THE judging of the North East Business Executive of the Year Awards is a serious business and a panel of business heavyweights has been assembled to take on the challenge.
Now in their 29th year, these prestigious and closely-watched awards, which are run by The Journal in association with the Evening Gazette on Teesside, look for the most inspiring business people in the region.
The judging panel includes some of the most respected and well-known figures in the North East business world, including two men previously honoured in the awards.
It is chaired by Northumbrian Water’s director of corporate affairs John Mowbray and between its members there is an extraordinary wealth of knowledge about companies in the region.
There is expertise from a variety of fields, with leading entrepreneurs, business leaders and high-flyers from the worlds of education and the public sector.
They will be looking for executives who have shown true leadership qualities by inspiring their organisations to overcome the economic challenges the UK is experiencing and who are helping to lead the North East to greater economic strength.
Journal editor Brian Aitken said: “These awards have uncovered some shining examples of leaders who have achieved success for their companies through innovation, commitment and sheer hard work.
“You can be confident that this year’s regional winner will be very worthy of joining the previous 28 winners of this much sought-after accolade.
“The region can take pride in the fact that the hall of fame for this event includes business leaders who are excellent role models for North East business and who have helped give this event such credence and respectability.”
The awards will seek to find the top executives from the three sub-regions of the North East – Tyneside and Northumberland, Durham and Wearside and Teesside – who will then go on to compete for the title of North East Business Executive of the Year 2012 which will be presented at a gala dinner in the autumn.
There will be a separate trophy for the North East Young Business Person of the Year, who must be aged 30 or under on September 1. There is also a Lifetime Achievement award and a Non-Executive Director of the Year award.
The North East Business Executive of the Year Awards are open to both services and manufacturing sectors and will reward business excellence. The judges look for someone with an impressive track record of achievement in turnover, profitability, reinvestment, job creation, sales growth and potential.
The companies can be any size and while the bottom line will not be the sole focus, their performance must stand out. In exceptional circumstances, a company’s turnover or profit may not be very high, but if the individual behind it has shown extraordinary talent in overcoming corporate adversity, it would be worthy of consideration.
The candidates should have demonstrated drive and dynamism in performance, be a fitting representative of business in the region and perhaps have contributed to some aspect of the region’s wellbeing already.
Vinay Bedi, director of Brewin Dolphin, which is associate sponsor of the awards this year, has been an important member of the judging panel for years.
He said: “What we’re looking for are not just the obvious successes – the balance sheet, the profit and loss account, etc. We’re looking for the right sort of personality and leadership, some sort of obvious connection between the candidate and the success of the business.”
Bedi said that just as Brewin Dolphin was based on quality and longevity, the judges would be looking for the same qualities in their overall winner. And he stressed the importance of the awards in celebrating the region’s business community – and its companies of all sizes.
He said: “During this period of economic downturn, this competition is particularly important in trying to recognise those who can help to lead this region back to prosperity.
“The Government is looking to private enterprise to help to lead the recovery and we have a great record in this region of producing individuals who can provide a catalyst for the economic growth which is absolutely imperative for the future success of the North East.”