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New faces at York firm mark further growth in 10th year

York-based learning and development firm, Pro-Development, has appointed two new recruits, exceeding its founder’s original growth expectations when it was set up a decade ago.

Michelle Mook’s vision when she established Pro-Development was to employ 10 people in its first ten years of business. Bringing onboard Lee Newbold as learning and development consultant and Rob Gooch as learning and development support takes their number of employees to 11. The team has also doubled in size and doubled its turnover in the last 12 months.

Lee Newbold joins Pro-Development from Benenden Healthcare where he worked for five years, building its learning and development team from scratch. He has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, gained largely from his time working in sales training at Barclays Bank. Lee is responsible for helping businesses to develop their leadership and teams and improve employee engagement, delivering interactive training sessions for clients.

Joining from a York theatre company where he worked as operations and production manager for 16 years, Rob Gooch will apply his technical and operational skills to the new role at Pro-Development. Rob’s background in theatre and theatre production will also enhance Pro-Development’s in-person training and team building activities.

Pro-Development was launched in 2011 out of an office in Michelle Mook’s garage. The business now offers a wide range of bespoke people, learning and development solutions to businesses across York and North Yorkshire from its offices at Forest Farm Business Park in York. Marking their 10th year anniversary with team events throughout the year, Pro-Development also hosted a celebration event this month for over 100 clients, partners and business friends.

Says Michelle Mook: “I am proud and thrilled that we have gone beyond what I originally set out to do in our first ten years, and value each and every team member who has helped to get us to this position. As well as having a brilliant team, I believe some of our success can also be attributed to the way we do things. We offer something unique to clients and try to make it fun, creative and engaging so that it leaves a lasting positive impression on those taking part.

“We are a busy team and Lee and Rob are welcome additions, allowing us to deliver even more programmes to clients. Their skills and expertise will support our future ambitions and we are very happy to have them on board. I look forward to moving ahead with our growth plans for the next ten years and will have more exciting news to share in the coming months.”

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The Pro-Development team at its recent 10th anniversary celebration. (L-R Kath Dukes, Will Matthews, Tracey Flannery, new recruit Rob Gooch, Joanne Baker, Jackie Brigham, founder Michelle Mook, new recruit Lee Newbould, Juan Brooks and Helen Rhodes.)

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