The Top 30 Under 30 in the Humber region can today be revealed.
For the fourth year running the upcoming talent is being recognised ahead of their entrance into an acclaimed leadership programme.
The scheme is designed to showcase the rising stars and their stories, helping raise ambition and foster aspiration in the next generation.
It was the brainchild of recruitment entrepreneur Simon Jones, with the programme that sits behind it this year taken on-board and in-house by regionally-headquartered shipping giant DFDS.
“I am delighted to announce this year’s winners and our class of 2021,” he said.
“What is extremely clear is that our region’s young people have contributed to the survival and success of businesses during the pandemic.
“I am thrilled to be representing a group of professional young people who acted in the best interests of their organisations throughout 2020.
“The stories we are representing showcase the real value of having talented young people within business.”
This year’s cohort is a collective from companies spanning the region, with successful candidates from manufacturing to professional services, tech to team-building and sales to site supervision.
Employees of the area’s economic drivers and SMEs unite, with the group learning from each other as well as what the Leap programme offers. Expert insight in leadership, self-development, and communication id delivered to give the winners the awareness, confidence and skills to help progress their careers further, and improve their chances of becoming future business leaders.
Mr Jones said: “Dealing with the pandemic has been a challenge for everyone in the Humber region, however what has been clear to see from the nominations is that the young people stood up when it mattered.
“Whether committing to working all hours or keeping morale high while on furlough; whether looking at disaster recovery plans or new investments to modernise – even small things like teaching others how to use Teams or Zoom – the region’s young talent embraced the challenges 2020 presented, and businesses have benefited because of it.”
Top 30 Under 30 2021
The talent pipeline and what their employers putting them forward had to say about them:
Rebecca Allbones, digital PR manager at Simply Meta Ltd, Hessle
Rebecca is a PR superstar! In little over a year, she has been responsible for delivering campaigns that have cut through the noise of the pandemic; generating brand awareness and coverage for our clients that we’re proud of.
She has focused on developing herself and her leadership skills so she can grow a PR team around her.
It would be remiss to forget that 2020 has been a challenging one and much of what Rebecca has delivered has been done remotely, overcoming the many obstacles that this brought for both our team and our clients.
Rebecca has been at the forefront of pulling our team together, improving connectivity and helping others to keep motivated in tough circumstances. She has already proven herself to be a fantastic asset, and is a true thought leader within the digital PR industry.
Ronan Boulton, casting operative at Siemens Gamesa, Hull
Ronan is a recent graduate from the successful apprenticeship programme at Siemens Gamesa.
He specialised in the casting part of the blade manufacturing process which is a crucial area and very technical. Ronan qualified as a certified Caster in record time and is now a full time, vital member of the team, and is now involved in more complex blade manufacturing processes.
He has stood out with his contributions to key projects within the business, which has seen him being identified as a future leader. He is professional, has a fantastic attitude, and is aligned with our business values.
Matthew Clayphan, financial controller at IT@Spectrum, Hessle
Matthew has made a real difference since joining IT@Spectrum.
Responsible for running the finance department, he has helped the business steer through the Covid pandemic and progress the organisation with new systems and processes.
He has provided the directors’ leadership, giving detailed financial reports and was key in scenario planning throughout the crisis, always making sure the business had a plan regardless of the scenarios presented.
Matthew has taken the step into management with real ease, showing real leadership qualities and keeping morale high. We have real expectations that Matthew will continue to grow with us, and is showcasing all the qualities of a true leader.
Hollie Clifford, recruiting officer at Humberside Police, Hull
Hollie had no experience within the HR arena when she started with Humberside Police, however has progressed significantly, recently earning the opportunity to be recruiting officer.
She is a true team player, respected by her peers and seniors, with remarkable attention to detail and is always willing to undertake even the most difficult and complicated projects.
Hollie is patient, supportive and understands how to adapt her style to allow her peers to digest what she is either explaining or asking of them. Hollie is exceptionally talented and demonstrates the right attitude and drive to continue progressing her career.
Lewis Cook, IT projects and support manager at The One Point, Hessle
Lewis joined The One Points technical helpdesk in June 2016 as an apprentice. He hit to ground running, always putting himself forward when opportunities arose, and his enthusiasm and drive meant that Lewis quickly became a ‘go to’ person within the technical team.
