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Great Annual Savings > Meet the Team

MEET SOME OF THE TEAM

Since our launch in 2012, The Great Annual Savings Group’s dedicated team of Business Solutions Managers have been working hard to help businesses save money on their running costs.

As costs across so many business sectors continue to soar, our unlimited supplier access and buying power, makes our team the perfect choice for businesses who are looking to keep their running costs low.​

Our customers trust us to pass on the best possible business tariffs, ensuring great savings are made on a range of services including; utilities, energy audits, water, fire safety, telecoms, and insurance.​

All of which can be managed ‘under one roof’ with no need for you to shop around or negotiate the best deals – our experts are here to do it all, leaving you to concentrate on your day to day business activities, with the peace of mind that you will never pay any more than you should on running costs.​

Meet some of our team and get in touch.

WORK FOR US

If you’re talented, ambitious and are interested in working in a fast-paced environment where high performance is rewarded, then a career at Great Annual Savings (GAS) could be for you. Not only are we increasing the size of our sales team at our head office in Seaham, we’re looking for regional business development and sales teams to build upon our growth nationwide.

Meet the Directors

Meet Some of the team

CONNECT WITH US

BRADLEY GROVES

CEO & CHAIRMAN

Having co-founded GAS in 2012, Bradley has helped oversee the companies’ huge growth in a short space of time. Starting from its modest surroundings in South Shields, the rapid growth has seen the business move to its current surroundings in Seaham. Bradley’s background is in retail management and he has a wealth of experience working for a number of FTSE250 companies in a board level capacity, most notably with the Caudwell Group.

Bradley says:

“Certain businesses we’ve worked with have made six-figure savings over their contract terms, we cover a very large area when it comes to variable costs, and when we get involved, it means the companies can focus on their business while somebody else is focusing on what they specialise in.”

Did you know?
Bradley is the proud Owner and Chairman of Spennymoor Town Football Club, who have achieved 3 promotions over the past 5 years since his takeover in 2009. As a youngster, he was also on the books of Aston Villa Football Club until an unfortunate injury took him down another career path which has culminated in the empire he has built today.​​

Mark Gwilliam

GROUP CFO

Having managed the finances of a number of fast growth UK & International companies, Mark was part of the founding team that set up the company in 2012 becoming our Group CFO. A qualified management accountant, Mark brings with him a wealth of experience having also held senior positions in the Logistics and Distribution sectors, working for the Caudwell Group and more recently with Private Equity.

Mark says:

“Since we launched the business in 2012, I have witnessed first-hand the incredible growth the company has experienced in such a short space of time which is a credit to hard work put in from all involved. The depth of talent and expert knowledge we have at our disposal within our workforce points to a very positive future not only for ourselves but most importantly for our customers.”

Did you know?
Mark is proud to say he managed to beat the elements and complete the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge in 23 hours, 50 minutes. So, does Mark believe he could put on his hiking boots again and complete the course? Definitely not!​​

Judith Bennison

Group HR Director

Judith was part of the team who initially set up Great Annual Savings in 2012, she brings with her an abundance of senior management experience, managing the HR/Resourcing functions in numerous fast growing FTSE250 companies including De La Rue International PLC, Blacks Leisure Group PLC and most recently G4S PLC. Judith has played a pivotal role in helping move the business forward with our ambitious growth plans and her impact has seen our head count grow significantly year on year with significant plans in place to manage and lead the continued growth going forward.

Judith says:

“Businesses who are pro-active continually look at managing their costs effectively, those who wait until a recession hits, are reactive and often too late. We want companies to be pro-active and take the pain away by saving costs now, letting GAS do the fully managed cost solution just makes good business sense for any company, whatever the size or industry. Our business ethos is something I truly believe in and want every company to benefit from our help and support, working collaboratively together is a great way to build long term relationships.”

Did you know?
Outside of work, Judith likes to turn her passion to Yoga incorporating head stands, hand stands, tree pose, back bends and still being able to twist & turn along with her fellow yogis. She is on the journey to lotus pose but 5 years on is not quite there… yet!​​


PHILIP BALL

NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

For over 30 years Phil enjoyed a career working for Local Authorities in Lancashire, City of Newcastle, Derbyshire and County Durham specialising in sport, leisure and cultural services before leaving his Director’s role at Sedgefield Borough Council in 2009 to start a leisure consultancy company. Having been commissioned to work on football and community related projects for Spennymoor Town FC in 2010, he developed a close working relationship with Club Chairman Bradley Groves.

Phil says:

“Outside of working on football club activity, discussions with Bradley began to explore how we were aware that many of the companies we had both worked with needed specialist cost reduction services which led to the creation of the Great Annual Savings Company in 2012 and began a journey of rapid expansion for us and huge financial benefits for our customers.”

