing; e-tourism; strategic marketing/management; knowledge management; technology adoption and continuance intention; and online consumer co-creation. Dr. Filieri’s actual publications include academic articles in peer reviewed journals such as: Annals of Tourism Research; Tourism Management; Journal of Travel Research; Journal of Business Research; Information, Technology & People; Computers in Human Behavior; Industrial Marketing Management; Expert Systems; Journal of Knowledge Management; Marketing Intelligence & Planning and many more.

Julie Gibbins, Marketing Consultant, adam&eveDDB

Julie Gibbins is a Marketing Consultant at adam&eveDDB – a leading London communications agency and Campaign’s Agency for the Year for the last four years running. 

Julie joined adam&eveDDB in 2008 and is responsible for managing and developing the Volkswagen retailer marketing programme in Scotland, the North East and Yorkshire. Julie offers marketing advice and support across all channels to help retailers implement effective local communications plans whilst also supporting Volkswagen UK’s brand strategy.

Previously Julie held key marketing positions at PSA Peugeot Citroen, Volvo and Citi Group. Julie has a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and is member of the CIM.

Gill Gilthorpe, Business Development and Communications Director, Square One Law

Gill is an experienced Business Development and Communications Director.

Gill has developed the brand and culture at Square One Law since its inception and previously developed the brand for 17 years at law firm, Muckle.

She has her own consultancy and is well known for helping companies develop their brands, using her combination of skills to connect purpose, leadership, strategic business development and employee engagement to deliver a better service to their customers and attract talent to their organisations.


Emma Greenwood, Group Marketing Manager, British Engines

Emma Greenwood has been Group Marketing Manager at engineering group British Engines since 2014, a position she returned to the North East for after working in London for seven years. Emma is strategic lead for marketing worldwide reporting to the main board, and oversees marketing in the group’s seven businesses.

Her role involves working with the leadership teams within each of the businesses setting marketing, brand and product strategies, as well as developing a growing marketing team in the North East.

Emma is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and teaches CIM qualifications at nesma, as well as mentoring a number of young professionals.

Craig is the Creative & Digital sector lead for the Department for International Trade North East region (NELEP).

After graduating in 2001, he relocated to China as an ambassador for Sunderland University and helped cement the first cross cultural partnership with Jilin Institute of Technology. He then continued to spend the next 13 years in Asia, and for the majority of those years Craig held the role of Director of Client Services for a global logistics company in China and Japan, he was part of the regional marketing and implementation team when based in Tokyo,  and has worked with some of the world’s largest global corporations.

Upon returning to the UK in 2014, Craig worked within the Creative Sector (Film, TV, and Digital Marketing), and now follows his passion in supporting a broader spectrum of creative companies, to identify, access and help secure growth opportunities internationally.

Paul Hart, Founder, Cargo Creative

Prior to setting up Cargo, Paul worked at BBC News Interactive covering many reactive, breaking news stories as well as pan-BBC projects such as YourNHS and Race UK. These involved working and collaborating with teams from News, TV, Radio, Audio Video and Online. The experience gained at the BBC helped him to design and understand the best user interface and journeys for a diverse range of audiences for one of the biggest organisations in the world. During his time at the BBC Paul won Silver Award at the Malofiej World Information Graphics Awards in Pamplona, Spain for his work on breaking news stories and information graphics.

On returning to the North East, Paul then become a lecturer at Newcastle College teaching in Foundation Degree Editorial Design for Print and Web and also across the Graphic Design Foundation Degree Course.

Since forming Cargo in 2009, he has worked on a number of notable projects and forged relationships with regional and national organisations.

Day to day, Paul is the driving force behind Cargo’s philosophy to provide transparent communication and excellent levels of delivery and service to clients. Working closely with the project delivery team, but mostly overseeing the creative output of the studio and running the financial side of the business.

