2023 Judges

More to be announced very soon!! Check back for details.

Jayne Andrews, Marketing Director – Fentimans

View Jayne’s Biography


Dan Appleby, Managing Director – Drummond Central

View Dan’s Biography


Emma Banks, CEO – ramarketing

View Emma’s Biography

Susan Beck, Director of External Relations  – Royal Grammar School, Newcastle

View Susan’s Biography

Kate Bradley – Independent Consultant

View Kate’s Biography


Craig Daly, Managing Director – Northern Print Solutions

View Craig’s  Biography




Lisa Eaton, Founder & CEO – Fabric

View Lisa’s Biography




Nichola Elgie, Senior Account Director – Drummond Central

View Nichola’s Biography




Claire Fenwick, Group Marketing Manager –
Samuel Phillips Law, Miahs Solicitors & Hathaways The Law Firm

View Claire’s Biography


Laura Gabriele, Marketing and Communications Manager – Shared Interest

View Laura’s Biography




Kirstie Gee, Marketing Leader – Pendragon

View Kirstie’s Biography


Michele Gettins, CMO – iamproperty

View Michele’s Biography


Kieron Goldsborough, CEO – Different Narrative

View Kieron’s Biography


Kane Haig, Director – The Social Co

Bio to follow


Kate Hall, Head of Marketing and Communications – Newcastle International Airport

View Kate’s Biography

Dr. Kimberley Hardcastle – Assistant Professor in Marketing, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University

View Kimberley’s Biography

Dawn-Elizabeth Howe, Head of Brand and Planning – tombola


View Dawn’s Biography

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

View Nicola’s Biography
Andrew Jackson, CMO – Logincident

Pic & Bio to follow

Chris Kent, Managing Consultant, Senior and Director Commercial Appointments – Nigel Wright Group

View Chris’s Biography

Herb Kim, Founder –  Thinking Digital Conference, TEDxNewcastle & the Bright Ideas Gathering

View Herb’s Biography


Clare Knowles, Head of Marketing & Digital – Durham Cathedral

View Claire’s Biography
Paul Lancaster, Senior Consultant Tech Lead – Nigel Wright Group

View Paul’s Biography

Eve Lénez,  Head of Marketing – Merit

View Eve’s Biography

Kerry Leng, Director of Marketing & Engagement – gentoo

View Kerry’s Biography

Chris Lucarelli, Director – Cal Partners

View Chris’s Biography


Victoria McCartney, Director of Brand Strategy – Cool Blue

View Victoria’s Biography


Sarah McCourt, Head of Communications, Marketing and Customer Information – Nexus

View Sarah’s Biography
Rob McInally, Global Director – Marketing and Communications, NorthStandard

View Rob’s Biography


Atul Malhotra, COO – Malhotra Group plc

View Atul’s Biography


Cassie Moyse, Co-owner & Director – Portfolio North

View Cassie’s Biography
Louise Mustard, Chief Marketing Officer – Nannycare

View Louise’s Biography

Caroline O’Doherty, Head of Communications & Development – Northumberland National Park Authority
View Caroline’s Biography

Heike O’Leary, CMO – Haines Watts

View Heike’s Biography

Sam Patterson, Marketing Director – FOOTY.com

View Sam’s Biography
Andrew Pickering, Co-Founder – ATOMIC

View Andrew’s Biography


Geeta Patel-Ral, Managing Director – JAM Prints and Marketing Ltd

View Geeta’s Biography

Stacey Ridley, Head of Marketing – Fairstone Group

View Stacey’s Biography


Michael Sherwood, Head of Brand & Experience – Atom bank

Pic & Bio to follow


Jess Sinton, Principal Consultant – Marketing – Nigel Wright Group

View Jess’s Biography


Caroline Smith, Marketing Director – Swinburne Maddison

View Carolines’s Biography


Natalina Sutherland, Senior Brand Marketing Manager – Lookers

View Natalina’s Biography


Veronica Swindale, Founder & Director – nesma

View Veronica’s Biography


Amy Thompson, Group Digital Marketing Manager – Winn Group

View Amy’s Biography



Steve Underwood, Managing Director – Bonded

View Steve’s Biography


Nina Walton, Director – Walton Marketing & Communications

View Nina’s Biography

Kathryn Wharton – Marketing Consultant, KLW Marketing

View Kathryn’s Biography
Jason Yip, Head of Marketing Web, CRM, & Analytics – Newcastle University

