Andrea Kew, Global Director Partner Strategy – Sage plc

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Andrew Jackson, Marketing Director – Fentimans

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Charlie Nettle,  Commercial & Marketing Director – AV Dawson Ltd

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Dan Appleby, Managing Director – Drummond Central

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Darren Warneford, Group Business Development Director – Esh Group- bio to follow

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David Pritchard, Head of Marketing – Sintons

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Fiona Urquhart, Chartered Marketer – ADD Strategy Ltd & Durham University

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Geoff Phillips, Founder – Canvas Marketing

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Herb Kim, Thinking Digital

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Jennie Collingwood, Head of Marketing & Brand, Northumbrian Water Group – bio to follow


Dr Joanna Berry, Associate Professor (Entrepreneurship) at Durham University Business School

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Kerry Leng, Head of Marketing, Communications & Information – Nexus

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Kirsten Donkin, Head of PR, Marketing, Communications & Information – PD Ports

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Kirsty Ramsey, Marketing & Development Director – O Communications

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Leigh Peacock-Goodwin, Head of Marketing & PR, Atom Bank – bio to follow


Laura Carrick , Marketing & Communications Officer

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Michele Gettins, Chief Marketing Officer, iamproperty – bio to follow


Nicola Hughes, Group Marketing & Communications Manager- Bellway Homes

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Nicola Irving, Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications at Pearson Engineering

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Paul Lancaster, Director – Plan Digital UK 

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Paul Wilkinson, Managing Director/President (North America) – J Barbour & Sons Ltd – bio to follow

Rob McInally, Director of Marketing & Communications, The North of England P&I Association Ltd 

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Robert Jefferson,  Head of Marketing – Virgin Money

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Sarah O’Mahoney, Director – Bradley O’Mahoney – bio to follow

Sophie Palleschi, Archers Law

View Sophie’s Biography

Tom Nightingale, North East Stakeholder Manager, Renewables – Equinor UK Ltd  

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Veronica Swindale, Founder & Director NESMA

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Andrea is the global lead for Product Marketing for ISV partners and Marketplace Apps for Sage. With over 13 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.

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.

Charlie is a Chartered Marketer and fellow of CIM, with over 20 years' experience as a senior marketer.

He's currently the Commercial & Marketing Director of AV Dawson, which owns and operates Port of Middlesbrough. His role has overarching responsibility for the commercial and marketing strategy, activities and team and he sits as a member of the leadership team of the organisation.

Having felt lost at times in his own career, Charlie has a huge passion for inspiring the next generation to find careers that fulfil them. For some time, he has 'done his bit' by delivering talks and lectures at schools and universities, developing cadetships and work experience opportunities.  He also supports local education initiatives including the High Tide foundation and Tees Valley Logistics Academy.

Charlie's 11 years working as a strategic marketer for the Chambers of Commerce and six years as Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing's (CIM) North East England region have highlighted to him how misunderstood and undervalued marketing is and how important it is that this is addressed. As a consequence of this he founded This Is Marketing – a not-for-profit initiative to better market marketing.

Charlie is determined to utilise his expertise, network and passion to ensure the marketing profession is properly recognised and valued, for the benefit of today's and tomorrow's marketers, their organisations, their customers and society.

Dan has spent over 20 years in creative agencies, starting out with Gyro, Wunderman and Engine in London before returning to his native northeast. In his time his work has won awards at Cannes Lion Direct, Marketing Week Masters, The CIM, The DMA, The Drum, Campaign Big, Campaign Direct, The Roses, The Northern Marketing Awards and, of course, a few North East Marketing Awards for good measure.

He leads the 50-strong team at Drummond Central working with ambitious brands including bet365, Greggs, the seven councils of the LA7, Flooring Superstore, People's Postcode Lottery, Environment Bank, Leasloco, I Am Sold and Tor Coatings amongst others. 

Dan is an elected member of The IPA Council, which is widely recognised as the world’s most influential professional body for practitioners in advertising and marketing communications and he was recently honoured with a lifetime Fellowship (FIPA) for his contribution to The IPA and the industry. He believes passionately that creativity is one of the most powerful forces in business and the true measure of any marketing is how effective it was.  



