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Director of the year awards



The 2020 Director of the Year Awards Ceremony was delivered as a virtual event on Wednesday 18 November.  

Click here to watch the ceremony


Chair’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice – Heidi Mottram, CEO Northumbrian Water

Judges’ Special Award – Nicola Chance-Thompson DL, CEO The Piece Hall Trust

Social Value and Sustainability Impact 
Joint winners: William Beer, Tunley Engineering, Wakefield and Clair Challenor-Chadwick, Cause UK, Harrogate 

Family Business       
Winner: Brian Stahelin and Abigail Stahelin-Hall, Stafflex Limited, Huddersfield
Highly commended:
Jonathan Lupton, Econ Engineering Ltd, Ripon
Atul Malhotra, Malhotra Group PLC, Newcastle upon Tyne
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Winner: Nitin Shukla, Haven Tyneside, Gateshead
Highly commended:
David Nikolich, ABSTRACT, York
Winner: Martin Port, BigChange Limited, Leeds
Highly commended:
Paul Smith, Touchstone Education, Doncaster
Zandra Moore, Panintelligence, Leeds
Adam Hildreth, Crisp, Leeds
Winner: Ryan Maughan, Avid Technology Ltd, Cramlington
Highly commended:
Adam Hildreth, Crisp, Leeds
Winner: Diane Cheesebrough, V4 UK Holdings, Gateshead
Highly commended:
Nicola Chance-Thompson DL, The Piece Hall Trust, Halifax
Joint winners: Wallace Sampson, Chief Executive of Harrogate Borough Council and Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor
Winner: Claire Conlaund, The Skills Network, Selby
Highly commended:
Anna Sutton, The Data Shed, Leeds
Kenneth Wood, AA Projects Limited, Leeds
Dawn Carney, Fresh Pastures & School Milk UK, Wakefield
Winner: Bethany Ainsley, OptiMe, Billingham
Third Sector
Winner: Richinda Taylor, EVA Women's Aid Ltd, Redcar
Highly commended:
Charlie Stobbart and Tom Smith, MAP Charity, Leeds
James Cross, Urban Green Newcastle 
Winner: Grant Nicholson, Planet-U Energy, Leeds
Highly commended:
William Beer, Tunley Engineering, Wakefield
Laura Hepburn, Greenology, Middlesbrough


• Simon Walton, managing partner at Berwick Partners/Odgers Berndtson, Leeds and chair of the judging panel

• Dr Joanna Berry, associate professor in entrepreneurship at Durham University Business School

• Jo Barnes, managing director of Hull based Shared Agenda, specialists in estate solutions for the public and private sectors

• Karl Pemberton, managing director, Active Chartered Financial Planners, County Durham, and chair of the IoD’s North East (South) branch.

• Dan Gill, founder of Leeds based catering and event management specialist Dine

• Rachel Hannan, business angel and advisor, Leeds.