(L - R): Stephenson’s trio of new recruits Jamie Chesnutt, Martin Blanchard, and Alec Foster with Paul Pickering, who has been promoted to global head of sales.
Matthew Neville

This week’s Yorkshire appointments

Alec Foster, Jamie Chesnutt, and Martin Blanchard - Stephenson

Natural ingredients manufacturer Stephenson has marked the start to 2022 with a series of strategic appointments. Alec Foster, Jamie Chesnutt and Martin Blanchard have joined the Leeds based manufacturer following a year of solid growth for the business.

The latest appointments continue Stephenson’s ongoing plan for strategic growth which aims to establish the 164 year old firm as the manufacturer of specialty solid format soap bases and natural ingredients.

The business now employs over 140 staff at its Horsforth site, bolstering its headcount in the past 18 months with 40 new recruits across all divisions. Distribution channel partners worldwide, alongside facilities in North America, Europe and China all help to assist prompt delivery to customers in 50 different countries.

Alec Foster has joined as channel development manager having spent over 10 years working with consumer brands including Dr Oetker and McCain Foods. His new role has an international focus and will bring into play Alec’s strong retail and consumer expertise.

Jamie Chesnutt joins from a background in commercial utilities and in his new role as manufacturing account manager, will have responsibility for the EU and Middle East territories.

Prior to his new role as manufacturing account manager for the US, Martin Blanchard spent 20 years in the watch and jewellery industry working for premium brands such as Fossil Group as well as several diamond retailers.

Jamie Bentley, Stephenson CEO, commented: “Following some of the toughest economic challenges we’ve ever faced as a business, we’ve weathered the storm resiliently and stuck to our gameplan, increasing growth and adding to the workforce.”

Chloë Ellis - Mazars

Mazars, the international audit, tax and advisory firm, has appointed Chloë Ellis as Office managing partner in Leeds, succeeding Oliver Hoffman after almost a decade in the role. The Leeds office is one of Mazars’ largest outside of London, having nearly tripled its team in less than ten years, and now boasting 240 people.

Chloë, who has over 20 years’ experience in providing advice to owner-managed businesses and large corporate groups with complex international tax issues, joined Mazars as a partner in 2020.

Oliver Hoffman, partner and national Head of M&A, said: “It has been a great privilege to lead the team since 2012, and we have marked many significant milestones in recent years, including growing the team substantially and moving into our landmark office at Wellington Place.

“Chloë will lead a fantastic and dynamic team supporting a client base to be very proud of and I firmly believe that she will take the business from strength to strength in the years ahead”.

Chloë added: “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to drive the Leeds office forward. We have some truly fantastic people in Leeds and that, combined with the vibrant city in which we operate and the clients we serve, means it is a very exciting time for Mazars in the city.

“We have made significant investments over the last few years, both in our high calibre team and our location, which means that we are excellently placed to continue to flourish in future. I look forward to, and am excited by, the journey ahead for us all”.

Jessica Risorto, Laura Molloy, and David Cooper - Redbrik

South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire estate agents, Redbrik has promoted Jessica Risorto to director as it looks to develop a greater diversity of skills amongst the senior management team.

Since joining the property firm in 2015, Jessica has continually delivered and grown in every position within the sales department. Most recently, she held the position of Area Manager in Chesterfield, which she will continue to lead on.

Jessica will join managing director Mark Ross and directors David Cooper and Peter Lee as a member of Redbrik’s board of directors.

Mark Ross said: “Jessica has been with us for six years, and in that time, has gained a wealth of knowledge which we believe she will apply to her new role. David, Peter and I are thrilled that she will be supporting us with the delivery of strategic plans in 2022 and beyond.”

Jessica Risorto added: “I would like to say thank you to Mark, David and Peter for giving me this fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of the business. Coming from a hospitality background, prior to joining Redbrik, I understand the importance of exceptional customer service. I’m excited to bring this and many new ideas across the entire organisation.”

Redbrik has also announced that Laura Molloy has been promoted to area manager for the Crystal Peaks branch, after previously working as sales manager and then most recently assistant manager in Chesterfield.

A newly created position of head of residential sales will be held by David Cooper. As well as his role in managing the South West Sheffield branch and director duties, David will oversee the residential property sales operations of the business. This will involve facilitating an enhanced property sales service for home movers.

Dan Ibbeston - Portakabin Limited

Portakabin Limited has announced the appointment of Dan Ibbetson as chief executive officer.

Following the announcement of his retirement in September 2021, Derek Carter stepped down as CEO on 31 December 2021 after 10 years of leadership and service to the Shepherd Group.

Dan joins following 14 years with energy group Aggreko, latterly as Managing Director of Global Products and Technology. He led a period of significant investment in product and market development at Aggreko, which is the world-leading provider of mobile modular power, temperature control and energy services.

Dan Ibbetson, CEO, Portakabin comments: “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to lead Shepherd Building Group and its leading brand Portakabin. The company does extraordinary things for its customers and I’m really looking forward to learning more and meeting the people that make those things happen.

“Derek has built a strong base during his tenure, with phenomenal year-on-year growth in profit, offering terrific further potential and I’m excited about our future.”

During the last ten years, Derek Carter has led a period of significant investment and expansion for Portakabin across the UK and Europe.

Now employing 1,800 people across ten European countries, Portakabin serves clients across the healthcare, education, manufacturing, transport and utilities sectors and is the UK’s market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of modular buildings and a pioneer of advanced offsite construction.

Derek Carter commented: “As I hand over the reins and welcome Dan, I reflect with thanks upon the journey we have all made over the past ten years developing Portakabin and the changing face of the Shepherd Building Group.

“I am proud of the achievements and thankful for the unwavering support I have enjoyed from all employees, director colleagues, board colleagues and shareholders. I know Dan is relishing the opportunity to develop the company further and I wish him every success in the years of opportunity that lie ahead.”

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