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 Northern Region Board for Riverside Group and member of Group Investment Committee and Group Neighbourhood Services Committee.


David Pritchard is the Head of Marketing at Sintons LLP, having joined the firm in September 2014.

David has over 20 years’ experience of working within the legal sector and has in-depth experience of marketing for such areas of law as Private Client, Healthcare, Corporate & Commercial and Serious Injury.  His particular areas of interest are brand development, digital marketing and business development.

David won Marketer of the Year at the 2018 North East Marketing Awards.

Fiona has over twenty years’ experience in using problem based learning to enhance student experience, gained with The Open University, Chartered Institute of Marketing, The Institute of Consultancy, and Durham 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.

Her two volume book, endorsed by Harvard University explores Service Excellence https://www.amazon.ae/Service-Excellence-Organizations-Follow-Achieve/dp/1631577018 and identifies the imperative for customer focus, a stakeholder perspective and innovation to keep the service offering fresh and relevant for customers.

Fiona has provided consultancy and training support to manufacturing and service companies, She also supports marketing and service excellence projects at various corporates, as well as delivering innovation workshops for a number of infra-structure companies. In both her teaching, and her corporate training work she has built expertise in problem based learning to create practical learning situations and encourage reflective learning . She has delivered a series of interactive workshops for several European universities to research the topic in the context of entrepreneurial learning, and has presented her findings at a number of global conferences.

You can see more about Fiona here https://www.linkedin.com/in/fionaurquhart1/

Geoff founded Canvas Marketing in 2018 and provides freelance strategic marketing support for businesses ambitious to grow or scale. He is a multi-award winning marketer with board level experience across multiple sectors and business sizes having worked with brands such as Sage, Canon and Avery Dennison. He is passionate about the North East and supports a varied portfolio of businesses based in the region. They include Caspian, an AI technology business recently invested in by Nasdaq Ventures and Equiwatt, an invested clean-tech start-up helping home owners to save energy via smart technology. He actively supports regional talent development as Chair of Governors at Newcastle Sixth Form College and regularly provide marketing coaching and advice via business acceleration programmes.

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Herb is best known as Founder of the long-running Thinking Digital Conference which will celebrate its 14th Anniversary in 2022.

In addition to Thinking Digital, Herb is the Founder and Director of TEDxManchester, TEDxLiverpool and TEDxNewcastle. He is also a Trustee for the Sage Gateshead Music Centre.  On 20th November 2021, he will launch the inaugural Bright Ideas Gathering in collaboration with Durham County Council and the Lumiere Festival.

In 2019, he was named as one of the top 100 Asians in UK Tech. In 2014, Buzzfeed included Herb on its list of “Geordie Heroes” off the back of his work on Thinking Digital & TEDxNewcastle. In 2011, Wired Magazine included Herb as one it’s Wired 100 top tech industry influencers. In 2010, The Guardian named him as one of its Top 100 most influential media figures.

Herb earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He moved to the UK in 1997 and is a proud father to a 16yo daughter.



Joanna was born, brought up and educated in Hartlepool, NorthEast England. Her academic experience runs from her Oxford University law degree (1985) to her MBA and PhD from Newcastle University. Her MBA focused on the impact of broadband connectivity on the TV industry, and her PhD took this one step further, using her creation and management of a London-based record label as a lens through which to assess the impact of digital technologies on the music industry's business models and value chains.

Joanna is Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship at Durham University Business School, teaching new venture creation, entrepreneurship, innovation, marketing and a wide variety of other management disciplines to MBA, DBA, PhD, MSc and undergraduate students. She is Trustee/Director of Acumen Community Buildings, and was Advisory Board member for the NorthEast LEP "ScaleUp NorthEast" programme. Joanna is Director for Business, Innovation and Enterprise for the Durham Energy Institute and has been Regional Chair for both the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Directors.

