People: Ride Shotgun; Oakwood Property Solicitors; Yorkshire Agricultural Society; and more

Leeds and Sheffield-based brand activation and creative content agency, Ride Shotgun, has appointed Stephen Kenwright to lead its strategy and digital divisions.

Kenwright founded creative agency Rise at Seven with Carrie Rose in 2019, serving as chief commercial officer and taking the agency to more than £7m revenue and 110 staff across Sheffield, Manchester, London and New York, before exiting in 2022.

Before launching Rise at Seven, he served as head of digital at the UK’s largest automotive retailer Pendragon PLC, and strategy director at digital marketing agency Branded3, eventually merging it into Kin + Carta PLC.

He will regain the title of strategy director at Ride Shotgun, where he will report to co-founder and chief client officer Andy Weir.

Weir said: “We’re happy to be able to attract someone of Stephen’s calibre to Ride Shotgun and this is testament to the exciting growth journey we’re on.

“His leadership skills and proven track record of delivering outstanding results for big brands will help to make us even better, bringing new value to our existing clients, attracting new ones to our agency and creating even more opportunities for our team to grow.”

Kenwright said: “I chose to join Ride Shotgun partly because their content production capabilities allow me to take what I’ve started to the next level, executing campaigns across the entire search landscape – from Google to TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube – with a single in-house team.

“But I think there’s a bigger opportunity to build an agency that understands where search fits into the entire customer journey.

“The current economic environment means brands can’t afford to put search in a silo – and our scale means we can ride shotgun with the customer all the way from inspiration to purchase and beyond.”

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Oakwood Property Solicitors, a law firm in North Leeds, is expanding its team with the addition of three new starters this month.

This growth comes shortly after the appointment of Deborah Myerson as director, which has almost doubled the firm’s workforce.

Joining the team are Karen Dines, an experienced conveyancer; Sam Sleney, who will serve as a conveyancing assistant; and Alice Summers, also taking on the role of conveyancing assistant.

Myerson said: “This is a really exciting time for us. With our expanded team we will be able to offer our clients an even more streamlined and efficient service.”

Managing director, Abbigail Keech, added: “With Deborah Myerson heading up the team we can now take Oakwood Property Solicitors to another level, to offer a bespoke service to the people of North Leeds and beyond.

“It is a very exciting time for the Oakwood group as a whole and we look forward to seeing the progress the team can make.”

Oakwood Property Solicitors offers a range of property law services, including sales and purchases, Right to Buy agreements, Independent Legal Advice, Occupiers’ Consent and Joint Borrower and Sole Proprietor mortgages.

It is a sister company of multi-service law firm Oakwood Solicitors Ltd.

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The boss of a one-day agricultural show is to become the new society manager of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, organisers of the four-day Great Yorkshire Show.

CEO of the Driffield Agricultural Society, David Tite, will take over from current Yorkshire Agricultural Society Manager, Mark Stoddart who is moving on to become the secretary of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association.

After this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, Tite will join CEO Allister Nixon and new show director Rachel Coates to ensure the Great Yorkshire Show remains exciting and relevant to visitors and a mainstay in the national events calendar.

He will also work with Nixon on new opportunities and initiatives to drive the Yorkshire Agricultural Society forward.

Tite has worked at the Driffield Showground for over 30 years after starting off clearing the site as a 13-year-old. 

He said: “This is a fantastic next step for me and whilst I’m saddened to leave Driffield this was an opportunity not to be missed and I’m looking forward to joining a great team and working on the Great Yorkshire Show amongst the other events held on the Showground.”

Nixon said: “Mark and David are hugely passionate about the agricultural show industry having both been past national chairs of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO).

“We thank Mark for his passion and commitment to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and the Great Yorkshire Show over the last 20 years and we are pleased to welcome David with his wealth of show experience from another highly respected agricultural society.

“It is a testament to both Mark and David that they are deeply committed to delivering the Great Yorkshire Show (Tuesday July 9 – Friday July 12) and the Driffield Show (Monday July 17) before moving into their new roles.”

Coates said: “I very much look forward to working with David when I step into my new role at the end of this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.”

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Avacta Group, a life sciences company developing targeted cancer treatments and diagnostics, says Shaun Chilton has been appointed non-executive chairman replacing Eliot Forster, who is also stepping down from the Board.

The changes will occur with immediate effect.

Chilton has served as a non-executive director at Wetherby-based Avacta since June 2023, having previously held the position of chief executive officer of Clinigen Group plc, a global pharmaceutical services group offering access to medicines, operating in over 100 countries.

He has over 30 years’ experience leading and managing both private and public businesses and a track record of delivering growth in sales and business enterprise value.

As CEO, he led the sale of Clinigen in 2022 to Triton Partners for a total consideration of c. £1.3bn.

Chilton has considerable board experience within UK public companies and has held several other board level roles including serving as non-executive chair of MAP Patient Access Ltd and C7 Health Ltd.

As chair of C7 Health Ltd, he led the sale of the business to a strategic buyer in 2022.

He said: “I’ve worked in biopharma businesses for three decades and, having spent a year on the Board of Avacta, I understand the potential of the pre|CISION platform to transform the way we treat cancer.

“Avacta’s Board will continue to evolve to provide support for this platform and to ensure we optimise the tremendous opportunity for patients and shareholders alike.

“I’m excited to be stepping into the role of chair and to be working even more closely with the management team and wider Board.

“I’d also like to thank Eliot for his guidance and leadership of the Board and the expertise he has brought to bear.

“Avacta and the Board have benefited from his deep drug development and company building experience as well as his contacts in the sector across both public and private companies in Europe and the US.”

Christina Coughlin, CEO, said: “I look forward to working with Shaun in his new role as chairman of the Board and continuing to focus on the key goals and priorities for the company.

“Shaun is keenly aware of the potential that exists in our oncology pipeline to bring value to patients and shareholders alike and we will work together to deliver on that potential.

“I am grateful to Eliot for his guidance he has provided to Avacta and for his leadership across this transition.”

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