Charlie Pym, Berghaus.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Charlie Pym, Berghaus

Pentland Brands has announced the appointment of Charlie Pym as the global brand director for Berghaus.

Charlie joins Berghaus from the world of cycling, having been the marketing director of McLaren’s Pro Cycling programme which launched Team Bahrain McLaren and the director of communications at Rapha.

Charlie was previously managing partner, and member of the global leadership board, at Saatchi & Saatchi where he led multi-disciplined teams encompassing consumer insights, brand strategy, communications planning and digital design.

Charlie has also worked for M&C Saatchi in London and Publicis Worldwide in Melbourne and has been responsible for building global brand campaigns for clients across the banking, insurance, FMCG and tourism sectors.

Charlie, who will be responsible for the global product and marketing for the outdoor brand, commented: “I’m passionate about the outdoors and feel incredibly lucky to have a role that will inspire more people to see and feel the wonder that sits beyond their front door.

“It’s never been a better time for Berghaus, given the major shifts we’re seeing in the outdoor sector and beyond, so it’s a pivotal time to shape the brand’s future.

“There is a group of talented and passionate people in both the Sunderland and London offices, and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Penny Herriman, chief marketing officer at Pentland Brands, added: “It’s a really exciting time for Berghaus as more and more people have embraced the great outdoors. Charlie has a track record in being highly creative and innovative, often disrupting sectors to drive growth. We can’t wait for him to join.”

Michael Downes and Gemma Surtees, KPMG UK

KPMG has promoted Michael Downes and Gemma Surtees to directors in its corporate finance and audit teams respectively.

Michael, who joined KPMG as a graduate from Newcastle University in 2002, has nearly 20 years’ experience working with North East businesses across a range of sectors on areas including strategic decision making, growth plans, finance raising and all aspects of M&A, including experience working with private equity investors.

Gemma also joined the firm as a Newcastle University graduate in 2006, and has worked with a mixed portfolio of businesses, both listed and privately owned, across a range of sectors. Gemma’s director role will see her specialise in the privately owned space, leading audit engagements across the North East and Yorkshire.

Michael and Gemma’s appointments are part of a raft of promotions in KPMG’s Newcastle office, with 12 other members of staff also promoted.

Ian Beaumont, office senior partner at KPMG UK in Newcastle, commented: “KPMG colleagues have been the bedrock of our success in the past 12 months, supporting our clients in testing circumstances. These promotions are testament to their hard work and commitment.

“With the North East’s recent freeport success, the arrival of the government’s new Treasury North and Britain’s first battery Gigafactory, and our thriving community of SMEs, the region will be a hotbed of activity, innovation and investment in the years ahead.

“We’ll be at the forefront, advising businesses on how best to leverage the region’s potential for growth. By investing in our people, we’re investing in the wider success of the region.”

Alice Clark and Beth Dixon, Creo Comms

Communication consultancy Creo Comms has appointed Alice Clark as designer and Beth Dixon as junior client partner.

Alice is a multi-disciplined illustrator and graphic designer, who has worked both in-house and as a freelancer with clients ranging from The LA Times to local independent businesses. In her role, Alice will create artwork for print and digital platforms, leading and supporting on creative projects.

Alice commented: “I was so excited when I was offered the job. I can’t wait to get involved in some of the amazing projects Creo Comms is working on. I know, together, we’ll create outstanding work that really showcases the best the North East has to offer.”

Beth joins Creo after more than three years of agency experience. A journalism graduate and experienced copywriter, she will support a range of client accounts and Creo’s growing roster of social media clients.

Beth said: “I am really looking forward to contributing to Creo’s success and embracing their creative approach to PR and communications.

“It’s great to be working in my hometown and supporting clients from the city, as well as a number of projects we deliver for clients across the country.”

Louise Bradford, managing director of Creo Comms, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Alice and Beth to the team.

