Judges


The awards are judged by an accomplished panel of experts and industry leaders.

The judging is 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 the winning entries. You can find out more about the judging process here.

In the interests of transparency, we may give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

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Judges

James Alcock | Chief Technology Officer | Freeman Clarke

James is a Freeman Clarke Consultant Chief Technology Officer, and innovation and technology strategist based in Manchester. He specialises in helping businesses adapt and grow by developing and delivering technology strategies that align with their business’ vision. James has been at the forefront of technology throughout his career and has extensive experience in IT and business leadership from founding his own software consultancy and brokering a joint venture with a PE-backed partner, to enabling technology change in fast-paced corporate environments.

Paul Armstrong | Technology Advisor / Strategist

Paul Armstrong is a leading strategist, author and speaker on the future of technology, disruption and innovation. Paul runs HERE/FORTH, the emerging technology advisory whose clients include PwC, Omnicom, Camelot, Coutts, O2. Coca-Cola, P&G, jkrGlobal and MEC. Paul previously worked in the US in-house at Myspace, and for top agencies before returning to London to head up the social technologies team for WPP’s Mindshare. Regularly seen on the BBC and News at Ten when industry comment is called for, Paul writes for a number of publications including Cool Hunting, Evening Standard, Courier amongst others. Paul's first book, ‘Disruptive Technologies’, offers organizations a distinct response to emerging technologies including Blockchain (Bitcoin), artificial intelligence (amongst others) and other external factors that intertwine to impact their business and consumers. 'Disruptive Technologies' became a best seller on Amazon and the TBD framework inspired the TBD Conference. Paul is a founding member of the Good Technology Collective, on the board of Global Tech Advocates, an Ambassador for Meaningful Business, the host of ‘Mouthwash’ and is currently writing his second book with Penguin due out in 2023.

Chris Barnicott | Chief Technology Officer | SSE

Chris is currently the Chief Technology Officer for SSE and has over 25 years of experience with technology strategy and solutions for consumers, business and industry. Chris’ career has spanned the beginnings of cable TV, internet and communications in the UK with Virgin Media and the digital evolution of the energy industry with Centrica and SSE.

Mark Budd | Head of Innovation | Zurich

Mark Budd has been in insurance and banking and for over 20 years having worked at HSBC, Aviva and now Zurich. Mark currently heads up Innovation for Zurich in the UK and has a wealth of experience of working with start-ups, new technologies and testing new propositions. Mark was Insurance Post’s Digital and Insurtech “Insurance Technology Leader of Year” in 2018 and his team have won numerous awards since the Innovation Foundry was established just over 3 years ago.

David Chadderton | Head of Digital Marketing | Homes for Students

Following a highly successful first career as an RAF Air Combat Instructor flying Tornado fighters around the world, Dave forged a second career in digital consultancy, working freelance and later for digital and lead generation agencies before finding his home 'in-house'. His data-driven approach to ROI-based digital marketing has helped Homes for Students become one of the biggest student accommodation companies in the UK, growing by over 98% in the last 2 years and generating over £200M revenue pa. His fully integrated approach to all digital channels has been applauded by industry leaders such as SEMRush and Ahrefs, and he's constantly pushing the 'norm', preferring to lead in the sector rather than follow.

Ellie England | Sales Director | Microsoft

Passionate about digital, women in technology and making a lasting impact, Ellie began her career in sales working in an inner city secondary school 'selling' the importance of modern languages to disaffected teenagers. She got in to the world of digital advertising working for Google for 6 years, before eventually relocating to Manchester and joining Microsoft. As a Sales Director for Microsoft Advertising, for the past 5 years. Ellie has been spearheading the continued investment in the North of the UK and beyond, leading a growing team of Account Managers and Directors and juggling life as a proud mother of two pre-schoolers.

Richard Gregory | Founder | AgencyNXD

Richard is co-founder of AgencyNXD as well as an advisor and NXD to multiple tech firms and agencies, including Adzooma, Fluid Digitial and Ruler Analytics. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England. Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and co-founder of SAScon.

Marcus Hadfield | Chief Strategy Officer | Apadmi

With over twenty years’ experience in digital and brand marketing, he’s delivered award-winning campaigns across every discipline and most sectors. In 2017, he jumped into the mobile world, and since then has helped clients get more out of their technology offering. He now splits his time between leading on strategy for Apadmi’s clients and working with Apadmi Ventures to identify and support the highly scalable tech start-ups they work with. Clients have included Expedia, Argos, Costa, United Utilities, American Airlines, Cross-country Trains, Which?, Homebase, Co-op, Aldi, World Vision and more.

Steve Hilton | CEO | Liberty Apps

Founder of an agency started in 2008 to produce life changing smart phone applications. We've grown organically to create apps for big names including Warburtons, Microsoft & IBM. Recently spoke at TedX and International Business Festival Invited by the British Computer Society to deliver talks around the UK Presented technology talks at 20+ events regarding Culture, Chatbots & Mobile Apps Recent personal recognition includes: * Winner of the NHS Hackday * Winner of the Homeless Hack * Winner of Hacking the Future of Energy * Most notable app at the Public Health England HackX Lives to improve lives across the globe using smart phone technologies

Phil Hobden | Head of Digital Sales | Wolters Kluwer 

With a background over 15 years in financial services & the Fintech accountancy sectors, Phil has worked for some of the largest and most innovative businesses in these industries, including Intuit, Natwest Banking Group, HSBC and now Wolters Kluwer. Phil is a contributor for Elite Business Magazine online, a serial podcast host, judge for UK Business Tech awards 2021/22 & the Global Tech awards 2022 , a public speaker (having spoken at Elite Business Live x3, Accountex x3, QuickBooks Get Connected and more) and guested on numerous industry podcasts and webinars including with industry bodies such as the ACCA. During his previous role at funding platform Capitalise as their Head of Customer Education he worked with over 1500 accountants, from Top 25 through to leading niche and boutique firms across the UK and South Africa, to help them implement funding as a service within their firms.

