Entrepreneur Natalie Sykes has been appointed regional director of the North East branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD).
Ms Sykes has business interests in property, supercars and health and wellbeing, and is also regional director of the IoD in Yorkshire and the Humber.
She is chair of sustainable community initiative Groundwork North Yorkshire, board member of the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and a director of a prestigious estate in North Yorkshire.
Within the IoD, Ms Sykes acts as an ambassador for IoD Student Membership and the National Apprenticeship Scheme.
She was previously chairman of the IoD’s Young Directors for Yorkshire and the Humber; a judge for their prestigious Director of the Year Awards and sat on the national Membership Committee.
She said: “I am passionate about growing businesses and entrepreneurship in the North. Through my role with the IoD I want to encourage professionals young and not so young to take advantage of our membership benefits, director development and excellent events. Together we can help each other and drive regional prosperity.”
She will work with the IoD’s North East chair Graham Robb, owner of Darlington-based Recognition PR.
Mr Robb said: “Natalie has shown in Yorkshire and the Humber that she is passionate about strengthening our position as a business organisation that can help directors grow their business and share best practice.”
The appointment has come as the IoD in the North East launches research to identify young directors who are making a contribution to the economic well-being of the region.
The North East Young Directors’ project will recognise business leaders, aged 42 and under, who are helping drive the region’s economy.
Mr Robb said: “The IoD, as a leading authority on business matters, believes it is important to celebrate young directors, who are making their mark on the region’s economic landscape.
“The North East is indebted to entrepreneurs whose acumen, creativity and dynamism contribute to the value of goods and services produced in the region. Their efforts deserve to be officially honoured and promoted to act as an inspiration to others to follow their lead.”
Business advisory firm Deloitte is backing the Young Director initiative and will be identifying and researching potential candidates as well as co-ordinating nominations.
A team of business experts led by Stephen Hall, tax partner at Deloitte’s Newcastle office, will help draw up a shortlist leading to the naming of the North East Young Director of the Year at the IoD North East’s annual Business Leaders’ Dinner on February 26 next year.