Welcome to our Experts page.
Here you'll find short biographies on all of our contributing experts as well as links to their achievements and accomplishments within the industry.
Keep checking back regularly to see who else you can expect to see at future events...
Laura Walton, Oakwood Solicitors
Laura Walton is a Solicitor within the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team at Oakwood Solicitors, Winner of the Small Law Firm of the Year at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2018. Laura is regularly instructed by both Claimants and Defendants which gives her a great insight into both party’s positions and being able to objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of both party’s cases. Laura is often instructed by contractors working within the construction industry, by those who need to be paid and those who wish to defend a claim brought against them. Laura also works closely with companies to ensure their legal paperwork is in order, a ‘prevention is cheaper than the cure’ kind of measure to assist in defeating any potential claims made and/or ensuring you have the correct mechanism to pursue contractors for payment should an issue arise.
Laura finds legal health checks to be most useful when encouraging her clients to be more pro-active in their approach to their legal paperwork and regularly drafts company terms and conditions, shareholder agreements and cross option agreements for new set ups, thus providing the protection her client’s need. Laura provides an all round service from start to finish which continues to benefit those she works with.
Alison Zalecki, Managing Director, Mozer
Alison has been a specialist pitch and proposals consultant for almost 10 years. She has successfully led deals from £50k – over £1bn across the public and private sector with an 80% success rate.
Alison developed her skills in winning business where, in only three years, she went from the bottom to the top role in Bids, securing the position of Director and Head of Bid Management for a national property firm. In this time, Alison developed a strategy to increase the win rate across all contract values, improve team skills with training and self-use tools, and generated business opportunities with key clients. This took the business from a 45% to 75% win rate.
Alison has worked with well-known organisations including national and global real estate, commercial and residential development, civil engineering, cost and project management, and professionals services.
Some of Alison’s highlights include winning the redevelopment of a £1.2b high profile government estate in North London, the estates management contract for a national high street bank, and the Joint Venture strategy for the stadium and local area redevelopment for a European Football Club. Alison has helped her clients to win contracts with national television broadcasters, global communications companies, the world’s best known energy drink, national department stores, pension funds, high street banks, public health services, football clubs, national transport services, a number of universities across the UK, and many London Borough Councils.
Becky Stevenson, Business Improvement Consultant
Becky Stevenson has over 17 years experience from working at leading organisations. During this time, Becky learnt how to systemise, improve and implement processes to ensure that large scale and complex operations run like clockwork. She now has her own business where she helps business owners to audit their operations, implement positive changes and bring in off the shelf or bespoke software systems so that they are running in the most effective way. These changes bring more time, profit, accuracy and customers. The feedback from clients is 5*
“My processes are mapped out so I know exactly my clients journey. All this in just one week! A big weight has been lifted and feel so much more organised. Can't thank you enough Becky. So happy to have met you at the last event”
Black House Creative
With over 25 years experience in the design and marketing arena, Black House Creative are
design, marketing and branding specialists experienced in all business sectors, working with
companies large and small, from sole traders to blue chip corporations, with offices in Yorkshire
and Scotland. We tailor our services to suit your business, making a real difference in developing your
marketing to attract more customers, boost your brand awareness to increase your profits and
use powerful communication to target your market audience. We consider ourselves incredible value for money, offering our clients the same standard of work as any like for like London or Edinburgh based agency but at a fraction of the cost, offering a fantastic ROI.
Paula Chyzy, Managing Partner
Paula brings experience of the corporate world with a background in management, organisation,
communication and client relationships. Paula has been heavily involved in the design and marketing
industry for the last 25 years and is committed to ensuring that the client experience with Black House
Creative is an enjoyable one and one that exceeds all expectations. Paula spear-heads much of the
communication, establishing and evaluating exact client requirements and is definitely regarded as
the mortar within Black House Creative’s own planning, architectural and construction department.
Richard Chyzy, Creative Director
Richard is a highly creative, commercially driven design and marketing consultant, experienced in
all design disciplines and business sectors, specialising in design, branding and marketing. Over
the years Richard has worked in both the public and the private sector having worked with many
prestigious blue chip clients along the way including: IBM, Shell, Hitachi, Argos, Homebase, Best
Western Hotel Group, Radisson Hotel Group, the NHS and Arla Group to name but a few.
Richard is passionate about branding, design and marketing and heads the multi-international
award winning design team at Black House Creative as its Creative Director. All things creative
are engineered and constructed under Richard’s guidance.
Accellier, Open Source CRM and ERP Business Solutions
Are you failing to meet customer expectations? Are your employees constantly stressed and frustrated? Do you struggle with manual processes? Do you have too many lists in Excel? Do you have standalone business applications that don't 'talk' to each other? Are you constantly fighting with old technology that isn't working for you? Are you missing accurate reports and real-time management dashboards? We can help.
Construction industry-specific business applications that provide insight, process improvement, process automation and deliver competitive advantage.
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Many of our application integrate with accounting software (Xero, QuickBooks & Sage), Office365, Microsoft SharePoint, Gmail, Google Drive and MailChimp and other applications.