Petar Hristov | Senior SEO Manager | Acronis

Petar Hristov has over 7 years of experience in digital marketing and mainly SEO. He is currently Senior SEO Manager in Acronis, a world leader in cyber protection & data security. Petar has a passion about SEO and Digital Marketing as a whole. He started his SEO road in a Bulgarian agency back in 2015. Two years later, Petar created his own local based SEO agency which was tailored B2B Clients. His passion is creating in-debt SEO Content Strategies for websites, that satisfy user experience and bring in results to the client.

John Jones | Corporate Partner | Beever and Struthers

John leads Beever and Struthers' Corporate Team, having been made a Partner in 1999. Beever and Struthers is an award-winning firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors in Manchester, Blackburn and London, and currently rank in the Top 50 firms nationally and Top 10 firms in the North West. John is a local council member of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and has been co-opted to the Partnership Steering Group of the Business Growth Hub. He was Chairman of Pro-Manchester from 2014 - 2015.

Steve Kuncewicz | Partner & Head of Creative, Digital & Marketing Sector Group | BLM Law

Steve is a Partner and Head of Creative, Digital and Marketing at BLM Law in Manchester. He specialises in intellectual property, media social media and privacy law and is listed as a "recommended lawyer" in the Legal 500’s 2019 edition, and was a Co-founder if the Bulletproof Agency Network. He is a regular media spokesperson, and has given interviews to the local and national press through BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC London. Steve is also the Manchester Publicity Association’s Honorary Solicitor and Co-Chair of Creative ProManchester.

Davina Lines | Managing Director | Ecommerce Club & Mixing Digital

Davina Lines is Managing Director of Mixing Digital and the Ecommerce Club. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a big black book of digital contacts to ensure Mixing Digital’s event management services are of the highest standard. Davina co-founded Netimperative in 1999 and became Managing Director in 2002, stewarding the brand into new product launches and creating one of the most successful events programmes in the digital marketing industry. In the mid 90s Davina cut her digital teeth on New Media Age (now Econsultancy), forming part of the founding team and was responsible for the commercial development of the magazine and its early events from launch in May 1995 to 1999. In recent years Davina launched an ecommerce peer-to-peer community, the Ecommerce Club, which runs regular events in London and Manchester on topics relevant to the retail community.

Lou Nylander | Marketing Consultant | Wildflowers of London

Lou has over 15 years of experience holding down influential positions, managing global marketing teams and shaping the course of some of the world's leading digital advertising companies, including PubMatic, MediaCom, AOL/ The Huffington Post and Zenith. Before launching her marketing consultancy, Lou was the Global Marketing Director at Unruly and managed the marketing operation during the 2020 acquisition from News Corp to Tremor International. Five years ago, Lou founded 'Wildflowers of London'- Women's Circle, a social enterprise and events business focused on empowering women in South East London, where she resides. She fosters an inclusive culture across everything she does champions women, drives change, and leads from the front with a positive and inspiring attitude.

Plamen Popov | Senior SEO Lead Manager | Acronis

Plamen Popov is an experienced digital marketer & SEO Expert with history of working for internationally renowned brands. He currently is working as Senior SEO Lead in Acronis, world leader in cyber protection & data security company. Plamen joined last year from the marketing team of Management Financial Group, where he lead global marketing strategies for various fin-tech brands inside the holding. Plamen has a genuine interest in marketing and technology and that drives his experience through out consulting start up companies and leading teams in enterprise brands exploring various aspects of marketing activities including PPC, Social Media, Display, Programmatic, App Marketing and SEO. His passion for Search Marketing & SEO always drives him to learn and explore new possibilities of creating better user experiences and results.

Liam Quinn | Technical Consultant | Vervaunt

Liam Quinn heads up the technical arm of Vervaunt, the London based eCommerce & paid media consultancy. Working alongside some of the most premium and ambitious brands Internationally, within a range of verticals, to advise and give hands-on assistance in architecting and delivering the right technical solutions to achieve their business goals. With 10 years of experience in the eCommerce space, Liam has previously run several development teams within Northern based agencies, delivering apps and websites across a range of platforms. Going on to become Head of Digital at a 40-man Northern & National Digital award winning agency, running projects for International brands replatforming and scaling their eCommerce offering.

Lukasz Zelezny | SEO Consultant |

Lukasz Zelezny, UK Search Awards judge, Top10 UK Social Media influencer and former director of organic performance at uSwitch / Zoopla. Currently is working as an independent SEO Consultant helping in organic traffic acquisition, technical SEO and content marketing. Lukasz started his career in 2005 and has since been responsible for the organic performance of a number of companies including HomeAway, Thomson Reuters, The Digital Property Group, Fleetway Travel, uSwitch, Zoopla. Each year Lukasz is speaking at many SEO and social media conferences. He was a speaker at ClickZ Shanghai China, ClickZ Jakarta Indonesia, SiMGA Malta, SES London as well as Marketing Festival in Brno, Brighton SEO in Brighton and UnGagged in London. Every year he is actively participating in 10 to 20 events as an SEO/Social Media keynote speaker. Additionally, he organizes workshops and meetups where he is sharing tips around SEO, Social Media and Analytics. To get in touch with Lukasz simply search “Lukasz Zelezny” or visit https://Zelezny.uk

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