He went on to manage the helpdesk function, and is now our project lead, overseeing the relationship between customer, account manager and technical support at the point of project inception – another promotion he has grasped with both hands and made his own.
Lewis is a true ambassador of what The One Point stands for, his feedback is always that he consistently goes above and beyond, and we are proud to recognise him.
Gina Farrow, lead senior client manager at Summit Media, Willerby
Since joining Summit, Gina has had an enormous impact on not just our clients but on everybody she works with. She has gone from delivering paid media on one of the biggest retailers in the UK, to now managing one of our largest clients and responsible for the development and growth of her team.
Gina is a huge team player, extremely selfless, and does whatever is needed to support her team. She also has a natural gift for managing clients, develops close relationships with them which not only retains business, but grows the business. Gina is the person everyone wants on their team, or their project, because they know that with her it’s going to be a success.
Emma Hardy, accounts executive at Wescot Credit Services, Hull
Emma joined Wescot in 2018 as a commercial support officer and took the opportunity in January to increase her responsibility to an accounts executive role which involved taking over the management of key clients.
Throughout 2020, Emma has taken every opportunity to develop her own skills and has embraced many challenging responsibilities and successfully negotiated difficult situations to positive outcomes.
The customer support team has performed above expected levels heavily influenced by Emma introducing an improved training process which has proved vital during the pandemic. The thirst Emma has to continually improve her skills and knowledge is clear to see and Emma’s invaluable contribution has been key in supporting her business area to navigate through the pandemic successfully.
Lucy Henn, wi-fi product manager at KCom, Hull
Lucy joined KCom in November 2019, and although relatively new to the business, has performed outstandingly. She led KCom Retail’s response to Covid-19, working closely with colleagues across the business to ensure customers could work from home and home school their children without additional worries. This involved rapid response, mobilisation and collaboration with a number of teams to ensure customers were supported. In addition, Lucy played an integral part in preparing the business case for recruiting and onboarding graduates as part of a new scheme to provide more career opportunities for people in the region.
She has shown an incredible willingness to learn and a can-do attitude that makes her an absolute pleasure to work with. Her ability, maturity and attitude are all above and beyond anything we’d expect from someone her age and we’re both lucky and proud to have her at KCom.
Rebecca Hewick, director of operations at BRC Wealth Management, Hessle
Rebecca joined BRC Wealth Management as a stop gap between work and university in 2017. It quickly became clear that she was special, and as such we made sure she stayed with us!
She is a highly motivated and engaging person and has huge ambition. Rebecca has contributed significantly over the last three years and is now training to be a qualified financial advisor. Sometimes in life you meet winners and it’s obvious and Rebecca is definitely one.
Lauren Jackson, human resources information system analyst at AAK International, Hull
Lauren managed a global project to overhaul the way our employee data was stored in our global human resources information system. This was complex task involving the engagement and buy-in of senior HR members and the co-ordination of regional teams across our global network.
She showed an unprecedented level of maturity and skill throughout the whole project having not done anything like this before. Surprisingly given all of that, she initiated the project herself!
She shaped her ideas for improvement and presented them to the European and global human resource directors, gaining their trust and buy-in before delivery. Lauren is a highly valued member of the European HR team. Her achievement goes above and beyond all our expectations.
Curtis Johnson, engineering manager at Cross-Guard, Scunthorpe
Curtis first joined the business as an apprentice, and immediately stood out as someone who was willing to go the extra mile and take responsibility. His hard work, diligence and enthusiasm has seen him develop to his current position, looking after a team of four. The journey that Curtis has been on is quite extraordinary, he took ownership of vital projects for the business including managing the complete redesign and rerelease of critical products.
He is always looking to improve himself, seeking to further enhance his own skills, and those of his team, to continuously improve. Recently, he has taken on more responsibility for our clients, being customer facing and working consultatively to ensure they get the solutions they need. Curtis is a shining example of what a young person can achieve.
Lauren Jones, human resources advisor at DFDS, Immingham
Lauren has proven her ability within our team.
During an incredibly unpredictable year which has thrown new and unique challenges, she has demonstrated her skills in managing the complexities of restructure, furlough, Brexit and the constant changes that 2020 has brought.
