North East Connected

Sage’s Stephen Kelly honoured at Director of the Year awards

Stephen Kelly of Sage won the prestigious Judges’ Special Award at the Director of the Year awards for Yorkshire and the North East, hosted by the Institute of Directors.

Kelly, the chief executive of the Newcastle-based accounting and payroll business, has more than 30 years’ leadership experience in the technology sector having led successful businesses in the US and Europe.

The Overall Director of the Year Award was won by Herwig Vennekens of Haribo UK. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Lord Haskins of Skidby, chair of the Humber LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and former chairman of Northern Foods.

The black-tie awards ceremony was attended by around 200 guests at The Principal York hotel. Other North East winners included James Ramsbotham, chief executive of North East England Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s winners go forward to the national IoD Director of the Year awards, where they will compete against winners from across the UK.

Guest speakers at the awards were Stephen Martin, director general of the IoD and Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools.


The full list of winners is:

Young Director of the Year: Adeem Younis, Penny Appeal

(Highly commended: Adam Walsh, The Right Fuelcard Company)

Director of a Small Company: Geoff Shepherd, iSource Group

Director of a Family Company: Debbie Heald, Heald Ltd

(Highly commended: Graeme Hall, Brandon Medical)

Non-Executive Director of the Year: Qari Asim MBE , Makkah Mosque and DLA Piper UK

International Director of the Year. Dr Adam Beaumont, AQL

Director of a Mid-Market Enterprise: Bridie Warner-Adsetts, Naylor Industries

(Highly commended: Craig Iley, Atom Bank)

Director of a Large Company: David Hurcomb, NG Bailey Group

(Highly commended: Herwig Vennekens, Dunhills (Pontefract))

Director in the Public and Third Sector: James Ramsbotham, North East England Chamber of Commerce

(Highly commended: Cllr Peter Box CBE, Wakefield Council)

Overall Director of the Year: Herwig Vennekens, Dunhills (Pontefract)

Judges Special Award: Stephen Kelly, Sage

Lifetime Achievement: Lord Haskins, Humber Local Enterprise Partnership


The judging panel was chaired by Richard Tuplin, regional director (north) of Jelf Insurance Brokers.

The awards partners are: Academy Ambassadors, Cicada Communications, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Forward Ladies, Frontroom, Leeds Beckett University, MechFS, Principal York, Topic UK, Virgin Trains East Coast and Vista.

Exit mobile version