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Built Environment Networking (BEN) senior team L-R: Simon Rhodes, group sales director; Amanda Griffiths, director; Keith Griffiths, chief executive.
Jane Imrie

This week's Yorkshire appointments

Simon Rhodes, Built Environment Networking (BEN)

Real estate and infrastructure events firm Built Environment Networking has appointed Simon Rhodes as group sales director.

Simon previously spent almost 20 years at Barbour ABI as group sales director, and in his new role will head up the company’s sales function and will play a key role in driving business growth.

Keith Griffiths, chief executive of Built Environment Networking, explained: “I have known Simon for well over a decade, and every time I have met him I have been impressed by his drive, energy and ability to get the job done. That is why I am delighted to have appointed Simon as a key member of my senior team.

“Built Environment Networking is at a critical moment in our growth – we weathered the COVID storm brilliantly, posting our biggest ever profit in 2020 – and as we move out of the worst of the pandemic, our eyes are now squarely fixed on the future.

“Through UKREiiF, which has already generated massive public sector, investor and developer interest, alongside other new products which we will launch in the coming weeks and months, BEN is on the cusp of a significant expansion – expansion Simon will help to deliver.”

Simon added: “Keith’s vision for Built Environment Networking is an incredibly exciting one, and one which I was really keen to become a part of. With UKREiiF gaining real momentum, alongside BEN’s brilliant existing offer, we are going places.

“I look forward to helping to further drive growth and business success, and I am thrilled to be here.”

Simon Duffy, Projex Building Solutions

Projex Building Solutions has appointed Simon Duffy as associate director.

Simon joins from MAC construction consultants and brings over 30 years’ experience in senior roles working for a range of clients across hotels, retail, education and public sector.

Simon’s experience includes the new £11m Trinity Sixth Form College in Halifax as well as the conversion of the old Post office in City Square Leeds into serviced apartments, as well as the ground floor conversion into Restaurant Bar & Grill.

Projex director and head of the Leeds office, Paul Brewer, commented: “Apart from the very early stages of Covid when building sites were closed, our team has been extremely busy keeping projects moving and on track under unique circumstances and has had to adapt very quickly to new ways of working.

“We needed to strengthen our senior projects team following a number of new contract wins and are delighted that Simon has decided to join us.”

James Martin, Aaron Johnson and Luke Maidens, Blacks Solicitors

Blacks Solicitors has made three new appointments to its team.

James Martin has joined the team as an associate solicitor, Aaron Johnson has been appointed as a solicitor and Luke Maidens has been appointed as a partner.

James brings with him over 10 years of experience in commercial chancery and contractual disputes, specialising in complex professional negligence, contractual and construction disputes. He will provide support not only to the Commercial Dispute Resolution team, but also to the commercial and corporate client base across the firm.

Aaron has completed three years in insolvency litigation as a paralegal, alongside his two years as a trainee in the Corporate, Employment, and Property teams. As a newly qualified Solicitor, Aaron will specialise in insolvency and work alongside two senior lawyers in the Commercial Dispute Resolution team.

Luke’s skill set spans all areas of complex property litigation with a particular knowledge of the telecoms sector and also acting for property investor and developer clients.

Luke Patel, head of litigation, commented: “The demand for specialist litigation services has grown over the last 15 months. The combination of the pandemic, Brexit and the unstable economic climate have all been contributing factors requiring specialist legal support.

“The demand for these services was anticipated at the start of the pandemic and has expedited as we ease out of the lockdown restrictions, leading to us strengthening the litigation teams with new hires.

“I wish all the new hires the best for the future and I am committed to providing the support they require to ensure their successful career development and progression at Blacks”.

Gemma Robinson, Corecom Consulting

IT recruitment company Corecom Consulting has appointed Gemma Robinson as operations and HR manager.

Gemma re-joins the firm after a stint as operations manager at Leeds-based marketing agency CreativeRace, where she oversaw operations and HR there.

Prior to that, Gemma spent six years on the operations team at Corecom where she developed multifaceted knowledge of all aspects of the business as it grew from a startup. Returning to Corecom, Gemma will take responsibility for core aspects of the business including people, business operations, budgeting, strategy and project delivery.

Managing director, Jonathan Sanderson said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Gemma back to the team. She understands our business from the inside out and we can’t wait to get her back on board.

“With extensive experience of overseeing all aspects of business operations, she will play a pivotal role in expanding the business further and continuing to fly the flag for Women in Technology.”

Gemma added: “I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to Corecom. I have been following the business closely over the last two years and have been blown away by the way they have adapted and flexed during what has been a particularly difficult period for the industry.

“They have remained fully committed to their values and ethos around diversity, inclusion and people-centricity whilst also expanding into new European markets.

“In re-joining the team, I’m in the enviable position of pushing these agendas forward in the role of Operations and HR Manager. I can’t wait to get started.”

Adrian Odds, CDS

Strategic communications agency CDS has appointed Adrian Odds as marketing and innovation director.

Under his new remit, Adrian will lead the marketing function for the Leeds-headquartered firm as well as ensuring the agency is positioned to support its clients.

Adrian joins the firm from his previous position as director of strategy and market propositions for Communisis Ltd.

Adrian says of his appointment. “I’m delighted to be joining CDS at this time.

Adrian commented: “The agency has a clear position in the market and its purpose to simplify complexity and make a positive difference resonates strongly with me.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team to drive our growth aspirations across both the public and private sectors.”

Mark Gair, managing director of CDS, added: “Adrian brings a wealth of relevant experience to our team, having held previous leadership posts across marketing and business development.

“He is passionate about ensuring brands understand their purpose and values, while focusing on customer engagement to drive sustainable growth – and we’re looking forward to seeing his work.”

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