Manufacturing organisation bolsters its expertise with the appointment of four new board members

The Advanced Manufacturing Forum (AMF) has appointed four North East industry experts to its strategic board to help drive forward the organisation’s development.

Joining the AMF’s board are Barry Cooper, operations manager at subsea cable, umbilical and flexible pipe protection systems provider Tekmar Energy; Brian Tait, business unit manager at Marshalls a manufacturer of natural stone and concrete hard landscaping products and street furniture; Colin Simpson, business development director at pump distributor and manufacturer Tomlinson Hall; and Stephen Elliott, director at HVR International a manufacturer of high voltage, high energy, non-inductive, ceramic carbon linear resistors.

The new board members, all of whom were already members of the AMF, bring with them decades of manufacturing and industrial experience, which will help to shape the strategy and development of the Forum.

As AMF board members, they will contribute to policies and strategies, plan member events, and be involved in decisions over the allocation of funding and budgetary spend.

The AMF’s board also includes Ian Fawdon, chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum; John Scott, corporate lead for business, employment & skills for South Tyneside Council; Alison Maynard, principal for South Tyneside Professional and Vocational College; Eddie Czestochowski, managing director for Cell Pack Solutions; Alan Metcalfe commercial director for Zenith People; Greg Lynch, business development manager for TR Fastenings; Alastair Wilson, tax partner for Tait Walker; and Peter Shiels, operations director for Phoenix Steel.

Ian Fawdon, chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum, said: “All of our members are very passionate about the AMF, our objectives and our future. It’s truly exciting to have AMF members Colin, Barry, Brian and Stephen join our board.

“As the voice of manufacturing in the North East, we provide our members with examples of best practice throughout the industry, as well as a range of advice and information. The new board members will help to shape our future and further educate and inspire our members.”

The appointment of new board members follows a period of rapid growth for the AMF. 2016 saw the AMF attract the highest number of new members in its history and it recently launched a Marketing Club with its strategic marketing partner, Horizonworks. The organisation has also undergone a brand refresh which saw the AMF website and visual style modernised to reflect the Forum’s increasing market presence throughout the North East.

Speaking of his appointment to the AMF board Barry Cooper, operations manager at Tekmar Energy, said: “I am extremely passionate about supporting North East industry in creating and sustaining employment within engineering and manufacturing.

“With 15 years’ experience in the manufacturing sector, across nuclear, oil and gas, subsea and offshore renewables I am keen to help the AMF continue to expand its footprint into a broader range of sectors.

“The AMF offers an excellent platform for manufacturers to develop their knowledge and capabilities, as well as promote their interests and requirements within both regional and national government. I’m relishing the opportunity to engage with members and affiliated organisations.”

Colin Simpson, business development director at Tomlinson Hall, said: “I am very pleased to be joining the AMF board; the quality of its membership, and its strategic aims have impressed me greatly. In my role, I hope to assist the AMF in its future development and growth strategy, particularly in increasing its membership in the Tees Valley region.

“I am inspired by the experience and insight of my fellow board members and I believe that collectively we will drive the AMF forward and help to fulfil its ambitions of continually growing its membership and the benefits that membership brings to companies across the whole of the North East.”

Brian Tait, business unit manager at Marshalls, said of the AMF: “I am delighted to join the AMF board; my aim is to promote best practice among North East manufacturing businesses.

“Having extensive experience across a range of fields including environmental management, electrical engineering, process and product engineering and a role on the NEBOSH Council – after receiving the NEBOSH overall best candidate award 2014-2015 – I feel like I can bring a unique perspective to the AMF.”

Stephen Elliott, director at HVR International, added: “Having joined the AMF to access the wealth of information it provides on process automation and lean manufacturing techniques, I was surprised to appreciate how much HVR could offer our fellow members in return.

“Consequently, the invitation to join the AMF board provided the opportunity to not only share our experience with fellow manufacturers but also to influence local, and perhaps even national, decision makers as to the importance of UK-based manufacturing.”

The AMF offers members business support and advice on areas ranging from funding to staffing, marketing, environmental issues, HR, IT and legal guidance, as well as providing support to members on productivity, innovation and training and skills.

As well as hosting monthly events, the AMF hosts quarterly events for members, these include the HR Forum, the Finance Forum, the Process Improvement Group and the Marketing Club.

Jack Hanwell, AMF manufacturing sector development manager, said: “I am thrilled to welcome our new board members. Each of who brings with them an exclusive perspective and a breadth of experience, which will prove invaluable to our members.

“After a successful 2016, I am confident that the appointment of our new board members, and our ever-growing membership, will see us continue to go from strength to strength throughout 2017.”

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