Shortlist revealed for IoD Young Director of the Year award

Eight of the region's top directors aged 42 and under will compete for the award

Some of the North East’s top directors have been shortlisted for the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Young Director of the Year Award.

The IoD partnered with Deloitte to research and compile the shortlist of young directors, aged 42 and under, who are seen to be making substantial contributions to the region.

A winner will be announced at the IoD North East Business Leaders’ Dinner on Thursday February 26.

Deloitte tax partner Stephen Hall led the team that compiled the list of eight business leaders who are described as “very strong candidates”.

The shortlist includes Nick Gillan, managing director of Northumbria Optical Coatings Limited in Boldon; Atul Malhotra, operations director, of Malhotra Group PLC; Stewart McNicholl, managing director of AMS Asbestos Management Services Ltd in Cramlington; Tim Payne, merchandise director of Charles Clinkard in Stockton; Daniel Robinson, chairman and chief executive of Gus Robinson Developments in Hartlepool; John Savage, managing director, Flame Heating Spares Ltd in Gateshead; Andrew Ward, managing director of Workwear Express Ltd in Belmont; and Pete Watson, chief executive officer of Atlas Cloud in Newcastle.

Nick Gilland has steered Northumbria Optical Coatings limited to acquire three businesses in the last four years and growth in turnover from £670,000 to £1.6m.

After joining his family’s business full-time in 2004, Atul Malhotra now oversees the whole operations of the group. His main role is to head the leisure department in all aspects from site acquisition, development, refurbishment programmes, tenders, and senior staff recruitment.

As managing director of AMS Asbestos Management Services Ltd, Stewart McNicholl has built a senior team and improved efficiencies to keep the firm ahead of competitors.

Tim Payne’s role at independent footwear retailer and wholesaler Charles Clinkard puts him in charge of the supply chain. He has successfully driven the stockturn of the business to greatly improve the balance sheet without compromising sales and profit, which are both set to grow significantly year on year.

Gus Robinson Developments’ chairman and chief executive, Daniel Robinson, has been instrumental in turning the company around from the verge of bankruptcy to an expected revenue of more than £20m in the financial year 2015-16.

John Savage worked his way up through his industry, from warehouse assistant, before founding Flame Heating Spares in 2011

Recent Journal Business interviewee Andrew Ward founded Workwear Express Ltd in his early 20s and has since spent time in every aspect of the business. He now aims to achieve 30-35% annual sales growth whilst maintaining margins.

As chief executive officer of Atlas Cloud, Pete Watson has been responsible for leading the business’s strategic direction, recently opening offices in Leeds and London.

Commenting on the overall shortlist, Graham Robb, IoD North East chairman, said: “Those vying for the IoD North East Young Director of the Year award prove that the region has a broad and diverse group of go-ahead young directors involved in a wide variety of roles, all making a crucial contribution to the economic well-being of the North East.”

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