Chloe Shakesby

This week's North East appointments

Katy Sayburn, Lee Durham and Richard Lane durhamlane

durhamlane has announced that it has appointed Katy Sayburn as its new CEO as its co-founders move into new positions.

Lee Durham is moving to chief growth officer and Richard Lane is stepping away from his CEO role to become chief commercial officer, handing over business management to Katy.

Katy’s background in international travel and tourism companies including Thomas Cook and Monarch Travel Group demonstrate the success of her customer and people focused approach to management.

At Monarch Katy was the first female on the board of directors in its 50 year history. As she herself enters a new phase of her career, Hexham-born Katy returns to the UK from Spain, where she was managing director of Hotel BH Mallorca.

Richard said: “Now that we have built a 100 strong team, we recognised it was time for a new phase in our growth plans.

“Lee and I are sales guys at heart. Nurturing customers, innovating and developing new business relationships is where we are most passionate and add the most value to the team and the business.”

Lee added: “I am so proud of how far we have come and what we’ve achieved, but Katy is key to realising our growth ambitions.

“We need someone with deeper expertise in running a large organisation. We realise it is a bold move for two founders to appoint a new CEO without plans to step back but it is the right step for our business at this stage in our journey.”

Katy said: “What attracted me to durhamlane was its focus on people. Lee and Richard’s commitment to their team is shown in everything from the reputation of its graduate training programme to its home-grown senior management team.

“They have all been with the business a long time and show such enthusiasm and continued commitment and that adds so much to this already exciting role.

“I share their passion for people, it will be my key focus as CEO. My roles so far have taught me everything about people management as a driver of growth and client retention and proven that success comes only by looking after your people and providing the right platform for your team to grow and develop and put customers at the heart.

“Richard and Lee are now perfectly positioned to grow the sales side of the business and the three-year business strategy promises a great future. We work with amazing businesses and I’m looking forward to working with the team to continue to develop the business to meet the needs of our clients.”

Damian Hall, Silverbean

Global affiliate and partnership marketing agency Silverbean has appointed Damian Hall as global managing director

Damian, who is currently COO, will take on the role alongside his current position. He has been with the business for seven years, having initially joined as a non-executive director.

In the role, Damian will manage Silverbean’s growth across the globe. He will also be directly responsible for leading the agency’s people development plans.

Damian said: “We are growing rapidly across the world, so my focus is developing our leadership and management teams through a world-class development programme. I’ll also look to hire brilliant talent from our local universities and fast-track their progress to help them become outstanding at their roles.

“Part of my role now is to create an environment at Silverbean where every single one of our people is given the opportunity to realise their professional potential, and to support them in doing so.”

Diane Carney and Susie Thompson, Gentoo Group

Sunderland housing association Gentoo Group has appointed Diane Carney to the role of executive director of property and Susie Thompson as executive director of housing.

Formerly the Group’s director of property, Diane will continue with her responsibilities for Property Maintenance, Investment and Estate Services.

Diane spent her early career with Gentoo in housing operations and for the past five years she has held leadership positions in Property Maintenance and Property Investment.

Susie will progress from her current position as director of housing with responsibility for Housing Management and Tenancy Support Services including victim support, domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour, wellbeing and the Group’s Money Matters service.

Susie’s career has been predominately in housing operations and for the past seven years she has led Gentoo’s housing operations teams.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Gentoo Group, commented: “Diane and Susie have demonstrated outstanding leadership at Gentoo since I joined in 2019 and I am delighted the board have recognised this by permanently appointing them to our executive team.”

Kirsty Allen, Hay & Kilner

North East law firm Hay & Kilner has announced the appointment of Kirsty Allen as a new solicitor.

Kirsty has moved into a solicitor role with the Newcastle-headquartered firm and is now working with clients across a wide range of activities, including wills, trusts, probate, estate administration, tax planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection matters.

She began her legal career with the Crown Prosecution Service in Greater Manchester before moving back to the North East and beginning to specialise in private client work.

Prior to joining Hay & Kilner, Kirsty ran the private client department within another North East law firm.

Kirsty commented: “I’m very much a people person, and the opportunity to work directly with clients to manage, organise and improve some of the most important aspects of their lives has always made private client work something that’s really appealed to me.”

Chanelle Webb, Samantha Marley and Ella Wilson, Azets

Accounting and business advisory firm Azets has announced the appointment of Chanelle Webb and the promotions of Samantha Marley and Ella Wilson.

Chanelle joins as a regional operational payroll manager, based in the firm’s Wynyard office.

Chanelle has almost 25 years’ experience in payroll which covers a wide range of industries from farming and retail to schools. Based in the North East, she will also cover Azets’ offices in the North West and Scotland.

Samantha has been promoted to North East payroll manager and Ella Wilson has been promoted to assistant payroll manager. Both Samantha and Ella joined Azets as apprentices.

Stephen Abbots, director of payroll services at Azets, commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Chanelle to Azets.

“She is a highly experienced advisor and will help develop our expanding payroll team. I’d also like to congratulate Samantha and Ella on their well deserved promotions.”

Chanelle said: “I am excited to be joining Azets and working with the Northern team to deliver outsourced payroll using the latest in cloud-based technology.”

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