The 2018 Prolific North Awards judging panel included:
Nina began her marketing career at P&G working on the launch of Always. During this time, she gained a diploma in professional coaching and became a Herrmann Brain consultant. She then co-founded fusion learning; she oversees the global fusion family and the delivery of our programmes. At fusion learning, there’s nothing we love more than helping the world’s leading brands solve their biggest, juiciest challenges in insight, radical innovation, brand positioning and brand competency development. We’ve had the privilege of working in more than 70 categories from beer to banks and pharmaceuticals to food. Nina loves living on the edge and in her spare time manages the Moh Ritson Racing team.
Jamie joined the family-owned property developer Bruntwood in 2011 to manage the marketing and development of their serviced office and meeting room portfolio. In late 2012, he also assumed responsibility for digital marketing and the promotion of Bruntwood͛s Liverpool and Birmingham portfolios. In 2016, Jamie͛s role changed to focus, not only on marketing but also upon digital systems and technology throughout the Bruntwood Group, bringing best practice to property interests in Manchester Science Partnerships, Alderley Park and Circle Square. Prior to Bruntwood, Jamie gained experience with in-house marketing roles at Genting and United Utilities. Jamie has also held the role of President at Manchester Metropolitan Students͛ Union and Non-Executive Director at MMU between 2004 and 2006. He currently lives in Altrincham, is a keen runner and supporter of Everton Football Club.
Leanne Buchan works for the Leeds City Council Culture and Sport team. She is currently leading the development of a new Culture Strategy for the city pioneering a co-produced, open-sourced approach. She is also the Leeds 2023 team lead for the Artistic Programme and Fundraising strands of the Leeds bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023. Having worked on major cultural programmes for projects including Tour de France Grand Départ 2014, Rugby World Cup 2015, and Unfold celebrating the Leeds visual art scene and welcoming British Art Show 8 to the city in 2015, her professional interest explore how culture can be used as a catalyst for change, engagement, and investment.
Until September 2016 I was Managing Partner of brand agency True North, which I founded in 2001.
Over fifteen years I led the company’s development into a 25-strong consultancy recognised for its ability to create innovative, distinctive brands for household name clients. The agency won over 200 awards for creativity and effectiveness.
During that period I was lead consultant on a number of complex, high profile brand projects for clients including National Portrait Gallery, British Council, Royal Mail, Durham and Oxford Universities and LEGO.
I am now non-exec director of three creative agencies as well as an independent brand consultant.
I have been a board member of the Design Business Association, am a co-founder of Discuss, a forum for public debate and engagement with ideas in Manchester and am also a trustee of the People’s History Museum and Manchester Literature Festival.
Stefan is a senior creative, innovative marketing and consumer research specialist with 17 years’ Global experience developed working with iconic brands and retailers across the Global Fortune 500.
He is an active speaker and contributor at leading industry events and publications with extensive expertise and in-depth insight of the retail and FMCG industry.
Stefan is currently Innovation lead for Nestlé’s Confectionery business based in York responsible for the future innovation development across the global confectionery portfolio of confectionery.
He is operating at the cutting edge of future innovation technology, consumer marketing and research. He’s a specialist in Packaging, Design, Branding and an authority in Digital.
Tom Cheesewright is the founder of applied futurism practice, Book of the Future and creator of the Futurist's Toolkit, a suite of tools for agile organisations. Through consulting, speaking and media work Tom helps people to see, share and respond to a coherent vision of tomorrow. Clients range from charities and public sector organisations to FTSE100 enterprises and global technology corporations. They include; LG, Nikon, Sony Pictures, the NHS, Manchester University, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and the Institute of Leadership and Management. Tom followed a degree in Mechatronic Engineering with 14 years in the tech industry, working with global brands such as BT, EE and IBM, and subsequently founded a series of technology-driven companies. Most recently Tom co-founded venture-backed big data analytics start-up CANDDi, of which he remains a shareholder. He acts as an advisor to a number of technology-driven start-ups. Tom is a frequent presence on TV and radio, appearing across the BBC from the Breakfast sofa to Newsround and World Business Report, and as a regular contributor to 5live and Radio 4. He has shared his thoughts on the future with Channel 4′s Sunday Brunch, Sky News, the Guardian, Evening Standard, Entrepreneur Magazine, Stuff and MSN. Tom is in demand as a futurist speaker, trainer and host and is able to shape his presentations to suit your requirements and audience.
