People: University of Liverpool; CMAC Group; Exchange; Pilot Group; Campfire; Teledata

Prof Tim Jones

Prof Tim Jones has begun his tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.

Prof Jones took up his position this Tuesday, joining Liverpool from the University of Birmingham where he held the post of Provost and Vice-Principal for more than six years.

He has returned to Liverpool more than 30 years after obtaining his PhD at the university and said it is an immense privilege to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor.

“In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be getting to know Liverpool’s vibrant community of staff, students and alumni and getting reacquainted with this wonderful city. I’m also looking forward to working with the large number of organisations in the city, wider city region and beyond with whom the university collaborates on impactful research and civic initiatives.”

He added: “I’m honoured to have joined the University of Liverpool to help build on its considerable achievements and work towards our local, national and global ambitions.”

Prof Jones gained both his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Liverpool, before working as a postdoctoral research assistant in the Surface Science Research Centre. The majority of his academic career was spent at Imperial College London and the University of Warwick, where he led several interdisciplinary research centres and consortia. His research was focused on the surface, interface and thin film properties of a wide variety of advanced electronic materials, with applications in areas such as photovoltaics.

He is also a member of several external boards and advisory groups including the Manufacturing Technology Centre and the Welsh Science and Innovation Advisory Council. He was previously a member of Council at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and was a founding board member of the Alan Turing Institute.

Prior to his role at the University of Birmingham, Prof Jones held a number of leadership positions at the University of Warwick, including Interim Provost, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science, Engineering and Medicine, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement, and Chair of the Faculty of Science.

Prof Jones succeeds Prof Dame Janet Beer who retired from the University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor role in December 2022, after almost eight years.


CMAC Group, the managed ground transport and accommodation specialist, has appointed Jason Hilton as head of account management. Reporting into the director of commercial, Ashley Seed, who is based in CMAC’s Accrington office, Jason will be responsible for implementing CMAC’s growth and retention strategies for existing customers in the public and private sectors including rail, aviation, onward travel, and travel management.

Jason Hilton

Jason brings more than 20 years’ senior experience in industries such as travel and healthcare to his new role. Prior to joining CMAC, Jason managed multimillion-pound client relationships as retention director at Health Management. Earlier in his career, Jason held commercial and operational positions in ITC Travel Group, Red Sea Holidays and The Co-operative Group.

“Jason has extensive experience in leading businesses, both operationally and commercially, which will be invaluable in building strategic relationships with our clients as we continue our expansion in the UK and overseas,” said Neil Micklewhite, chief operations officer at CMAC Group.”

“Jason’s expertise, and proven success, in improving customer satisfaction and retention, will enhance the service we offer our clients and play an important part in CMAC’s retention and growth activities in 2023 and beyond.”


Exchange, the tech scale-up support scheme, has appointed Mark Kuhillow, a successful serial media and tech entrepreneur, as its latest Entrepreneur in Residence after his exit from SaaS platform SingleView.

Following SingleView’s acquisition by international affiliate marketing network, Awin, Mark is taking the opportunity to impart his experience of starting, scaling and exiting businesses on Manchester’s thriving start-up community at Department Bonded Warehouse.

The media and digital marketing veteran started working in online businesses in the late 90s and has three decades of experience to draw on. He will mentor and advise the current cohort of more than 30 ambitious entrepreneurs that are members of the programme and welcome the latest cohort of start-ups set to join the scheme in March 2023.

Applications to join Exchange’s latest cohort of tech start-ups opened in early December, with judging and next stage interviews set to take place at the end of January 2023.

Since July 2020, the Enterprise City-based tech scale-up support scheme has supported more than 450 people from in excess of 100 businesses that have created around 120 jobs. Its start-ups have raised more than £10m in funding on their growth journeys to date.

Mark Kuhillow

Mark Kuhillow said: “I have a passion for innovation and tech, making this role perfect for my ambitions following the acquisition of my last business. I enjoy finding out what makes founders tick and making sure these feelings are reflected in their respective businesses. My aim is to play a genuine role in helping the businesses on Exchange understand how to drive real value to prospective clients and their stakeholders.

“I have run both bootstrapped and venture-funded businesses and learnt many lessons the hard way. So, anything I can share to support the next generation of tech businesses on their journeys might save them a sleepless night or two.”

Now in it’s third year, Exchange seeks to support the UK’s next generation of tech businesses reach their full potential. It offers ambitious entrepreneurs and their businesses a physical base within Department Bonded Warehouse in the city’s Enterprise City district.

Alice Pickersgill, community outreach lead at Exchange, said: “Mark is a great addition to Exchange, and has significant experience that will benefit the businesses on the programme. As we continue to grow and welcome more innovative businesses, we are placing a real focus on developing our partner network.”