Pic & Bio to follow

Jayne is Marketing Director at Fentimans – Hexham-based, Botanical Brewers of soft drinks (and now Mixers) since 1905. Prior to moving to the North East, Jayne worked in London, Sydney and the U.S in Marketing Director and senior agency roles, for a diverse range of brands and clients. From working with multiple Telco’s (Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and Australia’s Telstra), to Director of Marketing for an online dating business to leading the Brand advertising for Carnival Cruise line for North America, including relaunching the giant travel brand post-Covid. An early career in digital and direct marketing, but now passionate about Brand and creating word of mouth and earned media.







Dan has spent over 20 years working in creative marketing agencies, starting out in London before returning to his native north east.

He is now Managing Director of Newcastle-based Drummond Central, working with ambitious brands including Greggs, KitKat, Amazon Prime, bet365, Triumph Motorcycles and the NHS amongst others. Under his leadership Drummond Central has grown to 60 people and become one of the most awarded creative agencies outside of London. Recently the agency was one of only 30 in the UK to achieve IPA Effectiveness Accreditation.

Dan is an elected member of The IPA Council, the governing body of the UK’s most influential professional body for practitioners in advertising and marketing. He believes passionately in the power of creativity to grow businesses; and is a fierce advocate for northern marketing having himself once being told that he was "committing career suicide by leaving London."


There's nothing stereotypical about Emma Banks. A seasoned professional from the sector and the leader of a specialist international marketing agency, she prides herself on being distinctively different. And, we aren't just talking about her brightly coloured hair - which often changes with the seasons. Nor her impressive ability to manage a hectic household of cats, dogs and three boys who have yet to leave home (although one heads to Australia soon). 

A scientist by training with a Ph.D. in Immunology and over 15 years running businesses that specialise in life sciences, Emma has built a reputation for being bold, always striving to do the right thing, and going big on empowering others through fearless leadership and trust.

Having worked in the sector her whole professional career, Emma has scaled businesses through change, navigated organisations through difficult times,and mentored and coached young people who are now key leaders within their own professions. Under Emma’s leadership, ramarketing has grown 400% to 80+ people in just five years, also securing a private equity partnership with NorthEdge in 2022. 

A non-exec director of Bionow and an experienced singer, Emma's passion is for life sciences in our region, for the arts, particularly live music and for doing all we can to give young people meaningful exposure to the world of work. 

Now 2nd on the Profilic North's PR agency list, Emma proudly oversees the entirety of ramarketing’s business operations across the UK, Europe and North America.







Susan is Director of External Relations at the Royal Grammar School Newcastle.  Having spent most of her career leading large teams within household name charities, Susan returned to the North East in 2018 and leads the RGS’s marketing and social impact.








Kate is a senior leader, non-executive director and independent consultant working with purpose-led brands, charities and sports. Kate was the first Head of Newcastle United Foundation for over a decade, leading the organisation from start-up to award-winning charity. Kate has also recently held the role of Interim Executive Director at Virgin Money Foundation. Kate is a Trustee of the Greggs Foundation and an Independent Director and Trustee of Northern Powergrid Foundation. Kate is also a volunteer with Speakers for Schools and belongs to the Northern Power Women Network, championing gender equity and inclusion, receiving a ‘Power Women’ award in 2020.







Craig Daly, Managing Director, Northern Print Solutions

Craig doesn’t like to mention his age, but with over 28 years working in the print industry, it’s safe to say he knows good creative.   With a love of translating fantastic design into stand-out print, he is a huge advocate of print's important role in integrated campaigns.






Lisa Eaton is a marketing expert, strategy consultant and Founder of Fabric Academy, an online training provider that empowers ambitious marketers and marketing teams to excel worldwide.