Richard is responsible for managing and developing the digital marketing strategy for one of the UK's largest housing providers, in order to facilitate channel shift and develop new innovative ways to engage with customers and stakeholders.
Previous to this role, Richard spent 8 years in the policing sector leading on several pioneering digital projects, most notably introducing social media as a key tool for frontline police officers, transforming the way modern policing operates. In sectors which have faced increasing uncertainty in recent years, Richard has enjoyed the challenge of delivering projects in tough financial and political environments, which have had a genuine positive impact on many people͛s lives.
Alex Connock is MD of targeted video agency MISSILE. He was previously MD of TV and digital video company Endemol Shine North, and CEO of TV and digital media production group Ten Alps. He is a trustee of UNICEF UK, visiting professor in digital media at Salford, Sunderland and Manchester Metropolitan universities, and entrepreneur in residence at European business school INSEAD.
Jon is CEO at The Landing MediaCityUK heading up a groundbreaking technology project and business innovation hub. The Landing is a unique tech environment and a driver of digital collaboration across Manchester and other UK clusters. In 2016 The Landing contributed £105m GVA to the UK digital economy. In addition, Jon has helped set up and shape a new education institution at MediaCityUK –the University Technical College (for 14-19 yr old students) - which opened in Sept 2015. In 2009-10 as Director of MediaCityUK for the University of Salford he spearheaded the fit-out and technology platform of the University's iconic new digital campus. With a background in Creative Direction and Production, Jon has successfully delivered a multitude of national and international film and rich media projects for such clients as The Home Office, The British Council, Unesco, BBC, CBS and Shanghai World Expo amongst many others. His detailed knowledge and expertise spans broadcast, post-production, interactive and advertising.
David is Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he runs a number of digital communications programmes, and is also the Associate Director for Digital Innovation.
He is Course Leader for Manchester Met’s full-time MSc Digital Marketing Communications. He also set up their first part-time MSc in Digital Marketing in 2007, a programme that has now graduated nearly 300 high-profile professionals into the profession.
David founded Manchester Met’s Agency Life programme 5 years ago to enable students experience live work skills in the workplace very early in their course. He has enjoyed several spells in academia as well as senior management roles in the digital sector, and even helped to set up Manchester’s second web design agency back in 1995.
Passionate about tech, women in tech and digital advertising, Ellie England has spent the last year working as the Account Director for Microsoft Search Advertising in the North of England- partnering with the largest agencies and direct clients across the region. Prior to relocating back up North, she lived and worked for 13 years in London, 6 of those with Google in both the travel and retail vertical teams. Prior to that, Ellie taught French and Spanish in an inner city London secondary school through the Teach First Programme following a joint honours degree in languages.
Andy Green helps people and organisations fulfil their potential and make the most of their situations by making creativity, innovation and brand story-telling easy and fun to use. He is an author, international conference speaker, trainer, facilitator, university lecturer and Brand PR consultant. Andy's books on brand communications and creativity include "Creativity in Public Relations", and "Effective Personal Communications Skills for Public Relations" and have been translated into eight languages. His latest book, due out next year is "Tubespiration! – how to get your next brilliant ideas on the London Underground". He works with major blue chip brands around the globe. He is the inspiration and author behind the new CIPR Innovation & Creativity Toolkit - a free downloadable resource offering the equivalent of a virtual creativity director to your team.