Andrea Kew, Global Product Marketing Director, Sage
Andrea is the global lead for Product Marketing for ISV partners and Marketplace Apps for Sage. With over 12 years’ experience in her field she has led several strategic product launches and progressive marketing programmes, including driving the transformation to a subscription-based business, customer migration to cloud and embedding customer lifecycle contact strategies.

Specialised in Go-to-Market strategy and execution, Andrea's current role is focussed on bringing the Sage Business Cloud Ecosystem to life. Working with strategic partners to develop and launch disruptive propositions that truly deliver end-to-end customer solutions, transforming the way business software is consumed within an organisation today.

With experience in proposition development and messaging, operational execution and communication strategy & events, Andrea is a mentor and supports product marketing teams globally with proposition innovation, delivering successful GTM programmes and driving business growth.

Paul Lancaster, Founder of Plan Digital UK

After spending over 15yrs helping other people start and grow their own businesses whilst working for Generator, Project North East, Shell LiveWIRE, Sage and Tech North (part of Tech City UK), Paul Lancaster (aka @lordlancaster) became an expert in using digital marketing and social media to share ideas, promote products and services and build communities of startup founders and creatives. 

In April 2016, he launched ‘Plan Digital’ to share his content marketing, business development and partnerships expertise with startups and scale-ups across the North of England with a particular focus on growing the North East economy.

Known as a ‘SuperConnecter’ for all of the work he does to support and grow businesses in the North East, Paul won the ‘Collaborator of the Year’ award from Dynamo North East in 2016 and 2017, was recognised by Lissted.com as the ‘Most influential person on Twitter in the North East’ in 2017 and ‘8th Most influential in the UK Small Business World’ by SimplyBusiness.com too.

Paul is also the Founder & Event Producer of the annual 5-day ‘Newcastle Startup Week‘ festival in May, the 1-day ‘Newcastle Scaleup Summit‘ in November and co-author of the ‘Small Business Marketing for Dummies‘ book published by Wiley.

Elaine Magnani, Head of Business Development & Marketing, Hay & Kilner Law Firm

Elaine has over three decades of marketing experience, working across the UK, Hong Kong and the USA. She joined Hay & Kilner in Dec 2017, where she is responsible for developing and delivering the firms marketing and business development strategy across all practice areas. Her focus is to ensure that the comprehensive breadth of services provided by Hay & Kilner is fully understood by current and potential clients, fellow intermediaries and the wider North East business community

Prior to joining Hay & Kilner, she was Director of Marketing and Business Development at Ward Hadway for 14 years and has also held senior positions in the region at PwC, Newcastle Chronicle & Journal, Reg Vardy Plc and Ringtons.

Natasha McDonough FCIM

Natasha McDonough has had a global marketing career for over 20 years. She is Chair of the Sunderland Committee for the Chamber of Commerce and the Managing Director for Strategic Marketing Company, MMC.

In 2000 Natasha moved to Los Angeles to promote a B2B publication on the dot-com boom. She also worked in a fast-paced Sydney marketing team on a Sony account before moving back to the UK in 2005 to run the marketing campaigns for policy events on behalf of The CBI, the NHS, British Chambers of Commerce and the Environment Agency.

She is responsible for producing marketing strategies for MMC’s scale-up clients and has a proven experience of creating and managing multi-skilled marketing teams. Natasha is a Fellow of the CIM.

Rob McInally, Director of Marketing and Communications, North P&I

Rob McInally is Director of Marketing and Communications at The North of England P&I Association Limited, one of the world’s leading mutual marine liability insurers. North P&I has been part of the North East’s rich maritime history since 1860.

Rob joined North in September 2016 and is responsible for North’s global branding and commercial marketing strategy in key regions including Asia, Europe and the US. With over 20 years’ experience in marketing and business development across a number of B2B sectors, Rob is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Rob has held a number of marketing and business development related roles including brand and reputation management, developing customer insight propositions, new product development, account management and strategic communications.