Manchester-based sustainability expert, Pilot Group, has appointed a new managing director to lead its energy management business, as it progresses towards its ambition of saving businesses across the UK more than £1m in energy costs by June next year.

Lee Morgan, who took up the senior role this month, brings with him more than a decade of industry experience including most recently spending seven years leading mechanical and electric engineering services company, Thermatic Group.

Lee will be tasked with guiding Pilot Group towards saving a milestone £1.2m in energy costs for UK businesses and a reduction in carbon footprint of 2,200 organisations through the provision of its Energy Management System (EMS).

Lee Morgan

Coinciding with its 30-year anniversary this year, Pilot Group is on track to support organisations to collectively reduce their gas consumption by 12million kWh during its financial year ending in June, helping them to tackle unprecedented energy costs as well as achieving significant carbon reductions.

Joining Lee to bolster Pilot Group’s EMS team further is product manager Jordan Cooper as well as Joe Williams who will provide sales and operations support.

Hannah Abbas is also joining the team to take up the position of customer ervice and operations manager. In addition, the business is seeking to hire for a number of tech-focused roles in the near future.

Lee Morgan said: “I am extremely excited to join Pilot Group, which is at the forefront of carbon reduction and energy efficiency efforts.

“We have an energy management system that we can be really proud of, and along with Jordan, Joe, Hannah, the existing team, and others to come, I’m looking forward to leading the business to further growth and success throughout this year and beyond.”

Archie MacPherson, Pilot Group managing director, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Lee and his colleagues to the team. Our EMS division is an increasingly key area of focus for the company and meeting our target of saving businesses £1.2million this financial year will represent a huge milestone in the growth of the business.”


Manchester agency, Campfire, has welcomed three new employees.

Headed up by ex-Social Chain directors, Joe Gradwell and Alex Brown, the now 40-strong agency has seen significant growth since its conception in 2019.

Olivia Bence

Olivia Bence joins the team as the senior PR manager, as the agency decides to expand its services by introducing a PR department to its growing team.

Having previously worked at other Manchester agencies, Olivia will look to integrate PR into the influencer and social offering for Campfire clients.

She said: “I’m thrilled to join the team at Campfire as its senior PR manager. Campfire is incredibly innovative and creative in the way it delivers results for its clients.

“It’s a real honour to be part of the team and watch some of the work these individuals create. I’m excited to extend the client services and help set-up the PR department which will allow us to have fully integrated campaigns that get results.”

Lucy Warren joins from The Hut Group where she worked on the European teleshopping accounts and helped to launch three new brands on shopping channels both in the UK and Italy.

Lucy Warren

She said: “I’m super excited to join Campfire in a huge growth period, working on some incredible accounts. Working with some really influential people, I’m excited to learn from them and bring my own flare to the accounts team.

“Campfire’s morals on being a good person, integrity and honesty are what I can also align with. It’s great to work at a place where being a good person comes before anything else.”

Megan Ellis-Nock joins from Ryman, with more than four years’ experience as an expert in organic social. Megan has grown engaged online communities across a variety of social media channels.

Megan Ellis-Nock

She said: “The way consumers read about news and where they find information has all changed. We are now looking to social media to be educated, learn new facts and even influence our purchasing decisions.

“I’ve always been passionate about social media – especially with me spending hours scrolling through TikTok and Reels for hours on end – and I’m thrilled to have joined Campfire and own the organic social services. I’m excited to create innovative content plans that will take our clients to the next level.”

CEO, Joe Gradwell, said: “We’re at an incredibly exciting time of growth at Campfire. Our vision is to create a world class service for our clients and that’s why it’s so important we continue to bring in top tier talent.”


Following its acquisition by Datum Datacentres in September, Manchester data centre operator, Teledata, has further strengthened its team with the appointment of Kane Friend as support engineer – the second new hire in a month.

Kane joins the Teledata team as a first line/second line support engineer. He brings with him four years of experience working within a support capacity and holds a Level 3 Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship qualification and a degree in Forensic Computing and Security.

Kane Friend

Teledata, which is based close to Airport City in Wythenshawe, was recently acquired by Farnborough-based data centre provider, Datum Datacentres. This was the first regional bolt-on acquisition made as part of the firm’s regional expansion strategy.

Kane said: “I was drawn to Teledata due to the recent success the company has experienced and the opportunity the role will give me to work on exciting systems alongside new technology.”

Matt Edgley, director for Teledata, said: “Our acquisition by Datum has been followed up by a flurry of in-house promotions and new starters and we’re delighted to welcome Kane to the team at this exciting time. Kane’s analytical skills, alongside his previous industry knowledge and experience, will be of real benefit to the business and our clients and we’re looking forward to seeing Kane develop with us as part of the Datum Group.”

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