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New Appointments in Facilities Management – November 2023

New Appointments in Facilities Management – November 2023
28 November 2023

November’s new appointments roundup includes On Verve, the British Council for Offices, Bidvest Noonan and BESA.



Picture: a graphic showing the headshots of Gabbie Lapompe, Helen Hare and Rachel Davidson


On Verve Appoints New Head of Operations


On Verve, the award-winning specialist guest services firm has appointed Gabbie Lapompe as its new head of operations.

Lapompe started her career within the front-of-house industry as a receptionist at CBRE. Since then, she has worked across different roles in facilities management, including as a facilities account manager at JLL for Meta. Most recently she was a space operations manager at ASOS headquarters in London. Lapompe now returns to her roots and passion for creating exceptional workplace experiences. 

As head of operations, Lapompe will be managing the London and southern account portfolio held by On Verve, with director Bianca Angelico continuing to manage the northern contracts for the first six months. 

Gabbie Lapompe, head of operations at On Verve, said: “I’m thrilled to join On Verve as the business continues to flourish. My personal journey through facilities management and front-of-house means I understand what excellent guest service looks like, and On Verve certainly delivers it. I look forward to sharing my experience with the teams at On Verve to ensure we are always making someone's day.”

Bianca Angelico, director at On Verve, said: “Gabbie is a fantastic asset to the team, and her experience is extremely valuable to us. As On Verve continues to grow, I am ready to pass the operations torch to Gabbie as I focus more on our business development and how we can continue to innovate and disrupt at On Verve. Gabbie’s interests in diversity & inclusion and social value completely align with our business ethos and will help us to drive forward these agendas with our clients even further.”



GPE’s Helen Hare Appointed as Junior Vice President of British Council for Offices


Helen Hare, GPE’s Director of Projects, has been appointed Junior Vice President of the British Council for Offices (BCO).

Helen has over 30 years’ experience in the construction and property industry. Having started her career as a quantity surveyor, she joined GPE as Project Manager, before becoming Head of Project Management and then Director of Projects in 2017 and 2019 respectively. More recently Helen’s role has been expanded and now includes responsibility for GPE’s Building Surveying and Technical Service teams.

Helen is an active member of the Construction Productivity Taskforce – which brings together leading figures in the construction industry to undertake practical interventions designed to make the sector more productive. The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) also welcomed Helen as Industry Chair earlier this year for its Building and Places Group. Helen has been involved with the BCO since 2013, when she led the tours programme for the BCO’s annual conference in Madrid. More recently, Helen was the Chair of the Judging panel for the BCO Regional Awards for London in 2022 and 2023.

Helen joins current President, Despina Katsikakis of Cushman & Wakefield, and Senior Vice President, Peter Crowther of Bruntwood, on the BCO’s Board of Management.

Helen brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role as Junior Vice President as well as a passion for unlocking the potential of young people in the real estate sector and building the confidence of those new to the industry.

In her role at GPE, she holds responsibility for the delivery, procurement and maintenance of all projects across the development and flex workspace programme, future pipeline and existing managed portfolio.

In addition to her role at the BCO, Helen is a regular speaker at industry events and acts a mentor for Mentoring Circle, an organisation which seeks to address the gender diversity gap at senior leadership level in the built environment.

Helen Hare, Director of Projects at GPE, said: “It is an honour to be asked to join the British Council for Offices as its Junior Vice President. Having been part of the organisation for over ten years’ and seen first-hand its importance for informing, inspiring and sharing best practice, taking on a leadership role feels like a natural transition and I look forward to working with the BCO team as it continues to support the ongoing evolution of the office sector.”

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said: “Helen is a great addition to the BCO’s Presidential team. She has been a long-standing supporter of the BCO for many years, and I have no doubt that Helen will make an outstanding contribution to our organisation. Helen’s extensive experience will be invaluable to the BCO as we continue to make the case for the office as an integral part of our cities.”


