People: Rapleys; Qbunk; Matchstick Creative; Suttons International; Ruler Analytics; Irwin Mitchell

Lee Fraine

Property and planning consultancy Rapleys has announced the launch of a new building services and sustainability offering with a focus on mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP).

The new service line, which has been specifically developed to provide technical advice to landlords, property agents, tenants and asset managers about their engineering systems and sustainable solutions, will be led by Manchester-based Lee Fraine, who joins the firm as head of building services and sustainability.

Lee has worked in the building services industry for more than 27 year and has held previous positions at CBRE and more recently Hoare Lea.

He will head up a team of professionals, operating within Rapleys’ wider building consultancy division which, led by Justin Tuckwell, includes eight partners working across industries such as automotive and roadside, health and animal welfare and life sciences.

Justin Tuckwell, head of building consultancy, said: “As a team we always look at the big picture, while keeping a close eye on the fine details and issues our clients are dealing with every day. This means continually evolving and enhancing our offering to ensure we’re best placed to meet the challenges of today, and tomorrow. Critically, this includes adjustments all businesses are making to address their carbon footprint and environmental resilience as part of the journey to net zero. “

Lee Fraine said “It is a fantastic opportunity to form a building services and sustainability team that is an integral part of the Rapleys Building Consultancy Group, offering a truly holistic service.”

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Tech firm Qbunk has announced the appointment of sales manager Natasha Holloway, with the experienced sales specialist joining the company’s senior team in Liverpool.

Having previously worked for a host of well established firms in the North West, including Kbox Global, Howdens and Stanley Security, Natasha will now be cutting her teeth in the tech sector, alongside managing director Paul Wilson.

With Natasha’s role at Qbunk set to maintain external stakeholder relationships and attract new clients to the company’s burgeoning portfolio, as well as exploring further partnerships and further increasing revenue, Qbunk will now be investing circa £180,000 into new technologies this year, to drive efficiencies and maximise revenue for hospitality operators

Natasha Holloway

Paul Wilson said: “Qbunk is currently enjoying an upwards trajectory as a business, but in order for us to grow further, we must increase our service offering, with Natasha’s appointment set to help the company enter into new markets.

“Natasha brings an abundance of skill, knowledge and energy to the company, as well as an exceptionally high standard of sales experience. I am now looking forward to seeing her hit the ground running, helping us further push towards our short-term and long-term goals.”

Natasha said: “I’m extremely excited to start the next chapter in my sales journey, having watched Qbunk’s progress from afar in recent months.

“My primary aim is to bring additional revenue into the company, bringing in sales procedures and solutions, so that the whole team can sing from the same hymn sheet, as we reach out to potential partners and customers throughout the North West and beyond.”

Providing a seamless table ordering experience, Qbunk has pivoted over the past 12 months to support the leisure and hospitality sector throughout the pandemic, with the company working with, and within, some of the Liverpool City Region’s most loved venues, such as Chester Racecourse, 62 Castle Street Hotel and the Bling Aparthotel by U-Stay.

Also recently appointing experienced businessman David Allan in a BDM capacity, Qbunk now has plans to grow further both in headcount and contract wins throughout 2022/23.

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Liverpool-based marketing for good agency, Matchstick Creative, has welcomed four new hires to the growing team.

Having recently made the shortlist for ‘Best Team Culture’ at the UK Company Culture Awards – a 50% growth from eight to 12 Matchsticks has already seen great success.

The Matchstick Creative team

New hires include marketing manager Danielle Wynne, content and social media executive Shannon Byrne, junior web developer Nicola Denton and graphic designer Tori Dennett.

This period of growth follows on from a successful hiring process in 2021 through the Government Kickstart Scheme. The talent being brought through the Matchstick Creative doors is allowing the digital agency to ramp up tits ‘Marketing for Good’ strategies.

The ethical networking brand began as online-only networking events and recently joined the Good Business Festival as partner. The success of this community of changemakers over the past 12 months has solidified Matchstick Creative’s ability to grow and attract more talent, headed by founder Ruth Hartnoll and business lead, Aaron Fontenot.

Growth and new wins at Matchstick Creative has seen the agency welcoming projects with the likes of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) to work on its zero carbon plans and everyman and PLAYHOUSE to work on their brand tone of voice.

