Category Archive: People

Sally Hart: Inspiring Northern Talent

Late last year, Sally Hart, Operations Director at George F. White, was announced as the firms first female equity partner; breaking the mould in a typically male orientated industry.

Sally was originally appointed as Head of Communications in 2014. Six months into her, she was invited to join the Board following the way she had transformed the communications of the business, with teams working better together internally and the firm maintaining a prominent and consistent external profile. In what was largely a natural progression for Sally, she became Operations Director in January 2017, a position she’s now held for over two years. Sally’s first move as Operations Director was to conduct a full business review, since then, she has restructured the business in a way that has created a positive difference to its people; improving their confidence, career opportunities and rewards, which has led to the pinnacle of her career – an invitation from the Group to become equity partner in recognition of the role she plays within the business.

Sally Hart

Speaking about Sally’s success, Managing Partner Robyn Peat, said: “The amount Sally has achieved in such a short space of time is phenomenal. In her first 18 months as Operations Director, she introduced key initiatives, from improving employee well being, strengthening client care and streamlining how the business is managed internally; that has transformed how we operate, creating a stronger, more successful business model which puts people at the centre of what we do to enable consistent growth and development. As a young female director, Highly Commended at the recent Institute of Director Awards and North East Business Woman of the Year Awards, now Equity Partner, Sally also started a family during such a crucial time in her career, she breaks the tradition in the sector and represents a positive and powerful role model, not only to women in our industry, but women in business across the Northern region. Sally doesn’t just look after the business side of things, but the people who make the business a success too – and that’s a rare talent.”

When asked about her experience of being a woman in business within the North East, Sally said: “I personally have never felt that I have been disadvantaged in business for being a woman, however, I have experienced perceptions towards me, whether that be age or gender,” she continued, “The biggest perception, for me, is that as soon as you start a family, your career is over – this is simply not true. I started my own family within my first year as Operations Director and have since been invited to become an equity partner. I truly believe that you define your own success; if you have a strong skill set and ambition then it is all about finding the opportunity or business that will support your development and growth. We should be very proud of the support network that exists for both business women and men in the region; it is right that we actively encourage and champion one another.”

Sally believes that people are at the heart of everything, therefore is concentrating on engaging with young talent, ensuring that George F. White develop the next generation of their team, both male and female, to be the best they can be.

Speaking about diversifying the industry, Sally said: “I hope to help inspire other women in business, demonstrating to them that there is opportunity to excel in whatever industry you work within. The business landscape is forever changing, becoming increasingly competitive and chaotic both at the same time. I truly believe that this presents a great opportunity to push forward the mutual business desire, cross-sector, to create level playing field and equality for all to succeed.”

Graduate Surveyor: Local Yorkshire Farmer James Thompson

Local farmer, James Thompson, has been welcomed back to George F. White as a Graduate Surveyor after a successful university placement year.

James re-joins our team to bolster the growing rural professional and farm consultancy services in our Shiptonthorpe and Bedale branches. James recently graduated from Newcastle University where he achieved a BSc in Agribusiness; the degree requires students to undertake a placement year, in which James carried out successfully with us back in 2016/17 and proceeded to impress the management team. Not only does James have an exceptional understanding of the business, he grew up locally to the area and boasts an outstanding level of geographical knowledge.

Graduate - James Thompson

Simon Britton, Partner and Head of Yorkshire at George F. White, said: “We are delighted to welcome James Thompson back to George F. White; he is a strong addition to our growing team here in Yorkshire. A graduate position at George F. White is a great place for James to start his career; we have a strong team of eleven, in which over 65% were recruited at graduate level and are currently working towards or sitting in management positions.  James brings a lot of energy and willingness to learn, a fantastic quality to see in a graduate and certainly the qualities that we expect to see in our employees. I am confident that James will continue to excel throughout his APC studies and over the course of his professional career, we promise to nurture his talent as we have his colleagues.”

James achieved a first class grade on his dissertation which focused on government policy in agriculture and farm diversification in the North and East of Yorkshire; in light of the current political climate, James’ research will prove extremely useful to local farmers and his agricultural background will allow him to relate to the day-to-day operation of a farming business.

