Vanessa Ash, Activ Technology.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Vanessa Ash, Activ Technology

IT support specialist Activ Technology, has appointed Vanessa Ash as project and provisioning coordinator.

Vanessa, who has worked in the IT sector for six years, will work within head of communications Andy Shannon’s team.

Vanessa commented: “I have worked within the IT sector for six years starting as an apprentice with a previous employer…as paths frequently cross in the sector, I already knew some of the team at Activ Technology. An opportunity arose for me to become part of the growing team and I was delighted to be appointed as a project and provisioning coordinator.

“My role will see me become responsible for managing and implementing changes for customers’ managed services, providing client support, maintaining effective communication with customers and suppliers and provisioning any lines and faults when orders are received.

“I will be working with the engineers within the communications team to identify any errors or potential pitfalls in the day-to-day operations, along with future possible issues that can affect the overall smooth running of the business.”

Managing director at Activ Technology, Ian Gillespie, added: “We warmly welcome Vanessa to the team and she will undoubtedly bring enthusiasm and knowledge to her role, under the guidance of Andy Shannon.”

Gail Makepeace, Lycetts

Insurance broker and financial services provider Lycetts has appointed Gail Makepeace as independent financial adviser.

Bringing more than 30 years’ industry experience to the role, Gail joins the company from international financial services group Sanlam.

Chartered adviser and fellow of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) Gail started her career in financial services at investment company Standard Life, before moving to Newcastle-based independent financial planning and employee benefits firm Blackett Walker, which was acquired by Sanlam last year.

Based in Lycetts’ Newcastle office, Gail’s new role will involve advising both private and corporate clients on financial planning solutions and investments. Makepeace offers particular expertise in retirement planning and corporate benefits.

Gail commented: “Lycetts are a long-established, well-respected and reputable Independent Financial Adviser, and this is what attracted me to the organisation.

“I have accrued 32 years’ experience of the financial services sector and have advised clients for a decade, so I am confident in my ability to provide Lycetts’ existing and prospective clients with a comprehensive and holistic service.

“The independent aspect is important to me, so I feel the firm will be a very good fit.”

Simon Landale, managing director of financial services, added: “Gail’s in-depth knowledge and wealth of experience makes her a valuable addition to the team. We are all delighted to have her on board.”

Kayleigh Dixon, DPP Planning

Planning consultancy DPP Planning has promoted Kayleigh Dixon to associate director.

Kayleigh joined the planning consultancy’s Newcastle office eight years ago as an assistant planner and having worked her way up through the ranks to become principal planner, she now takes the senior role of associate director within the firm.

During her career to date at DPP, Kayleigh has delivered a variety of major projects, including Hadrian’s Tower, the 27 storey, 82-metre tower, which is creating 162 apartments in the heart of Newcastle.

More recently, Kayleigh has taken on responsibility for the Quayside West Scheme, a 15-acre site located on the River Tyne in Newcastle, which will become a brand new urban community to include up to 1,100 residential units, a hotel and commercial and leisure space to help establish a village environment within the city.

Kayleigh commented: “My promotion to the role of Associate Director at DPP is an immensely proud moment for me, and it comes through the vast amount of support that the company offers when it comes to career development, which really is second to none.

“I’m passionate about this business and its values, having built my career with DPP, I know how important professional development is, and I am very proud of the dynamic team that continues to go from strength to strength.

“It’s particularly rewarding to see progression with the junior team members who are mentored by the more senior teams.”

Jo Robison, director at DPP, added: “Technology, innovation and of course current market conditions are a catalyst for change for many of our clients and projects.

“Kayleigh has an excellent blend of skills and experience to bring to clients to help them navigate, adapt to and make the most of these changes.

“Kayleigh has already made a significant contribution to the firm and our clients, and the fact that she has worked her way up the ranks quickly demonstrates that commitment to developing the talent within our business, alongside taking opportunities to add to our business through lateral recruitment.

“I wish Kayleigh every success in her new role which will play a key role in supporting DPP’s future growth.”

Ashley Elliott and Leah Roberts, The Key

Youth development charity The Key has appointed Ashley Elliott as head of marketing and income generation and Leah Roberts as project manager.

Formerly at Keda Consulting, St Oswald’s Hospice and Bright Red, Ashley brings with her a range of experience in fundraising and marketing.

Ashley said: “I feel incredibly grateful to be starting my new position as head of marketing and income generation at The Key.

“The organisation has such a wonderful reputation and has positively impacted the lives of so many young people in the North East of England.

“I am really looking forward to playing a part in our growth, helping to inspire even more young people to reach their potential.”

Leah joins the firm with a background in project management. Leah commented: “I’m extremely excited to be joining The Key as they embark on an ambitious growth plan to extend their impact across the UK.

The team is superbly talented, and I’m pleased to be able to contribute towards the next stage development of this work.“

Jamie Hill, KOMODO

KOMODO has appointed Jamie Hill as senior software engineer, marking the first fully-remote hire in the company.

Jamie brings 16 years of experience in software development and engineering, with particular focus on JavaScript and TypeScript, as well as test automation and quality assurance, gained in businesses and agencies across Scotland.

Jamie, who is currently working towards a Masters degree in Software Engineering, said “KOMODO really stood out to me because of the wide range of client projects being worked on, which will no doubt present an opportunity to continuously learn and explore the wide breadth of technology solutions possible.

“Whilst I’m permanently-remote, the team have made a great effort to help me settle in and despite being over 200 miles away, snacks are still finding their way to me in the post!”

Andy Greener, MD, added: “Whilst COVID-19 has presented an abundance of challenges to businesses, there are some opportunities, too. Prior to the pandemic, remote-hiring wasn’t something we were really doing, but as the whole team is now working-from-home, we decided it was time to branch out and seek talent from across the country.

“We’re no longer restricted by postcode (although, as a NE-based company, the region will always be our priority) and can seek brilliant people like Jamie from across the UK.

“He’s a great addition to KOMODO and this hire marks the start of a recruitment drive as we look to expand the team further over the coming months.”

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