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Rachel Woodward has been appointed as Mobile Mini's first ever female driver.
Rebecca Wayman

This week's North East appointments

Rachel Woodward, Mobile Mini

Mobile Mini has appointed its first female HGV driver.

The firm, which has 15 branches across the UK and its headquarters in Stockton, has taken on a female driver to deliver its units - one of only 3,000 in the UK.

Following her appointment by Mobile Mini, Rachel Woodward, 24, was able to develop her driver skills further, receiving professional training based on carrying out the lifting operations required when delivering units from a lorry mounted loader crane vehicle.

She said: “I’d not planned on becoming a driver for a living, but I love the freedom of getting out and meeting people.

“I knew I could never have a job where I was in an office all day, and I don’t like being tied to one place, so this is the ideal job for me.”

Rachel delivers storage container and site accommodation units from Mobile Mini’s East Midlands branch around the region.

Launa Cowan, Pod Newcastle

North East architects, Pod Newcastle has appointed two new members to its team.

Launa Cowan, 26, has joined the Toffee Factory-based practice as a newly qualified architect, while Matthew Turnbull, 25, comes in as a Part II architectural assistant.

The move comes on the back of several large-scale projects such as the Callerton Park residential development, enabling the firm to ensure the resources and expertise are in place as it develops further in the next 12 months.

A graduate of Newcastle University, Launa brings creative experience in bespoke residential design and project management. She will be working closely with the firm’s strategic urban design team across a diverse portfolio of regional projects and clients.

Matthew re-joins after completing his Part I qualification in practice with Pod.

Director, Adam Lee, said: “We are committed to hiring the very best people to support our growth and ambitions, so it’s fantastic to have Matthew and Launa on board. 

“They’re critical additions to the team, as we gear up for a very exiting 2019 whilst continuing to provide innovative design and clients with the highest standards of service.”

David Samper, Newcastle Building Society

Newcastle Building Society has welcomed David Samper as chief financial officer.

An accomplished strategic leader with over 20 years of experience as a chartered accountant, David has held senior roles across a number of multinational organisations in the UK and abroad, including: RBS; Ulster Bank, and, recently, Sainsbury’s Bank as its interim chief financial officer.

He has led complex acquisitions and driven transformational change, whilst consistently delivering core commercial outperformance.

David, who will lead an experienced team in Newcastle, with responsibility for end-to-end finance, treasury and legal departments, said: “I am delighted to have joined Newcastle Building Society at such an exciting time as we shape the next strategic chapter of this successful growing business.

“I have a real passion for placing customers at the heart of all decisions and where better to continue this than at the North East’s biggest building society which is committed to its communities, its branch network and to continuing its digital evolution.”

Chris Milnes, BMC Recruitment Group

North East consultancy, BMC Recruitment Group has started the new year with a new MD and plans for national growth.

Chris Milnes, 35, joins the Newcastle-based recruitment consultancy from global insurance broker Marsh, where he was head of the Newcastle and Carlisle offices.

During the next 12 months he aims to strengthen and broaden client relationships to boost revenue at the recruitment firm, while increasing his team from 14 to up to 24 and expanding into Scotland and London.

With more than a decade’s experience in the insurance sector, Chris plans to refocus BMC in several areas - developing an insurance and risk management desk, growing the tech team while also boosting resources in finance, sales and marketing, and executive search.

He said: “There is a real opportunity to develop a strong insurance and risk team that will serve existing and new clients in the North East and Carlisle area, [and] also nationally.

“We’re keen to operate differently to many of the larger, traditional sales-led recruitment firms. By being genuine consultants we aim to become a trusted partner and establish long-term relationships with clients.

“The current team have built some strong relationships and I hope we can take that to the next level.”

Graeme Armstrong, James Tague, Ashley Walton and Lyndsey Sirmond, Lookers

Lookers, the new name for Jennings, has announced a number of appointments at its Ford and Kia service department in Washington.

Graeme Armstrong, James Tague, Ashley Walton and Lyndsey Sirmond, are the latest recruits to join the aftersales department at the company’s Parsons Road dealership.

June Appleyard, service manager at Washington, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the new recruits to the team, all of whom will play a pivotal role in the continued success of the department.”

Motor vehicle technicians, Graeme, 57, from Bensham, and James, 22, from Whickham, will be responsible for servicing and maintaining customers’ cars, while Ashley, 40, from Peterlee, and Lyndsay Sirmond, 38, from Washington, have taken on customer facing roles as service advisors.

Richard Knight, HOK

Global sports and entertainment architect, HOK has appointed Richard Knight as senior sports consultant working from its London office.

Knight is an industry expert on operating, developing and planning for major sports and entertainment venues and events globally, whose experience also includes overseeing the £200m transformation of Twickenham Stadium.

John Rhodes, HOK’s director of sport, recreation and entertainment, explained: “We are delighted to welcome Richard to the HOK team.

“We are constantly looking at new ways to innovate and his wide expertise and in-depth understanding of operations and venue commerciality sitting directly within the design team will further strengthen our ability to serve our clients’ needs and grow the market.”

Knight added: “I have a long-standing passion to ensure that architects and operators work seamlessly in planning, designing and delivering venues and I am delighted to be joining HOK which remains one of the world’s most innovative and progressive sports and entertainment architects.

“Combining our strengths will ensure that our clients benefit from venues that are not only inspiring but are operationally efficient and commercially robust.”

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