Did you know?
Phil is a keen sportsman, his current playing passions are golf and sailing although when he was at school in Rotherham, he was proud to represent Yorkshire Schoolboys at Cricket and still holds his school’s wicket keeping record of taking 47 stumpings and 4 catches in a single season.​​

MARK JONES 

Associate Business Solutions Director (UK & I)

Mark joined Great Annual Savings shortly after the company began trading in 2012 as a Business Solutions Manager, after initially beginning his career working in the Finance sector with Barclays, RBS and HBOS Group. His skills and high work ethic were quickly recognised as he was first promoted to a Team Manager, and then later to the Head of Sales, UK & Ireland. As one of the longest serving members of staff, he has now built a strong team of Energy experts designed to take the pain away from our customers when it comes to their utility bills and give them peace of mind and the time to do what they do best; run their business.

Mark says:

“The speed of my progression and development has been amazing. The guidance and ongoing support the Group has provided me to aid my development has been invaluable. It’s great to be able to assist businesses to reduce their costs and their customer satisfaction gives me personal satisfaction in my role.
The Group has great plans, with a robust structure in place and it continues to be an exciting place to work. The relocation to much bigger offices June 2015 signalled great times ahead to all involved and to all who join this dynamic fast paced company. The company has not stood still though with further expansion over the next 12 months makes the challenge even bigger and more exciting.”

Did you know?
Mark is a lifelong Sunderland AFC supporter, attending every game home and away throughout the season with his young son Josh.​​

DAN SMITH

HEAD OF ENERGY

A Chartered Energy Engineer and Member of the Energy Institute, Dan joined Great Annual Savings in November 2015 having gained over 20 years of experience in Energy Management and Energy Services across a number of sectors such as Food & Drink and Heavy Industries, whilst working in countries all over the world including Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, China and different parts of Europe. Where our team of Business Solution Managers help clients pay the lowest price for their gas and electricity, the primary focus of Dan’s team is to assist clients to use as little gas and electricity as possible.

Dan says:

“We launched the Energy function in November 2015, and we now have a full range of demand side energy services, many of which are value added to clients, and we are always aware of the latest technologies and solutions to help our clients.”

Did you know?
Dan was previously involved with Coca Cola’s innovative “Quad Gen” CHP plants which provided power, hot water and chilled water to the site, and also captured CO2 from the engines which was cleaned and reused to carbonate the drinks.​​

DAVID HALL

HEAD OF PROCUREMENT

David joined GAS in November 2015, bringing with him 25 years of Corporate Procurement experience. After working in the Energy sector for 10 years with Northern Electric and Utility Services, he spent the next 15 years doing the Procurement for three major motor groups – Jardine Motors, Inchcape Plc and Benfield. Here at GAS, David and his team of experts have been working tirelessly to develop the company mantra, “saving you more, on more” with a specific focus on the “on more”.

David says:

“The size, setup and culture of the business has changed so much in the last six months, and I can’t wait to see what the future has to offer in terms of our growth. It is definitely an exciting time to be involved with the business.”

Did you know?
David is an avid sports lover and supporter of Sunderland AFC and Durham County Cricket Club. He also has a love for the USA and will often be found attending the home games of his other beloved sports team – the Dallas Cowboys. David has also faced the daunting task of appearing on TV on the Weakest Link game show making it all the way through to final round.​​

CRAIG SHIELDS

HEAD OF COMPLIANCE

Craig spent the first 10 years of his career working in Education, firstly as a lecturer, then latterly as a Head of Sport, Leisure, Travel & Public Services at East Durham FE College. Having moved into the private sector in 2012 running a local franchise of Loughborough based business telecommunications company Crimzon Communications, Craig first became involved with Great Annual Savings by providing the telecommunications arm of the value added services of the business. In 2014, he turned that business rapport and relationship into a full time role within the company as our Head of Compliance.

Craig says:

“Being part of GAS is a journey, you genuinely feel part of the organisation and that your contribution makes a difference. The growth I’ve witnessed since I’ve been involved with GAS is phenomenal, to see us move from small serviced offices to where we are now has been a pleasure to be a part of. It’s exciting to think that we aren’t finished yet, with plenty more growth to come.”

Did you know?
Craig once appeared on the stage version of Catchphrase in Blackpool with the one and only Roy Walker.​​

PHIL ANDREW

Associate Customer Experience Director

Phil joined GAS in May 2016, having worked in a number of blue chip organisations over the past 25 years including The AA, Tesco Bank, Aviva and Barclaycard. With the company committed to providing a first class customer journey and experience, as well as colleague engagement, Phil’s knowledge and experience as Head of Complaints at Barclaycard and Customer Experience at the AA is key to GAS delivering a first class experience to each of our customers’ every time.

