Judges


The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

In the interests of transparency, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

This year’s judging panel is as follows:

Liam Anderson | Director of Operations | Social Chain

As Director of Operations at Social Chain Media, Liam is part of the senior management team and is responsible for commercial campaign delivery and media operations for SCM’s portfolio of brands including SPORF, Gamebyte and Student Problems. Prior to Social Chain, Liam worked across media agencies, media owners and in house agencies. In his 18 years experience in the media industry, Liam has managed multi-platform campaigns for some of the UKs biggest brands across sectors including travel, gaming, retail and eCommerce. He has worked on award-winning campaigns for renowned clients such as EFL, William Hill, Thomas Cook, B&Q, Gala Coral overseeing all aspects of advertising campaigns from planning, creation and delivery.

Neil Barnes | PR and Content Manager | Benenden Health

Neil is a communications all-rounder, having worked in a number of related roles over 12 years for the health and wellbeing provider, Benenden Health. He now heads up their PR and content function, covering thought leadership, content strategy, social media and sponsorships. His current focus is on promoting this challenger brand as a thought leader in health and wellbeing. Outside of the day job, Neil was a councillor at City of York Council for 8 years as well as a trustee for York Museums Trust, with a passion for community engagement that began at the University of York as a students’ union officer. He lives in the East Riding of Yorkshire and loves a day out on the Yorkshire coast.

Liam Bateman | CTO & Software Developer | Silverchip

CTO And software developer, Liam has over 15years experience in the digital industry, working with some of the UK's leading companies and brands. In 2010, with his friend and business partner, he co-founded Silverchip, an award-winning digital agency in the heart of Manchester City center, boasting an impressive client list and being renowned for its bespoke software development. Liam is extremely passionate about the importance of developing a ‘real-world curriculum’ within schools and colleges, working alongside students and young people to provide opportunities and routes into the sector.

Jamie Boulger | Head of EMEA Digital Marketing | JLL

Jamie was appointed Head of EMEA Digital Marketing at the global property and professional services firm JLL in August 2019. He arrived at JLL from Bruntwood where, initially as Digital Marketing Manager and then as Group Head of Digital, he launched several lead generation and customer experience projects which were a first for the property sector. At JLL, Jamie’s role is to oversee digital marketing operations and activities across Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as having strategic input into global digital marketing operations, campaigns and projects. Jamie gained experience with in-house marketing roles at Genting and United Utilities. Jamie has also held the role of President at Manchester Metropolitan Students’ 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.

Richard Collingwood | Brand & Digital Manager | Riverside

Richard is responsible for managing and developing the digital marketing strategy for one of the UK's largest housing providers, with major stakes in social housing, home ownership and homelessness services. 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 digital initiatives in tough financial and political environments, which have had a genuine positive impact on many people's lives.

Alex Connock | Said School of Business, Oxford University

Dr Alex Connock is a Fellow at Said Business School, Oxford University, where he teaches marketing and the entertainment industry, and has roles at the National Film and TV School and Salford University. As an entrepreneur over a quarter of a century he founded and/or ran production companies Ten Alps, Endemol Shine North and most recently Missile. He’s on the board of UNICEF UK and the Halle Orchestra.

Jon Corner | Chief Digital Officer, City of Salford and CEO of The Landing

Jon is CDO for the City of Salford leading an ambitious vision to position Salford as a truly Digital City across infrastructure, inclusivity, skills, enterprise, health and smart city integration. He will determine strategy, priorities, themes and investment areas that will make a difference to Salford’s economy and its collaborative digital role in Greater Manchester. Salford is racing to become one of the world’s most attractive cities for digital enterprise - in 2017 it surpassed London to become the UK’s leading city for percentage increase in start-up growth and is expected to have the fastest job increase rate in Greater Manchester. Most recently Jon has been instrumental in co-ordinating a 5G Innovation Hub at MediaCityUK and in helping to establish the UK’s first operational commercial 5G network with partners VodafoneUK.

David Edmundson Bird | Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Enterprise | Manchester Metropolitan University

David is Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he leads a team of specialist digital marketing academics and runs a number of digital communications programmes. He is co-author of 7th edition of Digital Business & E-commerce Management with Dave Chaffey and Tanya Hemphill. He set up Manchester Met’s first part-time MSc in Digital Marketing in 2007, their first full-time MSc Digital Marketing Communications in 2016 and Manchester Met’s Global E-Learning MSc in Digital Marketing David founded Manchester Met’s Agency Life programme in 2012 to enable students to 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, helped to set up Manchester’s second web design agency back in 1995, He sits on the Board FutureEverything and is a trustee of The Education Trust.

