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Jessica Kidd and Ross Colesky, Pro-Ad.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Jessica Kidd and Ross Colesky, Pro-Ad

Promotional merchandise company Pro-Ad has appointed Jessica Kidd as telesales executive and Ross Colesky as marketing executive.

Previously a business account manager, Jess has over 9 years’ experience with business and consumers and over 7 years of sales experience.

Ross is a recent graduate from Northumbria University, with a degree in business with marketing management.

Commercial Director Loren Nardini commented: “We are delighted to have Jess and Ross join the Pro-Ad family and help us continue to provide high levels of service to our existing and future clients.

“We feel both candidates share the company’s ethos and values and we look forward to them growing and developing with us.”

Donna Armstrong, AkzoNobel

Paint manufacturer AkzoNobel has appointed Donna Armstrong as quality manager at its manufacturing unit in Ashington.

Donna spent over six years at pharmaceutical manufacturing firm Almac, where she progressed to the position of senior peptide scientist.

Donna also has a masters degree in forensic and analytical chemistry from The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Donna commented: “I’m delighted to join the team at AkzoNobel. The role appealed to me because it combines my passion for science and my experience in product development, testing and process scale-up.

“It’s been a steep learning curve switching from clinical peptides to decorative paint production but the principles of problem solving, high-quality product development and manufacture are the same.

“My focus is to support the strong team and expertise already present in the quality lab. Everyone has been extremely supportive and I am looking forward to making a significant contribution to the business.”

Jeff Hope, head of manufacturing at AkzoNobel Ashington, added: “We welcome Donna at a very exciting time for the business.

“Her leadership skills and technical expertise will be of great benefit to the quality team.”

Gillian Bell and Robert Murphy, Ascent Homes

Housebuilder Ascent Homes has appointed Gillian Bell as head of sales and marketing and Robert Murphy as senior land manager.

Gillian, who has two decades of experience in the housebuilding industry, was most recently a sales director in another firm.

Commenting on her new role, Gillian said: “Ascent Homes is an excellent local house-builder, with a specification of housing that sits higher than national developers, meaning that we are attracting aspirational buyers who want well designed, quality properties.

My last role, working as sales director, has equipped me with the essential skills to hit the ground running at Ascent Homes and I am looking forward to growing the company and developing the department as we increase in size.“

Robert joins from his previous role as associate director at a consulting engineers, where he provided strategic planning advice to clients and managed planning applications for various developments.

Robert commented: “In my previous role I acted as a planning consultant for Ascent Homes on a number of their schemes. I always enjoyed working with them and developed a strong relationship with members of the Ascent Homes’ team.

“In my new role I will be responsible for identifying new land opportunities, negotiating with landowners, assisting with the progression of current and future planning applications and managing teams of sub-consultants.”

Duncan Bowman, development director, added: “We are delighted to welcome Gillian and Robert to Ascent Homes.

“Both have considerable experience in their fields, and we could not have asked for two better candidates.”

Duncan Warriner, Wilton Engineering

Wilton Engineering has appointed Duncan Warriner as its new commercial manager.

This new role marks a return to Teesside and Wilton Engineering for Duncan, who has spent the past four years as head of operations for Leeds-based J Murphy & Sons Ltd’s specialist businesses, which provide services to the oil & gas, water, renewables and process industries.

Previously, Duncan held the role of proposals director at Wilton Engineering for five years leading the commercial, tendering, sales and business development team.

Duncan began his career on Teesside as a welding engineer and latterly deputy project Manager for Kvaerner spending 10 years with the company working on a range of major offshore structures for customers such as BP, Esso, Marathon Oil and Shell.

After a period as technical sales manager for Doncasters Paralloy, he joined CIRCOR Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd where he spent six years, progressing from general manager to managing director of the company’s pipeline engineering business.

Duncan Warriner said: “Wilton has a tremendous heritage and an exciting future, which I am extremely pleased to be part of.

“I previously enjoyed a successful five years with the company, and now, with the privilege of re-joining the business, I am keen to deliver continued growth in key markets.

Bill Scott, CEO of Wilton Engineering, added: “Wilton is pleased to welcome Duncan Warriner to the senior management team.

