Associates

Meet our Associate Team

Meet our support team of specialists offering businesses we work with tailored bespoke advice and guidance on their expert subjects.

Teresa Peters

Accredited Senior practitioner Personal Performance and Team Coach, Director Accelerator Coaching Ltd.

An empathic professional – highly experienced in coaching-based neurosciences using evidenced based solutions – Teresa Peters is an encouraging, gregarious, compassionate and inspiring thinking partner to CEO’s, NHS board level Execs and Entrepreneurs. She draws on 27 years of enabling others, managing sales teams, scaling up a business to publish 33 recipe books and mentors coaches for the EMCC.

Teresa applies her talent for ideation and commercial experience to empower clients to find their way forward, access their strengths and talents, focus with clarity, and eliminate limiting beliefs using her positive intelligence and emotional practitioner accreditations. She is training for the Ibiza marathon, a columnist for Luxe Magazine and facilitates a sober curious group. She loves being a wife and mum to her twin 16 year olds and a 22 year old and seeking adventure in her yellow branded campervan.

Jon Dudgeon

CoFounder and CEO at Blu Sky Chartered Accountants

Jon is well-versed in supporting ambitious, busy entrepreneurs with all of the complexities that come with scaling a business. He takes a forward-looking approach and sees the importance of clear strategy, strong leadership, shared values and culture when it comes to business success.

As co-founder and CEO of multi award-winning accountancy practice, Blu Sky, Jon has spent the last 15 years successfully supporting business owners to achieve their goals. In his own business, he’s played a pivotal role in expanding into new markets and facilitating digital transformation. More recently, Jon has championed Blu Sky’s drive to become more sustainable and use business as a force for good by applying for B Corp certification.

With a career spanning 25+ years, Jon brings a wealth of experience and a strategic mindset to the table. His areas of expertise include navigating and preparing for investment, strategic planning and insights, organisational development, growth strategy, optimising operations and building high performing teams

Karen Pearson

Lecturer in Enterprise and Innovation

Karen Pearson is an experienced SME business coach and mentor with 15+ years of experience. Karen specialises in accounting and finance, business startup planning and business growth. Born in Middlesbrough, Karen studied at Teesside University gaining a first class BA Hons and an MSc in accounting and finance.

During her career she has worked in several commercial roles, primarily in accounting functions, gaining knowledge of different industries and in higher education. Her higher education roles have been both academic and in enterprise, in the UK and the Netherlands. She also has experience of running her own business as an accountant and small business coach.

Most recently she has been working at Teesside University International Business School, employed as a lecturer in enterprise and innovation. She is also studying her Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) researching the impact of Levelling Up on Tees Valley SMEs.

Damian Baetens

Business Support Director at Transmit Startups, Smarta and Generic AI

Damian is a creative entrepreneur and business support professional with over 25 years’ experience helping SMEs to start up and thrive. He has expertise in all areas of business development, from feasibility studies and market research, to commercial development and strategy to diversify and scale up. He has worked extensively in the creative and digital sectors.

He can help you spot commercial opportunities, explore new revenue streams and stay ahead of the competition. Also, research and development to validate your ideas for bringing new products and services to market.

Damian is an accredited coach through the Association for Coaching and can support leaders and middle managers through company growing pains, on a one to one basis. He has also been trained to support entrepreneurs and business owners with ADHD and has knowledge of neurodiversity at work.

Lysa Morrison MBA

Master Coach, Trainer & Consultant

Lysa has worked as a coach, facilitator, trainer or management consultant within every industry imaginable. She understands that business is people, so she combines her knowledge and experience of business with psychology to help bring out the best in people and organisations.

She has an MBA, a certification in Entrepreneurship from Harvard, and has lectured in Newcastle University Business School. she has owned 7 businesses, mentored start-ups, spoken at conferences across Europe including Europe’s biggest ever project management conference to over 1000 people as well as deliver an impromptu TEDx talk. She has worked with TEDx Newcastle, Manchester & Thinking Digital and was one of the UKs youngest female PCT non-execs. She has written strategies for government, developed service models adopted by councils, is an NLP Master Practitioner & certified Trainer and has worked with celebrities.

