Making all the important decisions will be our expert panel of judges who will be reviewing the entries to determine our winners and shortlisted businesses this year.

The judges are looking for quality over quantity so it is imperative businesses provide enough details for the judges to review. Customer testimonials can be included as supporting evidence if some of our entrants have a particularly supportive fan base!

Also the Judges will be looking for our community heroes that make a difference and who make us proud for who we are in the Bay area!

Debbie Butler

Editor - Morecambe Visitor and Lancaster Guardian

Debbie was born in Lancaster and has lived in Lancaster, Morecambe, Overton and Heysham where she currently resides. She began her journalism career as a trainee reporter at The Visitor in Morecambe. In her early 20s, Debbie decided to give the Public Relations world a try and took up a role as press officer for the then North Western Regional Health Authority in Manchester. But it wasn’t long before Debbie missed the buzz of the newsroom and returned to newspapers. She has held various senior roles over the years on both The Visitor and Lancaster Guardian including Production Editor and Content Editor. Debbie’s current role as Editor of The Visitor and Lancaster Guardian involves her overseeing the papers and heading up the digital team responsible for the Lancaster Guardian website. In her spare time, Debbie goes to the gym, loves eating out with family and friends, travelling, reading and long walks with her dog.

Johnathan Noad

Chief Officer Sustainable Growth - Lancaster City Council

Jonathan Noad is currently Chief Officer for Sustainable Growth at Lancaster City Council where he is the Council lead for regeneration, strategic projects, economy, skills, engineering, and museums and arts. Jonathan is currently leading on the delivery of Eden Project Morecambe and the Canal Quarter in Lancaster. Prior to joining Lancaster City Council in late 2022 Jonathan was Shared Director of Planning and Development at South Ribble Council and Chorley Council leading on the Leyland Town Deal and City Deal as well as statutory planning functions and economic development. Jonathan has over 25 years experience in Local Government in a range of authorities in the North West and is a member of both the Royal Town Planning Institute and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He is passionate about place shaping and maximising social value from development.

Natalie Christopher

Managing Director - Lancashire and North West Magazine

Natalie Christopher is the Managing Director at Lancashire and NW Magazine, after working in various roles within the company, she carried out an MBO almost 10 years ago. Natalie is passionate about helping the younger generation find their path and
in lockdown began to help students with work experiences, something that after brushing up the website will be a project that continues, she has also been patron of Aiming Higher Disabled Children's charity for the last 10 years, enjoying many balls and fundraising events during that time. Natalie needs to work on keeping fit instead of eating too much chocolate and hunching over her emails until late.


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