John Purdy, Venari Group.
Jane Imrie

This week's Yorkshire appointments

John Purdy, Venari Group

Emergency vehicle specialist Venari Group has appointed John Purdy as sales manager in its firefighting division.

With 33 years of military, aviation and municipal fire-fighting experience, John has spent the past 14 years as station manager at Newcastle International Airport (NCL), responsible for fire crew, emergency planning, commercial training and business development for the airport’s training academy.

John is also known for his four-year role as chair of the Airport Fire Officers Association (AFOA).

Commenting on his new role, John said: “I’ve been lucky enough to have an amazing 33 years in the military, aviation and municipal fire-fighting sectors. During the past five years, I’ve enjoyed my sales role as Newcastle International Airport’s commercial training manager.

“I fully intended on driving growth in the role for another 15 years, but when the most exciting company in the fire-fighting truck and equipment market knocked on my door, so to speak, I couldn’t turn it down.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with a team of highly passionate and skilled workers who will be building the highest quality, technologically advanced and environmentally efficient fire appliances.”

Venari Group CEO, Oliver North, added: “I’ve worked with John as both a supplier and a customer for over a decade.

“His attention to detail, work ethic and personable demeanour are critical elements of what I believe a good sales manager should encompass.

“Add into this his comprehensive experience and I’m confident he will prove to be an instrumental part of Venari’s growth at a time where we will do more than our ‘fair share’ of contributing to British manufacturing.”

James Pierechod, Paul Wingfield and Will Narburgh, Powerhouse

Leeds-based creative content studio Powerhouse has made three new appointments to its team.

James Pierechod has been hired as head of video, while Paul Wingfield has been recruited to head up post-production and Will Narburgh has been brought onboard as marketing manager.

Joining from an agency background, including senior roles within Leeds-based agencies Stickyeyes and Brass, James brings a range of strategic and creative experience to the role. He will help Powerhouse’s clients to achieve ROI from large-scale shoots, by simultaneously capturing multiple assets for different content needs.

Editor Paul comes from a London agency background, with experience working for Pfizer and Rolls Royce.

Will’s new role will see him oversee Powerhouse’s digital strategies as part of the commercial team.

Neil Adams, managing director of Powerhouse, commented: “It would have been an easy option to halt our recruitment plans. This is a very tough landscape to operate in – and our pipeline has dropped off a cliff – but it won’t last forever.

“We believe in our future growth plans, so we have to invest in them. We are playing the long game, and our clients will benefit from the talent we have brought on board. Quite frankly, they are a genuine coup for us.

“They each have fantastic credentials, and they’re already setting the world on fire with the work they’re producing. This period is about surviving and supporting our clients, and that’s what we’re going to do. Afterwards, we’re going for our growth plans.”

Mark Dignum and Charles Boswell, Sewtec Automation

Wakefield-based industrial robotics specialist Sewtec Automation has made two senior appointments.

Mark Dignum has joined as production director, whilst Charles Boswell has been hired in the newly created role of head of quality.

Mark joins the firm from Huddersfield-based specialist equipment supplier AUS where he was operations director for nearly two years.

Prior to that, Mark held senior operations and manufacturing roles with companies in the furniture, healthcare and FMCG industries.

Charles was previously quality, health, safety and environment manager at specialist steel manufacturer MTL Advanced in Rotherham.

Charles has more than 25 years’ experience in the mechanical and industrial engineering industry, with knowledge in environmental, quality and health and safety as well as operations management.

Sewtec Automation’s managing director, Mark Cook, commented: “As we further enhance our capability to design, manufacture and commission inventive automation solutions for a range of global industries, it is vital that our quality and productivity also continually improve.

“Mark and Charles are both excellent operators who will enable us to achieve that important objective.

“They will both play important roles in the ongoing delivery of our transformation and growth strategy, and we look forward to them contributing directly to Sewtec Automation’s continued success.”

Stuart Illingworth, Northern Energy

Harrogate-based Northern Energy has appointed Stuart Illingworth as managing director.

Stuart succeeds his father, Howard Illingworth, who, after over 30 years at the helm of the business, is now stepping back as Northern Energy’s chairman.

Before joining Northern Energy six years ago, Stuart enjoyed a successful career in logistics, working as a supply chain consultant in London before joining the family business as operations manager.

Stuart commented: “I’m proud to be following in my father’s footsteps, leading the way to a more sustainable future for Northern Energy.

“It’s our strong, family values that the business is built upon which will secure it’s growth and continued success. Only a tiny percentage of family businesses thrive for as long as ours has and our working relationships are stronger than ever.

“We’re organised and respectful towards one another and the succession plan has been thought through carefully, ensuring each family member’s skills are utilised in the right way.”

Giles Searby, BRM Solicitors

Regional law firm BRM Solicitors has appointed Giles Searby as director in its litigation department.

A commercial litigation solicitor with over 25 years’ experience, Giles joins BRM from another regional firm. Prior to that he spent the first decade of his career at a firm in London before moving to Sheffield.

Giles has knowledge of the manufacturing and technology sectors, as well as experience with international trade issues.

Giles commented: “I’m delighted to be joining BRM’s growing team, at this challenging time for businesses.

“Having lived in Chesterfield for the last nine years and continuing to act for a number of local clients, the opportunity to base my practice here, whilst still also keeping in touch with the Sheffield business community represents the perfect mix for both myself and my clients.”

Executive director Adrian Sheehan added: “We are very excited to boost our firm and our litigation department with a lawyer of Giles’ calibre.”

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