With the increasing abundance of HR talent in the region, judging the CIPD North East of England HR&D Awards gets more and more difficult each year.

Each year, we assemble an impressive panel of experts, all of whom are highly respected HR&D professionals here in the North East to take on the challenge.

The Judges will be tasked with looking at the extent to which submissions meet the category criteria and for any compelling evidence that illustrates the power of the achievement. The panel also look for where submissions can show differentiation and add value to the broader field of HR&D.

Meet the judges

Kerry Hardy


Kerry joined PACCOR (Global High Performance Packaging) in April 2016 during this time she has been instrumental in the turnaround and development of the UK business. As well as her day job in the UK Kerry is currently leading on a Global Plant Manager Development Programme for the Group which spans across 24 cultures and countries.

Previously holding senior roles at ASDA, Nestle and Carillion. A Fellow MCIPD and 2017 Winner of CIPD - Excellence in People Development and 2018 Winner - Excellence in Organisational Development.

Kerry also holds a Non Executive Director role with Everyday a social enterprise owned by Age UK North Tyneside (Living, Wellbeing, HomeCare, Specialist Health Care).

Mark Pennifold


Mark Pennifold has worked in the automotive industry for more than 20 years, holding senior Human Resources roles at some of the UK’s leading car manufacturers.

He is currently HR Director at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant, the UK’s biggest single site car factory. He has also worked at Ford and, until 2016, at Jaguar Land Rover, where he was HR Director for International Manufacturing and Non-Production Manufacturing.

Katie Wilkie


With over 15 years of HR experience, Katie has recently joined the NHS Business Services Authority in the role of Head of People Development, enabling people to support the business in being a catalyst for better health. Her role is focused on leading a team who are responsible for the employee lifecycle, from initial attraction through to development, recognition and workforce planning.

Prior to this role, Katie has worked within a number of organisations, including Sage UK and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and was part of the People team at Sage UK who won the CIPD North East Employability and Diversity award in 2018.

Jane Embley


Jane Embley is Director of HR and Organisational Development at Northumbria University. In this role, and as a member of the Executive Team, Jane leads the University’s activities in relation to the recruitment, employment, and development of staff and is responsible for the Strategic Plan for People, which underpins the University Strategy.

Previously Jane was Director of HR at the University of Sunderland and earlier in her career, worked at Bucks New University and the Open University.

From 2009 – 2013 Jane was Vice-Chair of the UHR Executive, the professional organisation for Human Resources practitioners in the United Kingdom and Eire universities, she has also contributed to a number of national working groups. She studied at Newcastle University, has an MA in Human Resource Management, is a chartered member of the CIPD and a trained mediator.

Colin McLauchlan


Colin McLauchlan is Head of HR at Homes England, the national housing Agency for England. Colin leads a team of 20 professionals based in Gateshead and London delivering a full HR service including resourcing, performance management, employee relations, payroll and pensions to over 850 employees across 10 locations.

Colin is part of a HR leadership team responsible for the transformation and modernisation of the HR function in line with an ambitious new People Plan and Learning and Development strategy that enables the growth of Homes England to over 1500 staff by 2020.

Colin is a Fellow of the CIPD and has previously undertaken senior HR leadership roles in international, multi-site and blue chip organisations within the construction, steel and transport sectors. His approach for successful HR is to be collaborative, progressive, pragmatic, challenging, robust and engaging.

Anne-Marie Lister


Anne-Marie wants to live in a world where people are daring and energetic, positivity is in the air and giggling is mandatory.

An Organisation Development, Learning and Development and Human Resources professional she has over 17 years’ experience of figuring out how people tick, how organisations tick and work out how they can tick together to help businesses to become even more successful and profitable. She’s worked in most corners of the world on a range of OD and people projects including many in organisation design, culture change and leadership development.

When she’s not figuring out people you can find her walking in the hills, drinking gin and tonic with friends and dreaming of ways to shoehorn more hours into the day.

Her latest adventure is with Atom (bank), the UK’s first digital only bank which launched in early 2016.

Garry Thompson


Garry is the HR Director for Piramal Healthcare Ltd, a global contract manufacturer to the Pharmaceutical Industry. He has responsibility for the HR and L&D function for the UK business with facilities in Northumberland and Stirlingshire employing over 600 people.

Garry has worked in Senior Generalist HR roles in the North East for over 20 years both in UK and Global roles with experience of managing HR teams in the US and Europe. He has worked in a number of sectors including Medical Devices, Automotive, Contact Centre and Manufacturing.