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All In 2022

Enhancing built environment businesses through inclusion

Welcome to All In 2022, our first conference bringing together people from across the industry, all with different experiences, backgrounds and characteristics, to harness the power of allies in delivering better business outcomes.

To view the 2022 brochure please click here

Decisions made and executed by diverse teams deliver 60% better results and inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time.


Why should you be involved?

• Hear from industry leaders about how the region can embracing inclusive working practices and the role of allies have in delivering behavioural change.

• Identify your organisation as a leader, driving cultural change in the region, nationally and internationally.

• Listen to the experiences of different people employed by the industry, and how their backgrounds have influenced their working lives.

Please click here to learn more about the ‘All In’ conference and to book tickets.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or taking exhibition space for a future event, please contact Leanne Conaway on 07792 690 426 or email leanne@cene.org.uk

2022's Agenda

Registration and Breakfast

Welcome and Introduction

  • Kathryn Gardner, Faithful+Gould and Kate Lloyd, CENE

Making it Personal

  • David Burdus, Burdus Access
  • Meshi Taka, Waterman Aspen
  • David Ridley, RED Engineering
  • Angela Carney, Carney Associates
  • Richard Stelling, Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Laura Chatwin, Arup

Break and Networking

Making a Difference – The Business Case

  • Lee Francis, Chief Exec, RE:GEN Group
  • Nicky Watson, Director, JDDK Architects
  • Kieran Thompson, Head of Talent, Diversity and Inclusion, Cundall

The Power of Allies – Panel discussion

  • Chair – Grace Choi, Director, Grace Choi Architecture
  • Nikunj Upadhyay, Inclusion and Diversity Director, Wates Group
  • Phil Redman, Area Director, Mott McDonald
  • Nusheen Hussain, Executive Director Business Development, Home Group
  • Mark Thompson, Managing Partner, Ryder Architecture
  • Elouise Leonard-Cross, Head of People Strategy and Experience, Northumbrian Water Group

Lunch and Networking

2022's Speakers

Kathryn Gardner

Regional Director, Faithful & Gould

Kathryn Gardner is Regional Director for Faithful+Gould, a world-leading integrated project and programme management consultancy. Kathryn leads the Controls and Assurance service in Teesside.

Kathryn has worked in the construction industry for nearly 30 years, undertaking roles in cost, risk, project and programme management.

Kate Lloyd

Programme Manager, CENE

A Civil Engineer by profession, Kate has worked within the construction industry for over 20 years, starting as a Site Engineer in the North East of England. Following a couple of years teaching at Newcastle University, she worked for CITB in a variety of roles, and initiated the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect in Construction agenda. Kate joined Constructing Excellence North East in 2017 and manages the region’s OneVoice campaign.

David Burdus

Burdus Access

36 years a disability EDI strategist, David specialises in inclusive ‘user-centric’ design, employment, stakeholder engagement and Equality Act compliance working with Ministers, Government Departments, and large corporates. Design projects include Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, Welsh Government’s new Cymru Wales font family digraphs, City of Paris wayfinding strategy & ONE (1.7km Eiffel Tower site) and FCDO King Charles Street Quad.

David presented the C4 ‘Same Difference’ disability programme, sat on DWP’s Disability Confident Sounding Board and was England’s Young Business Achiever 1994.

Meshi Taka

Waterman Aspen

Meshi is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (CEng MICE), the Fairness Inclusion and Respect (FIR) for ICE NE and an Associate Director for Water and Environment at Waterman Aspen.

Meshi also recently made the Northern Power Women 2022 Future List. She is an advocate for better representation of marginalised groups and believes that inclusive dialogue and collaboration is the key to realizing sustainable diversity and inclusivity.

David Ridley

RED Engineering

David Ridley is a Chartered Mechanical Building Services Engineer and works for RED. In 15+ years of practice he has worked on a wide variety of projects, designing services for almost every type of building you can imagine, many of which are around his native North East. He is an advocate for increasing diversity in the built environment and has chaired the Building Equality North East group since its inception in 2019.

Angela Carney

Carney Consultancy

Angela Carney started on construction sites as a day release ONC Civil Engineer Apprentice 32 years ago and after University and working all around the UK advanced into Site Management. She has worked on Civil Engineering and Building projects ranging up to £15M projects, managing all the trades involved in these projects. She now owns and runs her own specialist construction health and safety consultancy and training company, employing 14 people.

Richard Stelling

Sir Robert McAlpine

Richard Stelling is employed by Sir Robert McAlpine and currently work as a Supervisor on the A19 routine operational maintenance contract for National Highways. His current role involves the supervision of various works including – soft estate management, fencing and drainage along with undertaking the annual geotechnical visual monitoring. Over twenty plus years in industry, he has progressed through the ranks from Arborist to management positions, not always in land-based disciplines.

His next challenge is to complete a BEng in Civil Engineering and more importantly try and raise his young child to the best person they can be.

