North East Connected

Manufacturing Forum Strengthens Market Position with the Appointment of Two New Board Members

The Advanced Manufacturing Forum (AMF) has made two senior appointments to its strategic board, to help drive organisational development.

Joining the board is Jamie Gamble, employment partner at UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway, and Samantha Davidson, managing director of strategic marketing company, Horizonworks

As AMF board members, Jamie and Samantha will contribute to policies and strategies, plan member events, and be involved in decisions over the allocation of funding and budgetary spend.

Established by the private sector to offer a single voice on behalf of the manufacturing community, the AMF is now the largest manufacturing forum in the North East, engaging with members and the wider business community to exchange ideas and knowledge to create business growth and success opportunities within the manufacturing industry.

Jamie Gamble is based in Ward Hadaway’s Newcastle office and provides employment advice to a wide range of clients, including many involved in the manufacturing industry. Jamie’s experience includes acting for a major car manufacturer on the outsourcing of logistics and call centre operations and acting for a European manufacturer on the restructure of its UK senior management team following its purchase of the UK company.

He has been a member of the AMF since 2011 during which time he has hosted a number of seminars on employment, HR and staffing issues in the sector.

Samantha Davidson has over 18 years’ experience of managing and delivering strategic marketing and PR campaigns, and launched Horizonworks in 2010. Horizonworks specialises in business to business strategic marketing across a variety of industries including manufacturing and engineering, healthcare and life sciences, technology and innovation, professional services and the public sector.

Horizonworks is the strategic marketing partner of the AMF and hosts a quarterly Marketing Club for members, the aim of which is to create an environment where marketing expertise within the manufacturing sector is shared and utilised to encourage industry growth. The most recent event, ‘Marketing for Global Growth’ was held on July 5 at the North East Manufacturing and Engineering Expo 2017 at the Metro Radio Arena.

The AMF’s board also includes Ian Fawdon, chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum; John Scott, corporate lead for business, employment and skills for South Tyneside Council; Alison Maynard, principal for South Tyneside Professional and Vocational College; Eddie Czestochowski, managing director for Cell Pack Solutions; Alan Metcalfe commercial director for Zenith People; Greg Lynch, business development manager for TR Fastenings; Alastair Wilson, tax partner for Tait Walker; Peter Shiels, operations director for Phoenix Steel; Barry Cooper; Brian Tait, business unit manager at Marshalls; Colin Simpson, business development director at Tomlinson Hall & Co. Ltd; and Stephen Elliott, director at HVR International.

Ian Fawdon, chairman of the AMF, said: “It’s a truly exciting time for the AMF as we continue to witness exceptional growth in terms of membership, which is in part due to the dedication and calibre of our board members.

“As the voice of manufacturing in the North East, we pride ourselves on offering members advice and support in a breadth of business areas. Jamie and Samantha each boast a wealth of industry knowledge and as experts within their own sectors they will bring with them a unique perspective of the manufacturing industry and will provide members with access to new skills and insights.

“I am looking forward to the contribution both Jamie and Samantha will make, and I am confident this will go a long way to further the AMF’s development.”

Initially launched in 2006 as the South Tyneside Manufacturing Forum, the Advanced Manufacturing Forum was shaped following a rebrand in 2014 to reflect the forum’s growing influence in the North East.

The appointment of new board members follows a period of rapid growth for the AMF. 2016 saw the AMF attract the highest number of new members in its history and it recently launched a Process Improvement Group, which aims to help manufacturers improve productivity. The organisation has also undergone a brand refresh which saw the AMF website and visual style modernised to reflect the Forum’s increasing market presence throughout the North East.

Samantha said of the role: “As a strategic partner of the AMF, I have witnessed first-hand the benefits, education and support it provides North East manufacturers, and I am delighted to be joining the board.

“I am looking forward to utilising my business to business experience – and industry expertise – to play a vital role in supporting and promoting the continuous growth, capabilities and successes of regional manufacturing firms

“Horizonworks has over 7 years’ experience of helping manufacturers and engineers develop and implement marketing strategies which help them stand out from the crowd and effectively tell their business story. After partnering with the AMF and successfully launching the Marketing Club, Horizonworks will continue to showcase our commitment and dedication to furthering the development of the region’s manufacturing industry.”

Speaking of his appointment to the AMF board, Jamie said: “I am honoured to have been asked to join the Advanced Manufacturing Forum board.

“The AMF does a tremendous job in bringing together the many different facets of modern manufacturing in the North East and provides them with a platform and place to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences.

“Employment law and HR is a fast changing area and manufacturers have their work cut out keeping up to date and ensuring compliance, but keeping abreast of the changes and understanding how to get the most out of a workforce is essential for manufacturing businesses to be successful.

“I hope that by joining the AMF board I can help manufacturers in the region strengthen their businesses in all areas, but especially in maximising the output from their workforce.”

The AMF offers members business support and advice on areas ranging from funding to staffing, marketing, environmental issues, HR, IT and legal guidance, as well as providing support to members on productivity, innovation and training and skills.

For more information visit or call 0191 481 3480.

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