People: Manchester Chamber; Mobysoft; Green Shield Group; Co-op; BGEN; Summize; Clarke Willmott; Hispec; Bespoke

Emma Holt

Emma Holt has been re-elected for a second term as President of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

At the AGM held on April 26, Chamber Vice Presidents Malcolm Pike and Christian Mancier were re-elected with Phil Cusack serving another term as Chair.

During her speech Emma reflected on the numerous challenges facing many businesses at present. However, looking forward to the next 12 months, she stated a degree of optimism with the many opportunities for Greater Manchester from the new Trailblazer Devolution Deal.

She finished her speech with a promise: “Over the next 12 months I look forward to playing a vital role in developing the work the chamber does to help spread the message about the benefits of membership and make sure that the needs and views of businesses are fully and authentically represented and responded to by leaders and decision makers.”

The AGM was followed by the chamber’s Spring Assembly where attendees heard more about the Devolution Deal and also the chamber’s planned campaigns for the next 12 months.


Chris Fleck, Paul Jackson, Nicola Brazewell

Data analytics provider to the social housing sector, Mobysoft, has expanded its executive management team with the appointment of Chris Fleck, Chief Technology & Product Officer, Paul Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer, and Nicola Brazewell, Chief People Officer.

The move forms part of the Manchester-based SaaS business’s ambitious growth plans and extends the existing executive board to seven, with each new member bringing a wealth of knowledge and insight to their respective areas of the business.

Chris Fleck joins from LandTech, a global PropTech business serving thousands of property developers in the UK and USA, where he was CTO for the past three years. Prior to LandTech, Chris spent 10 years as CTO in other fast growing SaaS businesses.

Paul Jackson has more than 30 years’ experience in B2B technology and professional services marketing, spanning several markets and global regions. Paul joins Mobysoft from Clinisys, where, as CMO, he led the marketing evolution over the past three years. Paul began his marketing career at KPMG and has a wealth of marketing experience gained from a career spanning several international healthcare IT vendors.

Nicola Brazewell joins from Interactive Investor where she was contracted as Head of People. Prior to that, Nicola was Head of HR, Northern Europe at Hilti, for eight-and-a-half years. Nicola has more than 25 years of HR experience, covering the financial services, construction and FMCG sectors.

Mobysoft CEO, Paul Evans, said: “It’s great to have Chris, Paul and Nicola on board for this next stage in our growth and I’ve no doubt that each will contribute positively to maintaining Mobysoft’s standing as the social housing sector’s most trusted data-analytics partner.”


Lee Roberts

Lancashire-based renewable energy providers Green Shield Group has announced Lee Roberts as its new commercial franchise manager.

Lee, who has been part of the Green Shield team working in sales for the past two years, has moved into the Franchise Management and Training role with the aim of expanding the franchise model nationally.

Since its launch in 2020, Green Shield Group has three franchises operating across Glasgow, North Wales, and Cheshire, with plans to expand to a further 28 territories over the next two years. There are currently 62 territories available, and the expansion plan is fully supported by technical capabilities within design, procurement, and installation and full access to renewable funding.

Lee Roberts said: “It has been great working with the sales team for the last two years. However, this opportunity to lead as part of the Green Shield Group franchise team is a perfect fit for me. I can now enjoy translating the skills I’ve learned in my previous role to enhance and further expand the franchise network nationwide, whilst nurturing these new territory managers along their journey.”

Green Shield Group specialises in delivering carbon reduction strategies for businesses across the UK.


Rachel Hargreaves

Rachel Hargreaves has joined the Manchester-based Co-op as Director of Property, Development and Estates, as the convenience retailer drives strategic growth plans.

Joining Co-op from Lidl Great Britain, Rachel’s position involves a focus on ensuring Co-op is at the forefront of landowners, developers and agents minds as the go-to convenience operator for new retail floor space – whether that is freehold or leasehold sites for Co-op’s own operations, or locations for its growing franchise business which enables Co-op to bring its products and the benefits of membership to more communities.

The role also includes directing and leading on new initiatives to maximise the potential of the retailer’s existing portfolio of properties.

Rachel will report into Co-op’s Group Property Director, Heather Thomas. Rachel said: “I am thrilled to join Co-op at such a key time. Co-op is an iconic British household name that is marking its 180th anniversary, and it is clear that the importance of co-operation in communities across the UK could not be more relevant today.”

Heather Thomas, said: “With our stores located at the heart of local community life, we are planning for the future with a focus on growing our business for our member-owners, and enhancing the value we deliver to them and their communities – whether that is acquiring new space or maximising the potential of our existing estate. Rachel brings a wealth of experience and joins us at an exciting time as we continue to put in place the building blocks for our strategic growth plans across our Co-op.”


Ron Ellis

Warrington-based BGEN, an engineering firm driving the energy transition, has appointed Ron Ellis as Head of Business Development.

In his new role, Ron is tasked with building on the company’s recent success and securing additional contracts in sectors including power and energy, pharmaceuticals, utilities, industrial and food and beverage.

