EvoNorth - Speakers

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Henri Murison was appointed last year as the first permanent Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP),  which has been established by business and civic leaders across the North to drive our economy and is chaired by George Osborne. During the last decade, he has held senior public policy roles in both the public and private sectors across the North of England. He served as Cabinet member for Quality of Life at Newcastle City Council, leading on key issues including transport, planning and the environment. He also worked as Research Director at the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire and, most recently, led on Public Affairs at the Yorkshire Building Society, focusing on issues such as devolution in Yorkshire, housing and transport.

Listen to Henri Murison at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Pat joined Newcastle City Council as Chief Executive in 2013. Since then, she has overseen a period of sustained, leading-edge growth and renewal in the city, at the Stephenson Quarter site, delivering the impressive Rise housing development at Scotswood and playing a leading role in securing the multi-million-pound investment deal to bring Legal and General to Newcastle’s flagship Helix development.  Alongside this, Pat has established a culture of transformation in the way the Council delivers services with partners. She has taken a leading role in driving proposals for devolution of powers and funding for the region and led on negotiations with government for the North of Tyne devolution deal.  Pat is the interim chief executive of the new North of Tyne Combined Authority. 

 Listen to Pat Ritchie at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Cllr Judith Blake was elected as the first ever female Leader of Leeds City Council in May 2015.  She is also the Council’s Executive Board Member for Economy and Culture and is playing a key role in attracting major national and international inward investment to Leeds.  In July 2016 Cllr Blake was announced as Chair of the Core Cities Group. The Group represents the Councils of England’s eight largest city economies outside London, along with Glasgow and Cardiff. She is also Vice Chair of the LGA’s Environment, Economy, Housing & Transport Board. 

Cllr Blake has been a Labour Councillor since 1996 and represents Middleton & Belle Isle in Leeds.  Her time as a Councillor has seen her have responsibility for a wide range of portfolios including Planning, Education and Leisure.  Cllr Blake currently chairs the Council’s Executive Board and has also served as a board member for NHS Leeds and the West Yorkshire Police Authority. Last year, Cllr Blake was awarded a CBE in recognition of service to local government.

Listen to Cllr Judith Blake at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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 Edna Robinson is a social commentator on issues of connectivity, social mobility and integrated system thinking.  She has been a Chief Executive in several posts in the NHS in the NorthWest and Policy Advisor to Communities and Local Government in the Brown government. She was the founder of NHS Networks used by thousands of people.  Edna is currently the chairman of the Big Life Group, Trafford Housing Trust and most recently The People’s Powerhouse.

Listen to Edna Robinson at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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An experienced public sector manager in Economic Development, Shona has previously managed Local Council’s Education and Skills Services, where she had responsibility for developing and managing the Councils policy responses to addressing Education, Skills and Employment challenges. She previously managed the Tyne and Wear City Region Employment Consortium and has spent time with the Big Lottery Fund. Most recently this has included developing multi-agency responses to national and regional policy in the Employment and Skills Agenda, including the devolution of Skills to Mayoral led Combined Authorities. Originally from the North of Scotland, Shona is married with two grown up children. She studied Economic Geography at the University of Aberdeen, before starting her career in Human Resources within the private sector.  She feels passionately that there is more we can do to create greater access to opportunities for those that find the labour market challenging whilst achieving Economic stability and growth in emerging sectors.

Listen to Shona Duncan at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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I joined NR as a General Management Graduate in 2006 and spent 6 years across various roles in Major Projects, Account Management and Operations. This culminated in 2 years as Local Operations Manager for Liverpool Lime Street area. In 2012 I joined TPE as Head of Resource Planning where I led the train planning, diagramming and rosters teams. As part of the Senior Management team there I spent time seconded to manage the Control team led the response to the Tour de Yorkshire event in the region and was part of the mobilisation team for the new franchise. In 2016 I joined the Firstgroup Rail Division team as Head of Operations Development to work on the West Coast Partnership submission as well as generally leading on our operations strategy for things like control and other operations systems. I’m on the committee of Women in Rail (North West region)-to support the diversity agenda piece. Also perhaps mentioning that I’m a northerner, from the north and living in the north.

My new role at NR involves managing the relationship between NR, TfN and the RNP TOCs (TPE & Northern), championing the transformation agenda for rail in the North and ensuring stakeholders are a part of that journey.

Listen to Anna-Jane Hunter at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Emma Degg is the Chief Executive of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). The NWBLT brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England.  The Team works to exert its collective influence for the long-term good of the region, economically, environmentally, culturally and socially. Ms Degg has spent her career focussed upon bringing together business leaders and policy makers to make a tangible difference, nationally, across the North West and in local government.  She regards the promotion of responsible business leadership as essential to the future of the UK economy, in particular the importance of inspiring and encouraging young people to achieve their full potential.