Tom is the founder of Revolution Viewing (RV), a Creative Digital Agency established in 2004. Over the years Tom has grown the business from a one person start-up to a company that employs 34 staff based in Leeds. RV creates rich media content for the UK Home Builder and Higher Education sectors. Clients include Taylor Wimpey, Bellway Homes, Persimmon Homes, Crest Nicholson and 88 of the UK’s universities.
A huge amount of enjoyment for Tom is derived from developing new and innovative sector leading products with his team. Big for 2018 (Tom hopes!) will be Personalised Videos, Vlog Generators (RV exclusive product - large volumes of videos from amateur contributors with client controlled briefs, RV edited) and VR 360s. Cinematic Videos, 360 Panoramas, 360 Videos, Virtual Open Days (for unis) and CG Animations are all products RV deliver for clients on a daily basis.
The majority of Tom’s time is spent working closely with colleagues, shaping the strategy of the company and finding exceptional talent to help the RV team to fulfil its true potential. Tom also crunches a few numbers, writes a bit of copy and pitches in with creative ideas. When he’s been very good Tom is allowed out to direct videos.
When he’s not busy at RV Tom likes to think he would be taking part in his favourite sports of snowboarding, kiteboarding and wakeboarding, but the reality tends to see Tom playing squash and running after his three small children Oscar, George & Annecy. Once they've worn him out he’ll sneak away with his wife Luce for a meal in his home town of Ilkley.
Emma is Head of Marketing for Nichols plc, the home of Vimto & Feelgood drinks and is responsible for leading the marketing strategy across their UK, Out of Home and International divisions. She has been with the business since 2009 and heads up a team that have doubled the size of their lead brand in the last 10 years. An experienced practitioner, Emma has worked in fmcg brand marketing for the last 20 years and was the 2016 CIM Northern Marketer of the Year. Prior to this she held a number of marketing positions client and agency side across a range of sectors including Education, Consumer Durables and Market Research.
Hayley James is a Chartered PR practitioner with 15 years’ experience in Corporate Communications. She has worked in the NHS, for the Co-operative Group and the public transport industry. In her current role she oversees internal communications and engagement activity across 15 First Bus operating companies throughout the UK and Ireland.
She is also the Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations North West committee and is an elected member of the CIPR national council.
John leads Beever and Struthers' Corporate Team, having been made a Partner in 1999. Beever and Struthers is an award-winning firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors in Manchester, Blackburn and London, and currently rank in the Top 50 firms nationally and Top 10 firms in the North West. John is a local council member of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and has been co-opted to the Partnership Steering Group of the Business Growth Hub. He was Chairman of Pro-Manchester from 2014 - 2015.
Steve is a principal lawyer in the business advisory team at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
He specialises in intellectual property, media and social media law with a particular emphasis on the creative, digital and technology sector. Steve is listed as a "recommended lawyer" in tier 2 of the Legal 500’s 2014, 2015, and 2016 North West Technology, Media & Telecoms section.
He is a regular media spokesperson, and has given interviews to the local and national press through BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC London. Steve's first book, "Legal Issues of Web 2.0 and Social Media", was published in June 2011 and his second book "Legal Issues of Corporate Communication in the Online World" was published in June 2012.
Alison has been part of the Manchester based Kellogg’s Corporate Affairs team for 10 years following eight years of working in PR in London.
Her early career spanned both the retail and personal finance industries. Alison began her working life agency side in a specialist finance PR consultancy where she worked on a variety of clients including banks and pet insurers. She also worked in the busy press office at supermarket Safeway during the merger with Morrisons. Alison worked for 4 years at RSA insurance, leading on the PR for insurance company More Than before making the decision to move back up north.
She is now Corporate Affairs Manager for Kellogg’s UK and Ireland. This involves leading PR and stakeholder engagement campaigns for Kellogg’s and its many brands. She is also involved in a number of change programmes including the recent move of its 430 head office workers from Old Trafford to MediaCity, part of a major culture change initiative.
