2022 Northern Leadership Award winners revealed

The winners of the 2022 Northern Leadership Awards were announced at an awards ceremony attended by business leaders and professionals from across the region.

Around 300 people attended the awards night held at The Queens Hotel, Leeds, which recognised those individuals and organisations that have shown resilience, innovation, and strength over the past year.

The awards which this year followed a half day Northern Leadership Conference were sponsored by international law firm CMS Grant Thornton, Air IT, Quarterdeck and Oxygen Enterprise Partners shone a light on the fantastic leaders from across the region with each winner highlighting the crucial role played by their own workforces.

The 2022 winner of the Overall Leader of the Year category was David Bond, of Sheffield Forgemasters, who dedicated his accolade to Sheffield city.

He added: “Sheffield Forgemasters is a venerable company that has been around for hundreds of years. We try to make sure our investments go to local companies and we have a big apprentice workforce.”

The event was hosted by TheBusinessDesk’s joint managing director and editor-in-chief Alex Turner with Melanie Lewis, chief executive of the Shakespeare North Theatre sharing her experience of leading the  launch of the new venue which will open later this year.

The winners are:

Young Leader

Bhavika Patel, Yourgene Health

Duane Cormell, Realm Recruit

Esta Suma, Female Magik

Mike Lomas, Big Red

Tom Maxwell, Twisted North America

Public and Third Sector Leader

Winner: Maggie O’Carroll, The Women’s Organisation

Normandie Wragg, Nugent

Tom Elliott, Medilink North of England


Ali McGrath, The Women’s Organisation

Asma Iqbal, Chadwick Lawrence

Barry Leahey MBE, Playdale Playgrounds

Jonathan Sands OBE, Connect Yorkshire

Winner: Richard Doyle, Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates

Emerging Entrepreneur Leader

Harpreet Banwait, Banwait Group Holdings

Winner: Jake Pear, Pear Hospitality and Retail Group

Jonathan Thompson, Bank North

Marcus Mollinga, YourZooki

Nicola Merritt, Cortus Advisory Group

Diversity and Inclusion Leader

Annette Joseph MBE, Diverse and Equal

Winner: Asma Iqbal, Chadwick Lawrence

Jill Williams, Mercia Asset Management

Jodie Hill, Thrive Law

Professional Services Leader

Chris Bishop, Slater Heelis

Fiona Parry, Hill Dickinson

Nik White, Brabners

Paula Myers, Irwin Mitchell

Winner: Stephen Church, EY

Transformational Leader

Bobby Thandi, XR Games

Winner: David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters

Joanna Swash, Moneypenny

Peadar O’Reilly, Praetura Group

Sucheet Amin, inCase

Green Leader

Ashwin Kumaraswamy, Mercia Asset Management PLC

Amer Gaffar, Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre

Winner: Chris Bingham, Craggs Energy Group

Neil Court-Johnston, Zotefoams

Stephen O’Malley, Civic Engineers

William Beer, Tunley Engineering

Company Leader (up to 100 employees)

Winner: Andy Kerr, BOXT

Dawn Carney, Fresh Pastures & School Milk UK

Harry Bliss, Champion Health

Jamie Hinton, Razor

Paul Hallet, Vet AI

Company Leader (100+ employees)

Andrea Challis and Robert Kearsley, Partington’s Holiday Centres

David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters

Winner: Gemma Smith, Strata

Joanna Swash, Moneypenny

Oliver North, Venari

Top 50 City Region Leader: Greater Manchester

Jon Dutton, Rugby League World Cup 2021

Matthew Taylor, DA Languages

Winner: Shaun Hinds, Manchester Central

Top 50 City Region Leader: Leeds

Winner: Bobby Thandi, XR Games

Paul Teasdale, Premier Technical Services Group

Sophie Conboy, Connect Yorkshire

Top 50 City Region Leader: Liverpool

Winner: Dr Natalie Kenny, BioGrad

Ged MacDomhnall, The Climbing Hangar

Maggie O’Carroll, The Women’s Organisation

Sean Keyes, Sutcliffe

Top 50 City Region Leader: Sheffield

Winner: Alexis Krachai, Counter Context & Sheffield Chamber of Commerce

David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters

Tom Elliot, Medilink North of England

David Bond

Leader of the Year

Winner: David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters

Ben Ormsby Yorkshire editor of TheBusinessDesk.com said: “The approach to leadership has continued to evolve as the UK economy continues to respond to adverse conditions caused by not just a global health crisis, but war, rising interest rates and more.

It is with this in mind that we truly are delighted that tonight we’re all here in person to celebrate the businesses and people who have demonstrated the importance of leadership!

“Our shortlist and winners showcased the best of the region and demonstrated how strong but empathetic leadership can empower businesses and their people to greatness.

“We were proud to celebrate with them and it was great to see so many leaders from across the North come together tonight in Leeds.”

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