Laura Chatwin


Laura moved to the North East to study Civil and Structural Engineering and joined Arup as a graduate in 2014. She has had the opportunity to work on projects around the world, from metro stations in Riyadh to bridge inspections in Teesside. She currently works on multidisciplinary infrastructure projects, managing and coordinating designs across engineering teams. Laura is determined that all people should be able to find a home in the construction industry, and has spent time volunteering in schools for ICE, working with Arup’s EDI networks and Building Equality.

Lee Francis

Chief Executive, RE:GEN Group

Lee is the Chief Executive Officer for RE:GEN Group following an impressive career in the Construction & Social Housing sectors. Lee’s role is to set the group strategy and drive RE:GEN’s ambitious growth plans forward. His passion for making a real difference and leaving a legacy is what inspires his day-to-day work. This approach has enabled him to become instrumental in some of the biggest ‘place shaping’ and ‘innovation’ seen within the sector. Combined with his warm, friendly and approachable nature, Lee is an inspired leader with a proven track record for keeping his promises and outstanding delivery.

Nicky Watson

Director, JDDK Architects

Nicky Watson is an experienced architect and company Director, co-leading award winning architectural practice, JDDK Architects, working across a wide range of development sectors including housing, human and animal health, heritage, leisure, tourism and education. Since joining JDDK in 1993 Nicky has worked with colleagues to embed a positive and proactive approach to inclusivity within the practice.

Kieran Thompson

Head of Talent, Diversity and Inclusion, Cundall

Appointed as Head of Talent, Diversity, and Inclusion at Cundall in 2019, Kieran is responsible for the delivery of their industry-leading, and award-winning, diversity and inclusion strategy. Kieran is a chartered member of the CIPD, accredited as Neurodiversity Aware®, and is currently studying an MSc in Inequality and Society in his spare time. A prominent D&I thought-leader within the construction sector, Kieran is a tireless and vocal proponent of equality and justice inside and outside the workplace.

Grace Choi

Director, Grace Choi Architecture

Grace is an award winning Architect with over 20 years practice experience. She was awarded the RIAS silver medal before working for several renowned UK practices. Grace Choi Architecture was later formed in reaction to the frustrations of balancing family life, and wanting to make a meaningful difference through architectural practice. The practice works across all sectors with an emphasis on community projects and homes. Grace is the RIBA NE chair elect, following a role as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion champion, kick-starting the Change The Record group and popular J.E.D.I. talks. She is also a visiting reviewer and lecturer at various universities across the UK. A keen advocate for ethical practice, design and equity.

Nikunj Upadhyay

Inclusion and Diversity Director, Wates Group

Nikunj Upadhyay is the Inclusion and Diversity Director at Wates Group, a leading privately-owned Construction, Residential Development, and Property Services business. Nikunj is responsible for the design and delivery of a multi-year strategy to help Wates be an inclusive and diverse business and an employer of choice for talent across all communities. Prior to Wates, Nikunj worked for Accenture, Barclays, HSBC and Saint Gobain in a variety of HR roles contributing to delivery of their human capital strategy towards the achievement of business objectives.

Phil Redman

Area Director, Mott McDonald

Phil Redman is the Area Director for Mott MacDonald in Newcastle. Phil has been part of Mott MacDonald for twenty years and worked in their Cambridge, London, Toronto and Newcastle offices. Whilst Phil has a background in built environment engineering, Phil’s main activity is supporting clients get projects from early inception stages through to delivery. Alongside this, his other role is supporting the eighty or so Mott MacDonald staff in Newcastle who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines, but who come together to deliver fantastic outcomes for our clients.

Nusheen Hussain

Executive Director of Business Development, Home Group

Home Group is one of UK’s largest housing associations and Nusheen is responsible for the Group’s corporate strategy, product development and communications. She has held several senior roles in marketing over the last 20 years, across various industry sectors including publishing, broadcasting, energy, financial services, construction and housing.

Nusheen is an active member of Home Group’s women’s colleague network and also the Executive sponsor for the BAME colleague network – championing equality diversity and inclusion across the organisation. Nusheen represents Home Group externally on a wide range of diversity matters.

Mark Thompson

Managing Partner, Ryder Architecture

Mark began his career in engineering at British Shipbuilders. Following the decline of the industry, he joined Ryder Architecture in 1988 and went on to study project management and business at Newcastle University before becoming a director of Ryder in 1995. As managing partner Mark has responsibility for the strategic development of Ryder.

Mark is also vice chair of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, board member of North East England FEP and sits on the CBIs North East Regional Council and their National Construction Council.

Dr Elouise Leonard-Cross

Head of People Strategy & Experience, Northumbrian Water

Dr Elouise Leonard-Cross is Head of People Strategy & Experience for Northumbrian Water Group. A ‘curious collaborator’ Elouise thrives on asking and exploring the questions to help organisations be happy and healthy places to work, supporting businesses improve performance, recruit and develop diverse talent and increase employee engagement and wellbeing.

An Occupational Psychologist by trade, Elouise started her career in retail and has worked in HR, Communications & Strategy roles. A Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and Chair of the North East of England Branch, she is passionate about the role that People Professionals play in making organisations human and successful.

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