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

Laura Carrick
Marketing and Communications Officer at Shared Interest Society
View Laura’s Biography

Helen Curran
Head of Marketing Nuby UK

View Helen’s Biography

Ben Debnam
Associate Director – Sales, Marketing and IT, Nigel Wright Recruitment
View Ben’s Biography

Joanne Dolezal
Digital & Content Marketing Specialist, Dolezal Consulting
View Joanne’s Biography

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

Ann English
Visual Communications Consultant & Business Coach
View Ann’s Biography

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

Julie Gibbins
Retailer Marketing Consultant, Volvo Car UK
View Julie’s Biography

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

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

Lisa van Heereveld
Communications Consultant and the Marketing and Event Manager at Newcastle Startup Week
View Lisa’s Biography

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

Steve Imray
Head of Sales & Marketing, Northern Print Solutions
View Steve’s Biography

Nicola Irving
Head of Marketing, GT3 Architects
View Nicola’s Biography

Andrew Jackson 
Marketing Director, Fentimans
View Andrew’s Biography

Robert Jefferson
Head of Marketing – Mortgage Division, Virgin Money
Biog coming soon!

Justine Joisce
Senior Associate (Marketing) DKS Straightforward Ltd
View Justine’s Biography

Chris Kent
Managing Consultant – Sales & Marketing, Nigel Wright Recruitment
View Chris’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

Kerry Leng
Head of Marketing, Nexus

View Kerry’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

Rob McInally
Director of Marketing & Communications, North Group
View Rob’s Biography

Debs Mullinder
Chief Doer, The Doer Consultancy – Marketing, Communications & Brand Strategy

View Deb’s Biography

Charlie Nettle
Head of Commercial and Marketing, AV Dawson and Chair of CIM North East
View Charlie’s Biography

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

View Tom’s Biography

Sarah O’Mahoney
Director, Bradley O’Mahoney
View Sarah’s Biography

Sasha O’Neill
Group Head of Marketing at Bellway Homes Ltd

View Sasha’s Biography

Geoff Phillips
Founder, Canvas Marketing
View Geoff’s Biography

David Pritchard
Head of Marketing, Sintons LLP
View David’s Biography

Helen Rogers
Offline Marketing Manager, Hays Travel
View Helen’s Biography

Tina Snowball
Strategic brand, marketing & communications consultant
View Tina’s Biography

Veronica Swindale
Managing Director of nesma and Vice Chair of CIM North East Regional Board
View Veronica’s Biography

Erica Tucker
Senior Consultant, Nigel Wright Recruitment
View Erica’s Biography

Nicole de Vega
Head of Marketing, Poptop
View Nicole’s Biography

Darren Warneford
Director, Esh Group
View Darren’s Biography

Prof. Natalia Yannopoulou
Professor of Marketing, Newcastle University
View Natalia’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.

Laura Carrick, Marketing & Communications Officer, Shared Interest Society

Laura is Marketing and Communications Officer at Shared Interest Society, an ethical investment organisation providing finance solutions to fair trade businesses across the globe. She has over 10 years' marketing experience working in public and third sector marketing 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 her current role 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.

Laura took on her CIM Level 4 Diploma in Marketing Communications in 2015 and then a Level 6 Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing in 2018. She is now working towards becoming  a Chartered Marketer.

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 Nigel Wright’s Associate Director leading both the IT  and the Sales and Marketing recruitment  divisions.  As well as leading his management team across these divisions, Ben delivers main board and executive marketing and commercial appointments across the North of England.  Following the completion of his undergraduate degree at Durham University, Ben has been with Nigel Wright in excess of 10 years and sits on the organisational leadership team.

Joanne Dolezal, Digital & Content Marketing Specialist

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 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.

Ann English, Visual Communications Consultant & Business Coach

With over 25 years’ experience in design, display and events, Ann has worked on large scale projects with major retail client’s across the UK and abroad. Her claim to fame is she invented The Metrognomes!

As founder of Create Intrigue and The Visual Marketing Academy, Ann delivers masterclasses, workshops and talks. Inspiring and educating SMEs on how to harness the power of Visual Marketing to present their brand, products and services in a way that attracts the attention of target audiences to increase sales.

