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Carl Gaffney and Andrew Thompson, PFF Group.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Carl Gaffney and Andrew Thompson, PFF Group

Food packaging and PPE manufacturer PFF Group has made two new appointments to its team.

Carl Gaffney joins as head of group IT, based at PFF’s Washington site. He will be supported by Andrew Thompson, who joins as senior systems engineer. Both will support PFF Group across its manufacturing sites at Washington, Tyne and Wear and Keighley in West Yorkshire.

Carl will initially shadow PFF’s current head of group IT Stephen Tomlinson, who retires later this year after 15 years with the company.

Carl brings a range of experience to the company gained over 30 years in the IT industry. He has worked primarily for manufacturing companies in the brewing, plastics and electrical sectors. Most recently he was cyber security manager for a multi-national wealth management company.

Carl said: “Joining PFF Group offers an exciting new challenge, enabling me to use my years of experience and the opportunity to work alongside the dedicated teams at PFF.

“I’m hoping to take IT to the next level for PFF over the coming years, allowing better collaboration between colleagues at both our sites at Washington and Keighley.”

Andrew has worked in IT for five years. He began his career as a technical support technician for a national workforce management platform, before moving back to his native North East and gaining broad systems experience working with a CRM provider.

Andrew commented: “It’s an amazing time to be joining the business, especially the IT team, with the current company expansion into the health sector.

“I’m excited to be part of this journey and look forward to supporting my colleagues and the business as a whole through this transition and beyond.”

Stephen Tomlinson, PFF’s head of group IT, added: “As I prepare to leave the business after almost 15 years, it is a real pleasure to work with two very capable and talented colleagues as they forge a new pathway into the future for information and systems technology at PFF Group. I’m delighted to welcome them to the team.”

Christian Rowe, Executive Compass

Recruitment business Executive Compass has appointed Christian Rowe as managing director.

Christian Rowe spent two decades in the recruitment business before joining Executive Compass as a trainee bid writer 18 months ago.

Now, based in the company’s Newcastle’s Hoults Yard offices, Christian will oversee the preparation of bids and selection questionnaires for its clients which range from owner-managed SME businesses to multi-national companies.

Christian, who is due to graduate from his MBA with Durham University in October, commented: “I’ve taken over at a time when we are helping a lot of our clients succeed in their tender processing.

“We have an annual turnover of £1.4 million and plan to double this within five years. We’ve promoted Stephen Kennet to the critical role of director of social value and also appointed a number of new bid writers who will help to take the business forward including Daniel McGrath and Will Ritchie-Moulin as well as new marketing executive Evelyn Okukusie.”

Rebecca Harbron Gray, Winn Solicitors

Law firm Winn Solicitors has appointed Rebecca Harbron Gray as head of wills, probate and trusts.

Joining Winns from Cook Taylor Woodhouse, part of Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP, where Rebecca was head of wills, trusts & probate, Rebecca brings over 15 years of experience in the field.

Tallied with qualifications from Solicitors for the Elderly, STEP and Cross Border Estates, as well as helping to establish and become a trustee of the Bradley Lowery Foundation, Rebecca brings a range of knowledge to Winns.

Rebecca commented: “In times that have changed for us all in the last 18 months, all areas of law have to move with the times and suit the client’s journey.

“Winns has been in that position for years already so working here now gives me much more of a foundation to change and improve the client journey to offer face-to-face, telephone, and online services to those near and far.”

Chief operating officer, Chris Birkett, added: “The board was greatly impressed with Rebecca’s forward thinking and modern approach to an area of law which is ready for transformation.

“Rebecca’s experience and expertise in this area speaks for itself, but her ideas around delivery of services and utilising more technical solutions to offer clients a true unique experience were what impressed us and certainly align with our processes in our other areas of business also.

“We look forward to developing a new dynamic wills and probate offering which I’m sure will be successful in the coming years.”

Steven Turnbull, Patrick Lonergan Recruitment

Patrick Lonergan Recruitment has appointed Steven Turnbull as client manager.

Steven brings over 30 years of experience, having previously worked in manufacturing and engineering. Within his previous sector, he was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day responsibilities of staff and implementing the training and development of his team members.

Prior to joining Patrick Lonergan Recruitment, Steven was manufacturing director at Tolwood Multi-fasteners in Newton Aycliffe, where he led the recruitment of all operational staff.

In 2007, Steven joined global business, TMD Friction, and was promoted to UK Engineering Manager in 2013, where he spent eight years overseeing national projects and programmes, with a focus on people and planning.

Steven commented: “This opportunity has come at the perfect time for me. In recent years I have been extremely interested in recruitment and this was a pathway I wanted to explore in the next phase of my career.

“My experience working with recruitment firms over the years means I understand how essential it is to get the right fit with a client and candidate. With my level of knowledge, I am confident I can not only align well with the current ethos here at Patrick Lonergan Recruitment but also help drive it even further forward.”

Founder Patrick Lonergan added: “Being able to bring Steven on board is a significant move for the business. We have built up our client portfolio with a strong client-led approach. It is fantastic having his 30 years Operations & Group Engineering management experience to support businesses across the UK.

“Throughout his career, Steven has recruited individuals and teams in a variety of roles that support the whole business.

“With a strong focus on people, Steven has total synergy to our values and ethos - attributes matching a company’s culture with experience to excel within a role.”

Joe Routledge, Rise Elevator

Lift engineering firm Rise Elevator has appointed Joe Routledge as business development manager.

Joe Routledge joins Rise Elevator with experience in sales and business development across multiple sectors. In previous roles, Joe led business development and sales strategies for digital innovation and software development companies.

Joe commented: “I have known Kris [McGough, managing director] for many years and I really admire what he has achieved with Rise Elevator in such a short time. With the new showroom and series of big contracts, it’s a very exciting time to join the Rise Elevator team.

“As business development manager, I will focus on growing Rise’s already excellent reputation and working with organisations across the country to ensure lifts are installed safely and efficiently, providing a better experience for staff and customers.”

Kris McGough added: “Joe is the perfect person to take on this role. Not only does he have a background in business development and sales for some well-known companies, but he is also a forward thinker and always ready to take on the next big challenge.

“I’m over the moon to welcome Joe to the team and look forward to working with him closely as Rise Elevator continues to grow.”

James Mullenger, Gentoo Group

Housing association Gentoo Group has appointed James Mullenger as IT & transformation director.

Reporting into the group’s executive director for corporate services, Louise Bassett, James will lead the transformation & technology department and join the group’s senior leadership Team.

James joins Gentoo from Capita Consulting, where he was an associate partner and head of solutions. He is experienced in delivering a range of user centred digital strategies and IT transformations across both the public and private sector.

James brings to Gentoo more than 22 years’ experience working in regulated industries including central government, local government, MOD, health, banking and utilities.

James Mullenger commented: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to this role. I’m passionate about leading innovative digital change with a user centred approach which can transform the way Gentoo delivers services to tenants and I look forward to bringing these practices to the group.

“Gentoo’s social purpose really attracted me to the role and I can’t wait to get started so that I can begin to contribute to the brilliant work the Group is already delivering in Sunderland.”

Louise Bassett, executive director for corporate services at Gentoo Group, added: “We are delighted to have been able to attract James to this leadership position at Gentoo.

“The vast experience that James brings will ensure technology plays a critical role in our digital strategy to deliver customer focused services to our tenants that represent both quality and value for money.”

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