Confirmed Judges 2019

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.

More judges being announced soon – check back for details!

Dan Appleby
Managing Director, Drummond Central
View Dan’s Biography

Dr Joanna Berry
Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship, Durham University
View Joanna’s Biography
Kirsten Donkin
Head of PR, Marketing and Communications,  PD Ports
View Kirsten’s Biography

Michele Gettins
Head of Marketing, iamproperty
View Michele’s Biography

Julie Gibbins
Retailer Marketing Consultant, Volvo Cars
Biog coming soon

Sarah Glendinning
North East Regional Director, CBI
View Sarah’s Biography

Emma Greenwood
Director – BEL Enterprises, British Engines
View Emma’s Biography

Nicola Hughes
Director of Marketing and Communications, Adderstone Group
View Nicola’s Biography

Andrew Jackson 
Marketing Director, Fentimans
View Andrew’s Biography

Andrea Kew
Global Product Marketing Director, Sage
View Andrea’s Biography
Herb Kim
Founder, The Thinking Digital Conference & TEDxManchester
View Herb’s Biography
Chris Lucarelli
Director, Cal Partners
View Chris’s Biography

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

Russ Morrow
Managing Director, Morrow Consulting
View Russ’s Biography
Charlie Nettle
Head of Commercial and Marketing, AV Dawson and Chair of CIM North East
View Charlie’s Biography
Michael Owen
MD & Founder, Always Wear Red
View Michael’s Biography


Geoff Phillips
Founder, Canvas Marketing
View Geoff’s Biography
Tina Snowball
Strategic brand, marketing & communications consultant
View Tina’s Biography

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

Darren Warneford, Director, Esh Group

View Darren’s Biography

Dan Appleby, MD, Drummond Central

Dan has over 17 years’ experience in creative marketing agencies, starting out with Gyro, WPP and Engine Group before returning to his native north east. He has consulted and delivered across many marketing disciplines including brand strategy, direct and CRM, advertising and digital. In his time his work has won awards from Cannes Lion Direct, The DMAs, The Drum Awards, Travel Marketing Awards, Campaign Direct, The Campaign Big Awards, The Roses Creative Awards, The Northern Marketing Awards and The CIM Marketing Excellence Awards, as well as a few NEMAs last year.

He strongly believes that creativity and technology have the power to solve challenges and transform businesses. As MD of Drummond Central, Dan leads 55 talented and passionate people to create world-class creative and digital solutions for their ambitious clients. He is the current North East City Head for the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising (IPA).

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.

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.

Michele Gettins, Head of Marketing, iamproperty

Michele is the Head of Marketing for iamproperty, the Partner of choice for UK Property Professionals. Michele is an experienced senior leader (over 17 years in her field) with a strong marketing and commercial background in both B2C and B2B, with a real focus on customer centricity and a proven track record of delivering results. Michele has significant experience operating as part of a senior leadership team, setting and delivering business strategies for growth.  She is a marketer with breadth and depth of experience in category innovation & portfolio management, commercial strategy, pricing, channel strategy and GTM, brand marketing and full mix activation.  Michele excels in building strong teams and delivering through people.

“Sarah is North East Regional Director for national business organisation the CBI, representing member interests at a local, national and international level.

She built her early career in Marketing, starting in manufacturing with 3M post university, then working for both global and local SME’s in the IT and Graphic Arts sectors in Europe and the USA, ultimately holding the position of European Marketing Director for a digital life sciences organisation.

Sarah is passionate about raising aspirations in our young people and has been involved in driving initiatives around skills and diversity and inclusion for many years; supporting and developing talent throughout her career. She loves the opportunity to showcase the incredible businesses and people in the region and promotes the north east as much as she can in her role every day.”


Emma Greenwood, Director – BEL Enterprises, British Engines

Emma spent 10 years in senior marketing positions before taking on the role of Director at British Engines, with overall responsibility for three of the group’s engineering businesses. She joined British Engines in 2014 as Group Marketing Manager and retains responsibility for marketing across the group in her current role.

As Director for BEL Enterprises Emma’s focus is on providing strategic thinking and leadership to develop and grow the businesses, ensuring commercial sustainability as part of the British Engines portfolio.

As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Chartered Marketer for the last ten years, and a former tutor for the Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications, Emma continues to provide marketing leadership and mentoring.

Nicola Hughes, Director of Marketing and Communications, Adderstone Group

Nicola Hughes is Adderstone Group's Director of Marketing and Communications and a passionate communications professional with 20 years' experience in fast-paced, multi-faceted marketing and comms teams.

After graduating from university with a BA (Hons) in Media and Communications Studies, she spent 10 years in retail marketing, with roles as Assistant Marketing Manager at intu Metrocentre and Regional PR and Promotions Manager at retail giant House of Fraser.

Nicola became Adderstone Group’s Director of Marketing and Communications in 2016, having joined the business as Head of Marketing in 2013.

Nicola provides leadership for the Group’s marketing, PR and communications strategy across all Group businesses and is a member of the Board leading on all overarching Group strategy for the property-focussed business.

