Friday 5 June 2020 - Bridlington Spa

More than 650 business leaders from across the region hearing from model, actress, singer, fashion designer, writer and TV presenter Dame Twiggy Lawson, Entrepreneur and Campaigner Gina Miller, TV Presenter and Charity Ambassador Nick Knowles, Juergen Maier, Board Member for The Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Penny Marshall from the Institution of Civil Engineers and newly appointed Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive, James Mason.

The event is hosted throughout by journalist and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth.

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Dame Twiggy Lawson

Dame Twiggy Lawson

Twiggy’s iconic name and face has been at the forefront of fashion, the entertainment world and media for the past 50 years after being discovered and catapulted to fame in the mid-1960s at the age of 16, and named ‘The Face of ‘66’. She went on to become the world’s first supermodel, appearing on the cover of most major fashion magazines around the world.

Now also an acclaimed actress, singer, fashion designer, writer and TV presenter, Twiggy won two Golden Globe awards for her appearance in the film The Boyfriend and a Tony Award nomination for her NY Broadway debut in My One and Only.

As a designer, Twiggy has created fashion ranges in the UK, the USA and Japan, and is a brand ambassador for M&S womenswear. The Twiggy brand is a global phenomenon that continues to flourish. In 2019, Twiggy was honoured with a Damehood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to fashion, the performing arts and charity.

Gina Miller

Gina Miller

Bloomberg described Gina Miller as an 'Establishment Wrecking Ball' but her drive for transparency, scrutiny and integrity is about reform, not wrecking. Her expertise and areas of work cover investments, charities, democracy and political processes; as well as social justice.

Post the financial crisis, Gina and her husband Alan founded SCM Direct as a modern disruptive digital wealth manager centred on 100% transparency, low cost and putting clients first.

In 2012 Gina co-launched the True and Fair Campaign, calling for an end to rip offs and dubious practices in the investment and pension industry. Gina's campaigning has resulted in contributions to three EU Directives - Article 24 of MiFID II, PRIPS and The Shareholder Directive.

In 2016, Gina successfully challenged the UK Government over its authority to implement Brexit, winning in both the High Court and Supreme Court in what is hailed as the most important British constitutional case since the 1700s.

Gina continues a 'democracy and legality' watching brief of the UK Government's activities as Brexit is progressed. In September 2018 she launched the End the Chaos! campaign aimed at promoting the final decision being taken by the people rather than Parliament to break the political deadlock, provide an open source platform for unbiased, simple to understand information so people are able to make an informed choice should the decision come back to them, and explain unanswered questions about the European Union and the UK's membership.

At the end of August 2018, Gina published her first book 'Rise: Life Lessons in Speaking Out, Standing Tall & Leading the Way'

In 2019 Gina challenged the UK government for the second time. It led to the landmark Supreme Court decision which saw Boris Johnson's prorogation of Parliament ruled unlawful.

Nick Knowles

Nick Knowles

Nick Knowles is one of the UK's highest rated TV presenters and an RTS award-winning writer.

Over the past twelve years he has hosted BBC1 prime time Saturday night quiz shows Break the Safe, Secret Fortune and Who Dares Wins and he is the presenter of BBC1's most watched and longest running prime time factual series DIY SOS - The Big Build, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019. Nick appeared as a contestant in the 2018 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' winning a new legion of ITV fans.

His list of successful formats on all channels is extensive.

His first screenplay, 'Golden Years' was released, to high acclaim, in cinemas in 2016 and he is currently finishing his second.

He wrote a cookbook in 2016 and released an album with Universal in 2017.

Exclusively contracted to BBC1 as a presenter and writer for the last 10 years, he penned the Royal Television Society awarded Historionics, best original drama. He is now free of exclusivity and is developing formats for other channels whilst continuing his returning series for the BBC.

Before working for the BBC, Nick worked as a journalist and producer in the UK, Australia and America.

Whether he's mucking in with the real builders on DIY SOS, getting suited and booted as the suave host of his Saturday night quiz shows, or writing movies or cookbooks, Nick's versatility is evident.

Nick is also an Ambassador for local charity, Hull 4 Heroes.

Juergen Maier

Juergen Maier

Professor Juergen Maier was Chief Executive of Siemens plc from July 2014 to December 2019. He is the Chair of Digital Catapult and board member for The Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Juergen joined Siemens in 1986 with a BSc in production engineering from Nottingham Trent University, on a Siemens-sponsored graduate programme. He was made an honorary professor of Engineering at the University of Manchester in March 2014 and became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in September 2017.

He has also received honorary doctorates for his services to UK Science and Engineering from the Universities of Lincoln, Nottingham Trent and Salford Manchester. Mr Maier is a passionate advocate of rebalancing the UK economy and has supported many UK-wide initiatives championing manufacturing, improved infrastructure and engineering skills.

Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall

When Penny Marshall told her mum in the mid-1970s that she wanted to be a civil engineer she was told 'girls don't do that'. After graduating from Newcastle University - where she was the only female in her class - she started to wonder whether her mum was right as she struggled to find a job as a civil engineer. Penny eventually gained a trainee contract at Tyne & Wear County Council and she has since carved out an impressive career as a civil engineer.

