The future of the North-eEast's economy will be put firmly in the spotlight at the Economic Forecast Breakfast 2014 next month.
Wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin, in conjunction with The Journal and the Evening Gazette on Tyneside, is supporting the event at Ramside Hall in County Durham on Thursday, April 10.
A panel of experts from the world of business and industry will join leading market strategist, Ben Gutteridge - head of fund research at Brewin Dolphin - to debate what the future holds for the global and national economy.
Panelists include Dr Joanna Berry, pictured, director of engagement at Newcastle University Business School.
Hartlepool born, Oxford University law graduate Joanna left the North-east in the 1980s thinking she would never return.
After practising law in apartheid South Africa for two years, she moved to London.
But when her international award-winning dotcom business came to an end in 2002, she returned home to complete an MBA at Newcastle University Business School.
She then went on to complete a PhD on the impact of technology on the music industry; seeing her found and run a record label in London as part of the research.
Her career to date has also seen her manage a cloud-based scientific start-up company with Newcastle University academics, and she has been a mentor for successful business enterprise scheme companies.
Currently, at Newcastle University Business School, Joanna teaches MBA, postgraduate and undergraduate subjects in: leadership; strategic marketing; social media marketing; small business and entrepreneurship, and is the regional director of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
As director of engagement at the Business School she has been instrumental in developing relationships with regional, national and global businesses, public and third sector organisations, helping grow the school’s reputation for outstanding research, teaching and learning in the UK and overseas.
She said: “By bringing together such esteemed business leaders at The Economic Forecast Breakfast it provides the perfect platform to see what the future holds for the economy and what this will mean for the region: it’s a conversation Newcastle University Business School needs to be involved in. Universities, and higher education in general, provide the backbone of a regional knowledge economy; and by working together - business and academia - we can gain a real, global competitive advantage to make knowledge applicable and commercial in today, and tomorrow’s, economic environment.”
Other panelists include Mike Matthews, European operations officer and managing director of Nifco UK based at Eaglescliffe; Catherine Walker, NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s inward investment director; James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, and Rachel Turnbull, chief executive officer of TT2.
The Economic Forecast Breakfast will be chaired by Graham Robb, right, owner of Darlington-based Recognition Marketing and PR who is also the new chairman of the Institute of Directors in the North-east, having served on its board for several years.
He is also on the board of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and a founding member of the Yorkshire and North East Shadow MPC.
Graham founded Recognition PR in 1990 following extensive media experience with the BBC and commercial radio, working as a producer/presenter on radio stations such as Century FM and BBC Tees.
Today the firm employs 14 staff and has a portfolio of more than 70 clients, which in turn employ more than 40,000 people and have a combined turnover of more than £3bn. Recognition’s clients include prominent entrepreneurs and businesses such as Duncan Bannatyne and Vertu Motors.
This year Recognition PR has invested in excess of £300,000 in new offices at Pioneer Court, Morton Palms Business Park, in Darlington.
He said: “The Economic Forecast Breakfast 2014 will be a significant event to start off the new financial year in the North-east. The expert speakers from a range of sectors vital to the region’s economic well-being will give an informed insight into the prospects for the year ahead.
“It is clear the economy is growing but does the North-east have the skills, infrastructure and financial resources to take advantage of the opportunities ahead? I think the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ but there are areas that we could improve if we want to take decisive steps forward that benefit future generations.”
Find out more about The Economic Forecast Breakfast and book your table for the event HERE