Her professional experience encompasses law (mostly company and contract, practiced in South Africa from 1985 to 1987) science, creativity and technology. In her professional commercial career Joanna has undertaken a variety of international business development roles in marketing, advertising and publishing. Roles include Manager of Europe and East Asia for the World Economic Forum and international PR manager for Mobil 1 Motorsport with McLaren.

Joanna has also founded, bought and run a variety of digital and creative companies, and continues her personal and practical involvement with new venture start-ups. She places a particular emphasis on supporting the 'women in STEM' agenda in a variety of ways. These include teaching, mentoring, and public appearances, as she undertakes a wide variety of public and media activities on TV and Radio. She is winner of the Forward Ladies Scotland, NorthEast and Yorkshire Academic Leader Award and a member both of the Northern Power Women ‘NPW Power List’ and NPW Power Circle for Teesside and Newcastle.

A Chartered Marketer with broad professional experience in the public and private sectors.  Kerry is Head of Marketing, Communications and Information at Nexus, the Passenger Transport Executive for Tyne and Wear which also owns and operates Tyne and Wear Metro and the Shields Ferry.

She is an active Board member for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), building connections with senior marketers across the region.  Kerry is a Trustee of The Customs House, an arts venue in South Tyneside dedicated to offering arts, entertainment and engagement to all.

Kerry is also an Associate Tutor at nesma, the accredited teaching centre for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

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 Levelling Up 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, co-founded by PD Ports in 2012, aims to raise aspirations amongst young people in Teesside and provide them with meaningful career experiences. Having been involved with High Tide since it launched in 2012, Kirsten was appointed as a trustee in January 2019.

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.

Kirsty has worked in marketing for over 14 years, working her way from intern to director. Kirsty joined O in 2019 after a career in-house leading a marketing team. Kirsty works with businesses across all sectors to develop their Marketing and Business Development strategies. Before joining O she spent 12 years developing strategies and tactical marketing plans across multiple sectors, for both regional and national audiences. Kirsty is passionate about helping businesses to future proof their communications and marketers future proof their skills. She specialises in developing integrated and flexible marketing strategies based on real audience data and insight.

Laura is Marketing and Communications Officer at Shared Interest Society, an ethical investment organisation, which aims to alleviate poverty by helping people in remote and disadvantaged communities, to trade and earn a living.

Laura has worked in marketing since 2009, starting off her career at Northumbria Police before moving to Shared Interest.

Laura's current role involves internal and external marketing to recruit investors in the UK as well as customers globally. Laura is also an Ambassador on the CIM North East Board, and completed the CIM Level 6 Diploma in 2015.





Nicola is Group Marketing and Communications Manager for FTSE 250 residential property developer and housebuilder, Bellway.

With over 20 years of experience in busy and fast paced marketing and comms teams, Nicola is responsible for defining and implementing an effective and consistent marketing and brand strategy across Bellway’s UK wide business, including Ashberry Homes and Bellway London, ensuring that all marketing performance is optimised to support growth and engage customers and stakeholders. She is responsible for leading a multi-disciplinary team of marketing professionals. 

Prior to joining Bellway in 2021, Nicola was Group Marketing and Communications Director for Newcastle-based privately-owned property investment and development business, Adderstone Group where she developed and delivered a strategic marketing plan across all elements of the marketing, communications and PR mix, including investor and stakeholder engagement and sales management, driving marketing strategy for all businesses within the Adderstone portfolio with support from an in-house marketing team and external agencies.



Nicola Irving is Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications at Pearson Engineering, an award winning provider of equipment to the world’s armed forces. Prior to taking this role, Nicola was part of the Leadership Team at a people-first Architecture practice committed to delivering positive change in communities. After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in French and Spanish with German, she set about a career in marketing and joined the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 2012 to support her further study. Following completion of a Level 7 Professional Post-Graduate Certificate in Marketing in 2017, Nicola became a Board Member of CIM North East to support development of the marketing community and to raise the profile of marketing and marketers in the region. Now a Chartered Marketer, Nicola is part of the Confederation of British Industry Future Leaders Network and lends her skills as a volunteer to Business Beats Cancer Newcastle (part of Cancer Research UK) and to RTC North as a STEM Ambassador.

