Entrepreneurs in Residence

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Our Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) are many of Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs. They are drawn from a variety of industries and have all built, and many are continuing to build, highly successful businesses. They have agreed to give time to deliver Masterclasses, take part in panels and provide mentoring for members of Connect Yorkshire.

Entrepreneurs in Residence.

Simon founded Webmart in 1996 based on a Marxist principle that the lion’s share of the profits goes to its employees. The company turns over £37m and employs 43 people at offices in Barnsley, Bicester and East Kilbride. Webmart is Europe's leading low-cost Print Services Agency whose clients demand low prices, superb service and access to print consultants who understand their business objectives and can help them find the most effective print solutions. Simon was recently voted the Institute of Director’s (IoD) Director of the Year in the small and medium category and runner up of the IoD Director of the Year.

Simon Biltcliffe
Industries:
  • Printing
  • Marketing Services
  • Ecommerce
Skills:
  • Business Planning
  • Fast Growth
  • Finance
  • Innovation
  • Management Skills
  • Market Research
  • Marketing
  • Negotiation
  • Ecommerce
  • Project Management
  • Sales
  • Social Media
  • Sustainability

Launched in 2001, Boost Drinks was established when Simon Gray saw an opportunity to launch a value energy drink alternative into the newly emerging, high growth functional drinks market. In the subsequent years, the business has expanded its range, most recently introducing several new flavour variants in a response to changing consumer tastes and demands as well growing into the broader functional segments of isotonic sports drinks and glucose energy. Since it launched, Boost has focused on building strong relationships within the wholesale and cash and carry channel, and today it is the only functional drinks brand portfolio that exclusively serves the independent convenience retail channel, a segment that is predicted to grow significantly by 2020. Almost 17 years after it launched Boost has grown its team, infrastructure and network of business partners and is set to turnover £27m by the end of 2017. As the business looks to the future, Boost's priorities are delivering profitable and sustainable growth through a focus on extending distribution in the UK as well as building upon it’s already established international footprint in several overseas territories.

Simon Gray
Industries:
  • Food and Drink
Skills:
  • Fast Growth
  • Innovation
  • Business Planning
  • Exporting
  • Management Skills
  • Marketing
  • Sales

Simon Mackaness’ principal achievement has been to create and develop the business at Rudding Park. This includes a holiday park, self-catering properties, golf course, conference and banqueting venue, hotel and spa. The business has always maintained the highest standards and the profits are continually re-invested in the business. For the last 3 years, the hotel has been rated by TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice Awards as The No.1 Hotel in the UK and the marketing through TripAdvisor is fundamentally important to the success of the privately owned hotel which does not have the benefit of the economy of scale of a hotel group. Simon is a Chartered Accountant having qualified with KPMG in London. Prior to Rudding Park, he worked for Cawood Holdings plc specialising in the wholesaling of coal and oil, building materials and aggregates. He joined Lampways, a wholesale distributor of lamps based in Bradford, as Finance Director and later Chairman, until the Company was sold.

Simon Mackaness
Industries:
  • Food and Drink
Skills:
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Business Planning
  • Negotiation
  • Management Skills

Anthony has spent almost 40 years in the textile industry latterly manufacturing and selling polyester yarn used in automotive interior trim by all the major car makers worldwide. In 1998 he, together with his business partner, created the company that is now Autofil Worldwide Limited when he bought Europe’s most modern state of the art manufacturing facility in Nottingham. Over the next few years he built the business to sales of £40m and a 35% share of the European automotive yarn market. In 2012 this culminated in the sale of Autofil to their long standing Italian partner Sinterama, which is a worldwide automotive yarn manufacturer with plants in Europe, the Far East and South America. Anthony is on the Board and is their Global Director of Automotive.

Sir Anthony Ullmann
Industries:
  • Construction and Property
  • Manufacturing
Skills:
  • Accountancy
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Fast Growth
  • Finance
  • Risk & Crisis Management
  • Business Planning
  • Negotiation
  • Exporting
  • Management Skills

Sir Gary Verity was appointed Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire in 2008 which was then supported by Yorkshire Forward. Since then he has built Welcome to Yorkshire into a private sector organisation with over 6000 members. He has successfully raised the profile of Yorkshire as a tourist destination at a regional, national and international level and has helped to increase the county’s visitor economy to £7bn. His latest and arguably greatest achievement was to bring the world’s greatest road race, Le Tour de France, to Yorkshire in 2014. Prior to that Gary gained a strong reputation as a results-driven Managing Director with international experience in brand building and managing complex businesses. Gary’s proven record of inspirational leadership ranges from entrepreneurial start-up situations to large-scale transformations within FTSE100 companies.

Sir Gary Verity
Industries:
  • Leisure
Skills:
  • Accountancy
  • Business Planning
  • Fast Growth
  • Finance
  • Innovation
  • Management Skills
  • Market Research
  • Marketing
  • Negotiation
  • Project Management
  • Risk & Crisis Management
  • Sales
  • Social Media
  • Sustainability

Allied Textiles has been a bellwether of the UK textile industry for over 50 years. Stewart arrived as Group Chief Executive just before Allied faced one of its biggest crises-the 2008 great recession. So what did he do. He sold off some unprofitable parts of the business, rationalised the workforce, introduced new technology and invested in the profitable businesses (both organically and through acquisition). Between 2008 and 2015 the turnover of the group declined somewhat, but delivered a significant increase in return on capital. Allied's four companies specialise in different areas of the production of synthetic fibres, focussing on technical end uses.

Stewart’s degree is in Law, and he then qualified as a Management Accountant, but has spent all of his career since qualifying in commercial and sales roles. For 7 years he was commercial director for Courtaulds Textiles in the Philippines and then in Hong Kong covering the rest of Asia, returning to the UK as Sales and Marketing Director of Christy Home Textiles before becoming Group Chief Executive of Allied Textiles in 2007

Stewart McGuffie
Industries:
  • Manufacturing
Skills:
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Fast Growth
  • Finance
  • Innovation
  • Accountancy
  • Business Planning
  • Negotiation
  • Management Skills

Pavers Shoes was started by Stuart's mother in York in 1971 selling mail order surplus through two warehouses and party planning agents. Stuart joined in 1980 and not long after that the company began to concentrate on the shoe market. Pavers Shoes now has 120 stores in the UK and 36 in India and was the first overseas retail company to be allowed to run their own stores in India. It has a strong online offering being one of the first retailers in Europe to go online and has its own TV channel on Sky 669 and its own studio. Its current turnover is £90m and Stuart expects to double in size in the UK in the next few years. Stuart puts the growth of Pavers down to focussing on its customers needs and delivering good quality products to meet those needs.

Stuart Paver
Industries:
  • Retail
Skills:
  • Management Skills
  • Exporting
  • Negotiation
  • Fast Growth
  • Sales