Richard Gregory | NED

Richard is chairman of tech companies Ruler Analytics and Ash.tv, non-exec director of Fluid Digital and co-founder of SAScon - a digital marketing conference. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England. Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and Manchester Digital council member. With 20 years of digital expertise, Richard now advises agencies and start-ups on marketing and growth strategies.

Tom Greveson | CEO | Revolution Viewing

Tom is the CEO and founder of Revolution Viewing (RV), a Leeds based Creative Digital Agency established in 2004 and employing 35 staff. RV creates rich media content for clients that include Barclays Bank, Dixons Carphone, Taylor Wimpey, Bellway Homes, Persimmon Homes, Crest Nicholson and 90 of the UK’s universities. Over recent years Personalised Videos have been a high growth product for RV, a powerful and engaging proposition that enables the delivery of 1000’s of videos with content tailored to the specific interests of an individual. After years of successfully delivering this product for universities, 2020 sees RV opening up Personalised Videos to the wider marketplace, an exciting prospect for Tom and the team. When he’s not busy at RV Tom likes to take part in his favourite sports of snowboarding, kiteboarding and wakeboarding. More often than not the reality of family life tends to see Tom spending weekends running after his three small children Oscar, George & Annecy. Once they've worn him out he’ll sneak away with his wife Lucy for a meal in his home town of Ilkley.

Alex Hamilton | Head of PR and Social | One Brand Magic

Head of PR and social at Manchester-based full-service integrated agency, One Brand Magic. Alex joined the board of directors in 2018, With a rich heritage spanning 46 years, One Brand Magic is a leading marketing agency with a wealth of B2B and B2B clients. Insight, creativity and evaluation are at the core of what One Brand Magic do, so Alex will be on the lookout for entries that exemplify those criteria!

Gareth Healey | Beyond Noise

Gareth has spent the majority of his 25 year career in marketing agencies on both sides of The Pennines. In 2002 he acquired Yorkshire based design agency Gratterpalm in a MBO. Under his leadership the company transformed into CreativeRace and became one of the UK’s leading independent integrated agencies. Working with some of the biggest brands in retail, CreativeRace achieved revenues in excess of £12.5M and, following the acquisition of Shoreditch digital pioneer Underwired in 2014, grew to a team of 175 with offices in Leeds and London. Having overseen 15 years of growth, but hungry for fresh challenges, Gareth sold his 50% stake in his agency in 2017. He now provides growth advisory to a portfolio of agencies as a non-executive director and through his boutique management consultancy Beyond Noise. A Tech Manchester mentor and angel investor, Gareth is a passionate supporter of early stage tech companies and their founders. In March he was a finalist in the prestigious Mentor of the Year category at The National Mentoring Awards, in recognition of his work with the founder of a Manchester based tech start-up.

Harriet Hughes-Payne | Director | COPA Group

Formerly the Managing Partner of twentysix Digital, Harriet has over 25 years experience delivering strategic design, brand and digital marketing solutions spanning multiple industries and sectors on regional, national and global levels. She has worked with Barclays Bank, Unilever, London Stock Exchange, Mercedes-Benz, Claridges, AstraZeneca and Proctor & Gamble amongst many others.

Kristal Ireland | Harry Hall International | eCommerce Director

Multi award winning, international digital industry speaker and awards judge Kristal Ireland has an extensive pedigree in digital transformation and leadership. Having spent the last three years at Virgin Trains leading the digital transformation and digital futures strategy for the East Coast Mainline Kristal has recently joined Harry Hall International, one of the UK’s oldest and most respected equestrian companies to lead their commercial and digital strategy. With an academic background in the philosophy of technology and digital futures, Kristal is a passionate advocate of the ethical application of technology and developing future fit inclusive workplaces.

Hayley James | Assistant Director Communications, Engagement and Campaigns | Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Hayley has worked in public relations for over 15 years. She is currently Assistant Director for Communications, Engagement and Campaigns at Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Hayley is a Chartered Practitioner and is actively involved in the Chartered Institute of Public relations, sitting on the North West committee, National Council and Finance Committee.

