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Our Team

Our vastly experienced team is dedicated to providing the highest quality service at every stage of the customer journey. Here are some of our key personnel:

Ian Walch - Managing Director

Ian Walch

Managing Director
Gary Day - Technical Director

Gary Day

Technical Director
Paul Johnson - Sales Director

Paul Johnson

Sales Director
Mark Dignum - Production Director

Mark Dignum

Production Director
Karl Conqueror - Controls Director

Karl Conqueror

Controls Director
Mark Atkins - Business Support Director

Mark Atkins

Business Support Director
Lizzie Hay - Finance Director

Lizzie Hay

Finance Director
Andy Ross - Investor Director

Andy Ross

Investor Director
Mark Cook - Chairman

Mark Cook

Chairman

Mark is a motivated and highly effective Director, who holds more than 35 years’ experience in developing technology and service businesses internationally and in the UK. In his role as Chairman, Mark is responsible for leadership and development of the board, with a focus on strategic matters and adherence to high standards of governance.

Mark held several senior positions before joining Sewtec, including Executive Chairman and CEO at Stirling Dynamics, CEO at Seven Technologies Group (previously Datong PLC), Founder and Managing Director at Persides (acquired by Edif ERA), and various Director roles at Thales. Mark’s early career also includes electronic and software product development, systems engineering and project management.

Ian Walch - Managing Director

Ian Walch

Managing Director

Ian is an enthusiastic hands on business director with a proven track record of transforming businesses and delivering high value strategic projects across the engineering project life cycle. Ian, has over 20 years’ experience of delivering business strategy, innovative products, services, and managing complex engineering projects.

In his role as Managing Director, Ian is responsible for developing and delivering the business strategy, providing strategic reporting to the board and Chairman, and is accountable for all company operations. Ian was key to the design and delivery of the state-of-the-art facility that Sewtec operate out of in Wakefield.

Ian has held several senior positions, including Project Director at Sewtec, Operations Director at Stirling Dynamics, Head of Projects at Seven Technologies Group (previously Datong PLC), and Operations Director at Misas.

Gary Day - Technical Director

Gary Day

Technical Director

Gary is a highly skilled engineer with over 20 years’ experience in providing automation solutions to leading blue chip organisations globally.

In his role as Technical Director, Gary is responsible for leading the mechanical design engineering function by ensuring our team of designers creates innovative bespoke solutions to meet our customer expectations. Gary played an integral part in the MBO and is passionate about driving the business forward.

Gary began his career at Brook Motors, where he completed an electrical apprenticeship and progressed into mechanical design, also gaining a first-class honours degree in engineering. Gary joined Sewtec in 1997 as a Mechanical Design Engineer and was promoted to Chief Engineer after he built a solid technical reputation with our customer base.

Paul Johnson - Sales Director

Paul Johnson

Sales Director

Paul is an outstanding technical sales professional, with over 18 years’ experience in automation solutions. In his role as Sales Director, Paul leads on the sales growth strategy and ensures the company delivers outstanding solutions that meet the customer’s needs and are compliant with all relevant legislation and standards.  Paul played an integral part in the MBO and is passionate about extending Sewtec’s position in new markets.

Paul commenced his career within instrumentation hire and calibration, obtaining qualifications in electrical and mechanical engineering. He moved into applications, where he was able to apply his engineering skills toward developing solutions in process automation installations that would meet customer requirements. Paul has acquired an extensive network of contacts throughout his career and recruited into Sewtec in 2010.

Mark Dignum - Production Director

Mark Dignum

Production Director

Mark has a wealth of experience in senior operations and manufacturing roles with companies in the furniture, healthcare, and FMCG industries. With proven capabilities in lean manufacturing and change management, Mark is responsible for all manufacturing across our machine shop, fabrication and machine assembly operations. Mark also oversees our quality function, as well as health and safety, environmental management, and procurement.

Prior to joining Sewtec Automation, Mark was operations director at specialist manufacturer and supplier to the electrical power and rail industries, AUS Ltd; commercial director at office furniture manufacturer and supplier, Senator Group; and site director at global medical device manufacturer, Mölnlycke Health Care USA. Mark’s previous roles have seen him set up a new $50m state of the art factory in the USA, introduce several automated manufacturing lines, and set up a new confectionery manufacturing site in the UK.

Karl Conqueror - Controls Director

Karl Conqueror

Controls Director

Karl is a skilled Electrical Engineer with over 34 years’ experience of providing automation solutions to leading blue chip organisations globally.  In his role as Controls Director, Karl leads our electrical engineering and software function to create innovative bespoke solutions to match our customer expectations.  Karl played an integral part in the MBO and is looking forward to the challenge of taking the business to the next level.

Karl has worked with a number of leading organisations, such as Pilkington Brothers, Nacanco, Proctor & Gamble, and Nestle, before joining Sewtec in 2000.

Mark Atkins - Business Support Director

Mark Atkins

Business Support Director

Mark is a Human Resources professional with over 23 years’ experience in providing support and guidance to customers in engineering, retail, FMCG, logistics, education, charity, and the public sector, as well as running a HR consultancy.  Mark provided HR consultancy services to Sewtec for many years and, when asked to join the new Sewtec senior management team, felt this an excellent opportunity to become integral to moving the business forward.

Mark held a number of positions before joining Sewtec, including People and Talent Director at Babington Group, Director-Owner at Atkins HR, Assistant Director HR at Sheffield Housing, and Divisional HR Manager JHP Group.

Lizzie Hay - Finance Director

Lizzie Hay

Finance Director

Lizzie is a Chartered Accountant with over 12 years’ senior accountancy experience within various business sectors, including engineering, retail, manufacturing, and property. As our Finance Director, Lizzie ensures we have a solid financial platform in place to support our company’s growth and provides accurate and reliable information to the board and investors.

Lizzie has held a number of positions before joining Sewtec, including Finance Director at Azeo Engineering Ltd and Stuncroft Ltd, Financial Planning and Accounts Manager for Howden Joinery Ltd, and Financial Controller for Scarborough Group International.

Andy Ross - Investor Director

Andy Ross

Investor Director

Andy is a partner at Endless LLP, the Leeds based transformational private equity investor.

Andy was responsible for leading Endless’ original investment in Sewtec at the time of the MBO in August 2017. He then joined the board and has been working closely with the wider management team to support the business’ further growth and development.

Andy has been at Endless since 2015 and is responsible for sourcing and delivering investment opportunities as well as working with a small number of their portfolio companies. Before joining Endless, Andy spent 16 years at PwC advising boards and their stakeholders through sales, purchases, restructures, and refinancing projects.