We have once again brought together a stellar judging panel with leaders from both industry bodies and national and regional businesses for this year’s MPA Inspiration Awards.

There are some new faces on the panel this year, which has been selected to reflect the wide range of membership types that the MPA represents.

(N.B. A judge is not permitted to judge a category in which their competitors sit – they are excluded so there is no conflict of interest)

Dunstan Carter

Business Development Manager, The Sharp Project

Dunstan’s role is to offer support and advice to dozens of creative businesses and promote the innovative hub across the North. He's a published poet and illustrator, but don't let that put you off him.


Phil Cookson

Director, Creative Resource

For 17 years, Phil has been helping agencies and brands to find and retain talent as well as mentoring creative and marketing talent throughout their career journeys. Phil is Co-Founder of School of Thought, the creative course and competition that has been running in Manchester for 6 years.


Nick Entwistle

Founder, Bank of Creativity

Nick is the Founder of the Bank of Creativity, working with brands to create compelling content to engage their audiences and generate big interest for their products or services. He also runs One Minute Briefs which is a popular social community that uses collective quick idea generation to deliver powerful daily social media campaigns.


Marcus Hadfield

Chief Strategy Officer, Apadmi

With over 20 years experience in digital and brand marketing, Marcus has delivered award-winning campaigns across every discipline and most sectors. Most of his career has been spent in advertising agencies, most recently as a Managing Partner at McCann Manchester. In 2017, he jumped into the mobile world to help clients get more out the increasingly close relationships people have with their devices. His question stays the same – why will customers care? Clients have included Expedia, Argos, Costa, American Airlines, CrossCountry Trains, Which?, Homebase, Sony, Aldi, World Vision, Plan International and more.


David Hill

Key Account Director, Acast

Acast is the worlds leading podcasting business. David joined Acast in October 2019 to open up the Manchester office, looking after the growing demand from media agencies looking for podcast advertising solutions. He has spent the last 25 years in digital media sales in Manchester, working for major UK media organisations such as Telegraph, ITV and most recently Spotify.


Mark Kelly

Agency Growth Coach

Mark is an agency veteran and started his consultancy in 2012 to initially help creative and marketing agencies with their digital marketing offer (from strategy to project governance). This expanded a year later to cover developing their proposition, market profile, teams, services, business pipeline and profitable processes.


Sean Keyes

Manchester and the North Lead, Twitter

Sean Keyes heads up the TwitterUK North office in Spinningfields Manchester. He is responsible for both Agency and Client relationships covering Manchester and The North of England. Previous to this he was based in the Twitter Dublin EMEA HQ for over 6 years working across a wide range of clients from leading e-commerce sites, food delivery, Transportation and Media and Publishing.


Damien Markey

Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University

Damien is Senior Lecturer with specialisms in Visual Effects and Computer Animation. Damien has designed and written several degree courses including Special / Visual Effects as well as undertaking Course Leadership duties. He has also produced and delivered bespoke courses in Media Production and Visual Effects at European Universities.


Chris Mawdsley

Media Portfolio Lead, BBC

Chris began his media planning career in the lovely surroundings of McCanns in Prestbury in 1997 before moving to Feather Brooksbank just before the millennium bug ruined all our lives. A move to MediaVest Manchester 8 years later was followed by a move to MediaCity and the BBC in 2011. Now Head of Media Strategy, Chris is responsible for the planning and execution of a huge variety of campaigns for the Corporation, from dramas such Bodyguard and Doctor Who, perennial entertainment blockbusters such as the Apprentice and younger priorities such as Fleabag and This Country.


Jeff McCarthy

Senior Lecturer - Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University

5xs award-winning blogger with runeatrepeat.co.uk as well as a prize-winning author, Jeff is a board member of the MPA and sits on the DMA North Council Talent Hub. His key focus is driving student employability, nurturing and retaining talent, particularly in the digital and creative sector. His work as a digital marketing specialist since 1996 has seen him work with major retailers, online brands, charities and over 35 football clubs.


Steve Miller

Membership and Commercial Director, PRCA

Alongside managing the membership and business services team at the PRCA, Steve oversees membership recruitment and retention. He also manages the PRCA Partnership Programme.


Pavan Riyat-Ward

Managing Director, We are the Allies

Pavan started her career in advertising agencies and then moved client side, working in Head of Marketing roles at Morrisons, Poundland and Coop.

Pavan has now returned to her agency roots as MD and founder of We are The Allies, a network of over 250 creative freelancers, covering every creative discipline - helping Agencies and Production companies find the best freelance talent for their creative brief.


Elizabeth Turnbull (Vic)

Founder MIC Media & Pods Up North

Vic is the founder of British Podcast Award nominated podcast production and training company MIC Media and has her own podcast called Tourist, a travel podcast with comedians. She runs MICS’s Podcast Club, regular meetups for the podcaster community and has over 300 members.

Vic has recently produced a podcast for Bauer media and is the co-founder and Director of Pods Up North, a conference for podcasters. She is a director of the independent music website, Silent Radio.


Rob Sethna

Digital Creative & Tech Sectors Lead, GC Business Growth Hub

Rob has been at the heart of sector industries all his professional career having lived and breathed creative direction in advertising and design for over 30 years. Also a multiple SME owner over that period, he now spends his time as a Digital, Creative and Tech Growth Leader at GC Business Growth Hub, helping businesses in the sector thrive using his extensive agency and commercial experience.


Dan Sodergren

Digital marketing and technology media expert

Ex marketing agency owner, serial tech startup co-founder, Dan Sodergren is a digital marketing / technology specialist who also works on TV and radio as a media expert. He is a futurist who trains companies in how the future of marketing, work and technology will change the world.


Nikki West

Client Services & Strategy Director, Newsworks

Niki joined Newsworks in May 2017 to oversee client services and strategy planning. Her core remit is to forge ever stronger relationships between Newsworks, advertisers and the agency community. Before Newsworks, Niki was a managing partner at Havas Media.





Please email cindy@mpa.org.uk with any questions. Good luck!

The MPA Team

#MPAAwards21 @MPAWeAreYou