Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Business boost for agency board

Regional development agency One NorthEast has appointed two leading business figures to its board. Ruth Thompson has worked in the energy industry in the North East for over 20 years and was until recently the Group Corporate Affairs Director for National Grid plc. Paul Callaghan is Chairman of Leighton, the Sunderland-based technology and communications group that he founded. Leighton now operates in over 45 countries on six continents at the cutting edge of new technology.

Ruth is particularly interested in promoting and developing local skills and led the North East Employers’ Coalition for New Deal. The Coalition helped create hundreds of job opportunities for long-term unemployed people in the region and Ruth’s work in this area was recognised by her receiving an OBE in 2002. She said: “I am very excited about my new role with One NorthEast. Our region has some real strengths, not just in my particular fields of energy and engineering, but right across the board in terms of talented individuals and businesses. “I hope to bring my experience of working in the energy and environment sector to the board in order to shape its strategic support in this important area, but more generally, I want to use it to raise aspirations in the region.”

Paul Callaghan began his working life as an economist and then launched his start-up business from small offices on Wearside. In 2000, Ernst and Young voted Paul the ‘Northern E-business Entrepreneur of the Year’ and in 2005 he was voted the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the Wearside Portfolio Awards. He is a founder director of the Entrepreneurs Forum and Chairman of RTC North, the region’s technology centre. Paul was Chairman of Business Link Tyne Wear from 2003 until 2006 and in July 2006 took on the Chair of Business Link North East. Paul said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Agency board as it will allow me to make a contribution to the strategic vision of developing the North East. And as someone who has first hand experience of building a successful business from scratch, I am keen to share this knowledge to help drive the economic regeneration of the region through enterprise.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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