Institute of Directors North East unveils award shortlist

The Institute of Directors North East has joined forces with The Journal to unveil the shortlist for its Director of the Year Award 2014

The Institute of Directors North East has joined forces with The Journal to unveil the shortlist for its Director of the Year Award 2014.

Nominations for the award were invited by the Institute of Directors (IoD) North East to provide an overview of business leaders whose companies are making an impact when it comes to driving the region’s economy forward.

The IoD North East wants to honour directors whose companies are helping improve the region’s economic landscape, such as investing in or expanding their organisations, attracting funds and finance to the region, developing the area’s infrastructure or creating valuable jobs.


This year’s eight-strong shortlist comprises:

Nigel Armstrong, managing director, Bannatyne Fitness, Darlington

Phil Dryden, outgoing chief executive, SSI UK, Redcar

Robert Forrester, chief executive officer, Vertu Motors Plc, Gateshead

Alasdair MacConachie, managing director, Sherwoods (Darlington) Ltd

James Stoddart, managing director, On A Roll Sandwich Ltd, Middlesbrough

Geoff Thompson, chief executive officer, Utilitywise Plc, South Shields

Geoff Turnbull, chairman, GT Group, Peterlee

Alastair Waite, formerly a director at Onyx Group, Middlesbrough, and now founder director of Altrelli Limited, Osmotherley

The winner will be announced before 200 institute members and their guests on Thursday, February 27, at the IoD North East’s Business Leaders’ Dinner being held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham, which is being supported by V&A Vigar & Co (Darlington) LLP and BMI.

Keynote speakers will be Steph McGovern, BBC Breakfast business correspondent and Graeme Leach, IoD chief economist.

Alastair Thomson, IoD North East chairman, said: “All those shortlisted are excellent business role models and we hope that they will inspire others to follow their lead.

“They spearhead companies that are making significant contributions to regional employment and are helping spread prosperity across the region.

“They also are exemplars in their field with their commercial acumen, commitment and drive making a tangible difference to the North East.”

Last year’s winner was Brian Palmer, chief executive officer of Blyth-based engineers Tharsus, who led the firm to more than quadruple exports.

Palmer oversaw the £3m investment in a new factory which created 80 jobs, and has steered the company to massively increase its exports. The company suffered at the start of the recession but by last year had restored the workforce to 150, and was still recruiting.


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