• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

North East Connected

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North East business leaders triumph at Director of the Year awards

Lucy WinskellLucy Winskell OBE of Northumbria University received the Judges’ Special Award at the Director of the Year awards, organised by the IoD in Yorkshire and the North East.

Lucy, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (business and engagement) leads the development of the university’s relationships with local government and public bodies, shaping its contribution to regional economic, cultural and social development.

The former lawyer is chairman of the North East Chamber of Commerce, and vice-chair of the BE Group. She has held non-executive roles nationally and internationally

The black-tie awards dinner was attended by around 200 guests at Leeds Civic Hall.

John Savage of fast-growing, Gateshead-based heating and plumbing merchant Flame Heating Spares was named North East Young Director of the Year.

Dean Benson of Stockton-based e-commerce provider Visualsoft won the award for North East SME director of the year.

The Overall Director of the Year award went to Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive of R&R Ice Cream. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter Wilkinson, a non-executive director of two companies and former Scarborough Business Person of the Year.

Graham Robb, North East chairman of the IoD, said: “These are people who get up every morning dedicated to the task of making their businesses better, improving profits, generating the funds that employ people and add to a sense of economic security for the entire society.

“It is particularly important to recognise these people tonight because without them the country would be in an even tighter spot than it is today.”

Richard Tuplin, managing director of Humber-based Jelf Insurance Partnership, chaired the judging panel for the awards.

This year’s winners are entered into the national IoD Director of the Year awards, to compete against winners from across the UK.

The awards partners are: Virgin Trains East Coast, Leeds Bradford Airport, Leeds Marriott, GE Capital, Microsoft, Leeds Beckett University, Enterprise Services, Topic UK, UKTI and Vista.

The winners are:

Yorkshire – Large Company: Ibrahim Najafi, R&R Ice Cream

Yorkshire and North East – Mid-Market: Gillian Southern MBE, Wessington Cryogenics and Paul Teasdale, Premier Technical Services Group (joint winners)

International: Jon Geldart, Grant Thornton International

Public & Third Sector: Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council

Yorkshire – SME: Keith Jackson, JRI Orthopaedics

North East – SME: Dean Benson, Visualsoft

Yorkshire – Young Director: Euan Craig, Exemplar Healthcare

North East – Young Director: John Savage, Flame Heating Spares

Non-Executive Director of the Year: Terry Hodgkinson CBE DL, NCFE

Overall Director of the Year: Ibrahim Najafi, R&R Ice Cream

Judges’ Special Award: Lucy Winskell OBE, University of Northumbria

Lifetime Achievement: Peter Wilkinson, Unison Ltd

By admin