Paul is an award-winning SuperConnector of entrepreneurs & investors, business coach & founder of Newcastle Startup Week.

Passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation & creativity, he’s been providing Inbound Marketing & Community Engagement advice to a wide range of private sector, public sector & third sector clients through his Plan Digital business since 2016. (Prior to that, he spent 15yrs helping other people start or grow their business across the UK in roles for local enterprise agencies, youth enterprise schemes, Government organisations & international companies).

He's also the Founder & Event Producer of the 5-day, multi-venue, citywide Newcastle Startup Week festival which he ran in 2017, 2018 & 2019 for 600, 600 & 800 delegates respectively.

After the COVID lockdown forced him to pivot from running physical events to online ones in 2020, Paul repositioned the newcastlestartupweek.com website so that it now features weekly blogs, videos & guides that help inspire & inform people who want to start or grow a business in Newcastle upon Tyne & the wider North East of England.

He also runs a private, paid-for online 'Startup Week Community' where he can share more curated content with Members & launched his ‘5 Star Focus Programme’ (1-2-1 coaching) in January 2021.

Voted ‘Collaborator of the Year’ at Dynamo North East’s Dynamites awards in 2016 & 2017, then runner up in 2018, Paul won the 'PROFILE' category in the North East Times 'Impact Awards’ in 2019 for the work he did to promote the North East business community on a regional, national & international level.

He also hosts his own ‘SuperConnector Show’ podcast, is co-author of the 'Small Business Marketing For Dummies' book published by Wiley, is founder of the annual #NoEmailDay & ongoing #ThisIsMINE (Made In North East) social media campaign & is a former semi-pro house music DJ / producer

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.




Robert leads the Virgin Money marketing team for all products and services. He has over 20 years Financial Services experience, with varied experience across performance marketing, proposition launches, sponsorship activation, communications and digital channel management.

Robert's current role encompasses cradle to grave marketing across Virgin Money’s customer portfolio – including consumer, business banking and all third party marketing. He is a huge advocate of simplicity and transparency. Robert’s personal mission is to help customers understand their financial products and feel confident in making money decisions.

Based in the North East, Robert holds an MBA from Newcastle Business School.




Tom joined Equinor in April 2021 as North East Stakeholder Manager, focusing on Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Tom represents Equinor’s Renewables Division in North East England, working alongside Dogger Bank partners to engage with and build relationships across the community, industry and the supply chain.

Prior to this, Tom has held various marketing, communication and business development roles in the energy supply chain, where he has supported the growth of businesses including TechnipFMC Umbilicals and JDR Cables and helped to attract inward investment to the region. Before joining Equinor, Tom was Marketing & Strategy Director (Flexible Pipe Systems) for Baker Hughes.

As part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, Tom represented JDR Cables on the Offshore Wind Industry Council where he was an advocate for the supply chain and increasing UK content. At this time, Tom also worked with NOF to deliver the first Offshore Wind North East conference. Tom has won various awards and accolades for businesses including SubseaUK awards, Offshore Achievement Awards, Northern Powerhouse Export Awards and the Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade.

Tom lives in Newcastle with his wife and two children and spends his free time exercising, planning his travels and socialising. Tom is also a member of the North East Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.




Veronica is the Managing Director of nesma and Vice Chair of the CIM North East Regional Board. After a successful career in sales and marketing and lecturing she recognised the need for good quality professional qualification education in marketing and communications which inspired her to set up nesma twelve years ago.
Now nesma is an accredited teaching centre for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and has expanded its client base dramatically having added online learning to its portfolio. Nesma’s professional students hail from Cornwall to Aberdeen as well of a handful of international sites including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Malta.
As a Chartered Marketer, CIM Fellow and MCIPR, Veronica coaches, teaches, consults and facilitates the careers of many of nesma’s alumni 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.
Nesma is very excited to be corporate partner for the North East Marketing Awards 2021.