Ivan Higgs, Avant Homes
Chloe Shakesby

This week's North East appointments

Ivan Higgs, Avant Homes

Sunderland-based housebuilder Avant Homes has announced the appointment of Ivan Higgs to the role of regional finance director.

With more than 15 years’ experience in accounting across the house building industry, Ivan joins Avant Homes to lead the finance team in the North East.

Ivan will be responsible for the company’s financial reporting, controls, operational analysis and risk management.

Commenting on his appointment, Ivan said: “It’s essential to work in a business where you genuinely enjoy what you do and believe in the product offered, and I have found that with Avant Homes.

“As finance director my focus will be on utilising my breadth of experience to add value to the businesses operations during what is an exciting time of growth and supporting the region with its expansion goals.”

Speaking about Ivan’s appointment, Avant Homes North East regional director, Jennifer Tupman, said: “With Ivan’s experience and passion for the housebuilding industry he is well-placed for the challenge of joining a fast-paced business.

“As the new North East regional finance director, Ivan will be key in analysing the business’ financial position in relation to our ambitious growth objectives and driving Avant towards further success.”

Alex Gandhi, Onyx

Newcastle based healthcare marketing communications agency Onyx Health have welcomed back Alex Gandhi in the role of account director as part of plans to steer the agency through the COVID-19 crisis and expand the business over the coming year.

Alex re-joins the team from international healthcare communication agency Open Health, where he served as their senior account manager, having previously worked for Onyx Health as an account manager.

He has years of medical communications experience under his belt with global agencies such as Hanover Communications and Racepoint Global, working on a variety of public affairs, MedTech and healthcare-based businesses.

Commenting on his return to the agency, Alex said: “It’s great to be back! I thoroughly enjoyed my previous time with Onyx Health, and I’m thrilled to be back as part of the senior management team overseeing the strategic direction of client accounts.

“The agency’s come a long way in the short time I’ve been away.

“It’s become firmly embedded in the North East and national healthcare communications landscape and has almost doubled in size”.

Managing director Karen Winterhalter added: “It feels just like old times having Alex back in the office.

“Alex’s experience of working on national and international accounts will play a pivotal role in driving the business forward over the coming year.

“This is particularly important to help our clients navigate their way through the global COVID-19 public health crisis.

“We’re positive about the future and will be focusing using our healthcare communications expertise to make a difference during these uncertain times.

Joe Middlemas and Paul Winham, Floorscope

Prudhoe based household and commercial carpet and flooring specialists, Floorscope, is expanding its operations with two new appointments.

Experienced flooring expert, Joe Middlemas has been promoted to store manager, covering Floorscopes’ operations in Northumberland, and flooring sales specialist, Paul Winham, has been appointed to the new role of sales executive, at its new retail outlet on Gosforth’s high street.

Phil Nordmann, managing director, Floorscope, said: “We are delighted to announce these two key new appointments.

“Joe has over 35 years’ experience in the flooring market, and has a wealth of experience in the flooring sector, and is already invaluable to our business.

“In his new role he will pass on his vast knowledge and expertise to our younger members of our team as well as improve our customer service and footprint across Northumberland.

“Paul will be an outstanding asset to our new retail outlet in Gosforth, having formerly worked with Barker and Stonehouse for 19 years, gaining substantial knowledge and experience at the top end of the flooring market.

“His excellent track record, customer base, friendly customer service will be a valuable asset to our retail business.”

Ken Parkin and Caroline Meehan, Construction Alliance Northeast

Construction Alliance Northeast (CAN), an organisation established to represent regional SMEs in construction and civil engineering, has welcomed a new chair and vice chair.

Ken Parkin, who has spent 40 years in the industry with national and regional building contractors has taken on the position of chair.

The vice chair role has been taken on by Caroline Meehan, director of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Speaking about his new role, Ken Parkin said: “I’m delighted to be taking on the role of chair for CAN.

“Having been a part of this industry within the North East throughout my career I feel that I have the experience to lead the organisation to achieve great things and I’m excited to see what progress will be made.

“The regional construction and civil engineering sectors face a number of challenges that we hope to overcome through the adoption of our intelligent procurement policy and by feeding in to the regional ‘one voice’ strategy, and other initiatives.

“Furthermore, we are about to start work on our second policy document around fair payments.

“I’m thrilled to have Caroline on board as vice chair to assist when meeting with local MPs, government officials and education bodies in order to facilitate change. We have a busy agenda ahead of us, so watch this space!”

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