Lauren’s role involves working closely with senior leaders, supporting and guiding them to help take the right course of action. Lauren has shown unwavering commitment, dealing with queries promptly and out of hours too, which can happen often in a 24/7 operation. Lauren is an invaluable member of the terminal team, and we would not be as effective without her.
Jessica King, franchise partner at Q&K Optical, Hessle
Jessica’s story is an inspirational one. She has risen through the ranks from being a shop floor assistant, to franchise partner overseeing the day-to-day running of three successful Boots Opticians. She has accomplished all of this in eight years, which is a truly remarkable feat. Her passion, energy, drive and commitment is incredible to witness. Jessica was responsible for the successful merger of two of our companies’ stores in Scunthorpe, which
has seen her manage complex HR matters. This included developing our store managers and team to help the business drive forward. She has been truly inspirational for our team, she is an exemplary role model and a natural leader.
Adam Kitching, head of supply chain at Bee Health, Carnaby
Adam is the perfect example of where hard work and dedication can get you. Having been brought to Bee Health as a senior buyer, he took the step up to lead the procurement division, and more recently the wider supply chain and has been pivotal in supporting the growth and strategy of the business.
Adam has brought energy, enthusiasm, processes and professionalism to our supply chain operations, and has been responsible for leading a number of improvements and produced significant savings.
He is collaborative, working with suppliers and the senior leadership team, and is excellent at communicating his ideas, which are always well thought through. We are proud to recommend Adam for this prestigious award.
Andy Little, business and operations manager at DFDS, Immingham
Andy joined DFDS as a planner in 2017 and was immediately an integral part of the planning and part load area. A major achievement has seen him set up a successful operation from scratch on a sizeable scale for a very large online retail and tech company.
Andy did not shy away from this mammoth task, instead taking it in his stride and achieved fantastic outcomes. He owns these projects and takes responsibility to make them a success. He builds relationships with key customers and connected with colleagues to ensure end-to-end quality in the supply chain. Andy constantly promotes a can-do attitude to every aspect of his role and has taken additional responsibility of young people within the business, encouraging them to become more active within their roles.
Jack Lobaczewski, general manager at Remedial Solutions UK, Grimsby
Jack joined the business and immediately showed his potential and ambition. Within a couple of months, Jack took over management of Remedial Solutions UK, a new business that was only just forming as a concept at that point.
Despite its challenges, five years later, with relationships with some of the UK’s largest banks and finance providers, it is safe to say that Jack’s management ability has helped drive the business forward to the position that it is in today. He now has full responsibility for Remedial Solutions UK and sister business, Ecoscheme, managing them as if they were his own. Jack is an excellent young leader, who has a bright future and someone who is deserving of the recognition of the award.
Elliot Needham, product owner at Summit Media, Willerby
Since joining Summit in 2013, Elliot has grown in stature to emerge as one of our most trusted and valued leaders. He is highly respected by his peers, by senior leaders and his direct reports. Elliot’s biggest achievement has been with our comparison shopping services, which was launched in 2018 and quickly grew in revenue and is one of our most profitable products.
Today the CCS platform, Productcaster, is the leading provider in both the UK and France. Elliot was a key player in the team that quickly responded to this opportunity and set up a new part of the business in months. He has also responded to the challenges of the last year incredibly well, helping to implement new processes to improve Summit’s efficiencies. Elliot is one of Summit’s future leaders.
Emily Proctor, head of digital performance at Green Ginger Digital, Hull
Emily has achieved so much in the past 12 months. She has grown both personally and professionally through what has been a challenging period for many. She has continually invested time and effort in clients, helping them to grow their business and allowing them to flourish throughout some tough trading periods. We want to recognise Emily for many reasons, but, put simply, Green Ginger could not operate without her. We are a new
business, and she has made a huge difference to our growth. More importantly, a place on the Leap programme would help her own personal development. We believe Emily has so much potential to grow and develop as an individual, she is always looking to gain new skills and expertise.
Mustafa Rahman, regional business development manager at Ideal Standard
Mustafa started with Ideal Standard in 2018 on the supply chain graduate scheme. While he accomplished great achievements in his graduate role, it was clear that he had a desire to forge a career in the external sales team.
