We Are Sherburn

Where it started

We are a group of business and community leaders that have the passion, experience and expertise to create a collaborative group that can help make Sherburn in Elmet a great community to live and work.

Through our members we become a strong group all working towards the same goals for our community whilst supporting each other to grow.

Get to know us

Clare Thornton – Chair of Board

Clare is the Managing Director of Thornton Jones Solicitors who have offices across Yorkshire, but most specifically in Sherburn. She is also on the board of Trustees for the STAR Multi Academy Trust which operates Sherburn High School, Tadcaster Grammar and 9 of the local primary schools.

Clare has lived in South Milford since the age of 10 (other than 10 years in Church Fenton) and went to Sherburn High School. She has 4 children who have also attended Barkston Ash Primary School and Sherburn High for their education, along with various local sports and dance clubs for their leisure activities.

Clare is totally passionate about our community and wants to see us grow and collaborate together so that we can do great business locally and support everyone, young and old, to really thrive.

Craig Storton – Board Member

Craig is Managing Director of Whitewing Recruitment & Training Services Limited and a multiple award-winning Recruiter who spent the first 10 years of his career on stage as a professional entertainer, performing in both the UK and Europe, learning to engage with people, he still compares and hosts corporate events; it’s in his blood! He is also a professional award-winning photographer with 20 years of experience with corporate product photography | Wildlife, & Birds | Family portraits & occasional Weddings. He is also a tutor and mentor to other Photographers.

In 1992, having never quite made the West End, He returned to the UK and used his presentation skills to join the recruitment industry with Spring Personnel as a Permanent Vacancy Recruitment Consultant and was the number one biller for 2 years, until promotion to his first post as a Manager for 2 years, followed by Training Manager for 2 years.
In 1998 he returned to an Operations Manager position training and developing an amazing team of 11 staff in the York offices, building a £3.2 million turnover operation, winning prestigious contracts with Terry’s of York, Network Rail, Goldenfry Foods and over 200 SME clients that were the backbone of the business, in the manufacturing and service industries. This led to a variety of awards and recognition, not just for him, but also for his team. In February 2007, he left Spring Personnel after 15 years and co-founded mpeople Recruitment generating a 1st-year company turnover of £1 million. He and his team continued to win awards.

11 years later in April 2018, Craig established Whitewing Recruitment & Training Services Limited; independently branching out to continue his recruitment journey, distancing himself from the “bums on seats” attitude the industry had become. He continues with his success and plays a key consultative role with his clients and applicants throughout the recruitment journey. Whitewing Recruitment & Training Services Limited were runner-up in the FSB Awards 2021 and Selby District Business Awards 2022; truly an individual recruiter with a corporate mentality.

For the past 15 years, Craig has been a volunteer Enterprise Advisor working within Education, supporting the careers programme within schools; years 7 to 13. Coaching students to employability through presentation workshops, interview techniques, career fairs and Dragons Den style business presentations. He is passionate about inspiring the next generation by bringing Business and Education closer together and making the community stronger through doing so.

Karen Packham – Board Member

An active member of the community. Currently chair of Sherburn and Villages Community Trust which is responsible for the community library and Old Girls School Community Centre, as well as being the Community Anchor Organisation for the area.

Now retired, a varied career in the hospitality industry where she was director of a major purchasing consortium. She then set up her own letting agency in York and finished her working life in the NHS.

Hobbies revolve around, walking, gardening, volunteering and family time.

Marrieanne Pal – Board Member

Managing Director of centrally based marketing business, Creative Shed Agency. Creator and publisher of The Resident Magazine and owner of website sherburninelmet.co.uk. Actively volunteers locally, and is heavily involved with the annual Gala and Picnic in the Park events.

Marrieanne was raised in Sherburn, attended local schools, worked here and now resides in the town with her husband and three children. Her children also attend local schools and join in with various local activities and clubs.

With over 20 years experience in business marketing and communications, she has successfully added value and helped businesses across the UK and internationally to improve performance. A specialist in the construction sector, has delivered flagship stands at national events, executed high value advertorial campaigns, developed high performance e-commerce websites and taken businesses to the next level through the use of digital media.

Personal interests include spending valuable time with family, wildlife rehabilitation and family history.

Jane Hogarth – Board Member

Head of HR at Pecan Deluxe since late 2019 and has been heavily involved in encouraging local businesses to work collaboratively across the Sherburn Industrial Estate to share best practice and support each other.

Former to that, she had 10 years working in HR in the Automotive industry and through her time there, believes culture is the key to the success of any organisation.

Over 20 years ago, Jane started her HR career at NYBEP (North Yorkshire Business & Education Partnership) so building relationships with schools has been in her DNA throughout her career.

Personal interests include spending time with husband, walking their dogs and gardening.