Listen to Emma Degg at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Tracy Harrison is Deputy Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), a membership organisation for social housing providers. Prior to joining the NHC in 2006, Tracy held a variety of senior marketing and business development posts in blue chip private sector organisations, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods giant, Robert McBride, and Sage Software. With the housing sectors’ ever-increasing focus on driving efficiencies, a key part of Tracy’s role is to support NHC members in offering products and services which will help them to achieve that, and to develop solutions which can help improve the service they offer to tenants.

Listen to Tracy Harrison at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Barry White has a wealth of experience in delivering major investment programmes. Prior to his appointment at Transport for the North, he was Chief Executive at Scottish Futures Trust where he led the organisation in improving the planning and delivery of infrastructure investment and asset management in Scotland.

In his current role, he is responsible for transforming regional connectivity and driving economic growth in the North. He will oversee the development of Transport for the North as a statutory organisation, bringing together northern transport authorities, to allow the North to speak with a single voice on big transport decisions which will benefit the region.

He has held a number of challenging high profile private sector roles including being the Managing Director of BAM’s UK infrastructure investment company and as a Director of Skanska Infrastructure Development.

Listen to Barry White at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Peter Molyneux has over 35 years’ experience working in local government, seven of which have been at Chief Officer level in a multi-disciplined environment. His roles, which have mainly been in highways and transport, have included Corporate Director at Trafford Council and Head of Highways at Transport for Greater Manchester.

Listen to Peter Molyneux at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Hailing from Stockport, Alex has worked in the public sector for over 15 years across a range of services and roles, including as part of the leadership of the ‘Healthier Together’ programme which achieved one of the largest public consultations responses in the NHS, resulting in 12 clinical commissioning groups’ unanimous decision to change health services in Greater Manchester. Alex brings a wealth of expertise and energy to the TU and its clients, and he is unwavering in his commitment to transforming health and care for the benefit of patients the length and breadth of the UK. I am very confident that under his stewardship, the TU will continue to flourish and support our country’s most valued asset: the NHS.

Listen to Alex Heritage at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Gary Wallis-Clarke is Executive Head Teacher at West Jesmond Primary National Teaching School in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.  Born and educated in Sunderland and following training at Bishop Grosseteste College in Lincoln, his career has encompassed a wide range of educational roles in the North East region. A music and education specialist, Gary is now a National Leader of Education and leads a wide range of educational training and leads support for school improvement in the Ouseburn Learning Trust alongside the Newcastle Promise Board.

Gary's passion for school leadership comes from his personal experiences in the North East growing up as a child with a father made redundant from the Sunderland shipyards in 1982, benefitting from free tuition in music, believing in education as a critical driver for success, aspiration and social mobility and harnessing the potential of the region to lead and innovate - starting with its youngest people.

 Gary has been in his current post since 2011 and has led the school to outstanding success and reputation. He was invited to be part of the Northern Powerhouse Education sub-group from its inception. He is currently completing the NPQEL (National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders) and in a very busy work schedule still finds time to sing with Sine Nomine international touring choir, support two children through University and indulge a secret-passion for Christmas decorations.

 Listen to Gary Wallis-Clarke at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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James joined Salford Royal in December 2016. He started his career in Primary Care and has held a number of roles in commissioning, provider and regional organisations. He brings years of experience in general operational management, Board Level Executive roles and, for the last two years, was Deputy Chief Executive at a nearby NHS Foundation Trust.  James is the Executive Lead for the clinical divisions and will assume responsibility for the performance of the organisation.

 Listen to James Sumner at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Currently the Major Projects Director at TransPennine Express, Chris has 18 years’ experience in the industry since joining as a Graduate trainee across operations, fleet, projects and commercial including roles in Traincrew management, Service Planning and Performance at Northern, Virgin Trains and TPE. During 2014/15 he led the team developing timetable, infrastructure and fleet plans for First’s winning bid for the TPE franchise. Since 2016 he has led the Major Projects team managing the 50% increase in fleet size with 221 new build ‘Nova’ vehicles (three types) to be introduced in 2018/19. Chris also spearheads the TOCs collaboration with Network Rail and leads its input on network upgrades including the development of the £3bn upgrade to the TransPennine Mainline.

