The Northern Digital Awards are judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts in a rigorous two stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide winners.

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Laura Bartlett | Founder | House of CoCo

Laura Bartlett is the award winning founding editor and publisher of global magazine House of Coco, sold all over the world as well as in store at Harrods and Selfridges. Having built this business in her tweeties with zero investment from the ground up, Laura is a leading voice for young female entrepreneurs and a larger than life example of failure breeding strength. Laura is a #girlboss with a passion for speaking, inspiring and motivating others to be the best possible versions of themselves. Laura is passionate about encouraging all readers, but especially millennials to live their best lives, to take risks to follow their dreams and be in control of living on their terms.

MARTIN BRYANT | Media and Tech Consultant

Martin Bryant is a consultant, speaker, writer, and educator in the fields of technology and media. He works to help technology companies craft a narrative around their products and business. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of startups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

Stuart Clarke | Director, Paceline PR / Festival Director, Leeds Digital Festival |

Stuart is the co-founder of Paceline marketing and PR consultancy, working with startup and scaleup firms in the tech sector. His 20+ years corporate career saw him creating marketing and corporate relationships teams for the likes of Alliance & Leicester, first direct and TD Bank of Canada. He is a non-executive director and adviser to a number of startups, including Jigsaw, Synap and Calbot, and has helped firms to raise funds, through crowdfunding, angels and VCs. He is also the co-founder and the Festival Director of the Leeds Digital Festival, the largest tech event in the UK. The two versions of the Festival in 2020 saw over 420 events with 45,000 attendees from 60 countries, celebrating all things digital. The annual Tech Nation report saw him named by startups as the most influential person in Leeds; he was also named as one of the top three digital leaders in the UK in the Digital Leaders DL100.

LinkedIn profile


Richard is an experienced Digital Marketing Strategist Mentor Auditor and Trainer. He has nearly 20 years of experience helping clients in a wide range of sectors with a full range of online marketing activities. He is also a lover of Disruptive Technologies. He also write about Politics and Digital Campaigning. https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-dawson-digital http://www.cheshiredigitalmarketing.co.uk/

Mike Deyes | Deputy Director of Marketing | University of Liverpool

Arianne Donoghue | Founder | Tempest

Having started off her digital career client side over a decade ago, Arianne has worked for both agencies and brands in-house, specialising in all things paid search. She is now back agency side supporting on biddable media digital strategy. A regular on the conference scene, she’s also an editor and contributor at popular site State of Digital.


David is Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he runs a number of digital communications programmes, and is also the Associate Director for Digital Innovation. He is Course Leader for Manchester Met’s full-time MSc Digital Marketing Communications. He also set up their first part-time MSc in Digital Marketing in 2007, a programme that has now graduated nearly 300 high-profile professionals into the profession. David founded Manchester Met’s Agency Life programme 5 years ago to enable students experience live work skills in the workplace very early in their course. He has enjoyed several spells in academia as well as senior management roles in the digital sector, and even helped to set up Manchester’s second web design agency back in 1995.

Wayne Field | Head of Customer Data and Measurement Science | Asda

Wayne joined ASDA as head of Customer Data and Measurement Science in 2019. A mathematician at heart, with a degree in Mathematics from Sheffield University, Wayne is never happier than when grappling with data, numbers and solving logical problems. Wayne has extensive experience in leading data science and analytical teams from a number of different industries, in a number of different countries - from Aviva and Sky Bet in the UK, through to William Hill in Gibraltar, Tel Aviv and Krakow. Wayne is now leading ASDA’s charge to transform their digital marketing capabilities, with teams focussing on Customer Analytics, Audience Targeting and Marketing Effectiveness tasked with delivering more relevant, targeted marketing to ASDA’s customers – whilst always measuring and optimising ROI. Outside of work, Wayne enjoys family life in the North Yorkshire countryside with his wife and two children.

Coral Grainger | Apprenticeships Development Manager | Manchester Metropolitan University

Coral is the Apprenticeships lead for Manchester Met’s new School of Digital Arts and manages employer relations for the Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship programme. Working with businesses to bring the talent and skills need of employers into Apprenticeship curriculum and delivery programme, we make sure programmes incorporate the most up-to-date knowledge, skills and behaviour for best practice in digital business, for example the nationally trailblazing Degree Apprenticeship in Digital User Experience (UX) https://www.mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/story/13113/ Coral's worked in and with Digital Agencies for more than 10 years, and through her own consultancy company has advised government and industry on building talent pipelines for a modern, digital and global economy.

Simon Halewood | Northern Communications Manager | Willmott Dixon

With 15 years’ communications experience, Simon now oversees internal and external communications in the North for one of the UK’s Top 10 construction companies, Willmott Dixon; driving the business’s commitment to building thriving communities. Starting his career in journalism with the Crewe Chronicle newspaper, the former Business Editor went on to spend seven years with creative agency Beattie Communications in Manchester; specialising in reputational management and delivering audience-driven digital and print campaigns for high-street brands and property and construction businesses, before moving in-house.

LinkedIn profile

Max Hopkinson | Joint MD | Bind

Max is joint MD of digital marketing agency Bind. He has previously held C level marketing positions at TyresOnTheDrive, Iceland Foods and various technology startups. He learned his trade working as an Industry Manger at Google. Outside work Max is a hands on Dad, teaches children to ski and is governor of Manchester primary school Old Hall Drive Academy. His long term ambition is to change how business (and marketing) is taught in schools by leveraging talent and experience from the private sector.