In 2014, she became regional director for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and now works across the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, to support and promote the profession to all.

Globally, ICE has 92,000 individual members and, of that, Penny is responsible for around 6600. They provide a number of services, such as knowledge, best practice and continuous professional development advice and support. They also help people achieve their Chartered qualifications.

James Mason

James Mason

James Mason is an experienced business leader who has worked in the education, sport, public relations, broadcasting, and charitable sectors. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer of a global sport scholarships business, and he has also recently held senior leadership roles at Bradford City and Rochdale Football Clubs.

Bradford-born James, 41, began his career in sports journalism, becoming a familiar face on the BBC's Final Score programme. He has also been a business owner, setting up his first company at 21 years of age before selling this prior to joining Bradford City in 2014. During his four years as their Chief Operating Officer, the club enjoyed unprecedented commercial success, with season ticket sales rising from 11,000 to 19,000 as a result of a series of fan engagement marketing campaigns.

In 2015 the Bantams enjoyed an historic FA Cup run beating Premier League clubs Chelsea and Sunderland along the way enabling James to broaden the club's appeal and create a thriving community of sponsors and commercial partners.

James was influential in the first ever 'CEO Sleep Out' as the football club opened its doors to the homeless charity 'Centre Point' inviting hundreds of local supporters and businesses to sleep overnight in the stadium. Whilst at the helm, the club also introduced an award winning volunteer programme with the Bradford City disability football club.

Earlier this year he founded a new café for dementia sufferers in Bradford (Bradford Memories) in association with the Sporting Memories charity, where he is a trustee. As a keen fundraiser, James ran the Great North Run in September and has hosted numerous dinners to raise both awareness and money for these good causes. He is an avid sports fan who loves football and cricket in particular and has travelled extensively in recent years.


Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth

A former Oxford Scholar, President of the Oxford Union and MP for the City of Chester, Gyles Brandreth's career has ranged from being a Whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in John Major's government to starring in his own award-winning musical revue in London's West End.

A prolific broadcaster (in programmes ranging from Just a Minute and Wordaholics to QI and Have I Got News for You), an award-winning interviewer and columnist (principally for the Telegraph and Daily Mail), a novelist, children's author and biographer, he has published two volumes of diaries: Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries ('By far the best political diary of recent years, far more perceptive and revealing than Alan Clark's', The Times) and Something Sensational to Read in the Train: The Diary of a Lifetime ('Witty, warm-hearted and deeply poignant', Daily Mail).

He is the author of two acclaimed royal biographies: Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage and Charles & Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair, and a series of Victorian detective stories, The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, now published in twenty-two countries around the world. His recent Sunday Times best-sellers include Word Play, a celebration of the English language, and The 7 Secrets of Happiness - No 1 on Amazon. His on-line course on Happiness is available from Gravy For The Brain together with a course co-authored with his son, rhetoric coach and barrister, Benet Brandreth QC, on Mastering Public Speaking. His one-man shows have won multiple five star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and tour regularly throughout the UK.

As a performer, Gyles Brandreth has been seen in the West End in Zipp! One hundred musicals for less than the price of one at the Duchess Theatre and on tour throughout the UK, and as Malvolio and the Sea Captain in Twelfth Night: The Musical at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2011/12 he played Lady Bracknell in a new musical version of The Importance of Being Earnest and in 2017 appeared in Hamlet at the Park Theatre in London.

Gyles Brandreth is one of Britain's busiest after-dinner speakers and award ceremony hosts. He has won awards himself, and been nominated for awards, as a public speaker, novelist, children's writer, broadcaster (Sony and Royal Television Society), political diarist (Channel Four), journalist (British Press Awards), theatre producer (Olivier), and businessman (British Tourist Authority Come to Britain Trophy). He has featured on This Is Your Life and Desert Island Discs and is a former chairman and now vice-president of the National Playing Fields Association. In 2017 he succeeded the late Duke of Westminster as Chancellor of the University of Chester.

He is married to writer and publisher Michèle Brown, with whom he co-curated the exhibition of twentieth century children's authors at the National Portrait Gallery and founded the award-winning Teddy Bear Museum now based at Newby Hall in North Yorkshire. His son, Benet, is a barrister, award-winning speaker, authority on rhetoric - - and author of two acclaimed novels about Shakespeare's lost years: The Spy of Venice and The Assassin of Verona. His daughter, Aphra, is an environmental economist and local politician. With his daughter Saethryd and grandson Rory, he is the author of a compendium of family games, The Lost Art of Having Fun. With Saethryd, he has also created Novelty Knits, a celebration of the colourful jumpers he was noted for wearing on TV in the 1970s and 1980s.

Gyles Brandreth's forebears include George R Sims (the highest-paid journalist of his day, who wrote the ballad Christmas Day in the Workhouse) and Jeremiah Brandreth (the last man in England to be beheaded for treason). His great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Brandreth, promoted 'Brandreth's Pills' (a medicine that cured everything!) and was a pioneer of modern advertising and a New York state senator. Gyles Brandreth has been London correspondent for "Up to the Minute" on CBS News and his books published in the USA include the New York Times best-seller, The Joy of Lex, as well as The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries (Simon & Schuster) and The 7 Secrets of Happiness (Open Road Media).