Janie Gonsalez and Harry Burton, RapidSpike.
Jane Imrie

This week's Yorkshire appointments

Janie Gonsalez and Harry Burton, RapidSpike

Website performance and cybersecurity company RapidSpike has made two new appointments to its team.

The firm has appointed Janie Gonsalez as sales and account manager and Harry Burton as customer success engineer.

Janie has joined RapidSpike following a six-year long career in events and business development for companies including The Yorkshire Mafia and Think Summits.

In her new role Janie will be responsible for nurturing and maintaining key client relationships; this includes regular engagement with current and prospective customers and helping businesses to boost website performance and cybersecurity through the RapidSpike platform.

Janie commented: “I’m so pleased to be part of the RapidSpike team, it has been all hands-on deck due to the upcoming Google algorithm changes.

“With only 23 per cent of businesses currently passing Core Web Vital tests consistently, many don’t realise the impact this will have on their organic search performance.

“With supportive colleagues and a world-class web-performance offering, I’m excited to help start making a difference to our clients and their customers.”

Harry joins the company with two years marketing and sales experience, and his role as customer success engineer will see Harry supporting customers by assisting with queries as well as producing tutorials and articles.

Commenting on the appointments, RapidSpike’s CEO Gav Winter said: “Ultimately, clients come to us to help their business grow, and there are a number of ways RapidSpike can help them do that through our next generation website monitoring.

“Both Janie and Harry showed us that they understood the RapidSpike mission and the needs of our clients, so we’re confident they will play a vital part towards making websites safer, faster and more reliable for everyone.”

Louise Soulsby, York Cares

Employee volunteering charity York Cares has appointed Louise Soulsby as chair.

Currently the UK communications lead at Aviva UK, Louise has over 28 years’ experience within the financial services and transport industry.

Louise commented: “Employee-volunteers give over 10,000 hours of their time each year to over 200 community organisations and schools in some of York’s most disadvantaged areas.

“York Cares is such a simple name, but it conveys so much, as it is the essence of what this wonderful charity does.

“I’m excited to be joining York Cares as chair and to hopefully bring more people together to make a difference to our local community.”

Steve Egbury, Signum Facilities Management

Facilities management company Signum Facilities Management has appointed Steve Egbury as operations manager.

Steve joins the growing company with a range of experience having spent much of his career in finance, specialising over the last four years in the drainage and construction sector.

Steve said: “My extensive background in sales and customer service within the commercial sector has allowed me to gain a great deal of experience in operations and leading major accounts for some of the biggest names in logistics and warehousing.

“The opportunity to work for a highly respectable company like Signum FM came at just the right time for me as I was looking for a new challenge. I am really pleased to be working with Jill and Ian Wood, both directors, as our paths have crossed in the past in my previous roles so I know what a great family business they have built.

“I’m looking forward to being part of an award-winning company, who always deliver on their promises to their clients and am already enjoying being part of the facilities management industry which is so varied and rewarding.”

Jill Wood, managing director of Signum Facilities Management, added: “We’re thrilled to welcome Steve to our team here at Signum. He joins us with just the right background to help our company grow and move up to the next level as we look to expand our offering and build our business within Doncaster, Yorkshire and beyond.

“As has been the case for lots of businesses up and down the country, the least year has been difficult, but we are really confident about the future and Steve’s appointment is the next step in our exciting growth plans.”

Kate Lax, Wake Smith Solicitors

Wake Smith Solicitors has promoted Kate Lax to director.

Kate joined the firm in 2013 and works in the medical negligence team. She represents clients from across the country in a variety of claims covering all aspects of medical negligence, including claims concerning birth injuries, surgical errors, dental negligence, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis.

Kate graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a Law and Criminology degree in 2005 and then went on to complete her Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Trent University in 2008.

Kate has specialised in Personal Injury and Medical Negligence since 2007 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2013 at a Manchester based firm, practising Medical Negligence since.

Kate commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to have become a director at Wake Smith. I am proud to have reached this milestone with the firm and I very much look forward to contributing more towards its continued success.”

John Baddeley, chairman at Wake Smith Solicitors, added: “I would like to congratulate Kate on her promotion, which is very well deserved and a testament to her hard work and dedication to the firm.

“I have no doubt Kate will continue to input further into the firm and provide a first class service to our clients.”

Henry Ropner, eviFile

Construction and rail tech company eviFile has appointed Henry Ropner as non-executive director.

Previously a non-executive director of Masstech, Sohonet, Kallidus and Oka Direct, Henry brings with him a range of engineering, software, and private equity experience, having spent over 12 years completing MBOs and growth capital deals.

Henry holds a first-class degree in Engineering from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s degree in Finance and Investment from Edinburgh University Management School. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PWC.

Henry commented: “I have a genuine passion for civil engineering and high growth software businesses, having read civil engineering and construction management at university and spent 12 years working for a technology focused private equity firm.

“I’m excited to use my experience and background to help a small number of high-potential software businesses. I see real potential within eviFile, and it’s my role to help the company and management team achieve their ambitions.”

Luke Allen, managing director of eviFile added: “I am delighted to welcome Henry to the Board, and his extensive experience will help us on our journey to transform how the construction industry operates.

“With a track record of working alongside, and supporting, management teams to execute key strategic initiatives and help deliver high performance, his appointment is crucial in supporting the management team during the next stage of growth.”

Carl West, Sheffield Forgemasters

Sheffield Forgemasters has appointed Carl West as health, safety and environment (HSE) director.

Carl, a health and safety specialist for 20 years, joins the company from Parker Hannifin where he was division EHS manager.

Carl is a fellow member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). He is also a practitioner member of The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

Gareth Barker, COO at Sheffield Forgemasters, commented: “Health, safety and environmental responsibilities are our primary objective and nothing that we do carries more importance than the safety of our employees and those attending our site.

“Carl has a prestigious background as a senior HSE practitioner within industry and also has a strong understanding of the challenges posed by heavy engineering. We are delighted to welcome him to Sheffield Forgemasters.”

Carl added: “I am excited to be a part of this iconic company and to carry on with the good work that has been done by my predecessors to transform the business and to implement 21st century standards within such a historic setting.

“The fact that Sheffield Forgemasters has been certified against ISO 45001 is an outstanding factor and was part of the reason that I was attracted to the role.”

“This is an exceptional company and I look forward to growing the health and safety culture, with encouragement and support from our forward thinking senior management team.”

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