People: Fulfilmentcrowd; Dow Schofield Watts; Premier Textiles; Evolve; United Utilities; UHY Hacker Young

Katie Shepherd, left, and Rachel Miller

Chorley-based fulfilment services company, fulfilmentcrowd, has strengthened its senior team with a duo of new appointments, following impressive growth in the first half of its 2024 financial year.

Katie Shepherd joins the business as Head of Brand from growth design marketing company, Avidly, where she was the Strategic Solutions Manager. Bringing almost 10 years’ experience in sales and marketing.

Katie is no stranger to the fulfilmentcrowd brand having previously spent six years with the business from 2016 to 2021, most recently as Creative Brand Manager. In her new role, Katie will be responsible for developing the identity and equity of the fulfilmentcrowd brand.

She said: “Even in the short time I have been away, fulfilmentcrowd has grown substantially and it’s a great opportunity to be able to come back on board and play a central role in the business’s vision to becoming the stand out provider in this industry.”

Meanwhile, Rachel Miller joins as Head of Financial Reporting. Rachel spent seven years as an auditor before moving into industry roles, most recently with Victorian Plumbing where she was Group Financial Controller. In addition to her core day-to-day financial responsibilities, including strengthening fulfilmentcrowd’s internal control environment, Rachel will apply her knowledge of both UK and international tax compliance to support the company’s expansion overseas.

Rachel said: “Fulfilmentcrowd is a business with a unique proposition and strong growth plans. I look forward to implementing controls and streamlining processes where needed to support the brand’s financial functions and growth trajectory, across the UK and overseas.”

CEO, Lee Thompson, said: “Katie and Rachel’s appointments mark a strategic milestone for fulfilmentcrowd as we strive to amplify the financial standing of the business and its brand identity. Both hires significantly strengthen our senior team and positions us to further enhance and scale the business.”


Shenal Wijetunge

Financial advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts (DSW) has expanded its North West tax practice with the addition of a new R&D tax advice service.

It will be led by Shenal Wijetunge, who will be based in the firm’s Daresbury office and who joins from Signature Group. Shenal has 10 years’ experience in R&D tax advice, having previously worked in industry. He started his career working in R&D roles with Reckitt Benckiser, Heinz and pharmaceutical manufacturer Curia Global (formerly AMRI), helping to develop and implement new products and processes. Since becoming an R&D tax adviser, he has worked with EY and KPMG and helped businesses claim millions of pounds in tax relief.

He said: “The attraction of DSW was hugely compelling. It has the profile and full service capability clients expect. With my knowledge, expertise and network I am really looking forward to working with the existing partners, Dave Waddington and Andrew Robinson, in driving the business forward.”

The new service is the latest in a series of additions for DSW including the acquisition of Lancashire-based tax specialist STS Europe last September and the launch of DSW Principal Partners in February.

James Dow, CEO of DSW Capital said: “The new R&D tax service is the sixth addition to our services in nine months and follows on quickly from the launch of DSW Principal Partners in February. We have been very consistent in our goal to expand our network with the addition of complementary service lines. DSW Innovation Incentives has a strong synergistic fit and will further enable us to grow our national and international footprint.”


Sarah Marlow

Premier Textiles, an importer of fabrics, yarns and finished fabrics, has recruited a new head of supply chain.

Sarah Marlow joins the independent family-owned group which was founded in 1981 and has more than 50,000 sq ft of modern warehousing space in Stockport and Bury.

It comes after Premier Textiles last year became the sole owner of Premex Solutions, which prompted the opening of a new 10,000 sq ft warehouse in Atlanta to service the growing demand of the digital print ready fabric market in North America.

The group’s other core company is Premier Digital Textiles, a supplier for quality coated fabrics for digital textile printing.

Sarah, who joined following a 15-year spell with Arthouse, said: “The industry is going through an exciting time and there’s a lot of competition. Premier is very well established having been in existence for more than 40 years and we want to continue to be at the forefront of innovation, product development and sustainability solutions.”

Group Managing Director, Ashok Kallumpram, said: “It’s very pleasing that Sarah has joined. She has a great deal of experience and plenty of fresh ideas.”


Stuart Milroy

Evolve, the Wigan-based provider of managed network solutions and IT services, has appointed Stuart Milroy as Head of Technical Delivery.

Stuart is a seasoned IT professional with an impressive career spanning more than 30 years in the sector. Previous roles have included Head of Project Management and Professional Services at Adept4, Head of Project at Ensign Communications, and Senior IT Project Manager at Maintel and Intrinsic Technology.

Alan Stephenson-Brown, CEO at Evolve Business Group, said: “We’re thrilled to bring Stuart into our organisation. Throughout his career, Stuart has consistently demonstrated exemplary leadership, strategic foresight, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. His ability to navigate complex projects, mentor teams, and drive results has earned him a great reputation in the industry. I’m confident his contributions will be invaluable as we continue to grow as an organisation.”

Stuart said: “Evolve has a stellar reputation for unrivalled customer service and I’m looking forward to joining the team. My immediate focus will be on the customer experience and project governance, and how I can contribute to elevating the level of service Evolve provides even further.”


Clare Hayward

United Utilities Group has appointed Clare Hayward as an independent non-executive director with effect from April 16, 2024. On appointment, Clare will become a member of the Nomination Committee and the ESG Committee.

Having chaired both the NP11 group of northern local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) since June 2023, and the Cheshire and Warrington LEP since May 2020, having been a member of its board since 2015, Clare has worked with boards and senior management teams across the globe over the past 20 years in a variety of industry sectors, including technology, banking, natural resources, manufacturing and retail.

She also co-founded and sold two highly successful international leadership consulting businesses and has established a strong reputation for championing the North West’s diverse communities and supporting social enterprises.

United Utilities Chair, Sir David Higgins, said: “Clare has played a key role across Northern England fostering collaboration between the private and public sectors to boost economic growth and support job creation. She is a passionate advocate of our North West region and her vast experience of effective partnership working alongside her involvement with community interest and charity organisations is invaluable given our role at the heart of local communities. Her entrepreneurial background will bring a fresh approach to our board thinking and I am delighted she has accepted the role.”

Clare will also be appointed to the board of United Utilities Water with effect from April 16, 2024.


Stephen Kerrigan and David Kendrick

UHY Hacker Young Manchester has appointed a new Tax Partner, Stephen Kerrigan, to contribute towards its expansion.

Stephen joins the team with 20 years of experience within tax and is an esteemed member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Prior to joining UHY, Stephen was a Partner in a top 10 firm for more than three years, advising clients of all shapes and sizes, with a particular focus on owner-managed businesses in the SME space and high net worth individuals.

Stephen said: “UHY feels like the perfect place for me to further my career in tax with ambitious growth plans and a leadership team with a strong sense of togetherness and direction. I look forward to working alongside the skilled tax team to deliver results to our clients.”

David Kendrick, Chief Executive, said: “I’m really pleased that Stephen has joined the growing team at UHY. He is a very well respected and ambitious professional in the North West market and will bring an extra dynamic to our strong tax offering, supporting clients and contacts across the region.”

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