During the pandemic, Mustafa was a beacon of hope and optimism, dedicating himself to further development and numerous external schemes including You Are Not Alone, which helped the elderly, vulnerable and those that landed on hard times through Covid. While contributing to this, he developed himself as one of the top sales performers within the team. Mustafa will continue to grow and develop, and I am excited for the rest of his journey. We are extremely lucky and thankful to have Mustafa in our business.
Diana Randlisekova, site supervisor at WJ Group, Hull
Diana started as an office administrator before she developed to site co-ordinator, and was promoted again in January 2021, having got the site to achieve all KPIs for the first time in its history. This was at a time with the additional pressures placed on the business by the Covid-19 pandemic. Notably, the site increased its capacity by over 50 per cent during this period, which demonstrated what an amazing job Diana did.
Through her desire to learn and improve, developing a network of people she can discuss challenges with and her resilience and determination to succeed, the site continues to improve on its record year of 2020.
Jack Reger, senior trace administrator at Wescot Credit Services, Hull
Jack’s journey has been one of exponential growth, quickly being trusted to manage the portfolio of one of our largest and most complex clients and demonstrating an expert level of competence.
During his time, the department has gone from strength to strength undergoing a change of structure and complete redesign of the product he delivers.
Jack has been integral in supporting the growth, leading by example, helping to redesign training and processes to meet new department goals. He has an open and supportive nature that is clear to see when he is helping others to learn as well as a crystal-clear focus on what needs to be achieved to meet business objectives.
Jack embodies all of the qualities we would expect of someone that will be a future senior leader.
Wiktoria Reizer, office administrator at iHelios, Hull
At just 21, the sky is the limit for Wiktoria! In the short period of time she’s been with iHelios, the positive impact she’s made on the company is clear for all to see. Within her role, she has brought organisation,communication, and commitment, consistently going beyond the line of duty to assist the team.
She takes responsibility when others would not, even helping the installations team on-site to make sure the client is happy. She has quickly turned into a key asset, ensuring our client experience is positive and has a relentless dedication to her role. She has immersed herself into the business, has a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.
We can’t see anything that would stop Wiktoria’s inevitable success, and we are proud to have her as part of the team.
Joe Smith, assistant pilotage operations manager, Associated British Ports, Grimsby
Joe has always wanted to work in maritime from going straight to Warsash Maritime Academy gaining a degree in maritime operations. He continued his learning and gained a Coastguard Agency Certificate to become a maritime navigation officer. Joe then relocated to the Humber to start his trainee pilot programme where he was a class three pilot for a year and during this time – through the pandemic – he piloted ships into the River Humber and helped in both keeping Britain trading and bringing in vital supplies in very challenging circumstances.
Joe’s role has been a vital part of being a key worker in the pandemic. Joe is a great example of a successful and talented individual who has committed himself to his career, and worthy of recognition.
Lucy Sowerby, national account manager at Lincoln & York, Elsham Wold
Initially recruited in 2014 in a sales office support role, Lucy was subsequently promoted to distributor channel executive after her outstanding results and exemplary customer focus. She has built up coffee industry knowledge while working cross-functionally to achieve the maximum she can for her loyal customer base.
Promoted again in 2017, she continues to demonstrate the skillset that makes her appreciated both within Lincoln & York and externally.
Lucy is innovative, collaborative, and works tirelessly with everyone to achieve the best outcomes. During the current Covid-19 situation, she has worked with huge integrity to offer tangible customer solutions in a time of uncertainty. She is a go-to person in the business, and has a practical, problem-solving approach. She is a team player, and deserves the recognition this award will bring.
Daniel Thompson, payroll manager at MKM Building Supplies, Hull
Dan was the lead in implementing a new integrated HRR/payroll system to accommodate MKM’s growing headcount.
He delivered this within a two month timeframe, which was a phenomenal achievement given the size and scale of the project.
During the first wave of the pandemic, Dan was key in driving MKM through the furlough scheme. He quickly learned the complex rules and adapted them as they changed to ensure that not only were employees paid properly during a very difficult period but ensured that the business remained compliant.
Dan never fails to deliver what is expected and more than this continues to come up with business improvement ideas which will help to enhance employee experience, business efficiency and system resilience.
