Management Team

Management Team

It’s made up of a cross-section of the business community and provides advice and guidance on particular areas of expertise, help support local business and provides a link to a wider network of business groups and associations.

Executive Team

Karen Goldfinch

Chair
Your Business Pilot

Andrew Esson

Vice Chair
Esson Partnership

David Hodgson

Treasurer
Read Milburn & Co

Amy Farrell

Support Officer
North Tyneside Council

Management Team

Michael James

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NE1 Web Design

Mike Peeke-Vout

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Digital Specialist

David W Bavaird

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Engaging Pathways

Toby Bridges

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NBT Group

Pat Davidson

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Rotational Engineering

Paul Hatchett

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Hatchett Consulting

Keith Hardy

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VODA

About Us

A supportive network to ensure local business is well connected and represented.

Our Partners

We act as a link between local, regional and national business groups, and decision makers.

Toby Bridges is an experienced company director and has been CEO and now Chairs his fourth generation family company, NBT Group Ltd. NBT was the North East’s fastest growing company in 2018 & 2019 and Toby was the Entrepreneurs’ Forum Scale-up Entrepreneur of the year 2019/20.  

 

He has started and sold a number of other companies and Chairs the charity the Exchange, a community theatre in North Shields  Toby mentors numerous businesses across the NE, on behalf of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, the NE LEP, and The Natwest Accelerator.

Business:

NBT Group

Wider Business Groups:

Entrepreneurs Forum

Advisory Board – Scale up North East

North East LEP Business Growth Board

Advisory board to the Leo’s high growth programme

Toby also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Karen brings to the role a wealth of experience having already served as Vice Chair for three years and as a member of the management committee since the Forum was founded a decade ago. Her expertise in retail spans 35 years and her previous position as Chair of the Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade brought her to the Forum as a founder member representing town centres. She has also had specific responsibility for communications and events which have included a leading role in the organisation of the prestigious annual North Tyneside Business Forum Awards.

 

Professionally, she has owned retail outlets in Whitley Bay and now runs two businesses, “Made to Treasure Events”, a bespoke wedding stationery and events management company and her own business consultancy, “Your Business Pilot,” supporting SME’s and start ups.

 

Karen also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Business:

Your Business Pilot

Wider Business Groups:

North Tyneside Strategic Partnership
Covid-19 Engagement Board
Town Centre Task Group
North East England Chamber of Commerce
North of Tyne Combined Authority (working groups)
State of the Area Committee
MINT Business Club Steering Group
Inspire Network

Andrew is a leading North East industrialist who has achieved regional and national recognition for his leadership of North East manufacturing businesses.

 

Now operating in an advisory and non-executive capacity, Andrew is a director and co-founder of two new Tech businesses.

 

Andrew is currently Chair of the make UK NE Regional Advisory Board. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Business:

Esson Partnership

Wider Business Groups:

Make UK NE Regional Advisory Board

Make UK National Membership Board

Newcastle College – Director of Industrial Strategy

David is both a chartered accountant and chartered banker with over 40 years experience advising and representing a wide variety of North Tyneside businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

 

Over the past two decades David has been involved in numerous local voluntary, community and educational organisations including YMCA North Tyneside, Cullercoats National Lifeboat Institution and New Hope for Children.

 

David also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Business:

Read Milburn & Co

Amy started her role at North Tyneside Council as a Social Media Marketing Apprentice in Sept 2014.

Amy has been involved in many projects including The Business Factory and Invest North Tyneside. After securing a position following the completion of her apprenticeship, Amy is now responsible for delivering North Tyneside Business Forum activity programme and marketing.

Over the 5 years in the role, she has successfully delivered Business Awards ceremonies, numerous events for the Forum and has implemented a range of projects.”

Business:

North Tyneside Council 

Wider Business Groups:

North East England Chamber of Commerce

NE Growth Hub Provider Network Steering Group

Michael is self-employed web designer, web developer and SEO specialist. He works with other small businesses to get results from their web presence. He uses his skills and experience to help whenever he can with the management group, and works closely with local businesses to support and develop them while spreading the word about the North Tyneside Business Forum.

Business:

NE1 Web Design

Michael has worked in the IT industry for over a decade, providing support for software development and web applications. Active in the community, Michael has played a supporting role for both local organisations and for local and national governing bodies. He is a Digital Specialist who focus on building scalable software empowering customer growth, automation, and efficiency.

Business:

Digital Specialist

David Bavaird, a director of North Shields-based Engaging Pathways, has worked in finance, logistics and project management for over 20 years and brings a wealth of experience to the role.

 

He is also the former-chair of North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce,and sits on a number of boards of education and third sector organisations.

Business:

Engaging Pathways

Wider Business Groups:

Coastal Communities Team

North Tyneside Learning Trust

Armed Forces Group

Sector Connector

David also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings

Pat is a woman who has worked in the manufacturing industry for over 25 years, in North Tyneside, Rotational Engineering employs local people in specialist tool making and sheet metal fabrications.

Pat says “During times of economic uncertainty I feel that it is essential to maintain a very good level of communication with the business community. By being part of the Business Forum this helps us keep up to date with the ever changing business trends, having like-minded individuals to meet with and discuss not only our personal barriers but those wider afield is fantastic. We feel we are able to take advice from those who have the experience and connections to put us in touch with the relevant individuals/events that will not only benefit the business but hopefully the local community.”

Business:

Rotational Engineering

Wider Business Groups:

British Plastics Federation 

North East England Chamber of Commerce

Wallsend Chamber

 

Paul specialises in supporting businesses through growth and transformation, via his business Paul Hatchett Consulting Limited. He applies strong conceptual thinking to generate rapid insights, resolve complexity, and help organisations to develop and execute strategy. Paul has held a number of functional and P&L leadership positions up to director level and has over twenty years’ experience working in technically-led businesses across the aerospace, subsea and renewables sectors.

Business:

Hatchett Consulting

Keith spends his working life alongside volunteers, charitable organisations and members of the local business community.

Keith says: “I play to my experiential strengths by representing the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) on the management team. I’ll be working alongside organisations that fall into that category and representing them in the planning and management of the Business Forum.”

Business:

VODA