People: EMIS; NYTimber; Yorkshire AI Labs; and more

Leeds-based EMIS has appointed GP, Dr Krishna Vakharia, as its chief medical officer for Health after 18 months with the business.

She joined the connected healthcare software and systems business in 2022 as the clinical director responsible for Patient and Patient Access App.

In her new role, which will run alongside her stewardship of Patient and Patient Access, as well as her position as locum NHS GP, she will be clinically accountable for all health aspects within product development at EMIS, including the phased roll-out of EMIS-X.

She said: “I feel privileged to be able to wear two important hats. In my role at EMIS I can influence innovation to improve health outcomes and make the lives of my primary care colleagues easier. And as a GP, I can see it in action within my community and amongst my peers.”

Dr Shaun O’Hanlon for the EMIS Group, added: “We are pleased to appoint Krishna as our chief medical officer for Health.

“As a working GP she is perfectly placed, she understands all too well the current climate and issues affecting GPs. She also has a deep understanding and passion towards driving transformation within the health tech industry.

“With Krishna, we have every confidence we are in very safe and capable hands.”


After a 60-year career in timber Peter Kershaw, of North Yorkshire headquartered timber merchants NYTimber, has retired.

Kershaw was managing director of NYTimber from 1996 to 2009, then continued to work part-time with the business on specialist products, sales and some staff training.

The first step in his timber career was down to chance. He left grammar school in December 1962 aged 17 with one GCE and was applying for jobs.

He took the first job he was offered at Thomas Aspden, an independent timber merchant in Blackburn, as a stock clerk. He then had a variety of roles in the office. A few years’ later the company was bought by Southern’s Ltd.

He was already studying for the Institute of Wood Science Certificate which he gained in 1967, attending Manchester College of Building and Manchester University after work.

He had moved into sales, further promotions followed and he joined the company’s in-house management training scheme.

In 1974 a move to a contractor then to a large joinery company as a buyer gave Kershaw first-hand experience from the customer’s perspective.

He joined NYTimber at Northallerton in 1985, having been asked by the company’s founder David Cook.

“Given the fairly general nature of the first job I had I’ve been very lucky being able to make a career in the industry working with a product I love,” said Kershaw

“My move to NYTimber was definitely the most significant part of my career. There have been highs and lows but overall it has been a very enjoyable time. I have met many people in the trade who are still friends.

“I think it’s important to be reliable, honest and work hard. My advice to anyone building a career in timber would be to take every opportunity to study and keep learning about the industry and the products you are dealing with.

“See timber wherever you can – in its natural state, in production, as a finished product.”

NYTimber became part of National Timber Group (NTG) in 2018.

Tom Andrews, trade branch director NTG England, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Peter, he is 100% customer centric.

“His product knowledge is extremely impressive and the way he works with colleagues has been great to see too, he is very patient and understanding.”

Nick Kershaw, Peter’s son, became managing director of NYTimber in 2009 and is now managing director of National Timber Systems, also part of National Timber Group.

Nick Kershaw said: “Peter has a vast knowledge and passion for all things timber. Over his long career he has led the way in aiming for service excellence through commitment to his customers, staff and suppliers.

“On behalf of all at National Timber Group we wish Peter a long and happy retirement.”


Dame Julie Kenny

Yorkshire AI Labs, a new venture capital firm headquartered in Sheffield, has appointed Dame Julie Kenny and Professor Keith Ridgway as advisors.

Kenny is a South Yorkshire-based entrepreneur and founding chair of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK.

She founded Pyronix in Rotherham in 1986, sold the manufacturer in 2016 and holds a number of roles in the public and private sector.

Ridgway was co-founder of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield and established the Nuclear AMRC and AMRC Training Centre.

In 2019, he joined the University of Strathclyde as executive chair of the Advanced Forging Research Centre and established the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

David Richards, managing partner of Yorkshire AI Labs, said: “Julie and Keith bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in industry, academia and regeneration and are exceptionally well connected in business and the community.”

Professor Keith Ridgway

Yorkshire AI Labs supplies a mix of venture capital funding and tech knowhow to companies with deep domain knowledge, existing customers and ambitions to develop new software products.

Kenny and Ridgway have both joined the board of IntelliAM, the fund’s first investment, as non-executive directors.

IntelliAM is a new AI platform that helps global food and beverage companies cut downtime and boost productivity and completed an initial fundraising earlier this year.

Kenny was awarded a damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 for her work with heritage and received a CBE in 2002 for her contribution to business.

Ridgway was awarded an OBE for services to UK manufacturing industry in 2005 and a CBE for services to UK manufacturing research in 2012.


SPG Resourcing has appointed Richard Howarth as an associate director to launch the company’s cybersecurity practice.

Howarth brings over 20 years of experience in IT recruitment, with the last eight years focused on IT Security.

He said: “I’m joining a fast-growing and ambitious team that has seen revenues double in the last 12 months.

“I look forward to working with clients to enhance their cybersecurity resources as we launch a specialism in the UK and North America.”

SPG Resourcing helps companies and organisations across the digital sector find the talent they need. It operates internationally from offices in Leeds and Newcastle.

The recruitment firm has seen revenue leap from £3.3m to £6m over the last 12 months. SPG Resourcing’s team grew from 11 to 16, and it launched a US division as part of its growth plans.

Sam Hameed, co-founder and managing director, said: “Richard is a hugely talented and experienced recruiter. His in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity will help companies boost their teams in this competitive sector.”