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Natalie Sykes

Institute of Directors

Leeds born with a passion for enterprise from the young age of 8 and her first business at the age of 17, Natalie has a wealth of experience in an array of industry sectors accenting upon Royal Chartered Institutes & Membership Bodies, Museums & Historic Venues, Hospitality, Health & Wellbeing, Finance & Wealth Management, Capital Equipment, Automotive, Regeneration, Construction and Real Estate. 


She has been integral to the success of strategic teams delivering healthy profits whilst achieving the highest of industry awards with a series of national & international luxury hospitality groups at senior management and board director level.  Natalie also has an active and committed involvement to the charitable sector.


As a qualified interior architect, over two decades of this has been working across the UK, Europe & Africa with diverse projects for private owners & investors, including the development of vineyards, leading spa & golf resorts, luxury villas, high quality bakeries & cafes, renowned cookery schools, Michelin starred restaurants and the turnaround of exclusive historic hotels, estates and iconic venues such as BAFTA.


Natalie served as a trustee and board director at the renowned Grade II Thackray Medical Museum where she was directly involved in the redesign of the events centre, the retail shop and the retender process for the café.  She also named and styled Café Duke at the prestigious head-quarters of the IoD, 116 Pall Mall, London.


She was the youngest chairman ever appointed to the Groundwork Federation, the regeneration charity where she served for a total of 8 years.  A director & shareholder for an exclusive historic estate in Harrogate, where she holds property and served on the management team for several years, Natalie has also very recently designed and built homes in the Yorkshire Dales, forming part of her own property collection.


Presently, Natalie is the only Regional Director at the Institute of Directors (IoD) who is responsible for two regions, Yorkshire & the North East. She was integral to the role out of IoD Advance to the whole of the North, a powerful new membership platform with is a part of the IoD’s innovation programme.


Embracing lifelong learning for all, she has achieved the prestigious Chartered Director status with the IoD, where she holds a fellowship.  She has been a chairman for the IoD’s Young Directors Forum for Yorkshire; a former judge for the IoD’s regional Director of the Year Awards and also sat on the IoD’s National Membership Committee, a sub- committee to the main IoD Board - whilst serving on which she was implemental in the development of what is now IoD 99, IoD Student and deploying Direct Debit.


As part of her ongoing commitment to the UK’s skills agenda, Natalie served as the Vice-Chairman for the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) Ambassadors for Yorkshire and the Humber, where she was a judge for too.


One of Grant Thornton’s ‘Faces of the Vibrant Economy’ - just one hundred ‘faces’ across the country, this autumn, Natalie was successfully appointed to the Royal Mail Letters Advisory Board and the Royal Armouries Trading & Enterprise Board.