BESA Creates Key Building Safety Role


Rachel Davidson has been appointed to the new position of Director of Specialist Knowledge at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

She will have a particular focus on the Building Safety Act and its implications for BESA members and the wider specialist building services sector.

Davidson has worked at BESA for more than 30 years in a variety of roles most recently as Director of Certification. She was also Head of Technical Schemes and Knowledge for 10 years until 2013 and served as a board director of Piper Insurance, which provides critical illness cover for the building engineering industry.

The Association has now asked her to bring her considerable experience and expertise to bear on what it regards as the most important legislative development in a generation.

It said the Building Safety Act would bring about “profound change to the UK’s construction and engineering professions” and lead to widespread ‘culture change’ in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster and the subsequent public inquiry.

“The new Act is just starting to make its presence felt but represents a fundamental shift in the way building engineering companies will need to go about their business from now on,” said BESA chief executive officer David Frise.

“This new senior role, therefore, is hugely important to the Association, its members, and the wider building services community. There is considerable concern and confusion out there about the implications of the Act and it is increasingly clear that contractors desperately need a dedicated source of expert information and guidance.”

Davidson said she was delighted to be taking on “this crucial work” which will involve building up in-depth knowledge of the Act and the secondary legislation that will be used to implement its measures. She will lead a dedicated in-house team who will produce advice, guidance, and tools to help contractors understand and comply with the changes.

BESA is also setting up a Building Safety Act Advisory Group to support this initiative. The group, which will include members from a variety of industry sectors, will play a pivotal role in gathering diverse perspectives and representing the concerns of the entire supply chain. The Association said its unique insights will allow the group to harness the depth of knowledge and expertise needed to explore the practical and operational implications of the legislation and examine some of the more theoretical aspects.

The Association already disseminates news and updates about the Act via its online information hub and plans to considerably enhance that service with details specifically tailored for building services companies and individual engineers.

“It might take some time, but there is no doubt that the Act will bring about profound and positive change to our industry. Changes that will go well beyond safety,” said Davidson. “It will introduce a much more rigorous focus on competence and compliance, underpinned by strict legal requirements to provide digital evidence and improve record keeping that will have implications for all aspects of our work.

“However, to make this possible we need much better collaboration and communication between clients, designers, and partners on site – and everyone must be aware and take ownership of their responsibilities.  Central to the act is compliance with the Building Regulations and making sure organisations and individuals are competent to carry out their specific tasks,” she added.

“When projects are approached in the right way, the outcomes should naturally support the required compliance standards.”

Davidson pointed out that BESA already had several schemes and tools in place to help contractors meet the new demands and would continue to develop and expand these services as the impact of the legislation gathered pace.


Bidvest Noonan Announces Appointment of New Chief People & Culture Officer


Bidvest Noonan, a leader in facility services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Mernagh as its Chief People & Culture Officer. Mernagh’s extensive experience and proven track record in human resources, talent development, and organisational culture make her an ideal fit for aligning with Bidvest Noonan's needs and values.

In her previous role as the Global Head of Leadership and Talent Development at Vodafone, Mernagh was instrumental in developing innovative leadership and talent strategies across Europe and Africa. Mernagh drove pioneering Diversity & Inclusion policies, enabling Vodafone to become a leader in this space.

Mernagh's professional journey includes a senior leadership role at AIB, a major commercial bank in Ireland and the UK, where she directed organisational culture initiatives central to the people strategy. With over a decade of consulting experience at renowned firms like PwC and Accenture, she specialised in areas such as strategy, people & change, and led large-scale transformations across Europe.

As Chief People & Culture Officer at Bidvest Noonan, Mernagh will lead the People & Culture team, focusing on developing and executing a people strategy to foster an enhanced workplace environment and improve overall employee experience.

Bidvest Noonan CEO, Declan Doyle said “Julie's experience and values align perfectly with the needs of our business. She has a proven track record of building successful HR strategies, transforming colleague experiences, and unlocking potential. I am confident that she will be highly successful at Bidvest Noonan and I am delighted that she has joined us”.

