Judges


The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

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Judges

Rik Barker | CIO – UK and Ireland | Flutter

Rik has been in software development in one form or another for over 20 years. Initially working as a developer, tech lead and development manager on desktop software, before moving to focus on how to develop tech teams and Web technology. Rik joined Web Agency Technophobia in Sheffield as the Head of Production and progressed to Technical Director and then CTO after a restructure and acquisition. Rik joined Sky Betting & Gaming during a period of extreme growth, as the business moved from under Sky ownership into a VC backed private ownership model. Over the next five and a half years, Rik was heavily involved in scaling the business, the teams and the technology, and investing in the culture to support the growth. Initially joining as the Head of Gaming Technology and working in several areas of the business, Rik has spent the last two years as CTO, overseeing the organisation as it transitioned back into group ownership through two acquisitions. In September, Rik moved to take on the role of CIO for UK and Ireland for the combined Flutter group, running technology across Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Betting & Gaming. In all roles, Rik focuses on building high performing teams and developing people and has always taken a people-first approach to building software.

Liam Bateman | CTO | Silverchip

CTO And software developer, Liam has over 15years experience in the digital industry, working with some of the UK's leading companies and brands. In 2010, with his friend and business partner, he co-founded Silverchip, an award-winning digital agency in the heart of Manchester, boasting an impressive client list and being renowned for its bespoke software development. Liam is extremely passionate about the importance of developing a ‘real-world curriculum’ within schools and colleges, working alongside students and young people to provide opportunities and routes into the sector."

Caroline Beesley | Head of Comms Planning & Media | The Co-op

An omni-channel Marketing leader with strength in Digital marketing and experience from agency, supplier and client-side positions, practiced in retail, finance, travel, home and fashion, always marketing based.

Rafael Brandao | Head of Experience Design and User Studies | Telecine

Experience Design Manager passionate about Arts and Technology. For more than 15 years I’ve been working in several Advertising Agencies and Design Offices as an Interactive Art Director and UI/UX Strategist. Today, I’m the Head of Experience Design and User Studies at Telecine, a joint venture between Grupo Globo and the major Hollywood Studios. In 2012 I also concluded my Master’s degree in Design at ESDI/UERJ (Brazil) and IADE Creative University (Portugal). Alongside my current role at Telecine I’m an UX Design professor at Miami Ad School Brasil, the best creative school worldwide (Cannes 2019), a Mentor at Designed.org and AbeLLha and Vice President of the UX Committee of IAB – Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Martin SFP Bryant | Founder | Big Revolution |

Martin SFP Bryant is the founder of technology and media consultancy Big Revolution. He is also a speaker, writer, and educator in the fields of technology and media. With Big Revolution, he works to help technology companies craft a narrative around their products and business. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of startups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

Dave Cain | Head of Digital Marketing | Arriva Group

Dave started his digital journey back in 2002 originally as a web designer/developer and very quickly moved into the online marketing sector as an SEO and PPC specialist. Over the past 17+ years, he has operated in a freelance, agency and client side capacity working with some of the most respected brands across the UK, Europe and Asia. Today, Dave would classify himself as a t-shaped data driven digital professional with a wealth of experience and knowledge across many verticals and technologies. In his own words “if the internet was switched off tomorrow I’d be out of work, it’s all I know and love”.

Richard Gregory | Co-founder | AgencyNXD

Richard is co-founder of AgencyNXD as well as an advisor and NXD to multiple tech firms and agencies, including Adzooma, Fluid Digitial and Ruler Analytics. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England. Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and co-founder of SAScon.

Kristal Ireland | Digital Director | UK Coaching

Previously voted as one of the UK's Top 30 Women in Digital Under 30, Kristal Ireland is a specialist in digital transformation and digital brand strategy. An award winning, strategic and experienced digital marketing expert, Kristal is the Director of Digital for the national charity UK Coaching. A regular digital conference speaker and industry commentator Kristal has worked in digital for over a fifteen years developing digital solutions for some of the UK’s biggest brands.

John Jones | Corporate Partner | Beever And Struthers

John leads Beever and Struthers' Corporate Team, having been made a Partner in 1999. Beever and Struthers is an award-winning firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors in Manchester, Blackburn and London, and currently rank in the Top 50 firms nationally and Top 10 firms in the North West. John is a local council member of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and has been co-opted to the Partnership Steering Group of the Business Growth Hub. He was Chairman of Pro-Manchester from 2014 - 2015.

