Meet the Speakers

Jason Aldiss

Managing Director, Eville & Jones
A veterinarian who has specialised in the delivery of Official Controls for over 20 years. Jason has worked on various consultancy projects and delivered numerous services internationally in the veterinary public health field for many years and is well recognised for his work in this broad specialist field. He is the recent past President of the Veterinary Public Health Association, is a previous Board member of the British Veterinary Association, is a past Council Member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, is Secretary General of the Union of European Veterinary Hygienists, is a Director of Eville & Jones (Australia) and Managing Director of Eville & Jones.

Jake Berry

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth
Jake, a former solicitor, has been an MP for the British Conservative Party from 2010. In 2017 he became the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Northern Powerhouse ensuring that the development and progression of the north is at the forefront of his agenda.

Elaine Bowker

Principle & Chief Executive of The City of Liverpool College
Elaine is the principal & chief executive of The City of Liverpool College Group, delivering high quality academic, technical and professional skills across further education, higher education and apprenticeships, as principal of the largest further education college in the Liverpool City Region

Stephanie Burras CBE

CEO of Ahead Partnership
Following a highly successful corporate career, Stephanie set up social enterprise, Ahead Partnership, in 2004. The organisation is dedicated to improving links between businesses and education, delivering life-changing skills and experience to young people, in order to positively impact their career aspirations.

Stephen Church

Partner, EY
A Manchester based partner, Stephen is our national Transport sector leader. Stephen supports our clients in solving their most complex problems such as understanding the impacts of regulatory change, capital programme delivery, operating model change and delivering growth through adoption of disruptive and innovative technologies. His specialism is in shaping, directing and leading large change programmes.

Mark Collins

Strategy and Public Affairs Director, City Fibre
Mark is a co-founder and director of CityFibre, with extensive strategy and regulatory experience. As CityFibre’s Director of Strategy and Public Affairs, he leads CityFibre’s engagements with Government, Ofcom and policy makers, establishing the foundation for competitive investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure. Mark was instrumental in the founding of a joint venture with Sky and TalkTalk delivering Gigabit speed broadband in York. With a degree in electronics and telecommunications, Mark founded several successful telecom businesses, and played a formative role in the early stage development of Virgin Media, Sprint, Esat Telecom, Versatel Telecom and Completel.

Julie ElliotT

MP
Julie Elliott is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Sunderland Central since 2010

Debbie Francis

Direct Rail Services Managing Director
Debbie joined Direct Rail Services in July 2016 following a 3 ½ year term at Network Rail as the London North Western Route Finance and Commercial Director. Debbie has 30 years of experience across a range of industries from IT to infrastructure maintenance to rail.

SIR peter Hendy CBE

Chairman, Network Rail
Sir Peter is the current chairman of Network Rail and was formerly the Commissioner of Transport for London.

Cllr susan hinchcliffe

Leader of Bradford Council
As an Executive member for Employment, Skills and Culture across the Bradford District, Susan, oversaw the largest local authority jobs programme in the country – Get Bradford Working in 2012. Following which she assumed political responsibility for Education in Bradford.

David Horne

Managing Director, London North Eastern Railway
David currently leads the Executive team at LNER after being appointed as Managing Director in 2015. His experience in the transport industry spans from 1998 when he started his career with Stagecoach Group after studying Transport Management at Aston University.

Sarah Longlands

Director, IPPR North
Sarah is an expert in regional and local economic development, place resilience and land use planning, and has written reports for IPPR North on small and medium sized cities and towns, participative democracy and civil society.

Sarah has taken the lead on many ground-breaking reports including a ‘Great North Plan’ a collaboration with the People’s Powerhouse movement.

Juergen Maier

CEO Siemens UK
Juergen has occupied senior posts with Siemens, including industry sector lead for the UK and Ireland and Manufacturing Director of the Drives Factory in Congleton, Cheshire.

