Karen Friendship, MD at Aldermans, appointed as new PMG Chair
It is with great delight that we can announce our new Chair of the PMG is Karen Friendship, MD at Alderman Tooling.
Karen, having served as Vice Chair for the last two years, has taken over the role from Mike Snaith, (Chief Operating Officer at Plessey).
Of course, before we introduce Karen, we must give our thanks to Mike who, despite having an incredibly busy “day” job has been a steadfast Chair to the group over what could be described as a testing time for everyone in all industry sectors. The PMG secretary, Steve Gerry has said “We are hugely grateful to Mike for his leadership over the last two years. Amongst several notable activities, we must highlight the Partnership Bond that Mike helped develop with the University of Plymouth – our relationship with such a key educational establishment in the region has grown in strength during this time and we thank Mike for his support with this. While the pandemic has brought challenges to everyone, Mike has taken a steady approach to chairing our group and we would like to convey our immense appreciation of his time and dedication to the PMG throughout this period.”
So now to our new Chair! Karen is well-known to the PMG and its connections as Karen has been Chair of the “PMG Network” group of SME Manufacturers since its inception. During her tenure she encouraged smaller member companies to collaborate, enabling them to access training and development that would normally be the preserve of larger entities.
Technology and engineering has always had a strong pull for Karen from a young age and she followed this passion to Bristol University to study Civil Engineering. Whilst pursuing this career, she spent a brief working holiday at the business founded by her father, Bill Alderman, and was drawn into the work of metal fabrication. Appointed as MD of Alderman Tooling in 2005, Karen focussed on developing the business by analysing markets, winning new contracts and expanding services through investment in the latest machinery. The accolades followed, including being named among the UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2018. Karen remains a committed STEM ambassador and mentor, in demand locally and nationally as a panellist, speaker and advocate for the manufacturing sector.
We chatted with Karen as she approached her first full month as Chair and asked what the PMG meant to her and why it was important for her to take on this role.
Karen said “The Plymouth manufacturing community is a significant, vital part of our local economy; but its unique strength lies in collaboration. Across the PMG we see not only the enrichment of supply chain partnerships, but also knowledge sharing, best practice development, promotion of skills, and a strong voice for the manufacturing sector. PMG has been a huge benefit and encouragement to me, and has created opportunities for Aldermans and our team members too. It is a pleasure and honour to chair this influential group into its next phase, and I look forward to us supporting each other through the challenges and opportunties ahead.”
Karen is pictured above with Steve Gerry, the PMG Secretary at the PMG’s 40th anniversary event. Karen thoughts about her new role really describe the essence of the PMG and we are looking forward to working with Karen as we take the PMG forward, strengthening our sector in the ever evolving economic landscape.