She is very passionate about Kellogg’s CSR programme, regularly taking part in its volunteering opportunities and supporting the Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Programme with events, research and political engagement activity.
Recently appointed as Programme Director for the multi-million pound Scaleup North East Programme, working in partnership with the Northeast LEP to identify and work with high growth SMEs looking to scale their business and take it to the next level.
An accomplished senior executive, business consultant and start-up mentor with project leadership, commercial marketing and business development experience. A proven track record across a range of industries including digital media, broadcast, publishing, education & telecoms as well as public, private & education sectors.
With comprehensive experience and knowledge of the policies and practices of the creative economy having spent 20 years working in the Creative, Digital & IT Industries. Jason developed this insight from working for large scale media and technology firms such as NTL Virgin & Trinity Mirror, consulting for start-ups and scale-up businesses, working in specialist economic development at a regional development agency and more recently working in business development and project leadership roles at Universities in the Northeast.
He has substantial experience of developing and leading major economic, business development and innovation programmes, working in large corporations such as Trinity Mirror PLC, academic institutions such as Sunderland University or Directing public/private programmes such as £30m MediaCityUK Public Sector Programme.
Jason is currently Project Director for the £4.2m Creative Fuse Northeast programme, working with 5 Northeast Universities, AHRC, NCUB & Arts Council England exploring how the CDIT sector in the North East of England can grow and contribute more strongly to the regional economy, assessing and developing new ways of collaborative working across Higher Education and the sector to address the need for the right skills and aptitudes for a sustainable industry into the future.
In parallel with his work on Creative Fuse Northeast, he continues to mentor Start-ups and scale-up firms across the Northeast and is a Board Member of Generator, the Northeast Creative & Digital Support Agency.
Jason is married to Samantha, daddy to Grace & Lilly and lives in Whitley Bay.
Peter has over 20 years’ experience as a CEO leading private equity and angel backed technology companies in software, systems, telecoms and mobile industries. Before this he held senior roles in multinational technology businesses managing sales, marketing and R&D and did his first management buyout in 1993. He is now working with angel investors in the technology and biotech sectors as well as looking at the broader issue of how to develop tech enterprise in Greater Manchester.
For more than 15 years, Neil has been helping businesses here in the UK, Europe and USA grow their online profits. He started his career at publisher Media Ventures Group (MVG), helping to build and sell Global Media GmbH to private equity firm The Carlyle Group before leading the UK acquisition of Bigmouthmedia (now part of DigitasLBi). He later led Lakestar Media to success before it was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2012. Neil's latest venture is Endless Gain – a Conversion Optimisation Agency which launched in January 2016.
Rob is an award winning Broadcaster and Producer; a former Board Director and Advisor to Granada Television and later ITV plc.
His company Carm Productions created (with Steve Rogers of Inspired Entertainment) a TV first The Virtual Grand National 2017 for ITV in April 2017.
This unique TV special ran the world's greatest steeplechase 24 hours before the 'off' using hand-crafted 3D CGI technology and sophisticated software over the real racecourse and Aintree's famous jumps. The winner of the VGN came second in the 2017 Grand National and the computer was spookily close with other outcomes. A special legends race also ran on social media and both will return in 2018.
He was Executive Producer of 'The Hacienda House Orchestra' in 2016, a special for C4 on the surprise fusion of classical and Acid House music which packed out The Royal Albert Hall and he also oversaw the cinema/DVD version for Sony and Vue Cinemas produced by his company CARM MUSIC with Chris Cowey and Stephen Chapman. CARM MUSIC are now developing other music specials.
Rob founded and floated Hasgrove plc which turned around the leading digital agency Amaze. In 2014 he became ITV's longest serving presenter of political programmes (1994-2015 Granada and ITV). In 2015 he won The O2 Scoop Of The Year Award for an ITV special on politics and in the same year he was appointed an OBE for 'Services to Broadcasting in the North West'.