Luke Thompson, commercial manager at Graypen, Immingham
Luke has developed into an excellent role model and showcases what can be achieved by someone with hard work and dedication.
He has grown, from initially helping out with enquiries to developing into a commercial
manager. Luke has always looked to develop his skill set, taking new responsibilities and tasks in his stride. This year has been particularly challenging, with Covid and Brexit impacting his role directly, however he has continued to exceed expectations.
He has brought on board new clients who have been great additions to the business and would not have happened without Luke.
Recently he has taken account management duties and has excelled even though he is having to adapt online. Luke is a shining example of what a young professional can achieve within a business.
Lloyd Tidder, managing director at Language is Everything, Hull
From apprentice to managing director, Lloyd is a fantastic example of what can be done with commitment, hard work and dedication.
He is highly motivated for success, and is committed to self-development, and growing the business.
2020 saw major growth for on-demand 24/7 telephone interpreting, in both the public and private sectors. Lloyd believes that the inability to speak a language should never be a barrier to communication and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he ensured that the business operated at record levels while maintaining the quality of service and keeping all members of staff safe.
He is a natural leader, always enthusiastically pushing for improvement and exceptional customer service.
Lauren Whittaker, marketing manager at Cartwright & Butler, Gilberdyke
Lauren is someone who has stepped up at a time when the business most needed it and has left us astounded by her achievements.
She took control of our marketing department singlehandedly, at a time when due to circumstances outside of her control, she was left to manage on her own. She worked calmly, methodically and without support, delivered exceptional results beyond all of our expectations. She has persevered and has utilised her excellent skills to direct the business into a new strategy which we are now implementing.
Lauren has now made it so that we can’t see our marketing department without her leading it. She is an exceptional young woman, who has a successful career ahead of her, and is absolutely worthy of this award.
Jimmy-Dean Wilde, domestic abuse men’s practitioner at Strength to Change / Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership, Hull
Jimmy has been a vital key worker during the pandemic, his work has made the difference to a vast amount of people during a difficult year. Domestic abuse has seen an increase through the lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, and Jimmy has played a massive part in helping and supporting the victims of this abuse.
He has developed his skills and knowledge and has a great work rate and determination to support all, working tirelessly both from home and at the office to ensure he kept others safe. Jimmy has had such a positive impact on those he works with in such difficult circumstances. This achievement is something I feel needs recognition as Jimmy’s work has helped keep many vulnerable people during a difficult time feel safer.
Joe Yardley, web developer at Click Digital Solutions, Hessle
Joe joined as a junior developer and has taken responsibility for a range of projects in numerous sectors.
Within every project and development, he puts in his all, using time outside of work to further enhance and develop his skillset off his own back. With these new skills, he proactively passes his knowledge on to members of the team.
Joe is a great addition to Click; with his sheer determination and humorous personality he is a beacon for the team. He is a talented developer, with insight and knowledge far beyond his years.
Joe is exceptional, and we hope this award will go some way in showing him how highly we think of him.
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Joining Business Live in the promotion are principal partners DFDS, Bee Health, Forward and Thinking and MKM.
Natalie Downie, managing director at Forward & Thinking, said “We are delighted to be a principal partner for a second year. I know first hand that the Leap program offers an invaluable experience to learn, grow and meet like-minded individuals. We aim to work together to celebrate and shout about the exceptional talent we have in the Humber region.”
Amanda Williams, group human resources director at MKM, said “MKM has supported Top 30 Under 30 for a number of years, with three of our employees with future potential securing places. It is a fantastic scheme which recognises and develops young talent in the region with the added benefit of providing opportunities for networking and collaboration across our local businesses.”
Lewis Ryan, managing director at Bee Health, said: “Bee Health is delighted to be a principal partner. We pride ourselves on being a company that is committed to supporting and developing our employees – vitally underpinning our future success. This scheme offers us an opportunity to recognise and support young talent at Bee Health and the next generation of business leaders within the region.”
Fran Williams, DFDS’ human resources director for UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be a principal partner. As a company we place great importance on supporting all our colleagues to achieve their full potential andTop 30 Under 30 is one of a number of ways in which we do this.”