The Yorkshire, North East and Scotland shortlist unveiled for the FL National Awards & Summit 2019

The FL National Awards & Summit, now in its 10th year, has today announced its anticipated regional shortlist for Yorkshire, North East and Scotland.

Designed to demonstrate enterprise, talent and innovation from across the region’s thriving business community, the annual National Awards & Summit has become one of the most recognised and well-attended business awards in the region.

Forward Ladies Managing Director, Griselda Togobo, revealed the 56 shortlisted applicants who will now compete for ten prestigious awards, in categories across all sectors including Emerging Leader, Start Up, Charity/Social Enterprise, Mentor of the Year and more.

Griselda explained: “Since launching in 2009, these are the only business awards to recognise those leaders and organisations who have made the greatest impact on the regional and wider UK economy over the last 12 months.

“For another year running, we have received some excellent entries from businesses large and small, and from individuals at all stages in their career journey. All of those who have been shortlisted this year can be immensely proud of their success and all they have achieved.”

The shortlisted applicants (outlined below) in each of the categories will be invited to an exclusive awards lunch on Friday 20th September at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle. The winners from this, and the other regional finals, will then be invited to appear before a live panel of independent judges in November, followed by the National Grand Final in Leeds on 29th November.

Lara Oyesanya, UK Counsel and Director, Legal at Klarna Bank AB, was last year crowned with the top award of Forward Ladies Outstanding Business Woman of the Year 2018, after leaving the judges “amazed and highly inspired” by her “stunning career”.

Commenting on her triumph, Lara said: “The impact of the awards has been huge. This achievement has shone a spotlight on my career and inspired others. More importantly, the awards have enabled me to promote women’s causes and to encourage women to consider all possibilities.

“For me personally, I’ve taken away the importance of getting involved and sharing my story, and providing the visuals that are so necessary as part of the storytelling because people relate far better to what they can see.”

The awards are delighted to welcome back one of last year’s judges Sahar Hashemi, Founder of Coffee Republic. Commenting on the event, Sahar said: “I absolutely love the Forward Ladies awards. I remember the first time I attended a few years ago and entering the room as the speaker – I couldn’t believe the buzz and the energy. But then again it’s no surprise that so many high achieving women in one room could create an unbelievably high octane, inspiring atmosphere. Every year it gets better and better.

“As a judge, I get so much inspiration and positive energy from meeting the incredible women shortlisted for awards. So here’s to another fabulous year – the future is female and you are all living proof – you go ladies!”

The full shortlist for the Yorkshire, North East and Scotland region is:

Charity/Social Enterprise Category:

Annette Greenwood, Personal Life Coach, Annette Greenwood Personal Coaching; Melinda Matthews, CEO, CodeClan; Victoria Dunn, Managing Director, Nouveau Wellbeing

Corporate Leader Category:

Erika Wilson, Managing Director, Wilson Power Solutions; Emily Blain, HR Director, Tenet Group Ltd; Jacqui Hall, Managing Director, CNG Ltd; Laura Kirdale, Head of HR, Stickyeyes; Louisa Clarke, Operations Director, Churchill Group; Natasha Babar-Evans, Regional Entrepreneur Director, NatWest; Rachael Withers, CEO, BW Legal Services Limited; Jill King, Director of International Markets, Virgin Pulse

Emerging Leader Category:

Nichola Davies, Global Recruitment & Talent Acquisition Manager, thebigword; Catherine Boland, Head of Community Engagement NE England, Founders4Schools; Kelly Convery, Global HR Manager, Northern Gas and Power; Arianne Donoghue, Associate Director – Digital Strategy, Edit; Leanne Conway, Information Security Analyst, Yorkshire Water; Madeleine Hickey, Assistant Quantity Surveyor, Severfield; Sarah Cressey, Systems Engineer, Hitachi Rail Limited

Female Entrepreneur Category:

Louise Doyle, Co-founder, mesma Ltd; Cathi Harrison, Founder & Director, The Verve Group; Elva Ainsworth, Managing Director, Talent Innovations Ltd; Emma Black, Managing Director, Cascade Cash Management; Kirstie Penk, Co-Owner and Director, The Legal Director Limited; Martina Hodgson, Principal Dentist, The Dental Studio; Paula Dunne, Managing Director, Rosdon Group Limited; Sophie Milliken, Managing Director, Smart Resourcing Solutions

Mentor of the Year Category:

Rachel Murphy, CEO, Difrent; Catherine Asta Labbett, Founder/CEO, Girl Tribe Gang Ltd;

Claire Paxman, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Paxman Coolers Ltd; Karen Simpkin, Founder and Managing Director, Sunflower Children’s Centre; Evelyn Walker, HR; Digital and Cyber Educational Director, Walker Gordon Associates Ltd; Kirsten Rees, Book Editor & Author Coach/Owner, MakeMeASuccess/Haute Books & Couture Coaching; Laura Morris, Business Development Director, Trinity McQueen; Laura Bartlett, Director, House of Coco Magazine; Poonam Kaur, Managing Director, fds Director Services Limited

Public Sector/Academia/Not for Profit Leader Category:

Joanna Berry, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship Durham University Business School / IoD; Manira Ahmad, Head of Local Intelligence, NHS National Services Scotland; Miriam Heppell, Director of People and Development, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service; Nicola Chance-Thompson, CEO, The Piece Hall Trust; Emma Bridge, Associate Director (Marketing Communications), University of Bradford

 Start Up Category:

Lizzy Hodcroft, Director/Founder, Myndr; Melanie Parker, Founder and Director, Graft Talent; Jo Watts, Founder, Effini; Kirsty Anne Rae, Coach/Trainer/Motivational Speaker, Kirsty Anne Rae; Nina Summerton, Managing Director, Awkward Melon Ltd; Pam Webb, Director, PF Webb Limited; Clare Talbot-Jones, Director, Talbot Jones Ltd

STEM Leader Category:

Anne Newton, Costing & Data Modelling Lead Analyst, Yorkshire Water; Christina King, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Tribosonics Ltd; Jessica Yeung, Chartered Electrical Engineer, Mott MacDonald; Nichola Conlon, CEO, Nuchido Ltd

Young Entrepreneur Category:

Georgia Halston, Founder, Halston Marketing; Kirsty Calvert, Operations Director, SK Click Events; Chloë Clover, Creative Director, Wander Films; Mia    Sohel, Director, ICON!C DESIGN LTD

The Male Agent of Change will be announced at the event.