John Jones | Corporate Partner | Beever & Struthers

John leads Beever and Struthers' Corporate Team and has over 30 years’ experience advising on all aspects of corporate finance, fraud/forensic accountancy and litigation support. John specialises in acquisitions and disposals, due diligence investigations, lead advisory deal management, valuations, business and strategic planning and finance-raising assignments for private and public sector clients, both in the UK and overseas. Beever and Struthers is an award-winning firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors in Manchester, Blackburn, Birmingham and London, and currently rank in the Top 50 firms nationally and Top 10 firms in the North West. The Firm comprises of 18 partners, all of whom are specialists in their chosen field of expertise. John is the former Non-Executive Chairman and Board member of pro.manchester, a member of the Society of Expert Witnesses, a local Council member of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and is co-opted to the Partnership Steering Group of the Business Growth Hub.

John Kehoe | CEO | MEDIA AGENCY GROUP

John Kehoe is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Media Agency Group (MAG), one of the UK’s leading independent Media Agencies. John was appointed as CEO back in 2016, after been previously involved in the strategic management of the business, as Managing Director. Media Agency Group has a diverse global client portfolio, including Amazon, Visit Mexico, Ola, Quiz, Sykes, Liverpool One, Malaysia Tourism, Perry Ellis, Isabel Marant, Scalable Capital, Bermuda tourism and Sykes cottages. It has organically grown year-on-year, breaking targets, securing new clients, increasing its team of talent, developing new software and technology and landing a few gongs along the way. Through John’s clear guidance and vision, the business keeps on evolving to stay relevant and fresh, challenging the bigger group-owned agencies - whilst growing Media Agency Group’s reputation in Manchester and the global marketplace. John is an active member of the IPA and is passionate about promoting the great work of the agencies and talent located in Manchester and the North of England. He has been a judge for many Manchester run creative/media awards. Away from the office, John loves spending times with his wife and three kids, playing golf, watching football and cycling.

Richard Kenyon | Director of Marketing and Communications | Everton FC

Richard was appointed Director of Marketing and Communications in January 2014 following an interim consultancy role with the Club. He arrived at Everton from Kenyon Fraser which - initially as Managing Director and then as Chief Executive - he built into one of the leading marketing and communications agencies in the North and one of the fastest-growing in the UK. A lifelong Evertonian, his role is to oversee and drive Marketing, Insight, Corporate Communications, PR and Media functions, Fan Services and the Club’s Fan Centre. Richard previously worked for the PFA and MLS and acted as Interim Head of Marketing and Communications for The Jockey Club in the North West and the Grand National. He has also worked closely with the R&A on golf’s oldest major, the Open Championship. Richard is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the North West and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute.

Steve Kuncewicz | Partner | BLM LAW

Steve is a Partner and head of Creative, Digital and Marketing at BLM Law in Manchester. He specialises in intellectual property, media social media and privacy law and is listed as a "recommended lawyer" in the Legal 500’s 2019 edition, and was a CO-founder if the Bulletproof Agency Network. 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 is also the Manchester Publicity Association’s Honorary Solicitor and Co-Chair of Creative ProManchester.

Helen Lee | Account Director | Microsoft

Helen has extensive knowledge and experience having worked in the media industry for 26 years, with a demonstrated award winning history of working in digital. She has very recently relocated to the North, where she is originally from, and joined the team at Microsoft.

Neil McKay | CEO | Endless Gain

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.

Terry McStea | Network Manager | Design Network North

Terry heads up Design Network North, now in its tenth year, and which supports organisations and businesses of all shapes and sizes to utilize great design, thereby increasing the impact on them and the wider economy. At heart it’s a community of people across the North who are passionate about design, and who recognise they can achieve far more by collaborating and sharing than they could alone. Design Network North is owned and run by RTC, an innovation company based in Sunderland, Leeds and Liverpool, and Terry joined the company in 1998 initially to run a regional Foresight programme, then moving into technology commercialisation. Prior to that he spent ten years as a research scientist with ICI, although his degree in Applied Physics is now but a distant memory.

Steve Miller | MEMBERSHIP & PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR | PRCA

The PRCA is the world's largest PR professional body, representing well over 30,000 practitioners. Operating in 66 countries around the world, the PRCA has offices in the UK, Singapore, and Dubai. It also manages ICCO, the umbrella body for 41 PR associations around the world. Alongside managing the membership and business services team at the PRCA, Steve also oversees membership recruitment and retention. He also manages the PRCA Partnership Programme. Prior to working in PR and Communications industry, Steve worked in the digital sector with IAB UK and then IAB Europe. He has previously held senior marketing roles with FontWorks, NetNames and Virtual Internet.