Established in 2021, Fabric Academy offers a CPD-accredited marketing strategy programme that supports current and aspiring marketers by levelling up their knowledge
and enhancing their skills. Making huge waves in the marketing education landscape, Fabric has already attracted brands such as Indeed, Boots, The Body Shop, itsu and Savills to level up their marketing teams.

With more than two decades of experience in creating and executing marketing and communication strategies for global brands, Lisa has a deep understanding of what it takes to develop a high-level marketing strategy that makes an impact while delivering tangible business results.

Lisa is a strong advocate for women in business and is committed to supporting them in achieving their full potential through mentoring and sharing her experiences.









Nichola was named NEMA’s Marketer of The Year in 2021 in recognition for her work at Drummond Central, for clients including Greggs, Prime Video and KitKat. As a Senior Account Director and Board Member at Drummond Central, Nichola is responsible for leading a team to deliver effective, award-winning work that has the ability to transform her client’s businesses, she is also responsible for working with the senior team at Drummond Central to ensure future growth of the agency.

Nichola has led projects including the Greggs and PlayStation collab, which was named GQ’s coolest thing of the week and bagged a number of trophies at the Marketing Week Masters, Prolific North and NEMA awards. She played a crucial role in leading the team who delivered the Covid ‘Thank You’ campaign for the region.

As a born and bred marketeer from the North East, Nichola is passionate about harnessing and championing regional talent and success








Claire has over 20 years of extensive experience in legal marketing and joined Samuel Phillips Law in October 2022 as Group Marketing Manager. She works with the Owner, Chief Executive and Partners to design and deliver successful marketing campaigns and business development strategy for Samuel Phillips Law’s office in Newcastle and Sunderland. She also leads the marketing of our sister firms Hathaways the Law Firm in Gateshead and Low Fell and The Miah Solicitors in Leeds.

Prior to joining Samuel Phillips, she was Marketing and Business Development Manager at another commercial law firm in Newcastle where she spent 9 years and before that was Marketing Manager at Northumbria University Law School for 12 years.

She is a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM) and sits on the advisory board of Northumbria University Law School as well as being a mentor on Sunderland University’s Professional Insights Scheme and a judge for the Sunderland University Professional Awards (SUPA).







Laura is Marketing and Communications Manager at Shared Interest. Shared Interest brings together a community of over 11,000 people in the UK with a shared goal of investing in a fairer world. We act co-operatively, pooling this collective investment to provide finance to fair trade businesses in 45 countries. Hand in hand, we work towards a better quality of life for people living and working in remote regions.

Laura has over 14 years' marketing experience working in public and third sector roles. After graduating from a degree in Journalism in 2007 she went on to work for Northumbria Police, initially in a public facing administrative role before joining their Corporate Communications Department. During that time she also worked as a voluntary Special Constable for the force in rural Northumberland. In 2014 she moved to the marketing team at Shared Interest.

She has a varied portfolio, working with everything from crisis management to art directing overseas photography from here in the UK. Laura has a passion for fair trade and is keen that her work has a positive impact on society.





Since Kirstie joined Pendragon in 2019 as Marketing Leader, she has supported a number of premium automotive brands across the Stratstone portfolio, including Jaguar Land Rover.

She works closely with the manufacturers and retailers, acting as brand guardian and helping deploy quarterly initiatives as well as local strategies to generate leads and drive conversions to sale across key business areas.

An experienced Marketing professional with two decades of experience working across local government, public sector and retail settings; Kirstie loves nothing more than bringing a conception to life and achieving it through collaboration with the wider team and partners. Her other passion is running, and she is on her way to achieving marathon running’s greatest prize; the Six Star medal.








Michele joined iamproperty in 2019 to lead and grow the group’s Marketing function. An experienced senior leader with a strong strategic marketing and commercial background in both B2C and B2B, Michele has a proven track record of delivering results. Now as Chief Marketing Officer, Michele is accountable for building an A+ team and overseeing all aspects of marketing. She is passionate about putting customers at the heart of everything the business does, using customer and consumer insight to support innovation and brand differentiation as key drivers of business and category growth.




