Mentoring Biographies Feb-Mar 2021

Our virtual mentoring sessions available throughout February and March 2021 are with Dean Benson and Tania Cooper.  You can learn more about Dean and Tania below.


Tania Cooper MBE, Managing Director of Steel Benders (UK)

Tania Cooper MBE is the Managing Director of Steel Benders UK Ltd providing steel forming and profiling services.  SB is a family owned business started in 2002 by Tania and her husband Malcolm.  Based in Teesside and servicing offshore, architectural design, renewable energy and manufacturing industries. 

Tania joined Alexander Technologies Europe in 1990 as Finance Manager and swiftly grew in the role to become the CEO.  Alexander design and manufacture battery and charges for portable power applications.  With sites in Mexico, USA, Malaysia and UK, supplying OEM customers globally.  Tania has extensive experience and knowledge in global logistics, manufacturing operations, finance, procurement and CEM management, regulatory design management and ISO.  Tania has participated and lead in several USA acquisitions and mergers and provided change management and corporate turnaround roles specializing is distressed acquisitions.

Tania won the North East Exporter of the Year Award (Overall Winner) in addition to being awarded an MBE for Services to International Trade and Business in the North East. 

Previously Chair of the NE Regional International Trade Office for UK Trade and Investment, and Chair East Durham Business Services.

Currently member of Business Durham Advisory Board supporting business development and job creation in County Durham.  Chair of the County Durham Regional Growth Fund and a Trustee for the NE STEM Foundation a charity which supports STEM education for children in the North East. 


Dean Benson, CEO of Visualsoft   ***FULLY BOOKED***

A passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and pushing the boundaries of what people think is possible led Dean Benson to establish multi-award-winning Visualsoft in 1998.

Headquartered in Stockton-on-Tees, and with additional offices in Newcastle, Manchester and Dubai, Visualsoft employs more than 300 people and offers a complete eCommerce ecosystem focused on growing retailers online.

Committed to their client’s success, Visualsoft has one polarising objective: ‘to empower retailers to give their customers the ultimate online shopping experience’.

It’s from this that Dean has been able to create a culture of exploration, excellence, and collaboration, where staff are empowered to make their own decisions and grow into their roles, with initiates such as the introduction of unlimited holidays and flexitime to attract and retain the best talent. 

As the leading eCommerce agency in the region, Dean ensures Visualsoft paves the way for tech in the North East, not only by being a responsible business but by investing in the next generation of tech entrepreneurs through his work with Northern Stable.

His vital work at Northern Stable, combined with his role as Governor for Teesside University, and as a board member for the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, perfectly demonstrates Dean’s passion for business in the region.