Neil McLoram, Business Development & Marketing Manager, Brewin Dolphin

Neil has spent more than 20 years working in the North East in a variety of public relations and marketing roles, ranging from large public sector organisations to small agencies with distinct specialisms. He joined Brewin Dolphin in 2015, where he has responsibility for coordinating the office’s business development strategy, partnership management and all promotional activity. His remit is to ensure that Brewin Dolphin’s range of services including tax planning, pensions, investment portfolios and lifetime financial planning is communicated to individuals, advocates and partner organisations across the region.

Prior to joining Brewin Dolphin, Neil has worked at Visit County Durham, One NorthEast, and in a range of agency and in-house PR and marketing roles. He is a member of the CIM.

Ammar Mirza, Chairman & Founder, Asian Business Connexions (ABC)

Ammar Mirza CBE - A multi-award winning entrepreneur who has helped establish several hundred businesses in the North East. Ammar is Founder and Chairman of Asian Business Connexions, President of the Federation of Asian Business, Board Member at the North East LEP, alongside being a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management (FInstLM), and Royal Society of Arts(FRSA). He has a particular interest in enterprise education as Chair of Governors of a Primary School, Chair of the Progression Forum and a visiting Professor of Practice at Newcastle University, and having helped launch the Primary Inspiration through Enterprise (PIE) Project Charity.

Russ Morrow, Managing Partner, Morrow Consulting

Russ Morrow is a results driven and resourceful leader with many years of international marketing, sales and commercial experience across B2B media portfolios.

He started his career with Blenheim Exhibitions and has held senior roles and board level positions at companies including Miller Freeman, United Business Media, Gartner, 5th Element Publications and Richmond Events.

Russ was a shareholder and director of Tech:Touchstone, which was sold to leading advisory and consultancy organisation, The 451 Group, in January 2013.  Following the acquisition, he held the position of Vice President and General Manager for their worldwide events business.

Russ launched Morrow Consulting in 2006, to provide sales, marketing and general management services.   Clients have included Evanta, National Association of Professional Women, The Media House, Global Arc, The University of Westminster and Fresh Business Thinking.

Charlie Nettle, Head of Commercial and Marketing, AV Dawson

Charlie has worked in senior marketing and commercial roles since 2000 when he began his career working in IT and education for a national IT training provider based in Scotland. He worked across the UK before settling in the North East in 2003.

He has gained a wealth of experience in the B2B sector, including spending six years as head of marketing for one of the UK’s largest Chambers of Commerce. In this role, he led major strategic projects including a rebrand, customer relationship management system implementation and a bicentenary campaign which incorporated a successful Guinness World Record. He also introduced a customer segmentation model that resulted in the Chamber winning a British Chamber award. 

In December 2015 he moved to AV Dawson, a Teesside-based freight logistics business, with a 100-acre freight hub including port and shipping operations and one of the largest independent railfreight terminals in the North of England.  As head of commercial & marketing, Charlie is developing the business’ strategies to support its future growth ambitions.

Charlie is a Chartered Marketer and has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) since 2000. He is Chair for CIM’s North East Regional Board and a board member for the mental health charity, Middlesbrough and Stockton MIND.

Tom Nightingale, Senior Marketing Manager, Baker Hughes, a GE Company.

Tom has over 15 years’ experience as a professional marketer in the energy services sector, based in the North East.  Tom has helped a number of local businesses to bring new products to market, deliver communications plans that build brand awareness and helped to position North East companies for future growth through detailed marketing and strategy plans. Currently working as Senior Marketing Manager for BHGE’s Flexible Pipe Solutions business in Newcastle, Tom previously delivered successful business cases and marketing plans for new facilities and vessels for TechnipFMC and DeepOcean. Before joining BHGE, Tom supported JDR Cables through a major expansion and an acquisition from an overseas buyer, bringing important inward investment to the region.  