Alan K'necht | Public Speaker & Principle | K'nechtology Inc |

Alan K'necht started his involvement with the digital world back in 1996 building websites and participating in the precursors to what would evolve into Social Media. Over 20 plus years he’s provided consulting services ranging from web development, analytics, search markeing/SEO and social media marketing to fortune 500 companies, government departments, military and small & medium size businesses. Through analytics, Alan has always helped clients measure and maximize their Return on Investment (ROI) for their digital marketing initiatives. At present he operates his consulting company K'nechtology Inc.

LinkedIn profile

Brendan Keegan | Manchester Metropolitan University

Brendan has taught a broad range of digital marketing topics in Manchester Metropolitan for over a decade, after a few years in agency-land. His research examines the role of analytics in marketing strategy decision-making, as well as the utilisation of digital technology in shaping spaces and places.

Richard Keenan-Heard | Head of SEO | Trainline

Richard leads Trainline’s in-house SEO and engineering team, focusing on scaling growth through product and UX improvements at scale in markets across the world. With a growth mindset and a passion for trains matched only by his determination to help customers find the best options for sustainable travel, Richard has assembled the team from the ground up. Before joining Trainline, Richard spent five years working at Wavemaker (formerly MEC) delivering scaled, enterprise level SEO for global brands including GE, Tiffany, Michelin, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. As a result of his agency and in-house experience, Richard has a diverse background in SEO and Product bringing a wealth of experience to the judges’ panel.

Louisa Laughton-Scott | Interaction Design Specialist | Treatwell

Louisa Laughton-Scott is an interaction design specialist, focusing on helping companies effectively and efficiently design for their users. She is currently working as a Product Designer for Treatwell, Europe's largest hair and beauty marketplace. While working, she is also studying for her master's degree in Human-Computer Interaction Design. In her spare time she is Global Events Manager for UX For Change, a global initiative dedicated to bringing the UX design community together in order to tackle problems from any non-industry related fields, such as education, charities and the public sector. Follow her on Medium @LLaughtonScott , Instagram @louisatechdesign and Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/llscott/

Stefan Lewis | Head of Commerce and Digital Marketing | Represent Clo

In my early teen years I grew fond of digital design and media. Through school I focused on being a creative, choosing graphic design form college and graduating The University of Salford with a First Class Honors degree in Graphic Design. Throughout this course I worked with my friends on building a fashion brand heavily focused on design and marketed through the rise of facebook and instagram. This project enabled me to grow at a fast rate through self teaching alongside the brand. 5 years later I am head of Commerce and Digital Marketing at that very same brand, Represent Clo. Currently I manage 3 digital advertising and marketers and a ux software team whilst handing digital content, ecom content and working heavily on strategy with the founders, George & Michael Heaton. The brand has grown significantly since we began in 2012. With over 200 retail stores and an 8 figure turnover ecommence platform through Shopify. I’ve sat at the forefront of the digital landscape throughout this time, and have been instrumental in the business growth. We strive for high-end perfection at an affordable price point, whilst maintaining the brand’s unique look and specific market identity.

Trond Lyngbø | Senior SEO Consultant

Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO Consultant. He has over two decades of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analysis. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 corporations and major Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow businesses through more effective search marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and web shops to develop and expand their omni-channel marketing initiatives.

Aoife McIlraith | Global Search Consultant

Aoife McIlraith is an award-winning global search consultant. Named one of the “Top 20 Women making the biggest impact in Marketing Tech” in 2019. She provides consultancy to brands on international SEO, multilingual marketing and strategies, digital globalization and transformations. She is currently partnering with global brands to define multilingual voice search and digital assistant marketing strategies. She has spoken at numerous international marketing conferences covering most recently multilingual voice search. International conferences including 3XE, SEMRush Live Prague, DMEXCO, Sirius Decisions London, Localization World Beijing and Tokyo and eConsultancy Singapore. Aoife holds first class honours post graduate degrees in web science technologies and digital marketing. As a qualified programmer and developer, she provides a powerful combination and understanding of both technology and digital marketing to global brand stakeholders. Aoife has worked in marketing, technology, public relations and communications positions in Ireland and San Francisco.