On his decision to continue his studies at George F. White, James said: “Having lived locally to the Shiptonthorpe office, I knew of the strong reputation that George F. White has in the community. Whilst on my placement year I not only discovered that the employees at the firm are one big family but also have a great depth of knowledge in such a wide range of enterprises in the rural economy; I was over the moon to be offered a graduate position as I believe George F. White is the perfect place to learn and practise my knowledge to help me with my professional exams in the near future. “

Sally Hart: Meet our newest Equity Partner

Sally Hart, Operations Director at George F. White, is the first female Board member to become an Equity Partner, following the instrumental role she has played in the restructuring of the business. Sally has orchestrated a significant organisational change for the consultancy which has reaped benefits both internally and externally.

Sally Hart Robyn PeatWelcoming Sally to the Partnership, Robyn Peat, Managing Partner, said: “The amount Sally has achieved in such a short space of time is phenomenal. In her 18 months as Operations Director, she has introduced key initiatives, from improving employee wellbeing, strengthening client care and streamlining how the business is managed internally, that have transformed how we operate, creating a stronger, more successful business model which puts people at the centre of what we do to enable consistent growth and development. As a young female director, Highly Commended at the recent Institute of Director Awards, and now Equity Partner, who also started a family during such a crucial time in her career, she breaks the tradition in the sector and represents a positive and powerful role model not only to women in our industry, but women in business across the North East region. Sally doesn’t just look after the business side of things, but the people who make the business a success too – and that is a rare talent.”

Sally has led the business through a period of consolidation since joining the Board, as plans are put in place for ambitious growth in the next two to three years. She initially joined the business in 2014 as Head of Communications before progressing to Operations Director in early 2017.

Talking about her appointment as Equity Partner, Sally added: “I am delighted to join the GFW Partnership. As a young female in a senior leadership role in a typically male dominated sector, I hope to set an example to other women in business, demonstrating to them that there is opportunity to excel in whatever industry you work within. Speaking from my own experience, it’s so important to champion what you do, and I want to continue to work with women inside and outside of our business to help, coach and inspire them to reach their full potential. As the business continues to grow from strength to strength it’s an exciting time to join the Partnership and be part of George F. White’s future.”

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

We can’t believe how quickly time has passed and how much has happened since we moved in our city centre office in September 2017. We caught up with Richard Garland to find out more…

city

 

I am sure you can’t quite believe that we have nearly been in our Arch 2 office for a whole year. Remind us of your immediate priorities.

We went into our newest office with the view of expanding on the existing client base of GFW and to open up a new pool of potential work. It was important that we added further credibility to the work we already do in our Commercial, Energy and Planning and Development sectors, by having a presence in the city centre, where many other professional services expect to see consultants based.

 

Has business kick started the way that you hoped?

It always takes time to break into new markets but the GFW offering has been well received across the Tyne and Wear region. As a result of our presence and business development we have secured work that we would not otherwise have been considered for, including working on projects for a seven storey tower block in Newcastle, as well as city centre commercial property, red book valuations and large scale urban regeneration projects. Almost without exception, everyone we have talked to has been surprised as to how much of a specialist offering we have and how that aligns to client needs. Being in Newcastle has allowed more people to realise that.

 

We heard that you’re recruiting…

Yes! We are always on the lookout for good people. At the moment our key areas of search are for commercial surveyors and building surveyors to work out of the city centre office.

For more information about who we are looking to recruit, click here.

 

What is your most memorable experience since opening the office?

Refining the GFW pitch to people in the city centre and seeing the reaction of people that we have been doing business with for many years when they realise the true specialist nature of what we do. Aside from that, managing four bacon sandwich breakfast meetings and three evening drinks events in the same week (but I’m not complaining!).

 

Business aside, working in the city must have its advantages?

Working in the city centre has been an eye opener in many ways; the Newcastle culture is just fantastic. We should be extremely proud of our city, in particular the evolving food and social scene. As a team, we take full advantage of the abundance of independent bars, cafes and restaurants, whether that is for a staff social, a client meeting or just to grab a quick bite for lunch. We are particular fans of our neighbours, Herb Garden… what better way is there to celebrate a great week than a pizza?

X