Kieron is an entrepreneurial leader with over 25 years' experience in leading marketing and communications campaigns for clients at a regional, national and internal level. A qualified and experienced Creative Director and marketeer, with current positions at the Northern School of Art, The Northern Film & TV Studios and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, he is at the forefront of media, marketing and communications innovations and has an enviable network across the UK. He is actively involved in client accounts, providing strategic insights and planning, and working closely with both delivery and client services to ensure client results.







Kate Hall, Head of Marketing and Communications, has worked for Newcastle International Airport for the past seven years. With over 15 years of experience in marketing and communication roles, she oversees all of the internal and external communications of the North East's largest Airport and, alongside her team, delivers multi-media campaigns across the region on behalf of the Airport's 17 airline partners. Kate has a 1 year old daughter and lives in Northumberland.








"Kimberley is an Assistant Professor in Marketing at Newcastle Business School (AACSB), Northumbria University, leading one of the largest Marketing degree programmes (BA Business & Marketing) in the North of England. Kimberley is a commercially focused academic and prior to entering academia worked in various marketing and business management roles in the F & B sector. She has a PhD in Marketing and is a researcher, writer, speaker & mentor specialising in branding, sustainable consumer behaviour, artificial intelligence, algorithms & platforms. In particular, she is keen to understand how marketers can use successfully proven influential buyer strategies from behaviour science to help consumers to create good habits".







Dawn-Elizabeth Howe is Head of Brand and Planning at tombola with a team of 15 based in Sunderland.  Dawn has over 20 years’ experience working in the service and entertainment industry and has knowledge of brand building, strategy, and advertising both in broadcast and digital. Dawn and her team are about to embark on the 7th year of sponsoring the biggest TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’ and Deal or No Deal, which is returning to TV screens mid-November.

Dawn also runs her own business ‘Messy Little Thing’ Dawn learned first-hand while learning to feed her own muck-seeking missile that mealtimes are messy! After realising she couldn’t find a bib that kept clothes clean, she developed a bib that offered 100% protection and was awarded with a patent from the IPO. A carefully designed bib with babies in mind involved sourcing fabric that was super soft and comfy too. The bibs are manufactured locally in the North-East of England.  Selling bibs worldwide with rave reviews and repeat buyers, Dawn gets a kick out of making parenting a little easier.









Nicola Irving is Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications at Pearson Engineering, a company which operates in the global defence sector. In this role, Nicola is responsible for all aspects of the company’s marketing, brand and communications including insights, ESG, campaigns, and culture. Her experience spans both agency and in-house across defence, sport and architecture.

Nicola is Chair of the CBI’s Future Leaders Network, a champion for marketing in the North East and former winner of a North East Marketing Award, leading her team to a win in the ‘In-House Team of the Year’ category 2023.





Chris leads the Nigel Wright B2B sales and marketing specialism from our Wynyard office in Teesside. He joined Nigel Wright in 2015 following 10 years in the industry, to be part of the new management team to set up the Nigel Wright Teesside office. Chris is a part of the Management Team of the Nigel Wright Northern Regional Business and has a personal focus on senior and director level commercial appointments for B2B clients. Chris predominantly provides retained searches for niche and sector specific appointments with regional, national and international remits.

His expertise is in supporting CEOs, MDs and Sales / Commercial / Marketing Directors successfully grow their teams to drive profitable business growth and he has experience working with owner managed SMEs, privately owned national / global corporate groups and subsidiaries, listed companies and private equity backed organisations.





Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Herb is best known as Founder of the long-running Thinking Digital Conference which recently celebrated its 15th Anniversary in 2023. Launched in 2007, the Thinking Digital Conference has become one the UK’s mostly highly regarded technology & thought leadership conferences.

In 2019, Herb’s work on Thinking Digital led him to be named as one of the top 100 Asians in UK Tech. In 2014, Buzzfeed included Herb on its list of “Geordie Heroes”. In 2011, Wired Magazine included him as one it’s Wired 100 top tech leaders of the year. In 2010, the Guardian included Herb in its list of top 100 media figures of the year.