Tom is a member of the North East board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

David Norris, Associate Dean, Teesside University Business School

Dr. David Norris is currently Associate Dean at Teesside University Business School, where he is responsible for the marketing and student recruitment portfolio. David has worked within the higher education sector for over ten years, and alongside his roles within higher education has worked with businesses as a consultant and mentor on a range of varied and interesting projects. David’s enterprise and consultancy interests lie in helping businesses of any size grow effectively through the use of marketing strategy, technology and innovation. David has a Doctorate which involved research in the fields of innovation, marketing, strategy and organisational growth. David is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is a Chartered Manager through the Chartered Management Institute.

Michael Owen, MD & Founder, Always Wear Red

Michael has founded and led International award winning creative, brand, digital and marketing agencies over 20 years. Together these brands won 70 awards around the world.

In 2016 Michael founded and now leads clothing brand www.alwayswearred.com with TV actor and writer Ralf Little. Michael also recently launched the online www.50odd.co.uk storytelling portal – one story, every day, for 10 years.

Sasha O'Neil, Group Head of Marketing, Bellway Homes

Sasha joined Bellway in 2013 in the newly created role of Group Head of Marketing. Sasha is responsible for leading the Group’s national marketing and PR function to further build the Bellway brand.

Recognised as one of the North East Marketing Greats in 2017 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Sasha has worked in a wide variety of industry sectors throughout her senior management career, having gained a degree in Business at Manchester Metropolitan and a Masters in Marketing at Northumbria University, studying part time.

Geoff Phillips, Founder, Canvas Marketing

Geoff recently founded Canvas Marketing and is a demand marketing expert providing strategic marketing support to ambitious businesses that invest and trust in brilliant marketing to deliver growth plans.

Geoff’s marketing career spans over 20 years across product, trade and brand marketing in sectors including technology (Sage, Canon), automotive (Benfield, Volkswagen), consumables (Avery Dennison) and food & drink. He has hands on experience of delivering marketing for startups and SME’s to scale up and global businesses. He has even worked agency side!

As a multi award-winning marketer who has operated at director and executive level, Geoff knows what it takes to build high performing marketing teams that deliver successful marketing campaigns focused on both amazing customer experience and commercial growth.

He is a proud supporter of developing and retaining marketing talent in the North East through regular coaching and mentoring as well as volunteer work with organisations including Newcastle College Sixth Form and North East entrepreneurship programmes.

Martin Pout, Group Director of Marketing and PR for Watson Woodhouse Solicitors

Martin Pout is the group Director of Marketing and PR for Watson Woodhouse Solicitors. Where he is responsible for the development and delivery of the marketing strategy across the Watson Woodhouse and Macks Solicitors brands.

Prior to joining Watson Woodhouse Martin held a number of senior roles at Teesside University, including that of Assistant Dean, where he had responsibility for marketing and international development.

Alongside his work at Watson Woodhouse he is also a non-executive Director and Trustee of a Multi-Academy Trust in the Tees Valley.

Martin Stout, Commercial Director, North East Times

Martin has almost two decades of experience in media sales, publishing, business development and management. 

He joined Accent Magazines Group as a sales executive in 2002 before becoming commercial director in 2011. 

Martin was part of the core team who helped relaunch what is now the regions premier business publication, North East Times magazine back in 2015 and leads the commercial team which has seen the publication double its turnover, year on year.

He works with the commercial team and their clients to develop and create on and offline marketing solutions, that deliver results.

Veronica Swindale, Managing Director of nesma

Veronica is the Managing Director of nesma. After a successful career in sales and marketing she recognised the need for good quality professional qualification education in marketing and communications which inspired her to set up nesma eight years ago.

Now nesma is an accredited teaching centre for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Chartered Institute of Public relations and the Digital Marketing Institute in the North East, Scotland and Cumbria.

As a Chartered Marketer, Fellow and CIM Ambassador of the North 2017 she coaches, teaches, consults and facilitates as well as driving the business forward.