Rob created The Educate-North Awards for Universities and FE Colleges with and Prolific North and its now in year 4 and just announced a tie-up with Communicorp UK owners of Heart Yorkshire and Smooth Radio in the North West and North East. It includes The University Entrepreneurs Challenge for spin-out businessess from the HE sector.
Rob became ITV's longest serving Presenter of Political programmes (1994-2015) in 2014 and regularly appears on the media commenting in major events and has made nine appearances on BBC Breakfast in 2016/7 which has a reach of 6 million viewers daily.
A hugely experienced writer and storyteller with over 120 hours of material broadcast across the BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5 and in 42 countries worldwide in a career spanning more than twenty years. Credits include Primeval, Wolfblood, Bad Girls, The Bill, Footballers’ Wives, Family Affairs, Sinbad, Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road. Also been a tutor on Salford University’s MA in Scriptwriting for TV, Film and Radio. Currently developing both TV and VR projects in the UK and Germany as well as story consulting and script editing a major, multi-million pound budgeted Anglo- Chinese drama series.
Readers of a certain age will remember Cheadle-born Newman well from his 18 years on TV, most notably as a sports correspondent for BBC News and a foreign correspondent for TV-am, where he covered the first Gulf War. He had originally trained as a print journalist at Preston Polytechnic and cut his teeth on the Knutsford Guardian and the Cadishead and Irlam Guardian.
His PR career began with a bang in 2000 when he took on the high-profile role of director of communications of The Football Association. He ran the England press office during a particularly turbulent time for English football, not least the resignation of Kevin Keegan, the redevelopment of Wembley and the publicity surrounding Sven-Goran Eriksson’s relationship with Ulrika Jonsson.
He went on to lead comms as a rejuvenated Liverpool made the most of its stint as European Capital of Culture, before taking his current role in 2008. Peel’s extensive real estate assets consist of 9 million sq ft of property and over 33,000 acres of land, making it one of the largest property investment companies in the United Kingdom. Last year it announced a £1bn plan to double the size of one of its flagship North West developments, MediaCityUK, which already houses 250 businesses employing 7,000 people, over 3,000 of whom work for the BBC.
Will is a transplant from Washington DC who, by his good fortune, landed in Yorkshire a few years ago. He is currently working as NorthInvest's investor relations manager and entreprenuer coach while on secondment from KPMG corporate finance.
NorthInvest is a not-for-profit organisation founded by aql CEO Adam Beaumont, working to build a stronger early-stage investor community across the North through a growing network of angel investors, funds and entrepreneur support.
Will has spent most of of his career in policy, fundraising, sell and buy-side M&A with a particular focus on technology and solution providers - however working with the North's technology and start-up sector has been among the most enjoyable and rewarding.
Changing the UK’s Internet through connectivity innovation. Born and bred in Manchester, Doug started his entrepreneurship journey back in 2006, Co-founding in 2012 Tech Britain, SpaceportX and investing in connectivity Start-up Telcom. Doug’s passion, commitment and dedication to realising the vision to change the UK’s internet, make his latest proptech venture ‘Node’ one to watch. Node is already in the hands of property industry leaders Hermes, Fore Partnership and Allied London.
Doug has advised Government on Tech policy, is a founding member of Tech Nation, and supports national and local entrepreneurship communities through events & free wifi! Doug continues to advocate #MCRTop5 and spread global ambition through the city of Manchester. To find out more, go to dougward.co.uk
Lisa Wood, is Head of Communications for the Now Healthcare Group – Europe’s largest digital health company.
Lisa has had a diverse career working at the heart of the north west’s creative, tech and digital scene and she has extensive experience in communications and brand building.
Lisa spent 8 years delivering creative communications and marketing for The Peel Group on the prestigious MediaCityUK and has also worked for Lime Pictures, dock10 and Toast PR.