Stephenson gets the chemistry right with a series of appointments

Pictured are Jamie Chesnutt, Martin Blanchard and Alec Foster with Paul Pickering, who has been promoted to global head of sales

Natural ingredients manufacturer, Stephenson, has marked the start to 2022 with a series of strategic appointments.

Alec Foster, Jamie Chesnutt and Martin Blanchard have joined the Leeds-based manufacturer following a year of solid growth for the business.

The latest appointments continue Stephenson‘s ongoing plan for strategic growth which aims to establish the 164 year old firm as the world-leading manufacturer of speciality solid format soap bases and natural ingredients. The business now employs over 140 staff at its Horsforth site, bolstering its headcount in the past 18 months with 40 new recruits across all divisions.

Distribution channel partners worldwide, alongside facilities in North America, Europe and China all help to assist prompt delivery to customers in 50 different countries.

Alec Foster has joined as channel development manager having spent over ten years working with consumer brands including Dr Oetker and McCain Foods. His new role has an international focus and will bring into play Alec’s strong retail and consumer expertise.

Jamie Chesnutt joins from a background in commercial utilities and in his new role as manufacturing account manager, will have responsibility for the EU and Middle East territories.

Prior to his new role as manufacturing account manager for the US, Martin Blanchard spent 20 years in the watch and jewellery industry working for premium brands such as Fossil Group as well as several diamond retailers.

All three will work closely with Paul Pickering, who was recently promoted to global head of sales at Stephenson. Paul originally joined as business development manager in 2018 before taking on a fully global role supporting heads of R&D, brand owners and manufacturing leaders of international personal care brands.

2021 was a year of growth for Stephenson and despite challenging economic conditions brought about by the global pandemic and the introduction of Brexit. The business focused on customer experience, while ensuring availability of products and minimised delivery interruptions, which helped to reach strategic business goals and targets.

The continued global success of Stephenson’s groundbreaking syndet base, Syndopal, allows brands and manufacturers to successfully launch modern shampoo and skincare bars. Early 2021 saw Stephenson continuing to innovate with the launch of its acclaimed first-ever solid conditioning bar showing its ongoing commitment to sustainability in the personal care market.

The new solid conditioner base is the latest addition to Stephenson’s established melt and pour range, and is a product innovation designed to help consumers reduce the use of plastic containers and use less water during hair washing.

Jamie Bentley, Stephenson CEO, said: “Following some of the toughest economic challenges we’ve ever faced as a business, we’ve weathered the storm resiliently and stuck to our gameplan, increasing growth and adding to the workforce.

“This is another exciting phase in the growth of our business. The new recruits have joined at an exciting time and all have a vital role to play as we look to strategically channelise operations, expand into new territories and build further our international customer base. Consolidating our business in markets around the world and asserting our presence in the dynamic personal care market has been the primary goal and we continue to do this with hard work and determination.

“After 164 years we’re immensely proud to still be family owned and through constant innovation combined with attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry, we remain dedicated to developing speciality solid format bases, quality natural ingredients and products for a range of applications the world over.”

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