Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Search Continues for Region's Shining Light

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Search Continues for Region's Shining Light

Article excerpt

THE search for the region's top executives gathers apace.

And today we focus on the search for the talented and inspiring individual to win the Durham and Wearside Business Executive of the Year Award. The accolade is one of several delivered to the shining lights of the region's business community at our prestigious North East Business Executive of the Year Awards. On the grand night, three winners are announced, from Teesside, Tyneside and Northumberland and Durham and Wearside, before all three go headto-head to be crowned overall winner.

Run by The Journal in association with The Gazette in Middlesbrough, the awards recognise the great role models of the business world who have led their companies to fresh achievements over the previous 12 months.

And last year, the Durham and Wearside crown went to Peter Walls, group chief executive at Sunderland-based Gentoo, who was especially delighted to win. He said: "I was obviously delighted to receive such prestigious recognition. Since I have been attending the event for some considerable number of years I am particularly pleased that Gentoo, in a very competitive business sector, may well be the first not-for-profit business to receive such an award.

"I was further astonished to be asked to be Regional Business Ambassador for HRH the Prince of Wales, which has made this year clearly extra special and I look forward to bringing together these two prestigious accolades to enhance the impact of Business in the Community."

Gentoo started out as a former council housing department but Walls has developed the business into a diversified "profit for purpose" property group, whose PS175.2m turnover for 2013 lifted it 11 places to 36th in last year's North East Top 200.

Walls was initially a junior executive at Washington Development Corporation and later became director of Sunderland's council housing services. …

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