Mark Adair

This week's North East appointments

This week’s round up of North East appointments includes GB Bank, Alt lab, RWO and ExMesh. Read on to find out more.

Megan McCracken, GB bank

North East challenger bank GB Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Megan McCracken as Senior Independent Director.

GB Bank is a new specialist bank headquartered in Middlesbrough. Committed to boosting economic growth and prosperity for underserved regions of the UK, GB Bank will provide accessible, bespoke property development loan products with incentives for developments that are sustainable and provide positive social impact.

Megan is an experienced Non-Executive Director with board roles across global corporations like State Street and Fidelity, as well as smaller, high growth businesses. She brings a breadth of industry expertise to GB Bank, together with a depth of finance, digital and ESG skills.

Megan holds a master’s diploma in Corporate Governance and was awarded the Institute of Directors Non-Executive Director of the Year and Innovate Finance’s Standout Fintech awards. She is dedicated to GB Bank’s mission, saying “It’s exciting to join a bank with such an important role in supporting regional development and helping the UK to achieve its Levelling Up agenda.”

Paul Rippon, GBB’s Non-Executive Chairman, said: “I am delighted to welcome Megan McCracken to the board. Dynamic and talented, Megan has an incredibly impressive track record and brings experience, energy and vision to the role.”

Russell Mills, Samantha Wilcox, Janaid Hanif, Alt labs

Teesside-based digital innovation product studio, Alt Labs, has strengthened its programming, marketing and innovation departments, increasing its capability to deliver diverse digital solutions to clients.

The trio of hires are Innovation Lead, Russell Mills, Marketing Manager, Samantha Wilcox, and developer, Janaid Hanif. Together they bring over 41 years of combined business experience across a variety of fields, including tech, e-commerce, and transport.

Speaking about the new appointments, Alt Labs Founder and CEO, Imran Anwar, said: “It’s great to welcome new talent into the business during such a period of sustained growth. We are an ambitious company and the addition of Russell, Samantha and Janaid provides strength and depth in key areas to support Alt Labs future plans.

“The experience they bring will allow us to further diversify our client base, expanding the range of services we offer, including web development, social media and design thinking.”

The expansion follows an exciting period of growth for Alt Labs, including a contract extension with rail operator Transport for Wales to nurture innovation in the sector. Plans are also being finalised to launch a new reporting app for Cleveland Police and to open a multi-functional, coworking space in Middlesbrough, aimed at tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Reece Kesson, RWO

North East engineering specialist RWO has promoted Reece Kesson to the board as executive director, overseeing the expansion of its regional and national structural engineering operations.

He will be working alongside the senior management team at the Seaton Burn-based firm on new business development and continue to oversee all structural work RWO’s North East office undertakes. This includes responsibility for project delivery, technical compliance of designs and leading the nine-strong team of structural engineers and technical specialists.

He brings 30 years of experience and expertise to the role as the firm continues to see strong growth. This includes more than £500,000 worth of additional revenue secured for its structural engineering operations, propelling overall turnover to £2.75m in 2022 across its Tyneside and Yorkshire offices.

Managing director Ross Oakley said the promotion is well deserved, “Reece has the talent, knowledge and experience to add real value to the management team as we pursue an exciting future. We have a great team and I look forward to continuing the drive to provide first-class civil and structural engineering services across the construction sector.”

Reece Kesson added, “I am delighted to be taking on an expanded role, building on the successful business development work undertaken here at RWO and leading a first-class team of skilled people, delivering the highest levels of service and professionalism.”

Andy Hall, ExMesh

Hartlepool, UK-based expanded metal mesh manufacturer The Expanded Metal Company has strengthened its ExMesh™ security products division with the appointment of a new operations manager.

Andy Hall, who hails from Middlesbrough, has joined The Expanded Metal Company to lead on manufacturing operations in the ExMesh™ division and he will be spearheading a continuous improvement programme.

Andy has extensive experience of manufacturing operations, lean manufacturing processes and implementing continuous improvement programmes across industries including aerospace and automotive.

Philip Astley, managing director at The Expanded Metal Company said: “Andy has a highly impressive track record in manufacturing operations and brings a high degree of lean manufacturing insight to this role, as well as valuable perspectives from the automotive and aerospace industries.

Commenting on his new role, Andy Hall, operations manager at ExMesh™, said: “I’m delighted to be joining a company in my native North East that is a real leader in its field.”


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