Danny Gill - Designer - Web Developer
Danny has recently joined us as part of our expansion, and he’s helping us design and build our future software. “I love art, design, and all things web-related, he says.”
When he’s not doing that, he’s busy being a metalhead. He goes to music festivals such as Download, where he recently saw Alice in Chains, Motorhead, Queens of the Stone Age and Iron Maiden, one after the other. He has just about recovered now. His favourite bands are Thin Lizzy and Metallica. He also plays a Fender Telecaster in yellow, but he lusts after a Les Paul in sunburst. We don’t think any of this will influence the design of our future software, but we shall see...
Dave Harvey - Support Analyst
Dave has worked on the Synergist support desk for almost two years now. He’s been in the IT support desk environment for eight years in total.
Interests: Although he enjoys playing Xbox Live, his two children try to take over and play Sonic the Hedgehog, which isn’t Dave’s favourite.
He enjoys anything to do with science fiction and Red Dwarf in particular. When the kids aren’t in the room he can be seen watching Aliens or Terminator 2 or reading spooky authors like James Herbert.
James Herbert, you may recall, used to be art director of an advertising agency. He’s since sold forty-two million books. What’s stopping you?
David Stevenson - Support Director
Calmness. Empathy. A level head. All valuable traits for anyone working in support. And then we have David, who has carefully developed a reputation over the years for being “the bluntest man in the office”.
Something to do with him being a perfectionist and a straight talker. Fortunately he is also extremely knowledgeable about all things Synergist, a knowledge gained over 13 years working with the software as Project Manager, Developer, and Support Analyst. As head of the support team he now spends less time answering telephone calls, (“which is perhaps as well”, he says), but his knowledge of the software and his problem-solving abilities are always on hand.
In his spare time David enjoys reading, cinema and good food and wine. Especially wine. Considering his reputation for being blunt, does he like James Blunt? “Can’t stand him”, he says. Bluntly.
Helen White - Synergist Consultant
Helen has over 20 years of business experience as an accountant, project manager, trainer and lecturer, bringing the worlds of accountancy and IT together. She originally came into Synergist to help the support side when things started growing... and things are still growing...
She particularly enjoys tracking new areas of the software and liaising with clients.
Interests: Helen likes tennis so much that she plays it all year round. She also enjoys art & design, cycling, gardening, reading and activity holidays. Other time is “filled with two lovely daughters and two cats”. We assume the cats are lovely too.
Jo Grant - Senior Support Analyst
Jo knows Synergist from both sides of the fence – client-side and in-house. She was a client for five years, implementing and using Synergist throughout a national studio network. She then joined Synergist. She has been part of our helpdesk team for more than three years now.
Actually design and computers have been part of her life since childhood, with their family getting their first Mac circa 1984, the year Macs were introduced. Quite what the family did with that legendary 128K of memory isn’t known.
Interests: Strong coffee, Spanish food, badminton, swimming, cryptic crosswords, knitting (designed scarf pattern depicting .wav file of ‘Happy Birthday’ if anyone wants to borrow it ... ) – oh and, on a good day, raising Blake & Greta ;-)
John Quarmby - Senior Support Analyst
After studying in the US and working in different industries in the USA and Europe, John entered the IT world in the early 90s. His last job was introducing conferencing tools to IT users in a well known global corp. He now works on the helpdesk at Synergist, very much enjoying the busy and growing company environment here and the idyllic setting of our converted mill office. He says he ‘lunches with the ducks on the canal outside’. So that’s where he goes. He doesn’t come back dripping wet, so we presume the ducks eat separately.
Have you heard about the Synergist knowledge base? John set that up and is looking for ways to make it better – feel free to send him any thoughts or feedback.
Interests: His daughter recently moved to the Netherlands, so lots of quick travel is coming up again. “I really should be concentrating on re-learning Dutch,” he says. It’s not a phrase that anyone else in the office has ever been heard to say. “And getting back to walking, writing (am I published? not a chance!), cooking, and fixing that old guitar so that it's playable again.” We await with interest to see if we (or the ducks) will be glad when he does...
Jon Owen - Senior Developer
Hidden in the corner, avoiding the light, Jon has been coding for Synergist since Colossus was buried under Bletchley Park.
Likes: volcanos, whales, Wales, wine, walking, but not necessarily all at the same time, though the honeymoon in the Azores was close.