She has a wide range of skills in sales, marketing and communications, consultancy and training, relationship management, key account management and customer experience.

Her sense of pride comes from seeing individuals and organisations developing confidently and actioning successful marketing strategies, after studying or working with nesma.

Yvette Thompson, Newcastle United Foundation

Yvette Thompson has 14 years experience in marketing and communications, specialising in the sport and charitable sectors.

At Newcastle United Foundation Yvette is Communications and Events Manager, responsible for marketing, branding, communications and events.

During her career Yvette has worked at England 2015 (Rugby World Cup) and Durham County Cricket Club, as well as providing strategic marketing and communications support to various clients, such as IMG Challenger World, on a freelance basis.

Fiona Urquhart MBA, FCIM, FIC

Building on her MBA from CASS Business School, Fiona is currently MBA Module leader for Durham University on Service Excellence Design, and previously taught for the Open University.  Fiona gained experience of applied marketing innovation work, developing AC Nielsen’s EPOS based research service in line with major FMCG corporates’ requirements, and EFTPOS with a consortium of the retail clearing banks. 

Since moving to the North East, Fiona has gained considerable experience with heavy equipment hire and manufacturing companies, as well as doing charitable work with start-up companies in the most deprived wards of Newcastle Upon Tyne.   As a senior consultant with +ADD Strategy, she is presently supporting marketing and service excellence projects at various corporates, as well as delivering elements of degree apprenticeships for a number of infra-structure companies. In both her teaching work, and her corporate training work she has developed expertise in problem based learning to create practical learning situations and encourage reflective learning.

Fiona also works with Northumbrian Water, Lagos University, Mammoth Beds, and others on market feasibility and product/service offering and developments, and supporting customer focus and operations strategies.

Paul Wilkinson, Global Marketing & Commercial Director, J Barbour & Sons Ltd

Paul Wilkinson is Global Marketing & Commercial Director at J Barbour & Sons Ltd.  He joined the company in May 2013 and is responsible for all global branding, e-commerce, commercial marketing strategy.  A member of the Senior Management Team, Paul sets the overall brand strategy for both Barbour and Barbour International across all UK and international markets which includes Europe, the US and Asia.

Paul’s career has also included senior positions with lifestyle brands O’Neill, Protest and Adidas.

Lisa Wood, Chief Marketing Officer, Atom Bank

Lisa Wood is Chief Marketing Officer at Atom Bank, a new bank setting out to change banking.  Responsible for customer experience, proposition design, marketing and PR, Lisa is building a new brand from the ground up to engage and attract customers to a bank designed purposely for mobile. With 23 years experience in financial services, Lisa has held roles across a number of marketing disciplines, including building propositions, brand development and acquisition marketing, and has been recognised in Campaign’s 2017 Power 100 list of influential marketers.

Before moving to Atom, Lisa was Head of Marketing at first direct, responsible for refreshing their brand positioning and re-engaging a younger target audience.

Prof. Natalia Yannopoulou, Professor of Marketing, Degree Program Director for MSc International Marketing, Newcastle University Business School

Natalia Yannopoulou is Professor of Marketing at Newcastle University Business School. Natalia has previously served at Nottingham University Business School, and was affiliated with Hellenic Open University. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Warwick Business School, U.K., an MBA from George Washington University, U.S.A. with specialization in Marketing, and a BSc. in Business Administration from Athens University of Economics & Business, Greece.

Natalia’s research interests are mainly in the areas of consumer behaviour, marketing communications and branding. Her work appears in a number of academic journals and trade publications. She regularly reviews papers for a range of marketing related journals and conferences, and serves on the Editorial Board of International Journal of Services, Economics and Management.

Natalia also has extensive international consulting experience in services marketing and communication roles in companies such as The Webb Partnership in the UK, Deloitte & Touche Consulting in Ecuador, Citibank N.A., Global Consumer Banking in Greece, and Sofitel member of Accor’s hotels & resorts in the USA.