Who will take the crown?

ALL will be revealed on Thursday, when the winners of the North East Business Executive of the Year Awards are announced.

ALL will be revealed on Thursday, when the winners of the North East Business Executive of the Year Awards are announced.

Winners will be crowned from Tees Valley, Tyneside and Northumberland, and Durham and Wearside - with the top title of North East Business Executive of the Year title awarded to one of the regional winners.

There will be a separate trophy for the North East Young Business Person of the Year. This individual has to be aged 30 or under on Thursday, November 1.

There will also be the Lifetime Achievement accolade, which goes annually to someone who is felt to have made a major contribution over a working lifetime, not only to a company, but also to the region's broader interests.

The winners will be announced at the awards dinner, being held the Newcastle Marriott Hotel, Gosforth Park, on Thursday night.

The Tees Valley contenders are:

James Dickson, chief executive of Stockton-based beer monitoring firm Brulines.

Mr Dickson joined Brulines as chief executive in April 2003, leading the team to a management buy out in May 2005 and steering the company to a successful listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in October 2006.

Prior to joining Brulines, he gained more than 13 years senior management experience in the brewing and pub sector, initially working for Scottish and Newcastle where he held several senior posts including operations director and national account director. His career also includes time spent with leisure giant Whitbread.

Brulines recently announced it was investing £3m in new Teesside offices - which will provide space to double its Teesside workforce to 200.

The firm is relocating its head office from Preston Farm Business Park to nearby Surtees Business Park.

The move to new 15,400sq ft offices will be made by the end of the year.

Last month the firm, which was named Company of the Year at the Tees Valley Business Awards 2006, confirmed a £3.8m acquisition deal.

Brulines has entered into an agreement to buy North Yorkshire-based Nucleus Data Holdings.

Frances Reed, managing director, of Middlesbrough removals firm E Pearson & Sons (Teesside).

The company, which trades as Pearson - The Art of Home Moving, was established in 1917 by Edwin Pearson with a single aim, to become and remain simply the best removal company in the business.

Mrs Reed joined Pearson’s on May 2, 1982, at the age of 18.

Her first roll was personal assistant to Brian, John and David Pearson - directors of E. Pearson & Sons Teesside.

Her commitment to Pearson’s earned her the position of general manager, then director in 2000.

Since being at the helm, the company has expanded from a fleet and staffing levels of 14 trucks and 30 staff in 1994 to 36 trucks and 80 staff in 2007.

John Collins, managing director of Stockton-based vehicle hire company, Reflex Vehicle Solutions.

Reflex Vehicle Solutions is one of the UK’s fastest growing vehicle rental companies providing flexible rental deals on cars and commercial vehicles to a variety of businesses and organisations all over the UK.

More than three years ago Mr Collins came up with the idea to build a vehicle rental business based on his previous experience as a director of Darlington-based Northgate where he was one of the original members of the management team.

The business runs in excess of 5,000 vehicles and operates a multi-site operation with locations on Teesside, in Oxfordshire and Kent including both passenger car and commercial use vehicles with plans to further expand its fleet.

Reflex has created more than 50 jobs in the North-east with a further 10 in Oxford and a similar number to be introduced in Kent.

Reflex is on track to double, and possibly treble, the size of the business in the next three years which again will see, as a minimum, the workforce double and treble also.

The other shortlisted candidates are:

Durham and Wearside

Owen McFarlane of CAV Aerospace, Consett; Richard Cotter of Berghaus, Sunderland and Dianne Sharpe, of Mechetronics or Bishop Auckland.

Tyneside and Northumberland

Steve Hodgson of Hodgson Newcastle, John Clough of Newcastle-based Eaga and Ian Gillespie of Fone Logistics based in Cramlington.

Young Business Person

Mark Berriman, of Viverdi in South Shields, Chris Quickfall of Invate of Gateshead and Rebecca Philipson of UR-In the Paper of Stanhope, County Durham.

For full results of this year’s North East Business Executive of the Year Awards, see Friday’s Evening Gazette or log on to www.nebusiness.co.uk


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer