Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Putting Judges in the Spotlight with Winners

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Putting Judges in the Spotlight with Winners

Article excerpt

THERE is a good reason why the finals of the North East Business Executive of the Year is one of the absolute highlights of the region's business calendar.

The cream of the North East business community past and present gather to celebrate individuals who have made this a great region in which to do business.

And this year's dinner, as ever at the Gosforth Park Marriott Hotel in Newcastle, was another event to cherish and a fitting climax to the awards organised by the Journal and the Evening Gazette.

There were cheers for all the winners, toasts for the past winners and speeches from Andrew Dixon, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, and from Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community.

The black tie dinner was opened by David Simms, managing director of The Journal's publisher ncjMedia.

He said: "Of all the events we run, the North East Business Executive of the Year has proved to be the most enduring. As ever, we have worked hard to find a worthy winner.

"One of the great things about this event is the credibility and quality of the previous winners and this year's winner is of equal standing."

Here, chairman of the judging panel Sir Fred Holliday gives his take on the 2009 North East Business Executive of the Year Awards.

OCCASIONALLY I am a judge at a local fruit, flower and veg show. During the judging the hall is empty of all but the judges; then the doors are open and in come the exhibitors and their friends. Time to put on the false beard and dark glasses and listen to the comments.

Judges, like referees, are the subject of judgements and pointed comments. But at the annual awards ceremony for the North East Business Executive of the year there are no disguises.

The judges present their chosen candidates to a fanfare of music and under bright lights.

So it was last week and the judges, scattered among the tables of guests and supporters, awaited judgement on their judgements!

It had been a challenging year. The contestants had been asked to provide details, give filmed interviews and answer questions when they and their businesses were in the midst of the credit crunch and their heads were down over balance sheets and income and expenditure accounts. …

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