Vanda Murray OBE


Vanda holds a portfolio of Non-Executive Directorships including Manchester Airports Group, Bunzl plc, Redrow plc and Fenner plc. She also chairs the Governors at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Henri Murison

Director, Northern Powerhouse Partnership
Henri was appointed as the first permeant Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), which has been established by business and civic leaders across the North to drive forward the economy. He has held senior public policy roles in both the public and private sectors across the North of England as well as being a Cabinet member for Quality of Life for Newcastle City Council. He also worked as Research Director at the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire and, most recently, led on Public Affairs at the Yorkshire Building Society, focusing on issues such as devolution in Yorkshire, housing and transport.

The Rt Hon Lord Jim O'Neill

Baron O'Neill of Gatley
Former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and former Conservative government minister and British economist.

Helen Oldham

Founding director of NorthInvest
Helen Oldham is a Founding Director of Northinvest, a Yorkshire based not for profit investor platform which is set to accelerate the growth of tech businesses in the Fintech, Health Tech, Cyber, Media and Tech for Good sectors with the support of the Northern Powerhouse.

GAVIN OPPErman

Group Business Banking Director, CYBG 
Gavin joined the group in 2015 as Group Customer Banking Director, with responsibility for Retail and Business & Private Banking. Gavin has over 30 years of leadership experience in risk, operations and across frontline digital, retail, commercial, corporate and investment banking services. Gavin was previously Regional Head of Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered based in China, and prior to that held a number of senior positions across Asia in a career spanning 20 years with Barclays Group.

Rt Hon George Osborne

Chair / Northern Powerhouse Partnership
In his previous ministerial role, George was responsible for the launch of the Northern Powerhouse initiative and continues to be a driving force behind development in the north as he retains his role as Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Professor Keith Ridgway CBE

Executive Dean, AMRC Group
Keith Ridgway worked in industry before moving to academia in 1980. He joined the University of Sheffield as a lecturer in 1988, and became Professor of Design and Manufacture in 1997. He worked with local businessman Adrian Allen to launch the AMRC with Boeing in 2001. In 2009, he helped launch the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Keith was awarded an OBE in 2005 and CBE in 2011. He became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2006.

Mandy Ridyard

Financial Director, Produmax
Mandy Ridyard is the owner of Produmax, a manufacturer of flight control components and assemblies for the global aerospace market. Now fulfilling the role of Financial Director at Produmax, she has previously held senior positions at Mars & Rank Hovis McDougall following an introduction to manufacturing through the graduate programme of MetalBox.

Rick Robinson

Digital Property and Cities Leader, Arup
A trusted advisor to cities, infrastructure operators, developers and investors on the use of technology to increase value, performance, and user experience. Rick regularly collaborates with technology entrepreneurs, universities and social institutions to explore how digital innovation can be scaled to create smart places and cities that improve the everyday lives of citizens.

Dame Nancy Rothwell

President & Vice Chancellor of University of Manchester
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell is the first woman Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester – the UK’s biggest University. She is Professor of Physiology.

Ranvir Singh

Host / Good Morning Britain
Originally from Preston, Ranvir is a television presenter and journalist, best known for her news and political briefings on Good Morning Britain.

Jonathan Spruce

Strategy Director, Transport for the North
Jonathan is a civil and transportation engineer with over 25 years’ experience of working for the public and private sectors. He is an experienced adviser who counsels senior figureheads on on how best to support the development of transport and regeneration solutions which enable economic growth. He is currently Chair of the Institute for Civil Engineers’ Transport Expert Panel.

Klaus-Michael Vogelberg

Chief Technology Officer, Sage
Klaus-Michael Vogelberg is a British/German software entrepreneur and Sage’s Chief Technology Officer, responsible for technology strategy, architecture, and innovation. He came to the Northeast after Sage acquired his business in 1997, leading product engineering of Sage’s UK software products, before taking up his current role globally. Klaus-Michael set up his first business aged 19 while studying aeronautical engineering and economics.

Barry White

Chief Executive Officer, Transport for the North
Barry has a wealth of experience in delivering major investment programmes across both public and private sectors. Currently he is responsible for transforming pan-Northern connectivity in order to improve productivity and drive economic growth.
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