Karen Milligan | Dock 10

Wearing many hats as I lead the Create at dock10 team. Passionate about producing beautiful films and telling great stories. With an extensive background in broadcast as a Producer/Director as well as many years agency experience as Creative Director and Head of Film. I'm passionate about delivering high quality, engaging film content whilst leading and motivating my creative teams. Bursting with ideas and always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to champion film as the leading brand communications platform.

Paul Morris | DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR | MARSHALLS PLC

Paul has 20 years’ experience leading Marketing & Digital both Agency & Brand side. Paul was previously Head of Marketing at Tesco Bank, global Digital Director at PZ Cussons (brands including St Tropez, Imperial Leather & Original Source), led Digital marketing at the Co-op Group (Food > Funeralcare) and has through the line experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator, Stagecoach and Silverstone.

Paul Mousley | Scriptwriter

Paul is a script writer with over 25 years' experience and nearly two hundred commissions on long running and prime time series, ranging from soaps to police procedurals and action adventure. He has written a feature film due to go in to production later in 2020, has co-developed and co-written a pilot for a crime thriller set in the EU parliament for a production company in Cologne and has recently finished his first novel. He has been a visiting tutor at the University of Salford MA in Scriptwriting for TV and Radio, and is an associate lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Ricardo Seixas | Managing Director | One Day Agency

Along with his 15+ years of an international career in the digital space spanning 4 continents, Ricardo worked for consumer brands, start-ups, software houses, and digital agencies. Most recently, and after being a lead at Google and restructuring Media Agency Group’s digital division collecting multiple awards, he founded a digital marketing agency named One Day Agency. Across his experience, he led innovative digital projects and campaigns for Liverpool ONE, I Saw It First, L’Oreal, Telefonica, Sanofi, Ambev and the world’s top agencies.

Rob Shaw | CEO | Non-Exec

Rob Shaw has 30 year’s experience in the technology sector – particularly in the field of digital marketing – Rob has managed services for some of the UK's largest brands including Tesco, O2 and Pets at Home. While at Jaywing and Epiphany he employed over 350 people more than 70 of whom were experienced data scientists. Jaywing has offices in Sheffield, Leeds, London, Newbury and Sydney.

Richard Walker | Director | Mustard Research

Richard Walker is co-owner and director of market research specialists Mustard. In a career spanning almost 25 years, Richard has provided strategic insight, advice and consultancy to leading brands across the UK and around the world – including the likes of Viacom, BrewDog, Tangle Teezer, Allianz, London Business School and Merlin Entertainments. Plus, some of the North’s top brands and employers such as New Balance, Home Group, Sage, Home Instead and Seabrook Crisps. Richard joined the agency 10 years ago around the time of the management buy-out, and led the agency’s rebranding and repositioning from Ci Research, a predominantly b2b and public-sector focused agency, to a thriving city-centre operation that has seen headcount and turnover grow 300% with an enviable client list of global blue-chip organisations on board. His background is in qualitative market research, having previously led the qualitative research team at KPMG Nunwood in Leeds, where he also launched a start-up delivering insight films to support and embed large-scale research programmes. Richard also specialises in brand research and segmentation. In 2016 Richard launched POPCORN, Mustard’s 3-stage innovation process to help clients with NPD and brand proposition development.

Lisa Wood | Communications Specialist

Lisa is a communications specialist with extensive experience of building and elevating brands through storytelling, events and marketing. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the northwest and the pinnacle of her career was establishing the global identity for MediaCityUK. Employed by the Peel Group, Lisa was part of the inaugural team and spent 8 years building the brand through media relations, marketing and events. She was involved with profiling some of the biggest commercial property deals in Manchester - including the establishment of BBC North and the relocation of ITV and Coronation Street. For the past two and a half years Lisa has been leading on the communications for digital tech start-up Now healthcare Group, and now splits her time between running events for the NW office of the PRCA (international PR membership body), acting as a freelance communications consultant and writing property and interior features for Northern Soul.

LinkedIn profile

Jon Woodall | Managing Director | Space 48

Jon is the founder and Managing Director of Space 48, which builds world-class Magento websites for forward-thinking retailers and brands. He is also founder of Mage Titans, and a keen contributor and supporter in the eCommerce community. Jon was proud to be listed in the '42 Under 42' by North West Insider and was a finalist at the Northwest IOD Awards. Jon likes to build and help great businesses through connection and collaboration, and is passionate about creating opportunities for others.