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Meet the Prolific North Marketing Awards judges for 2024


As we gear up for the 12th running of the Prolific North Marketing Awards, we can now reveal some of the industry experts already on board to judge your entries for 2024.

Early bird entries are now open for the Marketing Awards, where we will be celebrating excellence, creativity and innovation across the marketing industry in the North of England and Scotland.

An independent, and carefully selected panel of industry experts will take part in a fair and transparent two-step judging process for these awards where they will compile the shortlist, and ultimately decide the winners. Find out more about the judging process here.

From brand-side marketers to experts with decades of experience, check out some of the judges below.

The Prolific North Marketing Judges 2024

Gill Riley, Marketing Director, Quorn Foods

Riley became the marketing director at Quorn Foods in May 2020 and is responsible for overseeing all marketing communications and innovation in the UK and Europe. Prior to her career at Quorn Foods, she previously held senior marketing positions at Merlin Entertainments and Kellogg’s.

Dean Bartle, Director, Better Placed

Dean Bartle is one of the founding directors of Better Placed, named as one of the Sunday Times Top 10 Places to work in 2023. Better Placed recruit for a number of the UK’s leading brands and agencies and have been at the forefront of attracting world class talent to the region for over 20 years.

Ross Green, Founder & Managing Director, Embryo

Ross Green

After identifying a gap for a multi-channel agency in the North West, Ross Green founded Embryo in 2015. Over the years, he has applied his leadership to grow the team to 65 and developed Embryo’s reputation as a leading independent digital agency.

Dr Kimberley Hardcastle, Assistant professor in marketing, Northumbria University

A commercially focused academic specialising in brand strategy, Dr Kimberley Hardcastle has over 16 years marketing and brand management experience. Prior to entering into academia, she has worked in various marketing and business management roles in the F & B sector and has a PhD in marketing.

Neil Adams, CEO & co-founder, Powerhouse

Neil Adams is CEO and co-founder of Powerhouse, a Leeds-based content production agency with 25 years of experience in photography and film, and an impressive client portfolio, from global brands to boutique independent agencies.

Gareth Turner, Founder, Big Black Door

Prior to launching Leeds-based marketing consultancy Big Black Door in 2022, Turner has led the marketing for household brands like John Smith’s, Bulmers, Lurpak, Arla and most recently, head of marketing at Weetabix. In 2021, Turner’s team unleashed the viral “Beanz on Bix” campaign.

Nikki Dixon, Director of Brand & Marketing, Leeds Building Society

Having started out in the marketing agency world, Nikki Dixon moved client side and has spent the majority of her career working across many marketing functions at Asda Stores Ltd. and, more latterly, led the strategy for Asda’s multi-billion pound own brand portfolio. She previously worked at Daniel Thwaites PLC before moving to Leeds Building Society.

Rob Shaw, CEO, HUB

Rob Shaw is the CEO of HUB, an independent and well-established integrated marketing agency in the North of England. He has previously been CEO of a number of notable agencies including CreativeRace, Jaywing PLC and Epiphany Solutions and has bought and sold several agencies in the UK and Australia. With over 30 years of experience, Shaw has managed services for some of the UK’s biggest brands including Lloyds Bank, ASDA, Greggs, Pretty Little Thing, Tesco and O2.

Jason Yip, Head of marketing web CRM and analytics, Newcastle University

With over 20 years of digital marketing experience, Yip has worked in both the public and private sector for organisations such as One NorthEast, NewcastleGatehead Initiative, both universities in Newcastle upon Tyne; Northumbria University and now Newcastle University.

Olly Sowden, Managing Director, McCann Leeds

Olly Sowden is a consultative marketing professional with 20 years of experience in building and nurturing client relationships. Alongside his team, Sowden is responsible for bringing McCann Worldgroup, the creative agency network, to Leeds and the Yorkshire region after launching the Leeds business in 2019 alongside his business and creative partner, Gavin Shore.

Marianna Kritikos, Vice President of Commercial Advertising and Partnerships, A+E Networks

Alongside her role as Vice President of Commercial Advertising and Partnerships at A + E Networks, Marianna is also Regional Director for Nordics & Benelux. Previously Director of On-Air Strategy (UK and International) and Director of Commercial Operations (Nordics and Benelux), she joined A+E Networks EMEA in 2013 and has previously held Sky and Time Warner roles.

Jon Workman, Creative Director, Ponderosa

Jon Workman is a strategic and brand led Creative Director who honed his craft during 15 years at award-winning London agencies. He’s currently leading the creative offering at Ponderosa, part of the Audience Collective.

Molly Johnston, Head of brand and marketing, Gradcore

Molly Johnston has over eight years of marketing experience across both agencies and in-house. Passionate about underrepresented communities and leveling the playing field in the HE and early talent space, she now works at Gradcore as Head of Marketing.

Lisa Wood, Head of Marketing and Communications, Naimuri

Lisa Wood has worked for some of the biggest names in the North West and the pinnacle of her career was establishing the global identity for MediaCity with Peel Group. She’s now head of marketing and communications at Naimuri, a Manchester data intelligence company.

Ollie Ratcliffe

Named Prolific North Marketer of the Year in 2022, Ollie Racliffe has had an impressive career and was most recently the progressive Head of Marketing behind Yorkshire based craft brewer SALT. He’s previously led the social media and digital department for Yorkshire Tea and Taylor’s of Harrogate and was behind some of the award-winning campaigns you’ve seen over the years including the Cannes Lion shortlisted Social Distancing Teapot and ‘that’ famed billboard in Australia.

Elizabeth Hampson, Head of Brand and External Communications, Bruntwood SciTech

Elizabeth Hampson is Head of Brand and External Communications at Bruntwood SciTech, the UK’s largest provider of office, lab, scientific services and specialist support for the science, tech and innovation sectors. Most recently she led the announcement of Bruntwood SciTech’s restructure and £1.5bn investment into the innovation sector, which now spans Manchester, Cheshire, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cambridge and Glasgow.

Andrew Diggle, Head of digital content, Formula 1

Diggle spent seven years at Manchester United in a number of roles including head of content, programming and productions, before joining Formula 1 in 2019 as head of digital content.

Dan Appleby, Managing Director, Drummond Central

Appleby has spent over 20 years working in creative marketing agencies, starting out in London agencies before returning to his native North East. He now leads the 60-strong team at Drummond Central, working with ambitious brands including Greggs, KitKat, Amazon Prime, bet365, Triumph and the NHS.

John Schumacher, Managing Director, The Future Factory North

With over 12 years of experience in Business Development, John Schumacher is the Managing Director of Future Factory North & Scotland and has helped define the agency as the go-to consultancy for creative and digital agencies.

Wander Bruijel, Chief Strategy Officer, Born Ugly

Wander Bruijel has both client and agency experience, working in various brand and marketing leadership roles at Philips, EY and Elmwood, where he was lucky enough to work on some brands and campaigns which have won international accolades, including a Cannes Grand Prix. As a co-conspirator in Born Ugly since 2020, Wander has headed up the Provocation team.

Take a look at all of the categories for 2024’s Marketing Awards here and make sure you enter before the early bird deadline on 2 July. Good luck!

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