“We have known and worked with Duncan for more than 20 years, both as a dear friend and work colleague, and we are very much looking forward to working with him to assist Wilton to meet and exceed customer expectations over the years to come.”

Craig Lambert and Rebecca Dargue, IGNIFI

Healthcare advertising agency IGNIFI has appointed Craig Lambert and Rebecca Dargue in two newly-created roles.

Craig joins the firm as design & production coordinator, while Rebecca comes onboard as health science content writer.

Biomedicine graduate Rebecca joins IGNIFI following the completion of a masters degree in molecular medicine, having completed a stint at content agency Gloss Media.

Craig brings 15 years’ project management, graphic design and print production experience to his new role, where he will focus on quality and agility in managing the many ‘moving parts’ of clients’ integrated marketing campaigns.

IGNIFI managing director, Dave Watson, commented: “2019 provided some significant business wins for us, particularly from Europe, and we’re looking to continue that in 2020 and beyond which means continuing to add to our great team.”

Tom Whitfield, Hay & Kilner

North East law firm Hay & Kilner has appointed commercial litigator Tom Whitfield.

Tom brings more than two decades’ experience to the firm, gained across a range of industry sectors and areas of the law, and was most recently a legal director with fellow city firm DAC Beachcroft.

Tom’s main area of practice has been working on behalf of insurers on negligence cases brought against members of the professional services community, but he also has experience of topics including partnership and shareholder disputes, contract claims, boundary disputes and issues between landlords and tenants.

Tom commented: “Hay & Kilner is a well-respected regional firm and I already knew a number of the staff here, so taking on this new role was an ideal opportunity for the next stage of my career.

“I’m also aiming to use my knowledge and contacts within the insurance sector to increase the range of work that we do in the region that involves insurers, a drive which will be supported by the comprehensive range of legal services that Hay & Kilner offers.

“The whole team has been extremely welcoming and I’m looking forward to developing my role into the new year and beyond.”

Jonathan Waters, managing partner at Hay & Kilner, added: “Tom is a well-known and highly-regarded practitioner who brings with him a wealth of experience, contacts and ideas.

“His appointment further strengthens our very successful commercial litigation team, and we’re extremely pleased to be welcoming him to the firm.”

Alex Wannop, Creative Space Management

Urban regeneration and property management company Creative Space Management has appointed Alex Wannop as regional property director.

In this newly created role, Alex will support the priorities set out in the North East’s regional Economic Plan and wider Local Industrial Strategy, through flexible workspace provision and collaborative ecosystem modelling at The Core and The Lumen.

Outside of the Helix development, Alex will be working closely with teams at the Toffee Factory; aiming to strengthen the impact of this landmark building for creative and digital sectors in Ouseburn Valley.

Alex will also be supporting ongoing projects in Sunderland, where Legal & General recently announced a £100m commitment to back Sunderland City Council’s plans for the regeneration of the former VAUX brewery site.

Alex commented: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Creative Space Management team at a time when the North’s regions are delivering on strong economic and industrial plans; driving those inward and domestic investments in our towns and cities.

“I believe passionately in the growth potential of our northern economy and the critical role the built environment plays in that.

“In my new role as regional property director, I’ll be supporting the teams that manage the buildings where the North’s distinctive proposition is realised, playing our part in high-value job creation and globally significant innovation through business and knowledge-transfer clusters.”

Lee Maher, iamproperty

Estate agent services group iamproperty has appointed Lee Maher as chief revenue officer.

Lee joins from SSE, where he was head of partnerships, and brings with him a range of commercial and operational experience having worked for a range of industries and business sizes.

Lee commented: “I’m very excited to be joining the senior leadership team at iamproperty to drive and support the delivery of the strategic plan as the business moves into its next phase of ambitious growth.

“I believe my background and experience will add real value as we continue to build on iamsold’s success and build out the wider iamproperty service portfolio.”

Ben Ridgway, group managing director at iamproperty, commented: ’As we kick off 2020, I am very confident that not only do we have the right team in place, but also the right strategy to make sure we can continue to serve our partner agents and grow our business, not just for this year but beyond.

“As we further grow our core auction business, iamsold, and introduce more services under our iamproperty master brand we are committed to service excellence and pioneering modern solutions for property professionals.

“Lee’s appointment is pivotal to delivering against this vision.”

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