Ann has created The Vision Mapping Process to help business owners visually communicate their ideas, concepts and systems. Applying her creative, business and coaching skills to create VisionTrees and SystemsMaps for clients. Enabling them to gain clarity and focus, to transform ideas into reality.

Ann is also one of the specialist selective team of ‘Consultants That Do’ at ANGELFYSH Brand Communication Collective.

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.

Julie Gibbins, Retail Marketing Consultant, Volvo Car UK

Julie is an experienced Marketing Consultant delivering results for marketing leading brands and agencies. Specialising in brand engagement and effective marketing strategy and planning, ensuring marketing activity is measured and delivers a return on investment.

Julie recently joined Volvo Car UK, as a Marketing Consultant with a key role of driving marketing efficacy within the retail network of this progressive, premium car brand.

Previous to this Julie held a consultancy role at the inspiring and effective communications agency adam&eveDDB working on the Volkswagen account where she was instrumental in developing a class leading Integrated Retailer Marketing Service for the Volkswagen UK retailer network.

CIM accredited with a Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Julie is an advocate of continuous professional development.

In her spare time Julie is training for her first half marathon… the Great North Run 2019.

“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.

Lisa van Heereveld, Freelance Communication Consultant Marketing and Events Manager for Newcastle Startup Week

Lisa van Heereveld currently operates as freelance Communications Consultant and the Marketing and Event Manager at Newcastle Startup Week and Founders’ Friday. She is also a co-opted committee member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) North East Chapter. Prior to these roles, Lisa coordinated marketing and PR activities at award-winning housing association ‘Byker Community Trust’.

Lisa is particularly passionate about the potential to use marketing communications to help customers address pain points and improve their quality of life.

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.

Steve Imray, Head of Sales & Marketing, Northern Print Solutions

Steve’s experience spans over 18 years in creative design, sales and marketing, delivering to both b2b and b2c markets. He has been the Managing Director of his own agency for 13 years and worked with brands such as Red Bull, Carlsberg, Honda, Lexus and Newcastle United FC.

Steve now heads up the sales and marketing team at Northern Print Solutions and is passionate about the work they do here in the North East to support local brands, start ups and growing companies alike as well as working with a large portfolio of creative agencies delivering on campaigns nationwide.

Nicola Irving, Head of Marketing, GT3 Architects

Nicola is Head of Marketing at GT3 Architects, a nationally recognised and fast-growing practice with a strong focus on culture, people and innovation. After graduating in 2011, she quickly and enthusiastically grew to lead the global marketing function for a premium defence engineering brand before moving to her current role where she is part of the company’s Leadership Team. Nicola has experience of developing marketing and business development strategies for B2C, B2B and B2G organisations and she is a committee member of CIM North East where she is helping to develop a marketing community and to raise the profile of marketing and marketers in the region.

Having studied French and Spanish with German at Newcastle University, Nicola later took on a Level 4 Diploma in Marketing Communications and then a Level 7 Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing. She is now working towards her Chartership.

To continue to develop and share her skills, Nicola volunteers marketing strategy and communication support to the Armed Forces Para Snowsports Team.

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.

Justine Joisce, Senior Associate (Marketing) DKS Straightforward Ltd

With over 20 years marketing experience gained both in-house and agency side from a range of sectors; pharmaceutical, professional services, manufacturing, B2B and FMCG, Justine has worked with large corporates such as Eversheds, Boots and Procter & Gamble, SME’s and owner-managed businesses alike.  The last five years she spent as a senior leader supporting Global CEO & founder of award winning local agency Ramarketing, Raman Sehgal, with the growth and international expansion of his agency. Following a period of freelancing she is now part of the leadership team at DKS Straightforward Ltd working with CEO Dianne Sharp to unlock the potential of the NE economy with her strategic marketing expertise and coaching.

Chris Kent, Managing Consultant - Sales & Marketing, Nigel Wright Recruitment

Chris is Nigel Wright’s Managing Consultant, running their Sales and Marketing business from their Wynyard office.  He is responsible for senior and executive marketing and commercial appointments  throughout the North East and Yorkshire as well as leading the team.  Chris has 15 years experience in sales and marketing recruitment having embarked on his recruitment career after gaining a BA Honours in Business Studies from Nottingham Business School and a Post Graduate Certificate in Management from Durham Business School.