Ruth Hartnoll said: “Growing Matchstick Creative from just myself to a team of 12 in five years has taken a lot of work, but we’ve found ourselves in a great position with our values and stance on business practices. We prioritise our employees and their wellbeing so they feel able to be themselves, which in turn makes them more productive, happier and fulfilled.”

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Suttons International has appointed David Goekoop to the role of global commercial director.

With deep knowledge of tank container logistics, David will support the Widnes-based logistics business in its ambitious growth strategy to strengthen geographic scale and presence in new markets.

David Goekoop

David joins the business at an exciting time of growth. Following the recent VTG acquisition and large fleet investment, Suttons International has gone from strength to strength and is now firmly part of the top 10 global tank container operators.

With more than two decades of industry experience in tank container operations and customer service, David is poised to capitalise on recent investments and guide the business’s growth forward.

CEO, John Sutton, said: “I am really pleased to announce the appointment of David Goekoop. He brings a wealth of experience to the role which will strengthen our business.

“Under his experienced guidance the business will further develop in line with our ambitious growth strategy to enter new markets and continue to offer our customers the high levels of reliability and safety the Suttons name is synonymous with.”

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Liverpool-based Ruler Analytics, a marketing attribution software provider, has expanded its team with key additions to each department within the company.

It has welcomed five new members across four key teams. The company welcomed Jordan Burns, Ralph Latham, Jason Flynn, Jaymie Smith, Helen Kay-Smith and Amber Sibbald.

The company obtained Innovate UK Smart Grants funding to develop its data science arm. As part of this expansion, Ruler has also brought on Benjamin Netherwood, machine learning scientist.

From left: Jason Flynn, Ralph Latham, Jordan Burns, Amber Sibbald, Benjamin Netherwood, Helen Kay Smith, Jaymie Smith

He will support Ruler’s development team to create new predictive, machine learning technology that will buffer the existing marketing attribution software. The team has already begun to map impression data that is previously untrackable to website and business results.

Netherwood brings expertise in machine learning to allow Ruler to provide predictive analytics to its customers. Benjamin has studied computational neuroscience, focusing his doctoral on information processing in human learning and memory.

He said: “It is excellent to be working with a very ambitious and rapidly iterating development team. Ruler Analytics is a breath of fresh air and innovation. The work we accomplish here will help facilitate increasingly granular insights into consumer behaviour and bring real world value. This is highly required in the marketing space so it’s exciting to be working on such an innovative new project.”

Ian Leadbetter, co-founder of Ruler Analytics, said: “We are delighted to have Benjamin and the rest of the team join our company as we enter our next phase of growth. With their expertise, we look forward to expanding our product suite and further innovating to help marketers get greater visibility and insight into their data.”

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Manchester based Hannah Saxe, senior associate solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, has been elected to the National Resolution Committee, which helps lead, shape and bring to life the vision of Family Law organisation Resolution.

Resolution is a community of 6,500 family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way. It was founded in 1982 by a group of family lawyers who believed that a non-confrontational approach to family law issues would produce better outcomes for separating families and their children.

Each year the membership votes new members onto the National Committee, Resolution’s board of directors.

Hannah Saxe

Hannah said: “It is a real honour to be elected on to the committee, to be able to help lead Resolution, and in turn, bring about positive changes to the Family Law system. I look forward to contributing to the committee’s great work in helping families of all types to have a better, less contentious experience.

“This year we have seen No-Fault divorce enter into UK law and more and more clients are asking us about how they can resolve their disputes more amicably whether through divorce or about their children.

“As a proud Mancunian and ally to our local LGBTQ+ community, I’m also hoping to raise awareness of how the family law system can support families with less traditional structures, too.”

Ros Bever, national head of Irwin Mitchell’s Family Law team, said: “I’m very proud that Hannah has been elected to the Resolution National Committee, a real testament to her expertise and hard work in the family law space.

“As family lawyers, achieving the best outcomes for our clients and their children is central to what we do, and for one of our own lawyers to be able to play a fundamental role in shaping how the family court system operates really is exciting.”

Irwin Mitchell has also strengthened its commitment to Family Law in the North West with the appointment of ‘rising star’ senior sssociate solicitor Emma Benson, further adding to one of the largest family law teams in the country.

This follows the launch of its family Mediation Support Service in January after finding growing demand from clients for ways to keep their divorce or children arrangements out of court. The firm also has specialist private client and residential property lawyers as well as a financial planning team to help clients with other aspects of their life-admin following divorce.

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