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PD Ports’ CEO, Frans Calje, has been voted the most inspiring business leader in the Tees Valley by his peers.

The annual poll, which is ran by the team at Tees Business magazine, invites key figures from across the region’s business community to vote for whom they deem to be their most inspiring counterparts.

Now in its seventh year, Frans has been a constant figure in the poll’s top 10 since his appointment as CEO in 2017, continuing to rise up the rankings from 10th to 4th and then 2nd in 2021 before taking this year’s top spot, something Frans describes as “humbling”.

“Honestly, I’m just doing my job!” said Frans. “Of course, I am absolutely humbled that my colleagues have taken the time to vote for me in this poll but I still find it humbling that I’m at number one when there are so many other fantastic leaders across the region.

“For me, I truly believe that this is a team effort and it is testament to all of the hard work from everyone at PD Ports over the last 12 months, and beyond, to engage with the next generation, maintain service excellence for our customers and continue to attract large-scale investments that really are shaping the future of the Tees Valley.

“It is hugely rewarding and I take great pride in the fact that PD Ports continues to receive the recognition that it deserves however it is equally as fantastic to see fellow river users also featuring so highly on the list.

“We have made our ambitions clear and we remain wholly committed to making the River Tees the UK’s most successful port region by 2050. We will continue to do all that we can to support the Government’s levelling up agenda for the north, however collaboration is key and it is encouraging to see that there are so many prominent Teesport figures featuring on this poll.

“This is a huge celebration of the strength of business, and industry, within the Tees Valley and I am just delighted to play a small part in that.”

Bill Scott OBE, CEO at Wilton Engineering and Gary Dawson, Managing Director at AV Dawson, also featured in the top 10, reinforcing the importance of the maritime sector within the Tees Valley.

PD Ports is also the region’s largest private employer, generating 10% of the Tees Valley’s total GVA.

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Award Winning

PD Ports awarded Gold Status from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for its commitment to health and safety excellence for the third consecutive year.

PD Ports - RoSPA Award Winner 2023