Tim Calverly, Laurus Business Advisory Specialists
Laurus Business Advisory Specialist started out helping different sized companies. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with large owner managed companies and act as an alternative to companies PWC and KMPG. We use our specialist skills to help get your business to the next level.
At Laurus we help businesses realise their success and areas where they have overcome difficulties. We help many businesses that turnover anything under £3m. If you think we can help you, why not try giving us a call so we can help you drive to a new level of victory.
Rob Taylor, Robtaylorofficial.com
Rob Taylor is a marketing expert with over 13 years experience within the sector. His work with businesses is geared at empowerment and application of new marketing methods that ensure a business has an understanding of marketing means for their business and the best ways to earn results from marketing activity across the business. Rob Taylor runs a series of marketing programmes to help businesses at all levels of understanding and scope. These programmes include one to one work, group seminars and online delivery across topics of marketing planning, strategy, implementation, social media & digital marketing (email, website, SEO).
Contact me today for a consultation and talk about how marketing can take you from where you are to where you want to be.
My free marketing blog is updated regularly and you can find it here: www.robtaylorofficial.com
Onto The Page
Onto the Page is a Leeds-based bid & tender consultancy, offering a tailored and comprehensive bid & tender management service to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Our mission: to inspire businesses to find the right bidding opportunities, and win them!
Emma Jaques, Managing Director, is a member of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), and holds the coveted Practitioner accreditation. Emma has been in the business for over 20 years and has written two books on the subject of winning contracts.
Joanna Tillott, Client Manager, is APMP accredited at Foundation Level. Joanna and has a wealth of business experience to draw upon and has a strong understanding of business goals and priorities.
Sarah Heyes, Bid Manager, has a background in business development in the construction industry and is perfectly placed to manage tenders for all trades.
Together the team provide expert help to create winning bids, proposals and tenders, not just a compliant one – our win rate is over 75%.
Simon Kamen, Synergy Procurement Solutions
Simon has been a business to business professional for almost 30 years with sector experience in most areas of indirect spend as well as specific experience in direct purchasing. Working with senior stakeholders in a business he has been a procurement specialist for almost 7 years. He has successfully led projects ranging from as low as £10k to individual category spends of over £1m across the public and private sector. Simon has an almost 100% success rate in achieving commercial efficiency and savings for all of his clients.
Working as part of the Synergy Procurement Group he has access to and extensive supplier base as well as a team of consutants that can assist in delivering projects on time, put simply Synergy are Professional, Passionate and Focussed and will Exceed you Expectations.
Simon has worked with both small and large clients global brands such as Unilever, Oracle, GKN, P&O, Lendlease, Stonebridge Homes, Costcutter, Fat Face and many more.
Gary Ainley, Expert Collections Ltd
Gary Ainley is an industry veteran and has more than 30 years’ experience in the commercial debt collection sector. Having spent much of that time as a Collections Director there is nothing that Gary does not know about debt collection.
His attention to detail to client's specific requirements is 2nd to none. Gary is always happy to go the extra mile for his clients, often over and above Expert Collections' standard debt collection service, after all the aim is to get back his clients their overdue monies.
Gary is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.
Exclusive Offer - Expert Collections are happy to offer all Construction Network members a complimentary credit report on any company of their choice.
Anita Pickersgill , Kingsland Receivables Limited
Anita has over 30 years’ experience in the fields of credit control and debt recovery and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. She is expertly proficient in the principles and practice
of controlling credit and managing debt in commercial organisations. Anita’s engaging and direct approach combines credit management strategies as well as day-to-day practical solutions for SMEs. Whether it is one on one training, course delivery or a seminar her delivery
is informative and easily retained.
With a career that has included working in commercial B2B Companies, followed by PricewaterhouseCoopers insolvency team and over ten years in commercial Invoice Finance as a Recoveries and Litigation Manager Anita has gained a sound understanding of the problems SME's face and the types of disputes that come out of their debtor books. These include Construction and Trades issues with Final Accounts, out of scope works, extras, variations, overdue payments falling under the Construction Act.
Take advantage of a free, no obligation Cost Audit Analysis for your Business. Our trusted partners at QuikSwitch will prepare an in-depth analysis providing you with a breakdown of your current costs and the potential savings that can be achieved. If you are interested in utilising this free service, please let me know and I will put you in touch.
Gail Webster, XLAddict Ltd
Gail has over 30 years’ experience of delivering software training courses at all levels for delegates with little or no previous computer familiarity through to proficient users who are looking to extend their knowledge.
For the last 20 years, she has also been providing consultancy services from tidying existing spreadsheets and setting up simple templates to creating fully automated systems. Gail has worked with a wide range of companies of all different sizes to simplify their systems and save them considerable amounts of time. While her client base is varied, Gail has worked with several construction companies and related businesses since starting as a software trainer and many of her bespoke systems have been in this area of industry.
Bespoke systems are tailored to the clients’ needs and Gail spends time assessing what is required before starting and then ensures that installation runs smoothly by providing training at the users’ desks.
If you are interested in exploring whether an Excel based solution can save you time, please contact Gail for more information