Mernagh said " I am delighted to join Bidvest Noonan, an ambitious company that is passionate about putting its people first. Bidvest Noonan is serious about investing in its people and culture agenda and creating employee experiences that will enable their growth trajectory. I am looking forward to making a difference for our colleagues and customers."


Kelly Brewer Joins Bennett Hay as Operations Manager


Kelly Brewer has joined Bennett Hay as Operations Manager at the independent hospitality company. 

She will manage several direct reports and will be responsible for the smooth running of corporate clients, landmark offices as well as planning 2024's mobilisation of a series on new catering and reception services wins. 

Kelly joins from Baxter Storey where she held senior operations roles and previously, she worked at Compass Group’s Restaurant Associates. She joins Bennett Hay with two decades of experience having successfully mobilised, maintained and retained major corporate clients throughout her career.

Kelly brings a passion for food and service excellence and has sound understanding of sector specific nuances for standout workplace experiences. She has a people-centric outlook and champions diversity and inclusion through partnerships with social enterprises and underrepresented groups. Her values further underline Bennett Hay's focus on people related ESG initiatives.

Zoë Watts, MD of Bennett Hay, comments: “Kelly is a fantastic addition to the team. She brings a bold new dynamic and significant experience to the organisation, as well as adding another valuable voice to our strategy around ESG and people.”

Kelly Brewer, Operations Manager adds: “Bennett Hay has a reputation for being one of the closest teams in the industry and since the day I joined I've been treated as family. We've an exciting quarter ahead and 2024 is going to be very busy as we mobilise some fantastic new contracts.”

Bennett Hay has challenged and led the workplace management sector since it was founded in 2010. The company places significant ownership on its impact on the planet, the communities it serves and its supply partners. Bennett Hay works with a notable portfolio of offices and estates where the company oversees facilities, catering and guest services to create standout workplace experiences. 


Robert Barbour, Group Data and Insights Director for Travis Perkins plc, Joins GS1 UK board to Aid Standardisation of Construction Data


GS1 UK has announced that Robert Barbour, group Data and Insights Director for Travis Perkins plc, has been appointed to the supervisory board as a non-executive director.

A high-impact leader committed to changing the culture surrounding the use of data in construction, Robert will help GS1 UK’s senior leadership team develop and refine blueprints for agreements and standards implementation across the industry.

As group Data and Insights Director for a leading partner to the construction industry and the UK’s leading distributor of building materials to trade customers, Robert is responsible for managing Travis Perkins plc’s data capability.

Since joining Travis Perkins plc in 2017, he has overseen data engineering, analytics engineering, data science and data governance within the groups data function, establishing a group-wide data capability enabled by technology, skills and education.

Before joining Travis Perkins plc, Robert was in senior management at Accenture, where he developed his data-focused career through a number of pivotal roles in large-scale, global transformation projects across the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa, spanning a wide range of sectors, including Government, communications, high tech and banking.

He is a BCS Fellow passionate about using data for good in the construction industry and strives to bridge the gap between data and business by empowering colleagues with data literacy through data apprenticeships and training.

Robert’s insights and guidance will be at the heart of GS1 UK’s strategy for collaborating with key stakeholders to support digitalisation, improve efficiency, safety, traceability and reduce costs through the implementation of interoperable data standards.

He will play a crucial role in raising awareness of how GS1 standards can address both the key issues of today, and those of tomorrow, by enabling organisations to seamlessly capture, maintain and share accurate data on buildings, equipment and materials. This will be essential if the UK construction industry is to adapt to new legislative demands, such as the Building Safety Act 2022, and build a more sustainable future by adopting a standardised approach to environmental, social and governance.

Commenting on his appointment to the board, Robert said: “I am pleased to be joining the GS1 UK supervisory board, along with being a voice for the construction industry. The construction sector has a real opportunity to embrace digital data standardisation and learn from more digitally mature sectors. I am very purpose-driven, with a focus on using data for good, intending to make a positive impact on building safety, traceability, transparency, trust and ESG.

