This week’s North East appointments
Start your week with a look at the latest job moves and promotions from across the region.
Waltons Clark Whitehill
Tees Valley chartered accountants Waltons Clark Whitehill has expanded its team with a series of new appointments and promotions.
Due to the firm’s continued growth and to ensure it maintains its high quality services to clients Louise Baker has been promoted to Business Services Manager and Chris Hunter to Business Services Supervisor.
Daniel Hall, an AAT qualified business accountant has been appointed as a Business Services Senior, which will see him working with a portfolio of larger business clients..
Waltons Clark Whitehill is also expanding its tax team with the appointment of Paul Buckley as a Tax Supervisor. Paul has recently qualified as a Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA). The firm is currently recruiting three apprentices.
In addition to the new appointments, George Hardey, who is Head of Tax at the Hartlepool-based firm, has been appointed as one of the company’s directors.
Heather O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Waltons Clark Whitehill, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our teams across the firm. Our client list is continually increasing, so it is important for us to further develop the services we offer and grow as a business.
“It is always fulfilling to see hard-working members of staff progress within the company, gaining greater responsibility and a chance to develop new skills. Our new recruits, Paul and Daniel, stood out during the application process and will be great assets to the firm.”
Chris Robson, Houghton International
Newcastle-based Houghton International has promoted Chris Robson to Sales and Marketing Director. Chris joins the board of directors following 10 years at the company in various roles and brings a wealth of experience in both engineering and sales.
Starting out as a fitter in the electro mechanical engineering company’s services division, Chris went on to manage the department before joining the sales team in 2014. Most recently he has been responsible for sales in the Rail services division of the company, delivering growth of 20% and a number of multi million pound projects.
Michael Mitten, CEO of Houghton International, commented: “Chris has been an integral part of the business for several years. Since taking on the Rail sales role Chris has consistently delivered results and has earned the respect of our customers.
“I’m confident Chris will drive the sales team forward and support Houghton International’s continued growth.”
Richard Lowery and Geoff Brown, The Owen Pugh Group
North East civil engineering firm The Owen Pugh Group has bolstered its finance team with the appointment of a new Finance Director and a new Finance Manager.
Richard Lowery, who boasts a 28 year career in finance, steps into the director role having undertaken an interim position for the North Tyneside headquartered firm for the past five months.
With a wealth of experience in a contracting environment in both oil and gas and construction, Richard worked most recently with companies including Soil Machine Dynamics, Cussins Homes and O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions.
Richard will play a key role in taking forward Owen Pugh, which celebrates 70 years in business this year, into its next stage of growth by working with the board on the development of business strategy, monitoring and forecasting business performance, developing new systems and procedures and managing relationships with key funders.
Commenting on the appointment, he said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to the permanent FD role at what is a very exciting time for Owen Pugh. It is undergoing significant structural changes that will ensure it is well-placed to capitalise on a wealth of opportunities across its full scope of civil engineering services.”
Richard joins Geoff Brown, who recently joined the company as the Finance Manager for Owen Pugh Services, and Michelle Pope who assumed the role of Finance Manager for the Contracting Businesses a year ago.
Geoff has over 35 years’ experience in finance from a diverse range of organisations including advanced manufacturing, retail, travel, local authorities and the care sector. Previous employers include South Tyneside Council, TRW Automotive and Executive Care.
Geoff commented: “I am delighted to be working with Owen Pugh Group and I look forward to applying the benefit of the experiences I have gained elsewhere throughout my career.
“A key objective for me will be to lead and develop my team using a continuous improvement methodology which will allow us to provide the highest level of support to our business operations.”
Mark Platten and Gareth Watson, Kavli UK
Kavli UK, the company which owns Primula Cheese, pate maker Castle MacLellan Foods and St Helen’s Farm goat milk products, has expanded its central marketing team at its UK headquarters in Gateshead.
Mark Platten has joined the Kavli UK team as Assistant Consumer Marketing Manager with a specific remit to follow customer behaviours and trends to influence future product innovation and subsequent marketing strategy.
Mark joins the Kavli marketing team alongside another relatively new face, Marketing Assistant Gareth Watson. Originally from Newcastle, Gareth joined the team straight from Falmouth University initially as an intern which was upgraded to a permanent contract in January of this year.
The pair work alongside Consumer Marketing Manager Catherine Hopper and Head of Marketing, Lisa Thornton.
Lisa commented: “The way we market to customers is changing and as a business we’re constantly evolving to meet the needs of our consumers. Mark and Gareth join our central marketing team in new roles which have been created to enable us to both listen to what our consumer wants and then deliver them in visually attractive packages.
“2016 will be an exciting time for the Kavli brand portfolio and I’m looking forward to our team being central to of the company’s future success.”
Chris Butt, Jennings Motor Group
A career change has paid off for a member of sales staff at Jennings SEAT, part of the multi-award winning Jennings Motor Group, after a recent promotion to deputy business manager.
26-year-old, Chris Butt, a Sport Management graduate from Teesside University, was recruited as a sales executive at the Cargo Fleet Lane branch four years ago after working as a fitness instructor for a local gym.
Chris said; “I’ve always been keen to work in car sales and learn about the motor industry, so when the opportunity arose at the Middlesbrough dealership, I jumped at the chance.”