In addition to Thinking Digital, Herb is the Founder and Director of TEDxManchester & TEDxNewcastle which are both among the world’s largest and longest running TEDx events. The speaker videos from Herb’s TEDx events have now been viewed over 50 million times. His most recent creation is the Durham-based Bright Ideas Gathering which specialises in attracting both younger & more senior audiences.

Herb is a Trustee for the Glasshouse International Centre for Music and was the 17th David Goldman Visiting Professor Enterprise & Innovation at Newcastle University Business School.

Herb earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He moved to the UK in 1997 and has worked in Newcastle since 2002. He’s a proud father to an 18yo daughter.

Clare is Head of Marketing & Digital at Durham Cathedral and has fifteen years’ experience in the charity, culture and heritage sector, leading digital marketing communications for well-loved North East and national brands.

In her present role at Durham Cathedral, Clare has had the opportunity to transform the Marketing & Digital department – from shaping a new team to redefining the marketing communications strategy and approach.

Previously Clare was Marketing & Communications Consultant for National Trust across the North region, managing regional strategy and campaigns and supporting properties on high profile projects in the North, include Seaton Delaval Hall. She is CIM qualified and has a degree in Public Relations.








As Senior Consultant - Tech Lead, Paul helps tech businesses in the North East of England & Yorkshire find the talent, funding/investment & connections they need to accelerate their growth.

Passionate about helping businesses grow & individuals fulfil their potential, Paul has spent the past 20yrs+ championing & supporting startups, scaleups & enterprise level organisations across the UK in a range of high impact roles for local enterprise agencies, youth enterprise schemes, Government organisations, international companies, academic institutions & his own business before joining Nigel Wright Recruitment in November 2021.








Eve Lénez has recently joined Merit, the UK's premier offsite construction and manufacturing expert, as Head of Marketing, with the mission of expanding the visibility of the Merit brand both nationally and internationally.
Based in Northumberland, Merit is renowned for its prowess in creating controlled environment solutions for diverse sectors, such as healthcare, bioscience, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, aviation, and nuclear industries. Their specialisation lies in delivering intricate cleanroom construction and M&E services, requiring rigorous regulatory approvals.
Eve brings more than two decades of experience working in strategic marketing communications across B2B and B2C. She has a distinguished track record of driving brand growth for esteemed brands and industries, including Mayborn Group (Tommee Tippee), Port of Tyne, Husqvarna (encompassing Flymo, McCulloch, and Husqvarna), and the Explorer Group (comprising Xplore, Elddis, and Buccaneer).
With her wealth of expertise, Eve is poised to further solidify Merit's position as an industry leader in offsite construction and manufacturing.










Kerry is a Chartered Marketer with broad professional experience in the public and private sectors.

In 2022, after 18 years leading one of the North East’s most well-known brands - Tyne and Wear Metro - Kerry made the move into the housing sector.  She is the Director of Marketing and Engagement at Gentoo – a housing association that provides more than 60,000 people in Sunderland with a place they can call home.









Chris is a CIM Chartered Marketer and Director of Cal Partners www.calpartners.co.uk, a niche marketing agency working exclusively with professional services businesses. 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 and was presented with the Top International Student award by CIM President, Lord Heseltine and Certificate of Merit from The Worshipful Company of Marketors. Chris went on to complete the Digital Marketing Institute's Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing. Chris made the transition from legal practice to senior marketing roles in law firms and barristers chambers before founding Cal Partners in 2015.

Cal Partners won the Agency of the Year (Under 20 employees) category at the inaugural North East Marketing Awards. In addition to managing and growing the agency, Chris mentors budding entrepreneurs as part of the Northumbria University Student and Graduate Enterprise programme.




Victoria McCartney, Director of Brand Strategy - Cool Blue Brand Communications

Victoria is a creative brand strategist with 12+ years of experience in advertising and marketing. She specialises in developing and executing brand strategies that connect with consumers and create a lasting impression. She also supports clients with brand concepts, product launches, positioning statements, and brand messaging across all channels. Victoria has worked alongside many reputable clients such as Barker and Stonehouse, Carpetright, ScS, Sleepeezee Beds, L'Oréal UK, ASM Global, igloo Regeneration, University of Sunderland, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough College and Fusion Lifestyle.






