Meet The Team

Introducing the leaders of Nifco UK and some of the team which supports that leadership, many of them starting their careers with apprenticeships have almost 300 years of combined experience across their chosen disciplines. Click to read the biogs of these interesting characters…

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read Mike's biog

Mike Matthews

Managing Director

Former apprentice Mike Matthews MBE was brought up on a council estate in Darlington, and has worked his way from the shop floor to Managing Director of thriving automotive component business Nifco UK Ltd. During this time Mike led the business from its toughest years, through recession to become a case study for success in the Tees Valley. Mike is passionate about all things people – apprenticeships, skills, health and wellbeing and of course his family and on weekends if he isn’t spending time with his wife and two daughters, he can be found planning home improvements to his new house.

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Paul Chapman

General Manager - Design, Research & Development

Paul has been fascinated by automotive engineering since the age of ten. After completing his degree in engineering with sponsorship from Jaguar he came to Teesside to study Industrial Design – which was fun but mainly taught him that his future was in engineering. He then joined Nifco UK (then called Elta plastics) as their first design engineer. 23 years later, finding solutions to engineering problems still gives him the greatest satisfaction. The recent growth and development of the Design and R&D teams means that the future looks more fascinating than ever.

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Andy Dunn

General Manager - Engineering

Andy has more than 25 years’ experience in the field of engineering, working his way from time served apprentice toolmaker Andy has worked from a hands on role progressively to his current senior manager’s position. Andy has had several positions with Japanese companies before joining Nifco and has travelled extensively to develop new processes and suppliers. This gives Andy an understanding of how different cultures and methodologies affect how we work. Outside of work Andy is the Chairman of SWDT limited a charity set up to train apprentices and engineers in the North East. He is also on the board of directors at Bishop Auckland College.

A keen motorcyclist who has toured most of the UK and Europe.

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Andy McDowall

General Manager - Sales

Andy McDowall has spent much of his career at Nifco and took a similar route to many of the management team – working his way from apprentice to senior manager. Andy has more than 25 years’ experience in the automotive plastics industry and heads up the team responsible for securing the biggest contract in Nifco‘s history – £50million over 10 years with Ford. When Andy is away from the office, he is a keen traveller and has spent time in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

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read Bryan's biog

Bryan Simpson

General Manager – Quality

Bryan has worked in the Automotive Industry for more than 25 years, working his way from Quality Engineer to his current position in the Nifco UK senior management team. Bryan is an avid supporter of Apprenticeships, starting his own career as an Apprentice Sheet Metal Worker and has actively encouraged his three sons to follow a similar route.

When he is not managing quality, Bryan spends his time supporting local football – his youngest son Ross plays a good standard of Northern League football and his Dad is his biggest supporter!

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read Gary's biog

Gary Clark

Head of Finance

Gary is a CIMA qualified accountant and has more than 20 years Finance experience across a variety of industry sectors, including hotel and leisure, heavy manufacturing and vehicle rental, he has held senior positions with Virgin Hotels, LG Electronics and Northgate PLC.  Gary has worked at Nifco for 2 years, he has a team of 7 staff and along with managing AR, AP and Treasury, is responsible for supporting the business with the provision of financial information and analysis which allows the business to make decisions at operational and strategic levels. He is looking forward to being involved in the future growth and success of Nifco.

Outside of work, Gary is a keen golfer and musician and enjoys spending time with his family.

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read Paul's biog

Paul Burniston

Head of Manufacturing & Logistics

Paul has worked in Logistics for more than 16 years, building an impressive career history working his way from Line Manager in the food production sector, to the position he currently holds at Nifco UK, to which he was recently promoted.

Excellent man-management skills coupled with a proactive management style are listed as Paul’s key strengths.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family, especially his young granddaughter who keeps him on his toes!

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Jim Bell

Manager - Plant Engineering

As manager of plant engineering, Jim is responsible for the operational running of the Nifco facility. Jim started his career as an Apprentice Maintenance Engineer at Mullard Durham and has since worked through a number of positions in companies including Mullard and Nissan before becoming part of the management team at Nifco. Jim has over 35 years’ experience in Maintenance Engineering & Project Management including the role of Nissan Sunderland Maintenance Global Improvement Senior Engineer & 2 years working in Russia building a new Nissan plant in the St Petersburg Industrial zone. When Jim leaves the office and takes off his hi-vis jacket, he can be found taking part in a number of team-building activities including walking and boat racing as well as spending time with his family.

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John Tinkler

Manager - IT

John is an IT management and ERP specialist with more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing arena (apart from a brief 2 year spell with a software house). Although John has a mathematical sciences background, he developed an interest for computer programming before graduating, and started his career as a programmer for a local manufacturing company in 1986. This love of programming gave John experience of all areas of the business, and subsequent businesses that he has worked with. This led to his first IT management role in 1991, before joining Nifco as IT Manager in 2004. John’s love of photography has proved very useful in recent years as Nifco expanded into new premises, and a photographic story was required for posterity. John is a self-confessed OCD sufferer (check out the inside of his car if you get the chance), sometimes to the amusement of his colleagues.

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read Frances's biog

Frances Hoy

Manager - HR

Frances is a fully qualified Fellow Member of the CIPD, with many years’ HR professional experience in generalist roles at senior level within the manufacturing sector. Frances is passionate about the importance of HR and specialises in all aspects from strategy to policy development to getting great staff and developing performance so that we can ensure we have the right skills to grow the business. She also leads an award winning HR team to gain industry awards, in particular, the Investors in People accreditation, winning CIPD awards, winning the ‘Best Training & Development Award’ at the Plastics Industry Awards, on three occasions. Outside of work, Frances enjoys walking in the countryside especially The Lakes, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

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read Corum's biog

Corum Hirst

Manager - Purchasing

Corum is an MCIPS qualified Purchasing Professional who has over 10 years’ experience in purchasing and 15 years in the automotive industry. Corum has been at Nifco since 2005 and has seen the company treble in size. As part of his role at Nifco, Corum enjoys meeting suppliers, striving for profit improvement and hammering out a good deal, not to mention heading up the Nifco Fantasy Football league – which is a cheeky way of combining his biggest passion, football, with work.

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read Erika's biog

Erika Marshall

Manager - Marketing & Communications

Erika is a fully qualified marketing professional with more than 10 years’ experience of in her discipline across industrial, manufacturing and engineering sectors. She has a passion for branding and publicity but also loves to understand the mechanics of ‘how stuff works’ – which is what brought her to Nifco after keeping an eye on the company for a number of years. Erika enjoys being happy and meeting people – a great combination for someone in communications.