July 28, 2010 | Community News
It’s a case of 20:20 vision for north east property and energy firm The Banks Group as a new face joins its community team to replace one of its longest-serving members.
Bob Swainson is retiring after 20 years with Banks, the last six of which he has spent as a community engagement manager, working with local communities in and around Banks’ planned or operational schemes.
And stepping into Bob’s shoes on the community team is Jan Gill, who brings 20 years’ experience of the property industry with her into her new role.
Bob originally joined Banks as a sales manager in 1990 and has filled a number of roles since, joining the community team in 2004 as it expanded to have an ever more prominent role in Banks’ work.
He says: “The Banks Group has changed a great deal during my two decades here, most especially with its evolution from a mining company into one with property and renewable energy interests as well.
“Throughout that time, the emphasis placed on working with the local communities in which we operate has got stronger and stronger, in line with the company’s development with care approach and it’s now one of the most important parts of the way that we bring forward new development proposals.
“It’s been good to be involved with so many interesting and innovative schemes, as well as making friends with so many people in local communities over the years, and I’ll be watching Banks’ future progress with great interest.”
Jan, who lives in Washington, has worked for several of the regional property industry’s best known names during her career and has joined Banks as a development relations coordinator.
She says: “I’d come across Banks at various points during my career, and the challenge of moving into another part of the development industry, with new things to learn and different ways of working to master, had a lot of appeal for me.
“The key to my new role is building positive relationships with lots of different types of people, something I’ve done successfully throughout my career, and I’m already enjoying the breadth and variety of the projects on which I’m working.”
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, adds: “Bob has been central to keeping our community relations work at the forefront of the development industry, and he leaves with everyone’s best wishes for a long and happy retirement.
“In Jan, we believe we’ve found someone with the personality, skills and experience required to enhance our work with communities, and we’re very pleased to welcome her on board.”