Paul Morris | Marketing Specialist

Paul has 22 years’ experience leading Marketing, Digital & Ecommerce both Agency & Brand side. Paul was previously Director of Digital/ Ecommerce at Marshalls PLC, Head of Marketing at Tesco Bank, global Digital/ Ecommerce Director at PZ Cussons (brands including St Tropez, Imperial Leather & Original Source), led Digital marketing at the Co-op Group (Food > Funeralcare) and have through the line experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator, Stagecoach & Silverstone.

Louise O'Conor | Founding Partner | Beta Digital | Strategy & Transformation

Louise is a strategic and innovative business advisor with over 20 years international experience digitally transforming and scaling businesses (startups, SMEs, multinationals) across global markets and multiple industries. Founding partner at Beta Digital (a Strategy and Transformation consulting and advisory firm), Louise is a mentor and investment advisor for Enterprise Ireland (semi-state body), Co Founder of IrelandTogether (a non profit business network) and is on the board of both the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) and Sure Valley Ventures Investment Firm.

Glenn O'Grady | Entrepreneur, non-executive director and investor

Glenn O’Grady is an entrepreneur, non-executive director and investor, who specialises in start-up businesses, scaling up and exit strategy and co-founded software solutions company GuideSmiths. With a background in IT project management and business analysis, Glenn built up extensive experience with household names including BBC Worldwide, ITV, Accenture and The MailOnline. Thanks to a robust network forged over the years and his keen business sense, GuideSmiths’ client list rapidly grew, resulting in revenue growing from £1m to £7m in three years. While his background may be in software, Glenn’s expertise spans from start-up to scale-up and exit with real on-the-ground experience, which equips him to advise businesses as they react to an ever-evolving and volatile business landscape. His understanding of what makes a business tick and the strategies required for success has resulted in requests for guidance on day-to-day business management and solutions to out-of-remit challenges. Glenn is a no-nonsense, jargon-free founder with an acute understanding of the current business trends, issues, and solutions needed for businesses to thrive.

Raul Queiroz | Head Designer | Rede D'Or São Luiz

I’m a 24 year multidisciplinary experienced Designer, Art Director and Illustrator with passages through the main advertising and digital agencies in Rio de Janeiro where I could, in addition to managing creative teams and winning some awards, start and maintain digital transformation processes. Because of my diverse career path, I've been working with products with several business models and scopes, bringing the design vision in addition to a business and a communication vision. Now, I'm Head Designer at Rede D'Or São Luiz, the major health company in Brazil.

Alexandra Tachalova | Digital Marketing Consultant

Alexandra is a frequent speaker and founder of the digital marketing conference, DigitalOlympus.net. She also helps clients with digital PR, content marketing, and link building. Besides that, she regularly contributes to leading digital marketing blogs, including Moz, SEJ, Salesforce, SMExaminer, and many others.

Gary Young | Head of Development | Missguided

Gary started his journey as Head of Development at Missguided one year ago, previous to that he headed up the Development Team at Cheshire tech start-up TyresOntheDrive.com. At Missguided, Gary leads a growing cross-functional team of 40+ Software Engineers, Test Analysts and Scrum Masters as they re-platform away from the Magento monolith and in to a new headless, microservice architecture. Part of the remit at Missguided, alongside re-platforming, is to drive a DevOps culture and ways of working to increase throughput and quality, supporting aggressive growth targets over the next few years. Previous experience includes working with global clients such as BP, Shell, Rolls Royce and others to deliver digital products that provide value to their organisations.

Lukasz Zelezny | SEO Consultant |

Lukasz Zelezny, UK Search Awards judge, Top10 UK Social Media influencer and former director of organic performance at uSwitch / Zoopla. Currently is working as an independent SEO Consultant helping in organic traffic acquisition, technical SEO and content marketing. Lukasz started his career in 2005 and has since been responsible for the organic performance of a number of companies including HomeAway, Thomson Reuters, The Digital Property Group, Fleetway Travel, uSwitch, Zoopla. Each year Lukasz is speaking at many SEO and social media conferences. He was a speaker at ClickZ Shanghai China, ClickZ Jakarta Indonesia, SiMGA Malta, SES London as well as Marketing Festival in Brno, Brighton SEO in Brighton and UnGagged in London. Every year he is actively participating in 10 to 20 events as an SEO/Social Media keynote speaker. Additionally, he organizes workshops and meetups where he is sharing tips around SEO, Social Media and Analytics. To get in touch with Lukasz simply search “Lukasz Zelezny” or visit https://Zelezny.uk

LinkedIn profile

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