Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn.
Rebecca Wayman

This week's North East appointments

Stephen Dunn, Institute of Directors

Gas industry expert Stephen Dunn has been appointed as an ambassador for engineering and construction on the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) newly formed North East (South) branch.

Stephen, who is compliance director for Gateshead-based Commercial Maintenance Services UK Ltd (CMS), lives in the Bishop Auckland area, and is currently working towards achieving Chartered Director status.

He joined the business organisation in 2014 and is one of a number of ambassadors selected to represent and reflect the views of branch members. The role also ensures the IoD reflects local issues in its national policy.

The IoD recently divided the North East branch - one covering the north of the region centred on Tyneside and Wearside, with the North East (South) branch covering the Teesside, Darlington and County Durham area.

Karl Pemberton, managing director of Stockton-based Active Chartered Financial Planners, who is chairman of the North East (South) branch, said: “I’m delighted that Stephen has accepted the role of ambassador and I’m sure he will prove highly effective at representing and championing the views of our members.

“He is hugely respected within his profession at a national level and is also dedicated to supporting his local community.”

Dr Yvonne Gale, Small Business Commissioner’s Office

A North East business investment expert has been chosen to serve on the national advisory board for the Small Business Commissioner’s Office.

Dr Yvonne Gale is now acting as one of three independent advisors who provide leadership support and direction to the Office.

It was set up in 2017 by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to help the UK’s 5.7m small businesses struggling with late payments.

Yvonne, who is chief executive at regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, will serve on the board for the next four years.


Specialist business advisory firm FRP has bolstered its presence in the North East with the appointment of two new members to its Teesside team.

Kelly Mullen has joined FRP’s team as a case administrator, while Shay McDermott has joined as an apprentice trainee insolvency administrator.

Kelly has 13 years of experience in commercial law, and will be responsible for supporting FRP’s corporate and personal insolvency teams based in Teesside.

Shay joins as a graduate of the University of York, and will undertake a two-year apprenticeship programme with the business.

David Willis, a partner at FRP in Teesside, said: “Kelly and Shay’s arrival will bolster our growing team, allowing us to continue to provide excellent advice to our expanding client roster.

“Our Teesside team is here to apply its expertise to firms of all sizes across the North East to ensure that they are able to overcome any hurdles, and to tailor the best possible outcome for all stakeholders when, sadly, closure or liquidation is unavoidable.”

Mark Quigley, Stephen Hunter and Jonathan Eeles, Portland Consulting Engineers

Gateshead-based Portland Consulting Engineers (Portland) is planning for the future and rewarding staff offering a shareholding to two members of staff - Mark Quigley and Stephen Hunter.

At the same time, Jonathan Eeles, a chartered structural engineer, who joined Portland in 2017, has been promoted to associate from senior engineer.

These operational changes come at a time when the consultancy is expecting to break the £1.5m turnover mark, based on the first six months of trading of this financial year.

Managing director and major shareholder, Lee Barr, said: “I am very pleased with our current trading position and incredibly proud of Mark, Stephen and Jonathan’s impressive work ethic and commitment to the company.

“As we continue to grow the business and respond to client demands, we will not lose the focus of Portland’s professional family ethic.”

Thea Heskett-Saddington, Joey Barron and Jordon Suttle, Bloom Procurement Services

Bloom Procurement Services has launched an apprenticeship programme with the appointment of its first three recruits.

17-year-old Thea Heskett-Saddington from Roker in Sunderland, 18-year-old Joey Barron from Durham and 20-year-old Jordon Suttle from Newcastle, will study a CIPS Level 4 Diploma in procurement and supply.

The 24-month course via Darlington College, provides the trio with the opportunity to gain a professional qualification as well as on-the-job training and a career within procurement.

Sarah MacNab, head of social value at Bloom Procurement Services, said: “Given that we are asking suppliers within our procurement model to demonstrate how they are driving social value through the contracts they win, it is important that we, as a company, ensure that social value is a thread that runs throughout all our activities.”

James McMillan, Sintons

James McMillan has been appointed as an associate at Sintons, having moved from another North East law firm where he has built his reputation as a highly regarded specialist in private client work.

James, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and a Dementia Friend, brings additional expertise to Sintons’ team, which was named private client team of the year at the Northern Law Awards 2019.

The addition of James strengthens the fast-growing department even further, with further recruitment planned as the team continues to win new work across the UK.

James said: “Sintons is well known for its private client experience and expertise, alongside its reputation for outstanding client service, and I am delighted to be able to join the team.

“I look forward to working with my new colleagues to deliver the highest levels of legal and service excellence to our clients, building Sintons’ profile and presence in this highly specialist field further still.”

Onyx Health

Newcastle-based healthcare marketing communication specialists Onyx Health has made four new appointments over the last quarter.

The array new additions include account director Caroline Allard, scientific writer Thais De Las Heras Ruiz, content writer Andrew Hair and senior account executive Elle Bell.

Caroline Allard, joins Onyx Health with almost 10 years of experience in the communications industry. Her extensive background has seen her work with multinational and global accounts, including Nissan and Disneyland Paris.

Other new team members include; Thais a PhD scientist who will be putting her medical know-how to good use supporting Onyx Health’s scientific writing. Andrew, a political communicator by trade, with experience of delivering national campaigns.

Elle is a media relations guru with agency and freelance experience, having previously worked for top London agency Cicero.

Managing director Karen Winterhalter said: “This has been a historic year for Onyx Health. We’ve turbocharged our fee income by 45 per cent over the past year but we’re not resting on our laurels, we have ambitious growth plans over the next few years and are putting the right team in place to help us achieve them.

“Our new appointments will make a fabulous addition to our family at Onyx Health. We’ve expanded the depth of expertise to the great work we do.

“Our specialist knowledge is key to driving our success, and our talented new team members will play a pivotal role in making this happen.”

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