Backing Business Ambition

The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme aims to shine a light on the inspiring individuals running the UK’s most successful medium-sized businesses.

When we set out on our 2018 search for those ambitious leaders tipped for great things, it was no surprise to find some of the most outstanding leaders in the North East and Yorkshire.

Debbie Bestwick MBE, CEO at LDC portfolio business Team17 and herself an award-winning business leader, was one of the judges who helped narrow down the list. She said: “With this kind of entrepreneurial ambition to draw on, I’ve no doubt that Yorkshire and the North East will continue to produce the kind of dynamic businesses that can drive prosperity in the region for many years to come.”

Among those in the Top 50 were Michael Reid, Director of Northumberland drinks manufacturer The Polar Krush Group. His bold ambition has seen the group grow its range of distinctive products and expand into Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

Jonathan Seaton, Founder and CEO of Twinkl, an online educational publishing house headquartered in Sheffield. Its disruptive business model has seen the business double in size every year, employing hundreds of teachers to create high-quality materials used by educators all over the world.

Gary Hunter, Founder and CEO of County Durham’s Redu Group, an innovative shopping influencer business with 1.7 million followers. As well as leading a fast-growing enterprise based on innovation and a deep understanding of its audience demographic, he mentors business leaders across the North East.

Advanced Supply Chain’s CEO Mike Danby was singled out for his drive, having turned a tiny Yorkshire firm into an international logistics giant that works with big-name brands, employing 850 staff at its Halifax base and other offices worldwide.

Finally, John Minion, Co-Founder and CEO of Yorkshire Wildlife Park had the ‘crazy idea’ to open a zoo at a former equestrian centre near Doncaster. It now sees 750,000 visitors a year and the former safari park elephant keeper is buying more land to expand the zoo’s offer.

The wealth of talent we found meant we produced a supplementary Ones to Watch list, which shined a spotlight on leaders from the region tipped for great things.

It included Rupert Broome, Group Managing Director at Killgerm Group, Martin Port, CEO of BigChange Darren Jobling, CEO of Newcastle virtual reality firm ZeroLight, Ryan Maughan from Cramlington powertrain components manufacturer Avid Technology, Sarat Pediredla of Newcastle app firm hedgehog lab and Ian Griffiths, Co-Founder of Newcastle’s

Anyone interested in getting involved in the programme, can find out more at:

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