The Institute of Directors (IoD) has appointed two leading university lecturers as vice-chairs of its new North East branches.
Suzanne Withrington, Principal Lecturer for Enterprise and Business Engagement at Teesside University Business School has been appointed vice-chair of the IoD’s North East (South) branch. She will work alongside recently appointed chair Karl Pemberton of Thornaby-based Active Chartered Financial Planners.
Suzanne has gained a wealth of career experience by engaging with public, private and third sector organisations to develop their knowledge, skills and competencies. She now helps to equip students to become the directors of the future.
Natalia Blagburn, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School, joins the IoD North East (North) branch, where she will work closely with award-winning entrepreneur Ammar Mirza CBE, who was appointed branch chair earlier this year.
Natalia is an experienced venture capital investment manager now researching start-up boards and working with student entrepreneurs. She is a governor of Newcastle High School for Girls and a trustee of Northern Stage, the largest theatre producing company in the North East.
Suzanne said: “I’m absolutely delighted to undertake this important role within the IoD and I’m keen to promote the excellent benefits of membership across the region. The IoD’s connectivity provides the opportunity for businesses to collaborate, exchange ideas, extend their relationships and, most importantly, be part of a first class network of industry leaders.”
Natalia Blagburn said: “I’ve been a member of the IoD since 2012, and, in the North East, great work is already being done by the IoD’s regional Women on Boards group. I am looking forward to working with the newly established IoD committee, especially as there is an opportunity to foster greater board diversity, grow the region’s pool of NEDs and provide pathways for young people to join boards.”
The appointments follow the merger of the IoD’s Yorkshire and North East regions to create a powerful lobbying voice for the North. The enlarged region has six branches that support local business communities. The other four branches are North, East, South and West Yorkshire.