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The NEAA is led by a strong Executive and Advisory Board, who represent the diverse nature of the automotive industry.



Chairman, NEAA

Until November 30, 2017 Matt Boyle was President and CEO of Sevcon; a Nasdaq listed, Global, North East England Headquartered company which is at the forefront of the global electrification. During Matt’s Presidency Sevcon grew from a $20M industrial business in 1997 to a Company acquired by BorgWarner for $200M in September 2017 which was predominately automotive focused. Matt consults for German, Italian, US, Chinese and UK companies all associated with electrification.

Matt was one of the authors of the Stephenson Challenge. The Challenge, part of OSCF Wave 3, is developing and growing the UK’s supply chain capability in Power Electronics, Machines and Drives across Automotive, Aerospace, Energy, Industrial, Marine, Off Highway and Rail sectors. He’s continued to assist the UKRI team develop the next steps in realising the vision for Driving the Electric Revolution (DER). Matt was, until January 2020, the Interim Challenge Director for DER. Matt is now building a new drives business working in Aerospace, Automotive, Off Highway and Energy sectors. 

Matt is a member of the IET Industrial skills policy group and is the Chair of the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA). Matt was awarded an OBE for services to Engineering and Skills in the 2018 New Year honours list.

Vice Chairman, NEAA

Mike Matthews MBE, Former Europe Operations & Managing Director, Nifco UK

Former Nifco Europe Operations Officer & Managing Director of Nifco UK Mike was brought up on a council estate in Darlington, and has made his way from the shop-floor to the helm of one of the North East’s leading manufacturing businesses. Mike is a hugely respected businessman, something that was recognised when he was named North East Business Executive of the Year by The Journal and Gazette in 2013.

A toolmaker by trade, Mike was appointed to his most recent position of Managing Director at Nifco UK in 2008, making him the only non-Japanese member of Nifco’s international board. He took on European responsibilities in 2012. A position he resigned from in 2019.

Mike remains an active member of the business community. He has worked very closely with SEMTA, the organisation responsible for skills for the future of the UK's most advanced sectors; as well as playing a role in the development of the North East Skills Alliance for Advanced Manufacturing, a collective of champion employers, 12 local authorities, SEMTA, business membership organisations, training providers and the National Apprenticeship Service; he became Vice President of the North East Chamber of Commerce in 2014 and stepped up to his current President role in June 2015. Mike also collaborates and supports many other initiatives from Stockton Borough Council and Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Executive Directors


  • Matt Boyle OBE, Managing Director, Collingwood Solutions & NEAA Chairman
  • Mike Mathews MBE, Independent & NEAA Vice-chair
  • Paul Butler, CEO, NEAA
  • Martin Porton, Operations Director, RTC North & NEAA Company Secretary
  • Stephen Irish, Commercial Director, Hyperdrive Innovations
  • Peter Howe, Executive Chairman, Komatsu UK
  • Ray Tate, Plant Manager, Adient UK

Advisory Board

  • Chris Caygill, Envision
  • Chris Willoughby, Cummins UK
  • Colin Bell, NELEP
  • Colin Herron, Zero Carbon Futures
  • David Brander, SNOP UK
  • David Cann, Novares
  • Gerry Ingleby, Unipres (UK)
  • Glen Pearson, Elring Klinger (GB)
  • Hayley Cheel, Adient
  • Ian Green, Nissan
  • Jim Casey, Nifco
  • John Hickling, Marelli
  • Mandar Garware, Magna Exteriors
  • Matt Kirk, SEWS
  • Paul Blanchard, Komatsu UK
  • Peter Watson, Kasai
  • Phil Wood, Marelli
  • Robin Finley, ZF
  • Ryan Maughan, Avid Technology
  • Stephen O’Brien, Minth Automotive (UK)
  • Tim Jayes, GT Emissions
  • Vicky Mangham, Marelli
  • Wayne Reynoldson, Gestamp
  • Wayne Turnbull, Faltec Europe