“Their experience, passion and personality shone through during the recruitment process, despite it all being done virtually, and we’re looking forward to introducing them to our clients, who will no doubt be as impressed as I am by their work.”

Marc Cranston, Inspired

Digital agency Inspired has appointed Marc Cranston as director of business development.

With 11 years’ experience in business development, Marc has a range of knowledge and contacts within the digital marketing industry. Prior to his new role, Marc played a key role in the business growth of another North East-based digital agency.

Marc commented: “I’m really excited to start the next chapter in my career. Inspired Agency is the perfect place for me to take on this new challenge and responsibility; I have always admired the way Inspired work and their fantastic client retention which is second to none in the region.

“I’m driven by building meaningful relationships with my clients and adding real value to their marketing campaigns, an ethos which aligns perfectly with Inspired’s approach.”

“I’m seriously impressed with the team, their passion and attention to detail. I’m looking forward to working closely with like-minded and talented individuals. It’s a brilliant time to be joining the team here. Very exciting times ahead!””

Managing director Mark Patterson added: “We have had an excellent start to 2021 and the appointment of Marc as director of business development is a significant step change for the agency.

“We have exciting plans and Marc’s appointment is integral to delivering these. I have known Marc for a long time and have tracked his progress, as his reputation has grown year-after-year, and his client-first approach aligned to his drive for success makes him the perfect fit for Inspired.”

Alan McBurney, HTG

HTG has appointed Alan McBurney as our chief innovation officer.

Alan McBurney joins the firm from pensions business Spence & Partners where he was chief technical architect.

With over two decades in the IT industry, it is hoped his knowledge will enhance HTG’s capability to deliver breakthrough IT-driven change for its clients.

Alan commented: “As a customer of HTG with Spence, my decision to join the company was made that much easier as I already knew the team and its ambitions.

“This is a great opportunity to help build on HTG’s excellent reputation and I’m excited at the prospect of achieving greater success ahead as we continue to deliver disruptive solutions for our customers.”

Kevin Howell, CTO at HTG, added: ’Alan is a good friend of HTG and it was great to see him jump at the opportunity to help us drive innovation and transform the workspace experience of our customers through delivering best of breed solutions and services.“

Russell Craxford, Saggezza

Technology consultancy Saggezza has appointed Russell Craxford as head of quality management.

Testing specialist and podcast host Russell previously spent six years as quality and release manager at Sage, managing 20 teams.

Russell’s most recent role saw him work at fellow North East software consultancy Scott Logic, where he worked as delivery manager.

Russell commented: “The offer to join Saggezza was one I just couldn’t turn down. Not only has it presented me with the chance to build my own team and continue building up the North East’s testing sector, but it has also given me the opportunity to test my skills working with some of the world’s biggest brands.

“The North East tech sector has grown rapidly over the last decade or so and is showing no signs of slowing down with so many global companies and fast-growing start-ups now looking to invest in the region.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved in the sector and I’m delighted to be playing a part in helping drive the industry forward as we look to the future.”

Lauren Gray, Brad Stewart, Mira Ejaz and Reegan Henderson, Blu Sky Chartered Accountants

Blu Sky Chartered Accountants has welcomed three new hires to its team.

Lauren Gray and Brad Stewart have come onboard as cloud accountants, Mira Ejaz has joined as a year end accountant and Reegan Henderson has been appointed as payroll apprentice.

As well as performing their respective roles, Lauren, Brad, Mira and Reegan will be supported in gaining additional accountancy qualifications while at the firm.

Dave Gibson, CEO of Blu Sky, commented: “It’s been a really busy few months for us here at Blu Sky and we’re over the moon to welcome Lauren, Brad, Mira and Reegan.

“They’ve all settled in well and are getting to know our clients, supporting them with varying aspects of their accounting needs.

“We’ve found that the vast uncertainty many business owners have faced over the last year has resulted in an increased demand for our knowledge and skillsets, which was why we made the decision to further grow our team.”

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