Sarah McCourt is Head of Communications, Marketing and Customer Information at Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive. She leads an award winning multi-disciplinary team, shaping some of North East England’s most high-profile brands.

Along with being CIM qualified, she has had a career in communications and marketing spanning over 18 years, the majority of that in the housing sector.

Sarah was previously Head of Communications and Marketing at Sunderland based Gentoo Group before moving to Karbon Homes where she headed up the communications and marketing function and specialised on brand development and reputation management.








Rob McInally is Global Director of Marketing and Communications at NorthStandard, one of the world’s leading providers of marine insurance products and services across the maritime industries. Established through the merger of Newcastle-based North P&I and the Standard Club in February 2023, NorthStandard has an annual premium income of over US$800M and employs over 650 people globally.

Rob is responsible for NorthStandard’s global branding, commercial marketing and communications strategies worldwide. With over 25 years experience in marketing and business development across several B2B sectors, Rob is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.




Atul Malhotra is currently COO of the Malhotra Group, He initially joined the group in 2003 since when he has undertaken a breadth of divisional roles to gain an insight into the business at all levels. His primary role during his early years with the group was to work in security with internments on development projects to further his knowledge of the portfolio whenever possible. In order to understand the front line of the business, he would even pull pints in the group’s pubs.

Gaining a particular interest in the leisure sector, Atul saw that prime locations as well as passionate and committed staff delivered opportunity; a vision that he presented to the family board to persuade them of the worthwhile investment. On gaining approval, the group embarked on a strategic investment programme.

Atul sees that journey as being instrumental in moulding him into the businessman he is today. He believes that the opportunity to overcome challenges as well as bring his visions to life through the styling and direction of the group’s International and National award-winning venues have deeply widened both his operational knowledge and business acumen.

Away from Malhotra Group, Atul is a Governor at Darras Hall Primary School, sits on the Committee of Darras Hall Estates and on the Board of various charities. He is a mentor to local young entrepreneurs through membership of the Entrepreneurs Forum.

Atul has also been nominated for the following; GBEA Entrepreneur of Year North East Finalist, North East & Yorkshire Institute of Directors Finalist and Northern Asian Power List.








Magazine Publisher | Board Director | Marketing & Brand Expert | Fundraiser | UK Property Businesswoman of the Year |

Co-owner and Director of Portfolio North and Portfolio North | Yorkshire - a property, business and luxury lifestyle print and online publication read by the North East and Yorkshire’s business owners and influential individuals. Working with businesses to help them reach the right audience via editorial, advertising and events.

Group Marketing Director at Bradley Hall. Contributing board member supporting the business with strategic marketing and communications to facilitate business growth.








Louise assumed the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Nannycare, a goat milk formula brand, with a mission to empower parents with authentic choices in the formula feeding category. With a decade of international experience within the baby product sector, Louise is an advocate of parenting choice in the rollercoaster ride of bring up baby.

As a pragmatic and commercial marketer, Louise brings a wealth of B2C expertise in consumer goods and FMCG, from both client-side and agency-side roles. Her professional journey has spanned global organisations, including Nike, Mayborn Group, and Sage. Louise's enduring passion for fostering creativity and collaborating with exceptional talent has delivered team awards including Cannes Lions Awards and DMAs.

At her core, Louise is a champion of amplifying the customer's voice within the organisation, acting on insight and infusing innovation and originality into marketing to cultivate brand connections that make brands grow.







Caroline joined Northumberland National Park Authority in December 2019 and is the strategic lead on marketing, communications and fundraising for the National Park, The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre and Northumberland National Park Foundation.

After growing up on a farm in the Tyne Valley, Caroline swapped rural Northumberland for Liverpool where she graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Business with Marketing.

There followed a twenty year career in marketing and communications via the North West and North East of England, including ten years in the charity sector working with national and regional charities on fundraising campaigns and capital appeals, and eight years within broadcast and digital media.