 Listen to Chris Nutton at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Dr Hakim Yadi OBE is CEO of the Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd (NHSA). He led the formation of the NHSA, bringing together 20 NHSA members as a single health partnership across the North of England’s 15m population. He has experience of building a recognised brand & corporate identity across a networked approach of multi-disciplinary science. Over the past four years he has secured over £50m in contracts for NHSA members and has raised the profile of the North’s health research both nationally and internationally establishing research partnerships in the US and across the commonwealth.

Previously he was at PA Consulting Group where on secondment to UK Government he was Chief Operations Officer and founding member of the Department Of International Trade Life Sciences Organisation.

Hakim holds a PhD in the Immunology of Pregnancy from the University of Cambridge and has published peer reviewed papers on his academic research. Hakim currently serves as a NED for the UK AMR Centre

Dr Yadi was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to Healthcare Technology and the Economy in the 2017 New Years Honours List.

 Listen to Dr Hakin Yadi OBE at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Craig Ivison is the Head of Skills and Employment at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).Craig has worked in a number of senior roles across the education and skills sector in Cumbria.  He was a Partnership Manager for West Cumbria at the Learning and Skills Council before taking a role as National Policy Manager for Apprenticeships. Prior to joining Cumbria LEP Craig was Education Advisor for a multi-academy Trust and Vice Principal at an Academy. In his current role Craig works with partners to deliver the LEP Skills Investment Plan, which sets out a number of challenging objectives to ensure that employers have access to the skilled workforce they need to grow their business. These objectives focus on four key themes:

  • The skills and support needed to ensure young people have access to the wide range of opportunities across Cumbria’s diverse economy
  • The skills and support required by the current workforce to facilitate progression and economic growth
  • The skills required by unemployed and under-employed residents to enter the labour market
  • The development of the higher level skills offer across the county

Listen to Craig Invison at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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He has served as a volunteer with FSB for 15 years, in a variety of roles including Chairman of the Local Government Policy Unit and, more recently, National Policy Vice Chairman. As Policy and Advocacy Chairman, he is determined to protect and enhance FSB’s hard won reputation as the UK’s leading business lobbying organisation.

As Policy and Advocacy Chairman for FSB, Martin works closely with Government and opposition leaders, attending ministerial meetings and representing FSB and its members’ at the most senior levels.  He also works in Brussels to ensure that members’ views are represented – which is crucial as Britain moves towards Brexit. He aims to ensure that FSB’s quarterly reports are used widely to help policy makers, and our surveys and additional research underpin this work, giving credibility to FSB’s work.

Martin started his own business 28 years ago and now currently owns and manage three businesses - offering public policy, engineering and IT consultancy services. Over nearly three decades running businesses Martin worked with institutional investors, operating sophisticated financial management systems, marketing complex IT systems and managing more than 60 employees.

Listen to Martin McTague at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Colin is Business Growth Director at the North East LEP and holds an MSc in Small Business Development from Teesside University. Following an MBO in 2009 Colin was a director and owner of business growth and business improvement software business Winning Moves Ltd where he was instrumental in scaling the business from a turnover of £400k to £2.7 million. This included the development and delivery of business growth programmes such as Growth Accelerator, Great200Leaders, the Masters level and accredited Winning Leaders Academy and Optimising Business Technology. In addition Colin designed and delivered several sector development tools which have been used under license in more than 20 countries.  Following a period of fast growth in 2013 Winning Moves was sold and Colin spent two years as part of the acquirer’s senior management team to support the integration of the businesses. 

Listen to Colin Bell at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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  Andrew became Chief Executive of the Centre in April 2017.
Before that he was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Research with overall responsibility for the Centre’s research and policy programme.
Andrew has over 20 years of experience working on urban economic policy issues for public and private development agencies, consultants and research institutes. He has also spent time in the US as part of the Churchill Foundation’s Fellowship Programme reviewing urban economic development policy and practice in American cities including New York, Washington DC, Boston and Chicago.
He is a regular media contributor and chairs and speaks at conferences across the UK and Europe on a wide range of urban and economic issues.

Listen to Andrew Carter at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Jim Hubbard is Head of Regional Policy at the CBI leading its work on industrial strategy and the devolution of powers to local enterprise partnerships, combined authorities and elected mayors. Previously he worked at the British Retail Consortium where he led policy on business rates, local engagement, property and planning. He has also worked on local growth, regeneration and renewable energy policy at the Royal Town Planning Institute and RenewableUK. In previous roles he has authored Making a Success of Devolution, Creating Economically Successful Places and Fostering Growth. Jim earned an MSc from University College London in Sustainable Urbanism and as an undergraduate studied journalism and politics at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Listen to Jim Hubbard at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Sarah leads IPPR North, the leading think-tank for the north of England.  She is an expert in regional and local economic development, place resilience and land use planning.  She has written reports for IPPR North on small and medium sized cities and towns, the Great North Plan, the state of the North’s economy, natural assets and civil society. Prior to joining IPPR 2016, Sarah worked as a Director of Policy at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), based in Manchester, overseeing their work on place resilience, welfare reform and international research on future cities. She has also worked for local government in the North East, delivering economic development and regeneration projects.Sarah holds a PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Glasgow where she examined the influence of the economic growth imperative on the work of planning authorities in the UK and how it alters attitudes to people and place.  

