Impact List 2020 – Celebrating the spirit, drive and innovation of the region’s businesspeople

January 7, 2021

2020 brought a whole new meaning to the word unprecedented, as the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the very fabric of our lives and communities.

However, despite the many challenges, the region remained resolute, with its famed ‘can-do’ attitude coming to the fore.

This was particularly evident across the region’s business landscape, where companies and organisations supported each other, as well as the national effort to combat coronavirus.

Here at North East Times, we wanted to champion these endeavours and – in the face of COVID-19 causing the cancellation of our annual Impact Awards – have created the Impact List 2020 to celebrate the spirit, drive and innovation of the region’s businesspeople.

We asked figures from across the North East to shine a spotlight on the individuals they believe made a truly dynamic impression on the region last year. Here are their nominations…

Helen Golightly, chief executive of North East Local Enterprise Partnership

– nominated by Sarah Glendinning, regional director at CBI

James Ramsbotham, chief executive of North East England Chamber of Commerce

– nominated by Nigel Emmerson, head of Newcastle office at Womble Bond Dickinson

Richard Swart, global sales and quality director of Berger Global

– nominated by James Kyle, investment director at Rathbones

Ian Farrar, managing director of Far North

– nominated by Paul Lancaster, founder and director of Plan Digital

Irene Hays, chair of Hays Travel

– nominated by Caroline Theobald, chair and co-founder at FIRST

Sarah Glendinning, CBI regional director

– nominated by Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council

Stephen Bell, chief executive of Changing Lives

– nominated by James Ramsbotham, chief executive of North East England Chamber of Commerce

Jonny Grubin, founder and chief executive of SoPost

– nominated by Jamie Hardesty, head of communications and stakeholder engagement at Sunderland Software City

Lucy Winskell, chair of North East Local Enterprise Partnership

– nominated by Tim Bailey, partner at Xsite Architecture

Andrew Craddock, chief executive of Darlington Building Society

– nominated by Jessica Williams, chief executive of JustWilliams

Dame Jackie Daniel, chief executive of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

– nominated by John McCabe, managing director of Fusion PR Creative

Michelle Cooper, chief executive of Durham Community Foundation

– nominated by Nicki Clark, chief executive of Umi

Sarah Green, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative

– nominated by Liz Bromley, chief executive of Newcastle College Group

Shona Alexander, chief executive of Citizen’s Advice Newcastle

– nominated by Jamie Driscoll, mayor of the North of Tyne

Dame Margaret Barbour, chair of J Barbour & Sons

– nominated by Peter Mallon, managing director of North East Times

Phil Jackman, cyber security lead at Dynamo North East

– nominated by Mark Larsen, managing director at Accenture Newcastle

Brenda McLeish, chief executive of Learning Curve Group

– nominated by Ben Houchen, mayor of Tees Valley

The late John Hays, managing director of Hays Travel

– nominated by Jason Wainwright, managing partner at Muckle LLP

Lucas Morrison, owner and manager of Arlo in Jesmond

– nominated by Charlie Hoult, managing director of HyHubs and chair of Dynamo North East

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council

– nominated by Ellen Thinnesen, chief executive of Education Partnership North East

Adam Cole, owner of Cole Cafe & Deli in Roker

– nominated by Sir David Bell, vice-chancellor and chief executive of University of Sunderland

Jalf Ali, owner of Dabbawal and Khai Khai

– nominated by Ammar Mirza, founder of Asian Business Connexions CIC and chair of IoD North East (North)

Alastair Powell, managing director of Cleveland Cable Company

– nominated by Andy Preston, mayor of Middlesbrough

Catherine Devereux, founder of the Russ Devereux Headlight Project

– nominated by Laura Hepburn, director of Greenology

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors

– nominated by Graham Robb, owner of Recognition PR

Nicola Pallas, lead counsellor and director of Creative Minds – North Star Counselling CIC

– nominated by Paul McEldon, chief executive of North East BIC

Gary Dawson, managing director of AV Dawson

– nominated by Jonathan Lamb, chief executive of Entrepreneurs’ Forum

Kate Welch, chief executive of Social Enterprise Acumen CIC

– nominated by Dr Joanna Berry, associate professor entrepreneurship at Durham University

Frans Calje, chief executive of PD Ports

– nominated by Steven Hugill, editor of North East Times

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland BID

– nominated by Natasha McDonough, managing director at MMC

Congratulations to all the people nominated in our Impact List 2020! The majority of last year represented an extremely tough time for many businesses and organisations, but with the resilience, innovation and drive shown by those highlighted here – and by many more across the North East – the region is well-placed to succeed when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ease.

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