Northumberland National Park is one of England’s finest landscapes – home to England’s darkest skies and most tranquil spaces, steeped in culture and heritage spanning thousands of years. Northumberland National Park is a key asset to deliver on some of the biggest challenges that face society, including biodiversity loss, climate change and our health and wellbeing.







A highly experienced and personable bi-lingual branding professional with a passion for championing consumers for a number of highly regarded retail brands,
in-house and in agency which include Adidas, Benfield Motor Group & Lookers PLC.  Previously responsible for major brand transformations with
the aim of becoming the partner of choice for customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders. She thrives in challenging environments with complex
requirements. Heike is internationally mobile and has studied and worked in the UK, Europe, the US and Japan.









Sam Patterson is the Marketing Director at FOOTY.COM. A digital, content and brand marketing specialist for over 15 years, she has previously held roles at Sage Gateshead, St Oswald’s Hospice and END. Clothing, where she spent four years overseeing their global social media channels, growing the audience to over 1.5 million. Sam also sits on the board of the National Football Museum, Sunderland Empire Theatre Trust and is Chair of Trustees Cap-a-Pie Theatre Company.










Andrew and his business partner Pete are a duo who help small business owners scale their business so they can stop swapping time for money. Founders of ATOMIC, they annually host one of Europe's largest business conferences, ATOMICON, happening in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Winners of the 'Digital and Social Media Company of the Year Award', and also 'Business Personality of the Year Award', they are ranked in the top 100 digital marketers in the world. As the authors of two hit books, 'The Hippo Campus' and 'Content Mavericks' they regularly keynote international conferences such as Social Media Marketing World and have been featured on sites such as Inc., Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Convince and Convert, Entrepreneur on Fire and Kim Garst.







With over a decade of experience in the industry, Geeta Ral is a seasoned Marketing professional who currently holds the position of Managing Director at JAM Marketing. Her journey in the marketing world has been marked by a rich tapestry of experiences, working with global brands as well as ambitious start-ups.

Geeta is a firm believer in the importance of community and connection. Her dedication to fostering positive relationships with those around her is evident in her approach to both personal and professional interactions. Collaboration and open-mindedness are at the core of her philosophy, recognizing that the best results often stem from diverse perspectives and teamwork.

Throughout her career, Geeta has honed her expertise in delivering successful marketing campaigns that not only meet objectives but also resonate deeply with audiences. Her commitment to excellence, combined with her ability to adapt to the ever-evolving industry landscape, has earned her a reputation as a trusted leader in the field.

As Managing Director of JAM Marketing, Geeta continues to lead her team in delivering innovative marketing solutions, building on her extensive industry knowledge and dedication to creating lasting connections. Her vision for the future of marketing is one that embraces collaboration, creativity, and community, and she is excited to steer JAM Marketing towards continued success.






Stacey is an experienced strategic marketing, brand and communications specialist with sixteen years’ in-house experience within national and regional brands with a particular emphasis on the professional services sector.
Over the last eight years she has led the marketing and communications team at Fairstone, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing wealth management firms, supporting the development and launch of the national brand. Today the firm has 1,200 colleagues, 50 offices, over 90,000 clients and over £15bn in funds under management.
Stacey is passionate about brand building, creative campaigns and delivering ROI against strategic principles.










Jess specialises in senior marketing recruitment within the North East, focussed across consumer product and services, agency, and public sector industries. She has specialised in consumer and retail marketing recruitment since 2016, working with high-profile brands in London, before returning to the North East.

Her speciality in marketing stems from spending 6 years as a Marketer at the likes of Links of London and Jaeger Clothing. Her market knowledge expertise helps her resonate and guide marketing leaders, MDs and business owners in their job searches and key hires.





Caroline Smith joined Swinburne Maddison LLP in May this year. Caroline has considerable experience working in strategic marketing communications, spending 15 years with outdoor brand Berghaus and the past 8 years working as Marketing Director for two high profile North East e-commerce businesses, Pink Boutique and OddBalls. Caroline has a passion for building strong brands, delivering impactful marketing campaigns and importantly measuring their effectiveness. Having had her final year at school in Durham, she is proud to back there, working for the City’s leading law firm, which is celebrating 25 years of history in providing bespoke legal support to businesses and private individuals.