Reporting into CEO Robin Whitehead, Ron is responsible for the development and implementation of BGEN’s sales strategy across all its business units, including Engineering Solutions, Technology, Nuclear and International. He will also oversee the expansion of BGEN’s mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control and automation (MEICA) offering amongst its current client portfolio, as well as securing new business opportunities in the energy transition space.

He said: “BGEN has enjoyed significant growth in recent years and I’m looking forward to playing my part in the future success of the company. As a business, we’re here to help solve some of the toughest engineering challenges of the modern world. BGEN has an enviable reputation within the sectors it operates, and along with the wider team, we’ll be identifying and securing contracts which align with our strategic goals.”

CEO, Robin Whitehead, said: “It’s testament to our reputation as an employer of choice that we’re able to welcome someone of Ron’s calibre to our senior team. He brings with him a wealth of experience, much of which has been gained in the energy sector.”


Rahul Saggar

Summize, the Manchester and Boston-based Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) disruptor, has appointed new Chief Revenue Officer, Rahul Saggar, as the company continues its focus on expansion and growth.

With more than 18 years of experience working in and leading high growth sales teams, Rahul brings a wealth of knowledge from his time at high growth technology companies including AppSense and Checkpoint.

Rahul will be responsible for revenue generation at the company, leading the global sales team in their quest to help businesses streamline their contract management processes using technology and AI.

The new follows Summize’s expansion to North America with the opening of a new office in Boston, MA and the launch of its US subsidiary, Summize Inc in summer 2023.

Rahul said: “It’s an exciting time to be part of Summize as there is a very real need for the technology, as proven by the global brands including Huel, Miami Heat, Revolut and Seat Geek benefiting from our differentiated approach to CLM. I am really excited to join the Summize leadership team and contribute to this transformative journey in the years ahead.”

CEO. Tom Dunlop, said: “Since we launched Summize, we’ve had our sights set firmly on expansion both in the UK and across new markets. We are extremely excited to have Rahul on board to spearhead our next phase of growth.”


Matthew Dootson

The Manchester office of national law firm Clarke Willmott has announced a series of internal promotions for 2024.

Included in the announcement are three lawyers who are due to be promoted to partner, subject to approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Matthew Dootson in the corporate and commercial team specialises in multi-site partnership structures within the healthcare sector, mergers and acquisitions, corporate structuring, joint ventures, corporate finance, commercial contracts and data governance.

Mark Christie specialises in both contentious and transactional construction law acting for all types of clients including funders, developers, professional consultants, main contractors and sub-contractors.

The final partner announced is Harriet Atkin, who specialises in contentious construction law. Harriet has developed a particular specialism in assisting clients with technical engineering projects and has recently acted for a number of different clients in relation to various automotive, power generation and marine projects and has conducted multimillion-pound litigation and adjudications on behalf of those clients.

Also promoted in the Manchester office is Geraldine Stephens who becomes a senior associate in the commercial litigation team. Geraldine specialises in legal disputes ranging from breach of contract, professional negligence, injunction proceedings, complex debt recovery, shareholder disputes, misrepresentation and contentious probate.

Clarke Willmott CEO, Peter Swinburn, said: “I’m pleased to announce this year’s internal promotions. As ever, this process has been a great opportunity to see the strength of talent and diversity we have across the practice”


Chris Loughlin and Gareth Barnbrook

Chorley based Hispec, the UK supplier of fire detection and lighting products, has strengthened its management team with the appointment of a national head of housing.

Gareth Barnbrook brings more than 20 years of industry experience. He will lead the team across the housing sector, covering both social housing and private property developments, to help ensure dwellings have adequate fire detection and emergency lighting.

Chris Loughlin, managing director of Hispec, said: “Here at Hispec, we’re currently going through a period of growth and have made several senior team hires. Gareth joins us in an exciting new role, which will see him lead our housing team, helping to keep people in social housing and private property developments safe.”

Gareth said: “I’m joining the Hispec team at an exciting time and can’t wait to get stuck in. The business has seen exponential growth over the last five years and, with two decades of experience in the business development space, I’m confident that joining forces with Chris and the team will allow me to further grow the housing arm of the business.”


Beth Mairs and Laura Morris

Digital marketing agency, Bespoke, has appointed two new digital marketing strategists based at its Strawberry Fields offices in Chorley.

The appointment of Laura Morris and Beth Mairs brings the online lead generation specialist agency’s digital marketing strategy team to four, and will see them working with clients across the country, within specialist sectors across the manufacturing and services industries, to devise and implement lead generation strategies aimed at achieving exceptional sales growth online.

With 14 years of experience in marketing, Laura’s previous roles have included in-house positions at Preston North End and Progress Lifeline before joining Bespoke.

Laura said: “Bespoke has a fantastic reputation in the industries in which they specialise, taking a partnership approach to delivering effective online strategies, so I’m really excited to be joining the team.”

Beth said: “Working hand-in-hand with in-house client teams to achieve the best results, Bespoke has a great working culture and team ethic, which really helps them stand out, and is something that feels great to be part of.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...