Listen to Sarah Longlands at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Sue Barnard is the Senior Manager for the UK Network team at the British Business Bank and her role is to obtain a greater understanding of  the North West of England and gather  detailed insights in to the North West’s  characteristics, strengths, issues and strategic priorities, along with intel on the features, players, strengths and weaknesses of the SME access to finance eco-system in your region.Sue also develops working-level relationships and partnerships with key organisations involved in helping SMEs grow (across the private, public and SME member organisation sectors) within your region and at the same time raising awareness of BBB and its services amongst these regional organisations.One of Sue’s passions is to champion the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund which she has been involved in since the launch back in 2017 and continues to support the NW Fund Managers.Sue has held similar positions for over 10 years with the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub and the North West Development Agency promoting a range of programmes from the North West Fund, The Manufacturing Advisory Service and through to North West Business Angels and the Start Up Loans Programme. Specialties: Building & Maintaining Key Strategic Relationships, Key Account Management, Contract Management, Foreign direct investment, Inward Investment, Investor Development, Public and Private Sector Finance, Proposition Development, Research & Development & Process Management.

Listen to Sue Barnard at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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 Professor Colette Fagan, FAcSS, is the University’s Vice-President for Research. She is responsible for leading and implementing the University’s research strategy and doctoral training. Previously Colette was the Deputy Dean and Vice-Dean for Research for the Faculty of Humanities (2010–17).  She was elected to Senate in 2008 and in 2009 joined the University Board of Governors as a Senate-elected representative, with her term of office renewed twice by election (2009–18).  Her other board experience includes primary school governing body chair and parent governor (2008–11). Colette’s research focus is on employment, working conditions and job quality; with particular interests in gender relations and inequalities in the workplace and in family life, working time and time use, and international comparative analysis. Her research has been supported by major national and international funders, including the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and the European Union’s research framework programmes. Her record of knowledge exchange and impact formed one of the University’s REF 2014 impact cases for sociology. She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and has held visiting academic appointments at the Wissenshaftzentrum (WZB) Berlin; RMIT Australia; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. In October 2018 she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Sydney Business School.Through her research she has been appointed to several high-level advisory bodies. She was a working group member and co-author of the British Academy’s 2016 report Crossing Paths: Interdisciplinary institutions, careers, education and applications. She is the UK national academic expert in the European Commission's Expert Network on Employment and Gender Equality (SAAGE) and one of the two academics appointed to Eurofound’s Advisory Board on Working Conditions and Sustainable Work (the European Commission’s tri-partite research and policy agency). Her previous advisory appointments to inform policy through research include the European Commission, the European Parliament, the United Nations’ International Labour Office and the OECD; plus reports for a range of government agencies, trade unions and employers’ associations in the EU, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Listen to Professor Colette Fagan FAcSS at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Sarah leads IPPR North, the leading think-tank for the north of England.  She is an expert in regional and local economic development, place resilience and land use planning.  She has written reports for IPPR North on small and medium sized cities and towns, the Great North Plan, the state of the North’s economy, natural assets and civil society.  Prior to joining IPPR 2016, Sarah worked as a Director of Policy at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), based in Manchester, overseeing their work on place resilience, welfare reform and international research on future cities. She has also worked for local government in the North East, delivering economic development and regeneration projects.Sarah holds a PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Glasgow where she examined the influence of the economic growth imperative on the work of planning authorities in the UK and how it alters attitudes to people and place.  

Listen to Sarah Longlands at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Mark undertook his doctorate in 3D boundary layer laminar-turbulent transition prediction techniques for supersonic transport swept wings in Cambridge and then joined Rolls-Royce Aerospace (RR) to design jet engine compressors. He went onto join the RR Aerothermal Methods team, developing and applying aerodynamics and structural design techniques in all areas of jet engine technology. Since then, he has worked on turbo-chargers, combustion, oil tankers, HVAC and acoustics and spent 12 years at Formula 1, racing cars at McLaren Racing followed by a brief stint as Chief CAE Engineer at Gordon Murray Design. Mark currently works as a Deputy Director at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) responsible for Programme Delivery of Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy.

Listen to Mark Taylor at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 



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