Brendan Keegan | Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing | MMU

Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School Brendan has taught digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School for eight years after a short career in agency land. With a background in communications and web development, his research interests centre around strategic digital marketing in the services industry. Recently awarded a PhD in Social Media Marketing Campaign Development, he utilised networks of digital agencies in the North West to develop a conceptual framework of campaign strategy development using new and emergent technologies.

Zoe Lawrie | Head of Centre of Excellence | The Co-operative Bank

Zoe is a senior communications leader with over 20 years working across marketing, brand and most recently all things digital. Zoe’s career has spanned both agency, FMCG and digital communications for some of the UK’s best known brands. Highlights include product development for Durex, social campaigns for Pilgrims Choice cheese and finding a Paul Hollywood impersonator at short notice for a PR stunt! Currently nurturing a Digital Centre of Excellence at the bank, bringing together a team of UX and content experts who are putting customer at the heart of our digital experiences.

Helen Lee | Account Director | Microsoft

Helen has extensive knowledge and experience having worked in the media industry for 26 years, with a demonstrated award winning history of working in digital. She has very recently relocated to the North, where she is originally from, and joined the team at Microsoft.

Katrina Michel | Chair of Chester Bid and Trustee at Storyhouse

Katrina has recently stepped down from Marketing Cheshire to focus on consulting and non-executive roles. While at Marketing Cheshire, she reformulated the business model to ensure the longevity and commercial viability of the organisation, overhauled its digital channels and footprint , developed its relationship with the Cheshire and Warrington LEP and Visit Britain and helped Marketing Cheshire to win five separate funding bids from Visit Britain and Arts Council England to help raise the profile of Cheshire in culture, heritage, sport, youth travel,food and drink and business tourism. Prior to Marketing Cheshire Katrina worked for a number of multinational communications agencies - Ogilvy, J Walter Thompson, Publicis on campaigns for clients such as HSBC, Unilever, American Express, Reckitt Benckiser and the UK Government. She started her career in HM Diplomatic Service where she worked in Paris and Brussels. Katrina studied languages at the University of Bristol and has an MBA from INSEAD. https://www.linkedin.com/in/katrinamichel/

Jack Norell | Consultant

Erin Portsmouth | Director of Corporate Affairs | Oldham Cares

Erin is a Chartered public relations practitioner who started her career in private sector marketing and communications consultancies, but for the past eleven years has worked in the National Health Service. She is currently Director of Corporate Affairs at NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group where she oversees a portfolio including communications, engagement, public affairs, equality and diversity, organisational development and governance. She has a Masters degree in public relations, and served on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations North West Group Committee as a volunteer for ten years, also holding a three year term as Chair. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of homelessness charity Emmaus Salford in 2017.

Ann Rimmer | Director of Brand | UPP B2B |

Born and bred in Lancashire before moving to Salford to study Design and Advertising and later, a postgraduate diploma in Marketing, Ann is proud to have started and grown her agency over the last 21 years in Greater Manchester. Passionate about people, brands, business and marketing, she helps b2b companies build their brand from the inside out. Her first agency, Clock was a top 30 UK b2b agency which Ann merged with Marketecture in 2016 to form Upp b2b. Based in Media City, Upp b2b is a brand and marketing agency specialising in a human-centred approach. Ann is Director of Brand, working with clients globally on their brand and communication strategy. Upp creates, builds and grows b2b brands for clients globally including DHL, Chep, Informa, AO Business and Travis Perkins. Ann is a patron of Bolton Lads and Girls Club and sits on Andy Burnham’s Business Advisory Panel, contributing to helping shape the vision and support for business in Greater Manchester to ensure GM continues to be the best place to live, work and grow a business.

LinkedIn profile

Naomi Timperley | Non Executive Director and Consultant | Alt Theory

Co Founder of Tech North Advocates. Proud to be in the top 50 Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK IT 2018, 2019 and 2020. I am an experienced partnerships, engagement and digital innovation consultant with established relationships across the UK. I have extensive experience working with startups and growth businesses particularly in the tech, digital and creative sectors. I am a non executive director and consultant of growth and innovation agency Alt Theory. I have been a mentor for 8 years and mentored several hundred businesses. I also am an Honorary Industry Fellow at the University of Salford Business School and chair of the Industry Advisory Board. I sit on GMCA’s Innovation Board and am Interim Chair of Future Everything.

Rob Weatherhead | Digital Consultant | Agent Wolf

Rob is a digital consultant advising on digital strategy with business in the UK and globally. He has held board level positions at some of the most successful independent and network agencies in the UK and specialises in technology and media driven solutions. He is a previous winner of UK, EU and regional awards.

Anna Wilson | Head of Digital Development | Tangerine

Anna works day-to-day to build brands online, creating audience-first social media activity integrated with the wider digital footprint to deliver meaningful results for the brand. Over the last 12 years Anna has worked with the team to create multi-award winning campaigns with brands like Yorkshire Bank, Thomas Cook Sport, Virgin Media, Pizza Hut Restaurants and Specsavers.

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