Natalina is a highly experienced CIM Chartered Marketer and Non-Exective Director with over 20 years of expertise across Third Sector, Property and Automotive sectors. In her current role, she is responsible for the Brand management of 25 automotive manufacturers across the UK and Ireland for Lookers Motor Group.

Natalina is unwavering in her commitment to strengthening brands and enhancing customer experiences. Her expertise lies in developing tailor-made marketing strategies that cater to the specific needs of consumers and cultivate strong customer relationships, pivotal for business growth and through pioneering digital transformation and innovation, driving significant increases in profitability.

Natalina is Non-Executive Director for Newcastle Wood Recycling CIC, a not-for-profit organisation on a mission to divert wood from the local waste stream through our wood recycling service while creating employment, training and volunteering opportunities










Veronica is the Managing Director of nesma, a skills training company for every marketer.

Today, nesma is a highly respected teaching centre for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, with impressively high pass rates from students across the UK and worldwide. It constantly expands its offer to learners to reflect the fast-changing business landscape. Most recently, nesma added the prestigious CIM Marketing Leadership Programme, introduced the CIM and CIPR sustainability qualifications, launched the CIM Specialist Digital Awards and partnered with PR Smith, a renowned author and marketing expert, to deliver the popular SOSTAC® planning masterclasses.

As a CIM Fellow and MCIPR, Veronica coaches, teaches, consults and facilitates the careers of many of nesma’s alumni and drives 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 pride comes from seeing individuals and organisations developing confidently and actioning successful marketing strategies after studying or working with nesma.






Amy is an experienced, versatile digital marketer, working at a rapidly expanding law firm and claims management specialist in Newcastle.

With experience spanning both in-house and agency roles, her background has covered everything from brand development and design to project management, and content creation to delivering training and workshops to local SMEs.

Having worked with a range of big named brands including Winn Solicitors, ScS, Berghaus, The Lakes Distillery, Eldon Square, and Tommee Tippee, she brings a wealth of expertise to her current role as Group Digital Marketing Manager at Winn Group.

In her day-to-day role she heads up all internal and external MarComms across the group’s brands, whilst supporting the business development and recruitment teams to ensure the company’s continuing growth targets are achieved.

Outside of work, Amy enjoys yoga, making things for her Etsy shop, and spending time with her two dachshunds.








Steve is Founder & Managing Director at Bonded digital & media agency, with over 20 years in the industry, working with global brands through to ambitious start-ups.

Steve believes connection with people is the future of business communications; ‘in an ever changing fast paced world the importance of people has not changed; this is the constant.’

In addition to his role at Bonded, Steve has a passion for helping NE businesses grow & thrive. Steve is Chair of the NELEP Digital Strategy board, board member on the NELEP business growth board and Chair of the NABS NE Committee.




Nina Walton is Owner of Walton Marketing & Communications. The business specialises in a range of strategy and storytelling services including content creation and PR. In addition to running her business, Nina also helps deliver the TRANSFORM brand and marketing programme for entrepreneurs and scaling businesses with her colleague Sarah McCrady.

Prior to establishing Walton Marketing, Nina headed up the marketing department at PwC in Newcastle for 10 years and before that worked within the media at both NCJ Media and Galaxy Radio. She is CIM qualified and has a degree from Newcastle University in English Literature.







With over 15 years communication and marketing experience, Kathryn career pivoted from working in the culture sector to the technology industry in 2020. She worked at some of the region's best loved museums like the Great North Museum: Hancock and spent time at a number of global tech giants including Monstarlab, before forming her own consultancy, KLW Marketing in June 2023. She now works with ambitious founders and entrepreneurs to accelerate their business growth through developing strategies that align with their strategic priorities.

As a previous winner of the Rising Star Award, she is a true champion at supporting the next wave of talented marketers through mentoring. She is a huge advocate for creating a more diverse workforce in tech which led her to co-found the Women in Tech North East community.