People on the Move: North East firms announce key appointments

A team of chartered accountants is aiming for growth after strengthening its management team with two senior appointments.

Waltons Clark Whitehill has appointed Sharon Hutchinson as operations director, with Paul Harrison taking on the role of managing director.

Mr Harrison, who has been a partner at Waltons Clark Whitehill for 13 years, succeeds Heather O’Driscoll, who is remaining with the business as a senior director following a successful 10-year period at the helm.

He said: “Previously, ably guided by Heather, the directors were each responsible to look after different areas of the business, but Sharon’s remit is to take that off our hands so we can truly focus on our clients. We see the operations director position as a crucial role new role to enable our development going forward.”

Jason Adams of Rockliffe Hall
Jason Adams of Rockliffe Hall
(Image: Rockliffe Hall)

The managing director of two North East hotels have been appointed to the board of Pride of Britain Hotels.

Jason Adams, of Rockliffe Hall, and Ross Grieve, of Seaham Hall, have joined the board for the 50-strong collection of the UK’s finest, independently owned hotels.

Mr Adams said: “I am delighted to join the Pride of Britain non-executive board at such an exciting time for the hospitality industry as we reopen our doors.

“The past year has been tough, but I’m feeling positive about the next few months and what we can bring to guests who are longing for those missed hotel experiences. I look forward to working alongside my fellow non-executive board members and the wider Pride of Britain leadership team.”

Scott Graham of CMS
Scott Graham of CMS
(Image: CMS)

Commercial Maintenance Services UK Ltd (CMS) has appointed Scott Graham to lead its new North West engineering hub.

As technical manager, he will organise the eight-strong team of engineers and ensuring all regulatory and legislative requirements are met in the delivery of its business-critical services.

Prior to joining the facilities maintenance company, which is headquartered in Gateshead, Mr Graham was employed by South Tyneside Homes for more than 14 years.

Mr Graham said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining CMS and this role presents a fresh challenge and an opportunity to further develop my career. I’m confident that my organisational skills will make the new North West hub a real success and drive CMS’ growth in that region.”

Amanda Hardie, head of junior school at Newcastle High School for Girls
Amanda Hardie, head of junior school at Newcastle High School for Girls
(Image: Newcastle High School for Girls)

Newcastle High School for Girls (NHSG) has announced its new head of junior school with transformational plans to refresh its curriculum and boost its co-curricular activity programme.

Amanda Hardie, current acting head of junior school and NHSG’s deputy head, academic, will be taking over the role permanently with immediate effect, bringing with her a wealth of experience and passion having worked in a girls-only setting for almost 25 years.

Ms Hardie became deputy head, academic at NHSG Senior School in 2014 following the merger of Church and Central High. Prior to this, she was director of studies at Church High and had previously qualified as a teacher of religious studies and english after graduating from Oxford University.

She said: “My vision for Junior School is in essence very simple – I want the girls to flourish and be supported from day one so that they become the very best version of themselves. I will be working alongside the experienced staff at NHSG so that every girl will be enriched academically and creatively and all within our truly warm, happy and caring school environment.”

Julian Brown has joined Samuel Knight International as a non-executive director
Julian Brown has joined Samuel Knight International as a non-executive director
(Image: Tristan Stedman – MHI Vestas)

Samuel Knight International has announced the appointment of Julian Brown, a director of RenewableUK, in a non-executive position.

Mr Brown brings over 20 years of wind industry experience to the firm and will be a key driver in building further relationships for Samuel Knight International within the renewable energy talent market.

Holding several senior board positions across the energy space, he was chairman for RenewableUK for several years and is a director for the leading trade association.

Mr Brown said: “Building the talent pool to support the decarbonisation of our planet, is the biggest single challenge of our time. It is critical that, as an industry, we level up and prepare to deliver a solid talent base that will enable greater commercial performance for businesses in the renewable energy industry.”

Arthur McLaughlin of Blue Square Utilities
Arthur McLaughlin of Blue Square Utilities
(Image: Blue Square Utilities)

Blue Square Utilities (BSU) has appointed Arthur McLaughlin as its new chief operating officer.

The Jarrow business, which expects to install 100,000 smart meters in 2021, aims to draw on Mr McLaughlin’s experience as former COO and head of IT and transformation services for JP Morgan, as well as a position as the global account director and COO for the AstraZeneca account at IBM.

He said: “I love being at the sharp end of a business which is growing and transforming. Blue Square’s ambition within the smart tech space is fantastic, as is the culture, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“My priority is to move the needle of business performance and explore how we maximise our strategic direction, while targeting efficient operating models which can be converted into executable programmes that deliver value realisation.”

Read More: People on the Move: North East firms announce key appointments