Judges


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

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

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Judges

James Alcock | Founder | Navigate

He has over 20 years experience in software engineering across multiple sectors including asset investment, risk, financial services and recruitment. Most recently, he was Head of Development at Optionis (the UK's largest contract accountancy group), managing a team of permanent and contract developers based in the UK and Europe. He is passionate about developing talent and has acted as a mentor throughout his career. James is a strong believer in continuous learning and is currently studying Management Practice at the Alliance Manchester Business School.

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.

Liam Bateman | CTO | Silverchip

CTO And software developer, Liam has over 15years experience in the digital industry, working with some of the uk’s leading companies and brands. In 2010, with his friend and business partner, he co-founded Silverchip, an award winning digital agency in the heart of Manchester City centre, boasting an impressive client list and being renowned for its bespoke software development. Liam is extremely passionate about the importance of developing a ‘real-world curriculum’ within schools and colleges, working alongside students and young people to provide opportunities and routes into the sector.

Rafael Brandao | Director, Product Experience LATAM | HBOMax

Experience Design Manager passionate about Arts and Technology. For more than 15 years I’ve been working in several Advertising Agencies and Design Offices as an Interactive Art Director and UI/UX Strategist. Today, I’m the Head of Experience Design and User Studies at Telecine, a joint venture between Grupo Globo and the major Hollywood Studios. In 2012 I also concluded my Master’s degree in Design at ESDI/UERJ (Brazil) and IADE Creative University (Portugal). Alongside my current role at Telecine I’m an UX Design professor at Miami Ad School Brasil, the best creative school worldwide (Cannes 2019), a Mentor at Designed.org and AbeLLha and Vice President of the UX Committee of IAB – Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Roisin Donnelly | Non-executive Director | Just Eat

Roisin Donnelly was Former CMO for Procter & Gamble Northern Europe, leading six countries and 72 leading brands with a turnover of £5 billion and a marketing budget of £0.5 billion. Roisin is an experienced digital and e-commerce leader. Roisin is currently a Non Executive Director of Homeserve and Checkatrade and a former Non Executive Director of Just Eat plc, Holland & Barrett and Bourne Leisure. She is on the Digital Advisory Board for Coca Cola Europacific Partners. She is on the board of IAB UK (Interactive Advertising Bureau) advising the digital industry.

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.

Daniel Goodfellow | Head of Digital | Select Car Leasing

Daniel Goodfellow has over 12 years of experience in the digital world and has a strong track record of success both within agency and in-house roles. Dan has spent the last three years working in Automotive and believes it is an industry in desperate need of transformation. Now working with Select Car Leasing he is focused on bringing not only car leasing into general awareness but also to the cutting edge of digital technology.

Sebastian Green | Head of Development | CurrentBody

With over 15 years experience Seb has done his fair share of development work ranging from agency work to being in-house at some of the countries best known brands. He loves nothing more than a challenge and still loves getting deep into code with his team even though his job requires him to spend more time doing management/leadership. His management and mentoring skills mean his team think of him more as a friend than a boss. E-commerce is his thing - he’s architected, developed and maintained multiple complex systems which have stood up to massive amounts of traffic.

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

Jamie Hinton | CEO & Co-founder | Razor

Most people who deal in software see it in code. Jamie sees it in living and breathing opportunities – that if applied in the right way – can not just bring real value, but supercharge any organisation. Beginning his career writing scripts to automate his own job as a data uploader at one of Sheffield’s (then) largest technology agencies, it is this mindset of ceaseless innovation which gave life to Razor and its mission to always stay on the sharp edge of technology. At Razor he challenges his team to think bigger. To harness the power of AI, automation, VR, machine learning and focused design thinking to enhance business functions, experiences and intelligence beyond expectation. Jamie has worked with major brands including Alfa Romeo, Co-Operative Bank, Dyson, Pizza Express, Metro Bank, Virgin Trains, South Staffs Water and Rolls-Royce to name a few that spring to mind.

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.

Umar Khan | Senior Digital Strategist | Nakheel

Umar is a passionate digital marketer with over 9 years of experience in managing high budget digital marketing campaigns. With experience and expertise on all the verticals of Digital Channels including SEO, Google Ads, Social Media, Content Marketing, Programmatic, Marketing automation, CRO, UX, analytics etc. Umar has worked with top companies in UAE and currently linked with Nakheel as the Senior. Digital Strategist. He also conducts digital marketing corporate workshops & regular classes for well-known educational institutes in Dubai.

Steve Kuncewicz | 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.

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.

Claire Selby | Enterprise Projects Lead | Kingston University

Claire is Enterprise Projects Lead at Kingston University where she is leads "Studio KT1" – a creative agency inside the university which aims to increase student employability, encourage collaboration between disciplines and develop new products and services. She has over twelve years ‘experience of working in the education sector running commercial projects, events and training. Her specialism is listening to what industry needs from its students and graduates, solving their challenges creatively and getting them credited and rewarded for their work. Most recently Claire has worked with Kingston Students Union to open Not My Beautiful House , transforming an old PC World in 6 weeks to become a creative meanwhile space following a successful crowdfunder from the Mayor of London's Make London programme and support from RBK. The branding, interiors and furniture for the space have all been designed by students, over 35 have been paid for their hard work on the project and 4 employed part time to run the project. In the first few months we have welcomed over 7,000 visitors, with an average spend of £24, bucking all retail trends. Fiercely determined to get students in places they wouldn't normally be and be recognised and rewarded for their work - she has worked with an expansive client list including Barclays, Samsung, Kingston First, Marks and Spencer, Deloitte, Wrangler and Unilever.

Laura Timmins | Head of UX Design and Research | Cera Care

Laura is the Head of UX Design and Research for Cera Care - a multi-award winning tech-enabled home care provider. Previously she has worked for large household names such as Moneysupermarket and Co-op, and has worked within UX and digital for over a decade. Starting out in the fashion industry, she has morphed to help clients across the financial, healthcare, telecoms and retail industries. She is passionate about creating products for good, and is evangelical about the importance of user research to better understand our products and users

Simon Wharton | Business Strategy Director | PushON

Having led PushON for 12 years, In 2017 Simon transitioned from Managing Director to Business Strategy Director where he could apply his considerable experience in digital transformation to PushONs digital consultancy service. Simon has spent more than two decades operating within the digital sector, initially in a corporate environment, before becoming embroiled in the early days of the Manchester digital community. Alongside his business partner, Roy Wilding, he pivoted PushON out of an incarnation of a previous successful digital business. Steady planned growth has seen the business gain recognition as one of the North West’s leading eCommerce agencies. The business’ expertise in eCommerce development and its particular skill with online marketing has led to a raft of peer reviewed award wins throughout the North West, UK and Europe. Simon also has a reputation for “sticking his oar in” to drive the digital sector forward. He is a council member for Manchester Digital, lectures at local universities and was a founder of SASCon, the infamously expert digital marketing conference. He speaks at events, organises events and largely keeps himself busy both in the sector and in the community. He has four children available to keep him stressed and is the gofer for a local under 10s football team. When he finds the time to go out, you’ll most likely find him seeing a loud band somewhere.

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