There’s been no looking back for Chris who is delighted to be taking a step up the career ladder.
Chris added; “This is a great opportunity for me to learn a completely new side of the business.
The recent promotion will see Chris assisting sales controller/business manager, Mike Scurr, with all aspects of finance for customers, as well as carrying out his existing role as a new and used car sales executive.
Clint Milnes, Winn Solicitors
Winn Solicitors has strengthened its senior team with the addition of Clint Milnes, from Monkseaton, as Head of Change Management. The appointment comes as the firm looks to embark upon the next phase in its development having secured an eight-figure refinancing arrangement with NatWest as part of its business growth strategy.
Mr Milnes brings more than 15 years experience as a practising solicitor to the newly created role and was previously head of litigation at Browell Smith & Co where he was also responsible for all aspects of ICT throughout the organisation.
Winn Solicitors specialises in non-fault road traffic accident, personal injury and accident at work claims and recently announced plans that will see the firm implement a landmark acquisition strategy and seek opportunities for expansion into new geographic territories and areas of law.
Clint said: “Winn Solicitors is one of the most progressive law firms in the North East and I am delighted to be joining at such a key stage in its development.
“My knowledge and expertise in creating case management systems and reporting, implementing and writing procedures for all aspects of litigation coupled with my experience as a practising solicitor and department head will enable me to marry together legal and ICT processes to further improve our already extremely effective approach and processes.”
Rachel McDermott, Crowne Plaza Newcastle
Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter hotel has strengthened its sales and marketing team, appointing Rachel McDermott as business development manager.
Rachel, 28, from Darras Hall in Ponteland, will be responsible for the continuing success of the hotel’s independent brands Hawthorns brasserie, The GIN Bar and Mineral House spa, through a range of events, promotions and new business initiatives.
A familiar face across the region’s business community, Rachel joined Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter after spending nine years at the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, working her way up from an admin position to events manager.
Rachel said: “I’m delighted to be joining the team at such an exciting time. I’ve always been passionate about the North East and that fits perfectly with the ethos of the hotel – from its approach to using local suppliers to hiring local musicians to entertain bar and restaurant guests; it’s all about local and I love that.”
Ryan Bannon, Mincoffs
Commercial Property lawyer Ryan Bannon has been promoted from a fixed share partner to equity partner at Newcastle-based Mincoffs Solicitors.
His appointment took effect from April 1st 2016 and follows continued expansion of the business.
Ryan, a Cambridge University graduate from South Shields, trained in the City of London, qualifying in 1997. He then returned to the North East where he held leading positions with two prominent North East law firms before joining Mincoffs Solicitors in 2013.
Ryan said: “I am delighted to become an equity partner. What attracted me to Mincoffs Solicitors when I joined in 2013 was that the firm is able to offer an extremely high standard of legal support with an excellent variety of clients and work.
“The firm possesses extremely talented teams who work closely together in an exciting environment providing the perfect balance between the challenges of the role and the autonomy required at this level. My objective is to further raise the profile of both the commercial property department and the firm.”
Mark Brooks, Silver Bullet Marketing
Newcastle-based Silver Bullet Marketing has appointed Mark Brooks as Account Manager.
Mark joins the agency from the North East-based Birtley Group having gained a vast amount of marketing experience in the construction and engineering industries from this and previous roles.
A business management graduate from Northumbria University, 23 year old Mark, originally from Hexham but now living in Heaton, has worked with some of the largest builder’s merchants and engineering groups in the UK, planning and implementing shared marketing strategies to increase sales and brand awareness of a variety of products.
Mark said: “I was obviously very pleased to be offered the role at Silver Bullet and work in such a vibrant agency, with an established friendly team who are so experienced in all aspects of marketing.
“I’m hoping to bring my experience over from the client side of marketing in order to make sure that I can offer the best service possible to our clients. What makes the role even more exciting is the wide range of sectors our clients work in, everything from Chemical Engineering to Education.”
Sarah Cockerill and Victoria Burton, Ken Wilson & Associates
A Tyneside recruitment specialist has strengthened its team with the addition of two key appointments.
Sarah Cockerill has joined Ken Wilson & Associates (KWA) as a recruitment consultant. Previously she worked as a sales consultant for Santander before moving into recruitment with Adecco Group.
In her new role at KWA she will be responsible for sourcing workers for permanent roles across a variety of sectors, including IT, customer service, finance, and procurement.
Meanwhile Victoria Burton has joined KWA’s parent company, Direct Recruitment, as a recruitment resourcer. In her new role she will source workers for vacancies, conduct interviews, obtain references and carry out a range of administration duties.
Previously Victoria worked as a commercial resourcer for another recruitment firm before she moved into customer service at telecommunications giant Orange. She joins Direct Recruitment from insurance broker Call Connection, where she was responsible for managing call enquiries from both insurance brokers and direct clients.
Ken Wilson, chairman of KWA and Direct Recruitment, said: “We’re thrilled to make these two high-quality appointments. Victoria and Sarah will add to the skills of our existing team, which has grown as we’ve won new contracts in the last six months.
“It has been a great start to 2016 for both KWA and Direct Recruitment. We’re proud to be working with some fantastic companies that are creating high-calibre jobs for North East workers.”
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