A well-established Stockton funeral firm has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of an IT specialist

Louise Anderson, who has joined the team at Crake and Mallon in Stockton-on-Tees as Business Support Manager, is the third generation to be involved in the running of the family-owned firm.

The granddaughter of the founder, Robert Crake Senior, Louise has been appointed to help take Crake and Mallon forward on a number of fronts.

Initially her role will focus on improving and upgrading the firm’s IT facilities including updating the firm’s accounting and financial management systems.

She is also tasked with increasing the firm’s web presence with the launch of a new Crake and Mallon website.

Senior Partner, Alison Crake, explains that the appointment is an important step for the business.  “We have always prided ourselves on being a family business dedicated to the families of Teesside.  My brother Robert and I are thrilled that our niece Louise is joining us, she is the daughter of our sister Linda and Jim Ross (a former partner, now retired) so there is a strong family connection to the company.

“We feel that we are reaffirming our commitment to Teesside by bringing Louise on board,” she said.

“Since my father set the business up in 1971 we have supported countless families at what is often the most vulnerable time of their lives.

“This appointment aims to make sure the business will move onto the next generation so we can continue to provide that vital support.”

Louise joins Crake and Mallon from Northumbrian Water where she worked in a business analyst and architect role in the corporate area.

Prior to that she spent seven years spent in the Computing and Information Services and Business Improvement departments at Durham University following a position in local government in a business analysis role and at Nissan on its IT graduate trainee scheme.

Educated at Grangefield School in Stockton and Bede College in Billingham, Louise graduated from Northumbria University with a first class honours in Bsc (Hons) Business Information Systems and an award for the highest marked dissertation in her year group.

Her new role is not the first one she has had at Crake and Mallon.

“I first worked here when I left school, mainly on Saturday mornings, and then when I went on to college and in university holidays too,” she explained.

“I was paid £3.50 an hour and worked on reception and seem to remember I did a lot of photocopying and data input – they also kept all of the filing for me to do.

“I also used to run around after my grandpa whenever he was in the office – whether it was going to get him a sandwich or fetching his shoes and top hat from his office, he made sure I was busy!”

Louise added that she is excited to be the third generation of her family to be part of the business in an industry that is much-changed since Crake and Mallon was first set-up.

“People are more willing to talk about death and funerals now and what they might want, or not want, as it’s no longer taboo.

“Also people are keener to celebrate life and do different things, whether that’s through music or choosing to wear bright colours, or setting up memorial pages where loved ones can comment or post photos.

She continued: “We have a number of ideas and projects we are wanting to implement this year so I feel really excited about joining the business.  Crake and Mallon has come a long way and I’m very proud that it’s still an independent, family-run business.

“My grandpa set the business up 45 years ago this year and he would also have been 90 this year. He had extremely high standards that I will be doing my very best to live up to.”