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Who was Jon Walker?

Jon Walker was one of the co-founders of the Society for Location Analysis, along with Andy Thompson and Steve Halsall, the directors of GeoBusiness Solutions. Many SLA members will have met Jon, some will have worked with him, at GeoBusiness Solutions, MapInfo, or The Wendover Group.
Jon was very well regarded by all those who came into contact with him; he also played an instrumental role in setting up the SLA.

Jon Walker

RIP Jon Walker…

“It is with great sadness we announce that Jon Walker passed away on the evening of Monday 22nd March 2010. Jon had been fighting cancer for the last 15 months. Throughout that time he showed immense positive mental strength to all around him and this is testament to his attitude to life and his coming to terms with his condition. Jon was a founding member of the SLA when the idea was born in a conversation with Christine Reeves (Tesco) and Mark Teale (CBRE) over 6 years ago. He helped form its ideals, philosophy and was an active participant at the SLA meetings and social gatherings. Former colleagues and friends of Jon have been leaving memories of Jon at www.wendovergroup.blogspot.com.

Please visit the site and leave a message for Jon’s family. Jon is survived by his wife Corrine, his first wife Jill and their three boys William, Sam and Joe. Our thoughts are with them at this time. Missed but never forgotten.”)

Winners of the Jon Walker Award

  • Year 4 – 2013 – Martin Clarke, University of Leeds
  • Year 3 – 2012 – Blair Freebairn of GeoLytix
  • Year 2 – 2011 – Jack Steenstra, ex Santander and Abbey National
  • Year 1 – 2010 – Claire Dickinson of GMAP Consulting

Year 4 – 2013 – Martin Clarke, University of Leeds

Martin Clarke from University of Leeds receiving The Jon Walker Award 2013
Martin Clarke from University of Leeds receiving The Jon Walker Award 2013

Congratulations to Professor Martin Clarke of the University of Leeds who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the SLA Forum in October.

Here he is getting his award from Andy Thompson, Head of Network Planning & Property Insight at Sainsbury’s.

Year 3 – 2012 – Blair Freebairn of GeoLytix

Congratulations to Blair Freebairn who won the Jon Walker Award 2012

Blair Freebair wins the Jon Walker Award 2012
Andy Thompson of Sainsbury’s presents the Jon Walker Award 2012 to Blair Freebairn of GeoLlytix

The judges felt that Blair deserved to win the Jon Walker Award 2012 for his new and innovative product, ‘mille feuille’.

Blair developed this product using open source data to create a unique offering in the market which may allow more companies the insight of a more complex geodemographic analysis tool.

Key merits

  • Innovative use of open data which demonstrates that you can construct a retail model which performs well, using open data, saving cost and without compromising quality
  • Clever use of open source software melded with commercial products to deliver the end user system; something very new and innovative in this field
  • The model was created for a client who is a new entrant to the UK market, with a different grocery proposition. The solution had to be mindful of the specific challenges around market positioning, competitors and customer offer which are all very different to the grocery we currently have in the market

Year 2 – 2011 – Jack Steenstra, ex Santander and Abbey National

Congratulations to Jack Steenstra who was awarded an lifetime achievement award for his dedication and years devoted to site location analysis research and planning. Jack retired in 2011 but continues to stay involved in the industry and still sits on the SLA committee.

Year 1 – 2010 – Claire Dickinson of GMAP Consulting

Congratulations to Claire Dickinson of GMAP Consulting (Callcredit Marketing Group) who has won the first Jon Walker Award for innovation in location analysis, announced at the Future Forum in London on the 19th October 2010. Claire was the manager of the RetailVision generic gravity model; a very powerful application, much praised by Tom Whittington of Savills, who nominated it; this entry won the most points from the judges (the SLA committee, plus Andy Thompson).