“Interoperable, standardised and trusted data will also help our e-2-e supply chains unlock further opportunities through the use of AI, blockchain and supply chain digital twins.”

Chris Tyas OBE, chair of GS1 UK, said: “Robert’s appointment reflects the pivotal strides our organisation has made in broadening our reach within the construction sector. His passion for quality data and expertise will be of great value as we help the industry solve some of the critical challenges they cannot solve alone. Especially in areas where consumer need, legislation and industry efficiencies intersect.

“Interoperability will be critical for facilitating effective communication, collaboration, and data exchange among the diverse parties involved in a building's lifecycle. Our role in this space is becoming ever more relevant as many of the requirements set out by Building Safety Act 2022 and the ‘golden thread of data’ come into force.”


Sodexo’s Head of Quality & Compliance Appointed as CQI Chartered Fellow


Sodexo is proud to announce Chris Achillea, head of quality and compliance for the UK & Ireland, has been appointed a fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI).

The CQI Fellowship aims at recognising professionals in the industry who have demonstrated high levels of achievements and made significant contributions to the profession.

Chris was appointed a CQI Chartered Fellow in October 2023 following a rigorous application process documenting the excellent work, skills, qualifications and CPD needed to achieve the gold standard of the profession and validated by industry peers.

To become a Chartered Fellow, applicants must have been CQI members for a minimum of two years, demonstrating their own career development as well as others, through voluntary contributions to the objectives of quality, thought leadership and mentoring.

Chris Achillea, FCQI, Head of Quality and Compliance, Sodexo, UK & Ireland said: The CQI’s reputation is second to none so to receive the fellowship is an accomplishment that I am immensely proud of. Becoming a Chartered Fellow will enable to me to help expand and share my knowledge around best practices, the latest developments and advancements in quality practices.”  

Sean Haley, CEO Sodexo, UK & Ireland added: “At Sodexo, we’re always encouraging our employees to develop their skills so they can discover their potential and thrive. Chris’ achievement is a testament to his commitment to improving quality principles and methods enabling us as a business to meet changing customer expectations faster, more economically, and sustainably.

“At Sodexo we recognise that quality management isn't only about designing and improving the quality of products and services, but also about the methods an organisation uses to deliver them to its clients and customers.”

Led by the CQI, World Quality Week raises awareness of the importance of the quality management profession, and helps businesses focus on their competitive potential to improve productivity, safety, economy and sustainability inefficiencies.


Promotion Within the Ranks at Asckey


Asckey Data Services has appointed Phil Wright as their new Commercial Director. The internal promotion follows the retirement of Bernard Hill following 16 years with the company.

Being with the company for over 15 years, Phil has been the driving force behind the sales and development of Asckey’s facilities management software. He has been the primary link between the clients and the developers to ensure the software is consistently meeting the needs and expectations of the growing demands on the NHS. 

Speaking of the internal promotion, Managing Director Michael Young says; “Phil has been a central part of the Asckey team since he started with us in 2008. He has a proven track record of being able to bring on new clients and has been an integral part of our development team, identifying opportunities for growth within our software and within the team. Following the retirement of Bernard Hill, promoting Phil to the role of Commercial Director was a natural choice.”

In his new role, Phil will be responsible for the sales planning and strategy of Asckey’s FM software, direct account management for clients and identifying/securing new clients through direct and indirect marketing activities.

Commenting on his appointment, Phil adds: “It’s an interesting time in FM at the moment, especially for the NHS who are a primary client of Asckey’s. The demands on FM teams across the NHS, and all other multi-site organisations is growing. I strongly believe that our software can help these teams manage the incomprehensible number of tasks that come through their systems, helping them to streamline their processes and better use the resources available. I have been fortunate enough to be with the company as our products have adapted to the needs of our clients, from being a desktop-based platform to one that is entirely cloud-based to meet the flexibility of FM teams. I look forward to taking on this new role and helping Asckey to continue growing our portfolio of products as well as our portfolio of clients.”

Picture: a photograph of a desk with a cup of coffee, pen, paper and small plant. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 28 November 2023


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