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IED Annual Award 2023 winner: Julie Kapsalis


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, is the winner of the IED’s Leader of the Year award. 

The award recognises 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 sponsored by Key Cities, 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.”