Nicola heads up a marketing team that is responsible for all B2B and B2C marketing and PR strategy across Group businesses, brand management, digital presence, influencer marketing, corporate relations and more.

Andrew Jackson, Marketing Director, Fentimans Ltd

Andrew is the Marketing Director for Fentimans Ltd, the premium botanical drinks maker based in Hexham, founded in 1905.. Since joining the privately-owned business, Fentimans has gone from strength to strength, establishing itself as a leading and innovative brand in the burgeoning premium drinks sector. Prior to joining Fentimans in a leadership role, Andrew has extensive experience of brand building and the consumer goods industry, having worked for leading FMCG companies including Procter & Gamble, Cadbury, PZ Cussons.and Mondelez, both in the UK and internationally. Andrew is passionate about nurturing and developing marketing talent, successfully coaching, mentoring and advising numerous individuals during his career.

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.

Herb Kim, Founder, The Thinking Digital Conference & TEDxManchester

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Herb is best known as Founder of the long-running Thinking Digital Conference. Thinking Digital which recently celebrated its 12th Anniversary in May.

In addition to Thinking Digital, Herb is the Founder of TEDxManchester, TEDxLiverpool & TEDxNewcastle. He is a Trustee for the Sage Gateshead Music Centre and the Visiting Professor of Innovation & Enterprise at Newcastle University Business School. He is a former Board Director for Tech City UK and the Founding Chairman for Tech North.

In 2014, Buzzfeed included Herb on its list of “Geordie Heroes”. In 2011, Wired Magazine included Herb as one it’s Wired 100 top tech industry influencers. In 2010, The Guardian named Herb as one of its Top 100 most influential media figures.

Herb earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He moved to the UK in 1997 and is currently based between Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. He’s a proud father to a 13yo daughter. They both share the (unpopular) opinion that Avengers: Endgame was deeply disappointing.

Chris Lucarelli, Director, Cal Partners

Chris is a Chartered Marketer, Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Director of Cal Partners a marketing, digital marketing and business development agency working exclusively with professional services firms.

A law graduate from Northumbria University, Chris qualified as a solicitor in 1995, subsequently becoming a partner. In 2007 Chris completed the CIM Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing. He was presented with the Top International Student award by the then CIM President, Lord Heseltine and Certificate of Merit from The Worshipful Company of Marketors’ Trust. With on and offline marketing becoming inextricably linked, Chris went on to complete the Digital Marketing Institute's Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing.

Recognising the growing impact of marketing in professional services, Chris made the transition from legal practice to senior marketing and business development roles at a top 100 national law firm and leading barristers’ chambers, before founding Cal Partners, winners of the 2018 North East Marketing Awards Agency of the Year (Under 20 employees) category.

Chris is a member of the North East Board of the national employability and entrepreneurial charity, Young Enterprise.

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.

Russ Morrow, Managing Director, 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.

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 with TV actor and writer Ralf Little. Michael also recently launched the online storytelling portal – one story, every day, for 10 years.

Geoff Phillips, Founder, Canvas Marketing

Geoff founded Canvas Marketing in 2018 and provides strategic marketing support to businesses investing in marketing to deliver ambitious growth or scale-up plans.

With over 20 years’ experience across product, trade and brand marketing, Geoff has worked with brands including Sage, Canon, Volkswagen and Avery Dennison. He has hands on experience of delivering marketing for startups and SME’s to scale up and global businesses. He has also worked agency side!

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

He is active in developing and retaining marketing talent in the North East through mentoring and supports organisations including Newcastle College Sixth Form, Newcastle Startup Week and NatWest Accelerator.

Tina Snowball, Strategic Brand, Marketing & Communications Consultant

Tina has over 30 years' experience in communications, and currently provides strategic brand and marketing consultancy across a number of sectors.

As a consultant, she specialises in corporate reputation management and marketing, working with a range current clients across social care, the charitable sector, development and regeneration and education.

She's worked extensively in tourism and destination marketing with NewcastleGateshead, Aberdeen, Belfast, Nottinghamshire and Birmingham, and also has worked extensively in social care and housing, having previously led marketing for national social housing and care provider Home Group.

Prior to relocating back to the North East, Tina worked in a number of specialist agencies in London and Birmingham, having also worked at The NEC Group in Birmingham, leading communications on for all five venues' business, trade and leisure events programmes.

Tina is both Chartered Institute of Marketing qualified and is a member of the Institute of Internal Communications.

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.

Darren Warneford, Director, Esh Group

Darren is an experienced Business Development Director with a focus for many years working in the construction industry as Director for Esh Group and prior to that in a national role for Mears Group. Previously Darren headed up the Social Housing Lending Division at Newcastle Building Society. A strong sales professional Darren is skilled in Business Development, Bid Management, Customer Relations, Marketing and Corporate Affairs.

Darren also has also held non-executive roles including Chair of the Regional Board for Riverside Group and member of Group Investment Committee and Group Neighbourhood Services Committee.