Three successful businessmen with a proven track record across a broad spectrum of industries have joined the board of the Entrepreneurs' Forum.
Brian Jobling, Graham Robb and Alastair Waite will help guide the Forum as it fulfils its mission to provide a dynamic entrepreneurial environment to inspire business leaders and entrepreneurs and create connections and share knowledge leading to growth.
Chairman Nigel Mills said each of the new board members brought unique qualities, experience and knowledge that would support the Forum's renewed vision of making the North East the number one region for entrepreneurship.
They have joined as the Forum marks ten years of supporting entrepreneurs in the region and begins a new era under executive director Nicola Short.
Nigel added: "We are delighted to welcome Brian, Graham and Alastair to the board. They are great ambassadors for the North East and their businesses are outstanding examples of the innovation and talent in this region."
Also joining the Forum is Honorary Member Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management, a leading markets commentator and a keen advocate of the Forum's work.
Justin joins serial entrepreneur Graham Wylie, co-founder of FTSE 100 company Sage, and founder of Technology Services Group (TSG). His most recent ventures are developing Close House Estate into a luxury hotel and golf course, and bringing US fitness system Speedflex to Europe.
Brian Jobling is the CEO of Eutechnyx, one of the world's leading independent video game developers.
Since launching his business as Zeppelin Games Limited in Gateshead in 1987, Brian has built Eutechnyx into a highly respected and successful international business, operating in a competitive global market.
As well as its headquarters in Gateshead, the company has studios in mainland China, Hong Kong and in Charlotte, USA, employing more than 180 people worldwide.
Graham Robb is the senior partner and founder of Darlington-based Recognition Marketing and Public Relations and has been involved in more than 500 PR, media and marketing projects featuring leading national figures in the world of sport, entertainment and politics.
The former radio presenter was Northern press officer to former Prime Minister John Major, William Hague and Michael Howard and, in 2005, assisted in the now Prime Minister, David Cameron's leadership campaign.
Graham was Parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool in 1989-1992 and was chief media spokesman for the successful North East says NO campaign in the 2004 referendum for a North East Assembly.
Alastair Waite is director of Onyx Group, specialists in business continuity and IT and business systems disaster recovery.
Based in Stockton with data centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, and North and South Yorkshire, the group employs 120 people and is one of the fastest growing companies in the UK according to the 2012 Investec Hot 100 list.
Alastair is a qualified accountant and has held many senior board positions in a variety of industries. As CEO of Onyx Group until 2007, he was an influential force in the growth of the company, leading a management buyout in December 2001 and the restructuring of the group in May 2006.
The new members complete a board of 14 entrepreneurs who include vice-chair and co-founder Lorna Moran, co-founder Sir Peter Vardy and former chairmen Tom Maxfield and Paul Walker.