Double economic development award delight for education and business leader

Julie Kapsalis, Principal and CEO of the North East Surrey College of Technology (Nescot) and Chair of the Coast to Capital LEP and Catalyst South, has been named Leader of the Year at the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Annual Awards 2023.

The awards, which were hosted in Birmingham last week following the IED Annual Conference ‘Grow for Good? Reappraising the UK’s Growth Objectives’, recognise achievers in the public and private sector through a series of individual, team and organisational categories.

The Leader of the Year award is for economic development professionals who demonstrate outstanding leadership and management in their role, and who motivate and inspire their team to achieve success through effective leadership.

The nomination for Julie focused on her leadership of Coast to Capital LEP projects leveraging investment and partnerships to realise transformational projects across the region, bringing a range of education providers and large employers together to secure over £15 million of investment to open the new Sussex and Surrey Institute of Technology, and her personal support for a range of organisations in the region.

Julie was also Highly Commended in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Champion of the Year category, which recognises individuals who strive to actively promote, celebrate and raise awareness of EDI, improving under-represented involvement in economic development in their organisation or externally.

After the ceremony, Julie said: “To receive the Leader of the Year award is an incredible honour and one that I share with colleagues at Nescot, Coast to Capital LEP and Catalyst South. As a member and fellow of the IED, to be recognised by my peers is humbling – but it is also reward for the wonderful people and teams I am proud to be part of. I am passionate about the link between education and business, and have a particular interest in promoting and advancing EDI within economic development and further education, so to be recognised for this additionally is both amazing and unexpected.”

IED Director Bev Hurley CBE, who hosted the IED’s 40th anniversary awards evening, said:  “Many congratulations to Julie as the winner of our Leader of the Year award. For 20 years she has worked as a leader in economic development with a passion for social inclusion, skills and enterprise. Her portfolio is significant and she uses her roles as a platform to instigate change. Our judges described this as a very strong entry, clearly demonstrating Julie’s achievements over a sustained period of time.”

IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock added: “The awards dinner was a wonderful evening, following on from a highly successful conference in the day, and both were a fitting celebration of our 40th anniversary as a professional body. Congratulations to all our winners, those who our judging panel determined should be Highly Commended for their nomination, and indeed everyone who was shortlisted and took the opportunity to enter the awards. Thanks to Key Cities for sponsoring the awards evening, and our individual award sponsors for their support.”

The IED is the UK’s leading independent professional body for economic development and regeneration practitioners, supporting them to create stronger communities and sustainable economies.

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