Phil says:

“I am really excited to be a part of a local company which is looking to grow by putting the customer first. I was attracted by the positive culture that has been created and the opportunity of working for an organisation that is always looking to invest and develop its workforce and support the local community.”

Did you know?
In 2005, Phil was accredited a Six Sigma Black Belt whilst working for Zurich Financial Services. A winner of a number of industry awards, he also wrote and delivered the hugely successful Barclaycard “Obsessed” Program, which was designed to put the customer at the centre of the organisations thinking.​​

ADAM BROWN

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

A graduate of Sunderland University in 2011 in Sports Journalism, Adam spent the first few months of his career working as a Journalist before deciding he would enjoy applying his skills on the other side of the fence.

“Journalism just wasn’t for me. Like all students when they graduate, I felt obliged to pursue a career in my chosen area of study, before quickly realising I had a diverse skill set that was better suited to the Communications and PR side of things. I gained a wide range of knowledge of writing and the media through my time at University and in the industry, so it was a smooth transition.”

He says his most interesting fact occurred during an eventful trip to Vegas, where he stumbled into the midst of filming for two major movies – The Hangover III and Last Vegas, starring Robert De Niro. He was also in the same building as President Obama without even realising – all on the same day.

In December 2015, Adam leapt at the opportunity to join Great Annual Savings, tasked with the responsibility of setting up and establishing the Marketing Department. In his short time with the company, he has worked with Rebecca Cairney, Head of Marketing and eCommerce, to expand the team to six members, with additional scope to grow further. He has also implemented a successful PR strategy which has seen the company develop its brand reputation in what is fast becoming a competitive market.

PAUL JOHNSON

MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT

After attending Monkwearmouth School in Sunderland, a young Paul Johnson lived every boy’s dream, taking on a footballing apprenticeship which culminated in a five-year professional career with Hartlepool United. However, not every career in sport ends through injury or age. Paul decided to swap handling strikers to handling cash and took up a financial role at Great Annual Savings Group (GAS).

“I’d managed to get my Association of Accountancy Technicians (AAT) level two and three qualifications soon after stopping football,” Paul remembers, “So I was certain I wanted to go into finance.

“After meeting the staff here and securing employment, it quickly became clear there was a huge opportunity for me to forge a career.”

Paul joined GAS in January 2015 to further his prospects and even managed to continue playing semi-professionally for Spennymoor Town FC in the Northern League.

“I was keen to keep progressing quickly at GAS, who kindly offered to part-fund my Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualifications in conjunction with a grant from the PFA.”

LAUREN REDMAN

HR Manager

From Sunderland to Chicago and back again, Lauren has made significant strides in her career since graduating from Sunderland University with a 2:1 degree in Business & Human Resource Management back in 2011.

“Attending University was a great learning curve for me and gave me a great insight into what I could achieve in my career. I was also afforded the opportunity to gain some fantastic work experience with Gateshead Council and Trade Training Associates, harnessing my skills in the end to end recruitment process and other generalist HR projects.”

After graduation, she took on a one-year internship in Hospitality Management in Chicago with Marriot. Upon her return to the UK in late 2012, her journey with Great Annual Savings began.

LIAM GROVES

COMPLIANCE MANAGER

An Alumni of Leeds Beckett University, Liam graduated with a 2:1 degree in Business Studies and has been part of the furniture from day one, starting his career at Great Annual Savings on a 12-month undergraduate placement working as a Business Solutions Manager. Having completed his degree, he took on a role as part of the Sales Administration Team.

“Being part of the companies’ inception and ongoing development has been a challenging yet rewarding experience which has helped me gain invaluable skills and knowledge of working in a fast growing private sector business.”

Since attending Argyle House School and Durham School 6th Form, Liam has always displayed a passion for business from an early age. You could even say it’s in his genes.

Over the years, Liam has worked his way up through the company and is now part of the Customer Compliance team working as a Compliance Manager, picking up a number of qualifications along the way including an NVQ in Customer Service.​

Bradley Groves

CEO & Chairman

Having co-founded GAS in 2012, Bradley has helped oversee the companies’ huge growth in a short space of time. Starting from its modest surroundings in South Shields, the rapid growth has seen the business move to its current surroundings in Seaham. Bradley’s background is in retail management and he has a wealth of experience working for a number of FTSE250 companies in a board level capacity, most notably with the Caudwell Group.

Bradley says:

“Certain businesses we’ve worked with have made six-figure savings over their contract terms, we cover a very large area when it comes to variable costs, and when we get involved, it means the companies can focus on their business while somebody else is focusing on what they specialise in.”

Did you know?
Bradley is the proud Owner and Chairman of Spennymoor Town Football Club, who have achieved 3 promotions over the past 5 years since his takeover in 2009. As a youngster, he was also on the books of Aston Villa Football Club until an unfortunate injury took him down another career path which has culminated in the empire he has built today.​​