Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Executive of Year Title for Banham

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Executive of Year Title for Banham

Article excerpt

Byline: By Rebekah Ashby

Gordon Banham last night toasted a fantastic year of success at haulage firm-to-coal importer Hargreaves Services by being named the North-East Business Executive of the Year.

He was 2006's victor in the region's most prestigious business title for individuals.

At a celebratory dinner at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel, Gosforth Park, the North-East group's chief executive was the judges' top choice from nine finalists picked from more than 50 top executives.

He told guests: "It's an absolute privilege to be here and win this award. The thing about being a successful business executive is picking the right team and I am just realising the wealth of talent there is in the North-East.

"We have 1,400 staff and hope to be close to 2,000 next year. We are like a football team ( we argue from time to time but when we get on the pitch we kick in the same direction and put a lot of goals in."

He has already led a management buyout, floated the County Durham plc to the tune of pounds 21.5m on the Alternative Investment Market and, with a run of shrewd acquisitions this year, guided it towards a pounds 200m turnover.

It is now one of the UK's biggest bulk haulage businesses and the largest independent importer of domestic and industrial coal.

Runners-up last night were Dr Roger Duggan, managing director of IDS, Boldon, South Tyneside, and Steve Smith, chief executive of Northgate. They, too, won titles.

Duggan is now Durham and Wearside Business Executive of the Year, and Smith the Tees Valley Business Executive of the Year.

The judges, chaired by Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, said: "Hargreaves have been immensely successful under Gordon's leadership. He has taken it to the stock market is expanding it at a phenomenal rate and is a worthy entrant in to the Hall of Fame. …

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