Katie Allen, 26, has been appointed Group Operations Director of Lytham, Lancashire-based Danbro – two years after joining the award winning firm of accountants as a temp to ‘fill in time’ ahead of a planned move to India.
Helen Broughton, co-founder of Danbro and Director of People and Standards, said: “Katie first joined us in January 2013. Her rise to Group Operations Director has been nothing short of meteoric and no less than she deserves.
“Danbro is one of the fastest growing companies in the North West. We need dynamic individuals of the calibre of Katie who are not only prepared to grow with us – but help lead the way.”
The new group operations director will help spearhead managing director Damian Broughton’s ‘2020 Vision’ to more than double staff, clients and turnover over the next five years.
Katie gained a first class honours degree in International Business at Manchester Met and joined British construction group and global infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty’s graduate scheme.
As Ops manager she managed the mobilisation of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the impressive spiralling sculpture and observation tower at the heart of the 587-acre Olympic Park for the London 2012 Games. She also oversaw the integration of a 30-office acquisition into Balfour Beatty Plant and Fleet. When the placement ended she decided to see more of the world.
Katie recalls: “I left my job to go travelling in South East Asia at the back end of 2012. I was supposed to be moving to India in March with my partner James but his job there fell through. I was devastated – I’d set my heart on going back to India and doing charity work there for a couple of years. I was going to work for a charity in Delhi, teaching children English.”
Having ‘temped’ as PA to Helen and managing director Damian Broughton for a couple of weeks Katie applied for a permanent role as the improvement and change co-ordinator working in operations at Danbro, later becoming manager, then head of group operations.
Katie oversaw and managed the company’s move from Whitehills Business Park, Blackpool, to the 66k sq. ft. Jubilee House, on the edge of Lytham Green, and took over management of both the IT and Marketing teams.
As group operations director, current projects include some major systems development and the integration of a recent acquisition based in London – which has brought Danbro’s turnover to £225m and staff numbers to 210. The company has 8000 clients across the UK.
Katie was born in Wigan. Her family moved to Newton with Scales when she was six. She attended Carr Hill High School and Sixth Form Centre, Kirkham.
Katie adds: “My dream was to be a Formula One racing driver – I’m still mad about racing – but I’ve always wanted to be involved in running business facilities and making things better.
“Ideally I’d love my own business – that’s more than a dream.
“I’m the sort of person who sees the big picture but likes getting stuck into the detail too. I like the infrastructure side, development, improvement and change, acquisition, integration, transition and marketing.
“Danbro is a fantastic company. I have strong values and that’s reflected here. The people here are very positive and incredibly easy to work with and there’s always something different to do every single day.
“I’ve been given the freedom and opportunity to show what I can do and been given a lot of responsibility as a result. It never gets boring.”
Managing director Damian concludes: “Strengthening our management team has been our focus over recent years. If we are to remain one of the fore-runners in servicing the accounting needs of the temporary workforce sector we need to prepare for the next phase of our story.”
Jacqui Morley PRCA