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Meet The Team

The Chamber team are on hand to help members grow their network, knowledge, influence and reach. As part of an extensive network, if we don’t know the answer, we probably know someone who does.

Get in touch. We would love to help.


About James
James has been Chief Executive of the Chamber since 2006. Prior to this he was Vice Chairman of the Esh Group. He has 14 years of experience in corporate banking and strategic marketing in Barclays Bank. After leaving school he spent 12 years as a soldier in the Royal Green Jackets (now The Rifles) all around the world. In this role, he is responsible for promoting and championing the North East business community locally, nationally and internationally. He relishes the opportunities to meet so many passionate business people around the region operating such successful world class businesses.

James Ramsbotham CBE


About David
David is a qualified chartered accountant with a wide variety of experience across a broad range of businesses. As the Chamber’s Chief Operating Officer he is responsible for the people who help keep the Chamber running behind the scenes including our Finance, HR, Marketing & PR and IT teams. He keeps a careful eye on our money on behalf of the members, and is a member of the Chamber Board and Council.

David Langley

Chief Operating Officer
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About Julie
Julie has been involved in international trade at the Chamber for almost 10 years and prior to that has worked within manufacturing businesses in the North East, leading on business development and developing sales overseas. As International Trade Director, Julie overseas the international services at the Chamber, plus the delivery of the Department  for International Trade contract. Julie works with Chamber members to identify areas where we can further support exporters in the regions and develop the services we offer.

Julie Underwood

International Trade Director


Jennifer Rycroft

Larger Business Relationships and Partnerships Manager

Michelle Ord

Senior Relationship Manager – Presidents Club

About Tom
Tom was born and raised in Teesside and has worked in the area since leaving University in 2007. He has worked for global brands such as Santander to local organisations like ARC Stockton Arts Centre. Tom joined the Chamber in 2013, as Relationship Manager for the Teesside area. In 2017 he was asked to cover the role of Partnerships Manager before taking the permanent role of Senior Relationship Manager for President’s Club. Increasing the headcount in this department will allow further development and more focussed support of the large and corporate members right across the region.

Tom Warnock

Senior Relationship Manager - Presidents Club

About Arlen
Arlen joined the Chamber in 2016 after spending ten years as a policy and communications consultant. As Knowledge Development Manager he is responsible for helping members access the information and insight they need to make their businesses a success through our skills, knowledge and information events and the Chamber Knowledge Hub.

Arlen Pettitt

Knowledge Development Manager

About Julie
Julie previously spent 20 years working in a large plc helping SMEs grow their businesses through lead generation and marketing. Giving support to businesses, and seeing the results of that support, has always been a passion of hers, so when the opportunity arose to join the Chamber team she saw it as the perfect move. Julie has a regional responsibility for our medium members, which are those with 50 to 250 employees, and is keen to meet with anyone who has seen their business grow to this size, yet currently isn’t connected with the Chamber.

Julie Digman

Relationship Manager - Medium Business

About Michael
Michael has worked in and around the North East after completing his University Studies. He has previously worked for Sunderland Football Club, Hays Recruitment and his family business Dickinson Media. Michael used to be a Chamber member in his previous job and has now joined the team to help support medium sized businesses in the North East.

Michael Dickinson

Relationship Manager - Medium Business

About Lynsey
Lynsey has worked for the Chamber since leaving school in 1996. She started as an apprentice and has developed a vast amount of knowledge and experience through working within different areas of the business. As Senior Relationship Manager she looks after small businesses up to 50 employees located in the Newcastle and Gateshead area. She strives to understand the needs of her clients to provide meaningful business solutions that will assist in growing their network, knowledge, influence and reach within the North East.

Lynsey Fairless

Senior Relationship Manager - Newcastle and Gateshead

About Clare
Clare has worked for the chamber for over 20 years and has a broad range of experience in chamber activities. In her new role as relationship manager for Northumberland, North Tyneside and Dewentside she is pleased to be of assistance to local businesses with up to 50 employees.  Making connections and encouraging members to work together.  Clare hosts a range of local events and is happy to make introductions for members where ever possible.

Clare McCabe

Relationship Manager - Northumberland

About Julie
Julie has worked in senior management/client facing roles for over 25 years, playing a major part in companies’ growth and development. Her clients have included all size business ventures from small to major blue-chip organisations and both private and public sectors. As a Chamber Relationship Manager Julie looks after members in South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham actively encouraging members to work together whilst growing the membership in those areas.

Julie Charlton

Relationship Manager - Sunderland and Durham

Rachel Thompson

Relationship Manager - Tees Valley

Abigail Turner

Relationship Manager - Gateshead and Durham

Erin Knight

Partner Engagement and Sponsorship Manager

Alison Preston

Membership Executive


About Jonathan
Jonathan has been with the Chamber since 2009 following a spell in the recruitment industry. He leads the Chamber’s Policy and Campaigns team. This team works to represent our members’ views on issues such as transport, education and international trade. Campaigning for a better business environment in the North East, he manages our relationships with MPs and other political decision makers in the north of the region, develops the Chamber’s annual Manifesto and is a regular media spokesperson on the issues that matter to our members.

Jonathan Walker

Assistant Director - Policy

Rachel Anderson

Assistant Director - Policy (Tees Valley and Energy)

Marianne O'Sullivan

Policy Adviser
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About Linda
Linda worked for 15 years in the North West, at the Open University and in local government before returning to the North East. Bringing her experience from the Greater Manchester Probation Committee and Tynedale council to her work as committee administrator at the Chamber. In her role with the Chamber Linda services 4 local area meetings and 3 sub-regional area committees including AGM’s in the North of the region. In addition to this Linda also provides meeting support to Chamber council as well as administrative support to Head of President’s Club.

Linda Ord

Committee Clerk
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Amber Burney

Policy and Engagement Executive


About Daniel
Dan has worked in events for over ten years, starting at Sunderland City Council, before moving to London for six years where he worked at the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2014 he returned to the region to work for the Chamber. As Chamber Events Manager, Dan is responsible for over 100 events delivered by the Chamber each year. Managing the variety of event formats, the Chamber deliver throughout the year with one primary aim, to engage and connect businesses of all sizes and sectors in North East England.

Daniel Marsden-Knight

Events Programme & Development Manager
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Ashley Carney

Events Executive
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Tracey Worrall

Events Co-ordinator
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Natasha Jessop

Events Co-ordinator
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About Jack
Jack joined the Chamber in 2017 as Policy Adviser for International Trade and Brexit. Now working in the International Team, Jack helps members increase their knowledge of global trade and promote the region's global reach. To create a Stronger Global North East, Jack organises the Chamber's training program, links members with key contacts across the world and promotes the North East as the best place to do business.

Jack Simpson

Training and Global Network Adviser

Debra Blair

Customs Declaration and Carnet Lead
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Jessica Brown

Export Documentation Lead
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Rebecca Tweddle

Export Documentation Adviser
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About Leigh
Leigh previously worked at the Chamber for three years, starting out as an apprentice in the International team in 2015, before leaving to expand her knowledge of exporting. Now working as our CDS and Documentation Adviser, Leigh certifies export documentation and works closely with our members to provide advice on exporting goods to specific countries and their unique requirements.

Leigh Cowan

Export Documentation and CDS Adviser
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