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 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.

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.

Kerry Leng, Head of Marketing, Nexus

Kerry is a Chartered Marketer with broad professional experience across the public and private sectors. She is a member of the management team at Nexus, the Passenger Transport Executive for Tyne and Wear which owns and operates Tyne and Wear Metro and the Shields Ferry. In her role at Nexus, Kerry leads the strategic development of corporate marketing for all transport modes across all channels.

Named as one of the North East Marketing Greats, Kerry is also a professional 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).

Kerry is a member of the CIM’s North East Regional Board and is a Trustee of The Customs House, an arts venue in South Tyneside which is dedicated to offering arts, entertainment and engagement to all.

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.

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.

Debs Mullinder, Chief Doer, The Doer Consultancy - Marketing, Communications & Brand Strategy

Debs has over 20 years’ experience in brand, marketing, communications and campaign management having worked across many big and emerging brands including The Dewhirst Clothing Group, Tommee Tippee, SSE, Citi, NHS and most recently NBS, an SME who recognised the value of brand building to enable a growth strategy. Debs was instrumental in developing and implementing the brand and working with some top North East agencies to raise the profile of NBS across the region.

Debs loves to share her knowledge and was one of the first associate lecturers to join NESMA, she continues to support NESMA where she delivers CIM qualifications to those starting their professional marketing journey.

In her current role as "The Doer" Debs helps businesses better connect with the customer and drive growth through brand building, marketing, communications and developing operational excellence.

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.

Sarah O’Mahoney, Director, Bradley O'Mahoney 

Sarah studied PR at Leeds Beckett University and achieved a BA (HONS) Public Relations degree. Having worked in a B2B Manchester agency Sarah returned to the North East to work for Bradley O’Mahoney Public Relations, where she is now a director.

Sarah has a  wide range of experience including corporate and marketing PR, employee communications and issues management and her current client base covers construction, the built environment, technology and engineering.

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 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.

David Pritchard, Head of Marketing, Sintons LLP

David has over 18 years’ experience of working within the legal sector. He has in-depth experience of marketing for such areas of law as Personal Injury, Private Client, Healthcare and Corporate & Commercial. His particular areas of interest are brand development, digital marketing and business development. David is an Affiliate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Helen Rogers, Offline Marketing Manager, Hays Travel

Helen is Offline Marketing Manager for Hays Travel who are the UKs largest independent travel agent. She is responsible for helping to develop brand awareness, engagement and sales for their ever expanding portfolio of branches UK wide as well as planning and executing marketing campaigns for major travel partners such as P&O Cruises. Playing an active role in and around the marketing sector, she has spent a large portion of her 20 year plus career in radio, theatre and more recently travel. She has broad wealth of experience in both the creation and coordination of marketing campaigns and events for local, national as well as global brands.

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.

Erica Tucker, Senior Consultant, Nigel Wright Recruitment

Erica Tucker graduated with a first class undergraduate degree in marketing and events management from Liverpool John Moores University and is a Senior Consultant at Nigel Wright, where she recruits for mid to senior marketing positions across the North East.

Erica started her career with Nigel Wright in 2017 running the junior marketing desk, before progressing to into her current remit and supporting with expansion and growth in the sales and marketing team.

In addition to her recruitment role, Erica continues to be engaged in running the events programme for Nigel Wright in marketing, with a focus on continued professional development opportunities for marketers in the region.

Nicole de Vega, Head of Marketing, Poptop

Nicole is the Head of Marketing for Poptop, the complete online event planning service.  Nicole is an experienced senior marketer (over 20 years in her field) with a strong marketing, commercial and product background in the digital technology industry and a previous winner of a NEMA in 2018.  Passionate about leading and developing teams both large and small and a proven track record in nurturing talent.

Nicole is an enthusiastic and creative marketer with a particular interest in evolving brands, driving growth and business transformation, with a depth of experience in developing and delivering innovative strategies across multiple marketing channels across the full mix.  

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.

Prof. Natalia Yannopoulou, Professor of Marketing.

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. She regularly engages in collaborative funding projects with national and international businesses and organisations on marketing related topics.