Richard Myers

Commercial Director at Transmit Startups, Smarta and Generic AI

A self-taught entrepreneur of 30+ years, Richard specialises in growth strategy including customer acquisition, product development and innovation. He started off working in the music industry, promoting live events then running a record label, before starting a web development company in the late 90s. He then moved into consulting and mentoring, mainly helping entrepreneurs operating in the digital and creative industries. After a temporary contract as Innovation Manager at Newcastle Science City, Richard founded Transmit Startups and Smarta (with Ian and Damian) and then invested in Generic AI.

Richard loves problem solving, ideas generation and opportunity spotting. He enjoys working with innovative and disruptive models, high-growth potential companies and emerging technologies, particularly in Artificial Intelligence.

Kathryn Wharton

Marketing Consultant, KLW Marketing

With over 15 years marketing and communications experience in the north east, Kathryn has worked in public sector museums, the private technology industry and has most recently set up her own marketing consultancy. From digital marketing to event management and paid media, she can help determine which is the best strategy to use to help your business grow and scale.

As co-founder of the Women in Tech North East community, Newcastle University Business School mentor and workshop facilitator, she is passionate about supporting the growth of individuals in the north east business community.

Ian Straker

Operations Director at Transmit Startups, Smarta and Generic AI

An accomplished Operations Director with a successful track record in driving operational efficiency, organisational excellence and leading transformative change. His expertise lies in optimising processes, streamlining operations, and implementing innovative solutions that enhance productivity and profitability.

He excels at executing projects, with experience in the areas of finance, IT and systems, data, service delivery, and compliance. He also has a strong focus on culture and continuous improvement, inspiring high performing teams with individual contributors who are engaged, empowered, and able to thrive.

Rachel Chambers

Consultant Specialising in Business Growth

With over 15 years’ experience in senior positions, predominantly in the energy, transport and engineering sectors, working nationally and globally. Rachel has also worked in and with large corporates, SMEs, Academia, and Research and technology organisations as well as with multiple government bodies and she has also operated in and set up her own business.

Rachel has spent the last 8 years supporting start up’s and SMEs, and was also the driving force behind the creation of two major projects, building innovation centres in the North East; the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CESAM) and the Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centre (DER-IC), working with industry to grow manufacturing capability, capacity and competitiveness.

Rachel now uses her energy, drive and experience to support organisations, across many sectors, helping companies in optimising their business, maximizing profitability, reducing costs, building strategic business plans across commercial and operations as well as supporting companies to access funding, whether that is through government bodies or private investment.

Arlen Pettitt

Policy, Public Affairs and Communications Consultant

Arlen is a writer and communications consultant, and specialises in helping organisations interact with policymakers. He has worked in policy, communications and public affairs roles for more than 15 years, working as a consultant with local government, financial services and higher education sectors. He spent six years with the North East England Chamber of Commerce, campaigning on behalf of the region’s business community and leading on research and insights work.

Arlen now supports North East organisations with policy impact and engagement as an independent consultant, he’s provided support to academics including at Durham, Northumbria and Manchester Metropolitan Universities, and his clients have included the North East LEP, Northumbrian Water, Karbon Homes and Generator North East. He is a regular contributor to online editorial platform Pattern, and the author of the weekly Wor Room newsletter on policy issues in the region.

Michael Clark

Head of Emergency Preparedness, Resilience & Response, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals

Michael is a resilience professional with over 14 years experience as a trainer, facilitator, specialist consultant, strategic and operational leader. Currently based in the acute health sector Michael leads on emergency planning for one the largest healthcare providers in the UK, an organisation he also managed through the COVID pandemic.

Michael graduated with an MRes with distinction in Crisis Management from Loughborough University Business School before moving to Ghana to work in the charitable sector. In Ghana, Michael led on the delivery of sustainable development and disaster risk reduction projects and grew his passion for community resilience and climate change adaptation. Since returning to the UK, Michael’s has designed and delivered immersive simulation exercises used by Governments and Critical National Infrastructure providers in the UK and across the world to validate their emergency plans. He now uses this skill to support organisations to think differently about the challenges they face as a business by taking leaders out of their comfort zone and stress testing plans.

Michael is an expert in the end-to-end delivery of resilience frameworks and supports organisations in developing the plans and governance processes required to embed good practice and ensure continual learning and improvement across the business.

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