People: BDO; Vyta Health; ilk Agency; and more

Accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO, has revealed a new regional managing partner for Yorkshire and the North East.

Gareth Singleton will take over the role from July 2024 and will oversee the 180-strong audit, tax and advisory teams across the region including 14 other partners.

During his 16 years as an audit partner with the firm, he has built up strong expertise across BDO’s core markets.

He has provided audit and assurance services to large private and public companies, specialising in the manufacturing, construction and energy generation sectors.

In his new role, he will be responsible for spearheading the future strategy and vision for BDO in the region.

Singleton said: “I’m really looking forward to working alongside the hugely talented team that Terry Jones has developed and led for many years, as we look to capitalise on the significant market opportunity that exists in the region.

“Our focus will be on supporting the team to grow and build on the strong foundations we have put in place, while remaining focused on our people proposition to ensure that our team has the confidence and skills to continue to deliver high quality services to the ambitious businesses we work with in the region.”

He succeeds Terry Jones ahead of his planned retirement in early 2025, after nearly 40 years in the profession.

Jones has been BDO’s regional managing partner in Yorkshire and the North East for over a decade, leading the region through the significant expansion of the team, as well as guiding the team through the pandemic.

Jones added “It’s been my absolute pleasure to have been part of the office’s growth and development since joining in 2005.

“In over 10 years as regional managing partner, there have been many successes as well as some challenges, including a global pandemic, growing geo-political tensions and economic uncertainty.

“During that time, we have expanded into new offices, developed the strong team of today, including the appointment of 11 of our current partner group, welcomed and developed our annual trainee cohort into the advisers of today and the future, all while building a strong and sustainable practice.

“Our achievements are testament to the hard work of everyone in the region, and I’m grateful to them all. I know Gareth will do a fantastic job of leading this brilliant team.”

Jones will also hand over the role of local head of tax to Steve Talbot, who is currently global employer services partner for the North region.

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Vyta Health, an international vitamin distributor headquartered in East Yorkshire, has invested in its leadership team with two senior appointments.

Bridie Holowkiewicz recently joined as commercial director based in the UK and Marie Malkomes has been appointed as head of Amazon, based in the Netherlands office. 

Holowkiewicz has more than 17 years’ experience in senior roles with a background in sales, operations and customer service.

Malkomes is an e-commerce specialist with more than 10 years’ experience in digital sales and marketing.

Vyta Health now has 46 employees across two locations, and a further two new roles have recently been created.

Holowkiewicz said: “I’m really pleased to join Vyta Health at such an exciting time for the business. I’m looking forward to maximising the potential of our sales and operational functions in line with our customer-centric approach.”

Will Brennand, group CEO, said: “We’re happy to welcome Bridie and Marie to the team. They both bring a wealth of experience and will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our ambitious growth plans.”

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Leeds-based integrated marketing agency, ilk, has a new addition to its Board of Directors – social & paid director Shauna Madden.

Madden has progressed to the role of director after joining the agency as a PR manager in 2018, and has been heading ilk’s Social & Paid Media team since 2021.

During that time, she has led and contributed to some of the agency’s biggest accounts, securing new business wins and delivering award-winning results for her clients.

Most notably, she has grown the agency’s social & paid media offering from a service within the PR function, to a fully fledged team.

She now manages six social and paid specialists, operating as a profitable department with an expanding roster of national and international clients.

Nev Ridley, managing director, said: “We are dedicated to our people, their progression, and employee retention. There’s no better example than Shauna’s progress over the past six years, from new hire to the board.

“Over the past 25 years, we’ve witnessed numerous shifts in media consumption and tech.

“Shauna’s expertise in the paid and social space has proved hugely beneficial not only for our clients, but for the agency as a whole.

“Her skillset and contribution to the business go far beyond her department, and we look forward to her insight on wider business strategy in the future.”

Madden added: “I’ve learnt so much during my time here, and I’d never have imagined on my first day six years ago when I joined in a PR role, that I’d one day be joining the board from a growing social and paid department.

“It’s been amazing to lead a department here, and to grow such a brilliant team. I look forward to working with the rest of the board, contributing to ilk’s continued growth and success.”

Her new role will see her join managing director Nev Ridley, client & operations director Lauren Greenway, design director Stewart Williams and director of strategy & creative copy Richard Hanney.

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Sheffield-headquartered National Timber Group (NTG) has appointed Joanne Thompson as chief people officer.

She will lead on employee engagement, talent attraction and development, and ensuring consistency across the group in all aspects of HR.

Thompson has 25 years’ experience in all areas of human resources with a focus on talent management and driving commercial performance through the organisation’s people.

Her career began at Marks & Spencer where she worked for 22 years, followed by cancer charity Macmillan and latterly mobility solutions provider Zigup.

She is a member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).

Thompson said: “I’m excited to join National Timber Group and its 1,300 people in England and Scotland.

“The focus of my team and I will be colleague engagement so all our people feel part of the future growth of the business.

“We want to create an inclusive place to work where all colleagues become problem solvers and see themselves developing their skills in a company where there is active progression.

“We aim to attract the very best people, not just from the timber industry, but from all sectors, and to engage, retain and reward the talent we have.

“My absolute focus is on our people, to support them and in turn, grow the business performance and culture.”

Thompson is a member of NTG’s executive team reporting to group chief executive Scott Cairns.

Cairns said: “The group’s companies are all long-established specialists in timber. We’re proud of our heritage whilst also being a forward-thinking business where people can build their careers.

“This new position is all about the people in the business and how we can do the best for all our colleagues.

“Joanne brings a wealth of hands-on experience to the role and a level of enthusiasm and professionalism that will deliver a hugely interactive and fulfilling employee experience.”

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