Chloe Shakesby

This week's North East appointments

Graeme Bruce, youngsRPS

Property and development consultants youngsRPS has appointed a new managing director to take the reins of the business as it enters its next phase of growth.

Graeme Bruce, who joined the business in 1987, will now lead the consultancy firm, primarily focusing on driving growth across the region.

Graeme became an equity partner of youngsRPS in 2000 and was later involved to the opening of its Alnwick office.

He commented: “2020 will go down in history as one of the most eventful, challenging years a business has ever experienced.

“Faced with such unexpected and, at times, surreal situations, youngsRPS has remained focused on meeting the needs of our clients by keeping them updated on the frenzy of new and updated legislation related to property, planning, development and more.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we have pushed on with our growth strategy and we’re hoping to expand our senior leadership team with those who have the passion, capability and aspiration to build on our success, expanding our presence and services across the North East.”

Michael Black, Ward Robinson

Newcastle interior design and project management practice Ward Robinson has appointed Michael Black as associate design director.

With more than 17 years’ experience as an interior designer/interior architect, Michael has worked in locations such as London, Hong Kong and New York working with some of the world’s largest hospitality brands.

Michael commented: “I am so excited to be given this opportunity, it feels great to be back home.

“We have a fantastic design team here with a lot of creative flair and passion for design, they possess the dynamism to work in multiple professional sectors and I look forward to being part of the future growth of the business.

“It has been especially exciting to reconnect with old clients and associates, and it’s always a pleasure forming new ones.”

Jackie Dent, design director, added: “We are so pleased to welcome Michael to our team. Ward Robinson is well established in the hospitality sector and Michael’s global experience brings added strength. Michael’s skills and expertise in this sector will be a key part of the business’s future growth”.

Jennifer Tupman, Avant Homes

Sunderland-based housebuilder Avant Homes North East has promoted its regional director to managing director.

Jennifer Tupman has been promoted to managing director as the company anticipates further growth and expansion in the region.

Jennifer joined Avant Homes North East as finance director in 2011 before being promoted to regional director North East last year.

As managing director for the region, she will now be responsible for the ongoing operation and growth of the North East business.

Avant Homes chief operating officer, Mark Mitchell, commented: “Jennifer is a high performer and thoroughly deserves her promotion.

“She is an excellent leader and will play a significant role in our continued growth and expansion within the North East.

“At Avant, we are committed to investing in our people and developing the exceptional talent we have.

“We are also a business that provides everyone with opportunities to progress.

“Jennifer has seized upon such opportunities when they have presented themselves, ably demonstrating she is ready for greater levels of responsibility.

“Her talent, commitment and energy are providing our business with even more impetus as we continue on our exciting journey to become the homebuilder of choice in the north of the UK.”

Jennifer said: “We have an excellent team in the North East, so I am very proud to have the opportunity to lead such a capable and dedicated group of people.

“We all have high expectations for our continued growth and expansion across the region.

“My focus is on ensuring we continue to develop our people, increase our number of outlets and deliver our outstanding design-led homes throughout the North East.”

Rebecca McDonald, Silverbean and AGY47

Newcastle marketing agencies Silverbean and AGY47 have announced the appointment of Rebecca McDonald as their new head of people and development.

In her role, Rebecca will ensure there is an increased emphasis on employee growth, development and learning, feeding into the agencies’ focus on a culture that significantly benefits both its clients and its employees.

Rebecca joins the agencies with more than 13 years of experience. Her previous roles include setting up people processes and function at a shopper marketing agency, and HR roles at Sage and Balfour Beatty.

CEO Neil Robbins said: “I have been extremely proud of the reputation we have fostered as a great place for people to come and work, where they can enjoy what they do and work in a flexible environment that works for their personal lives.

“My commitment, however, is to develop our people so that they are ready to take the next step in their careers.

“We have wonderfully talented people in our agency and I am certain with Rebecca’s support and ideas they will all benefit from our enhanced focus on their skills, capabilities and experiences.”

Rebecca said: “I’m really excited to join the team, to support our people in their development and contribute to the agency growth.”

Lottie Haylock, The Whittling House

The Whittling House in Alnmouth has appointed hospitality operator Lottie Haylock as general manager.

Joint chair of the North East Hotels Association (NEHA), Lottie has more than 25 years of experience from across the industry, including six years with the Malhotra Group in Newcastle, where she was manager of the Grey Street Hotel before becoming group-wide accommodation and commercial manager.

Lottie comes to The Whittling House following a year-long stint with OYO Hotels, where she oversaw 40 properties across the North East.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been brought in at The Whittling House right at the start of this very special journey.”

“After meeting with Tom and Richard, I was buzzing and really wanting to be part of their ambitious plans. We have a very similar outlook regarding what we think is important when it comes to customer experience.

“A restructure at OYO made be rethink what it was that I really enjoyed doing – and what I was missing was working closely with a group of people.

“I’m really into building a good team and championing staff development and I wanted to get back to looking after people.”

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