Keith White - Founder and Managing Director
Keith enjoys software development and helping to transform clients’ businesses. “It’s a passion. You apply smart technology to smart companies, and you make a huge difference to their bottom line. The buzz never goes away.”
Keith has an eye for the detail and a memory for everything, with a formidable instinct for acquiring new knowledge every day.
Does he relax, then? With two daughters at senior school, he has the reality of being a part-time taxi service. When he’s free from that, he loves music, cycling and cinema. He also enjoys good food, Spanish (+ French and Italian) red wine and occasional ale. And occasional drum playing, when in the mood. (Not in the office). (Fortunately).
Lorraine Macfarlin - Web Developer
Lorraine is a web developer here, working on the next generation of Synergist.
When her mind is not at work it thinks along the lines of Chocolate (dark 70%), organic gardening, painting (art, not walls) and real ale.
Mike Palmer - Development Manager
Mike manages the development team at Synergist. He’s been with the company since the early days (“in the pre-Gregorian calendar era”). Nowadays he can be seen busily writing product development specifications.
He has a dog – Oscar – which is good friends with Rosie our official office dog. Sometimes they can both be seen in the office on the same day, although productivity can be jeopardised at such times, particularly if someone inadvertently opens the biscuit tin.
Mike is an avid music fan and plays blues & flamenco guitar. He can often be seen and heard at open mic and blues jams in Hebden Bridge.
Nick Lane - Sales & Marketing Director
Nick is a Company Director of Synergist, having been with the company for 12 years. He has almost 20 years of experience in B2B software.
Day to day, he’s involved in marketing, sales management and other commercial areas, but he loves visiting clients and helping them use Synergist to solve their business challenges.
Interests: Family, mountain biking and other outdoor challenges including Adventure Racing and Triathlons. Nick did the UK Ironman Triathlon in 2012. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this sort of madness, it involves a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a 26 mile run. Followed by a bit of a lie down.
Rhona Prescott - Office Manager
As Synergist’s office manager, Rhona keeps the place running, knows what’s happening, manages the accounts, handles requests for more Synergist licences and is the first voice you’ll typically hear when you phone the main office. That makes her officially The Voice of Synergist. She’s been here about four years now.
Interests: Hill walking. Hill gardening (with a garden like hers, there’s no alternative). Classical music, including concert-going. Cooking. Holidays in Scotland. And eating her son’s home-baked artisan bread containing Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and pine nuts. Artisans clearly eat rather well in these parts...
Rob Smith - Support Analyst
Being a techy-type person Rob liaises with clients every day, rectifying client and technical issues. Performing system installs, migrations and initial setups are also a part of his Synergist repertoire.
Originally coming from within Visual Basic programming and the SQL environment, he's "now on the right road" and with the 4D platform.
Being a Systems Developer for over 10 years certainly has given him a sense of humour, which helps as he's a season ticket holder at Bolton Wanderers. "Obviously being punished for something in a previous life, following the super whites has its tribulations but makes life interesting and certainly gives me something to moan about to my colleagues."
In his spare time he tends to work on / restore his Mk1 Golf GTi (Gerty) and go mountain biking / walking in the Lake district.
Interests: BWFC, real ale, mountain biking, skiing, walking in the lakes, beer, live music, classic cars "and did I mention Beer...?"
Rosie - Office dog
Rosie is owned by David, head of the support team, and is a regular visitor to the office. She spends most of her time in her basket next to Rhona’s desk (which commands the best view of the offices), but all of us are familiar with her eyes / ears / paw combo at lunchtime. She will unerringly investigate anything that rustles, on the off chance that it may also be edible.
Rosie went astray in Chester around Christmas 2006, and was taken to Manchester Dog’s Home, which is where David and his wife, Barbara, first met her. She likes walkies, squirrels, and the park (doesn’t matter which one), but above all else she loves eating. As the most regular providers of food, David & Barbara are very dear to her, but you get the feeling that if a more generous provider was to come along…
Steve Johnson - Marketing Manager
An industry veteran who has been marketing software “since before computers or even electricity were invented”, Steve’s experience includes working for Apple for seven years in the UK and US. Since then he has been marketing business-to-business software. He has been at Synergist for nearly two years now, focusing on marketing communications and branding.
Interests: Books. Design. Art. Cryptic crosswords. Listening to Spotify with thousand-track playlists set at random. Dark chocolate with 90% cocoa. Getting up early in the mornings (yes -- really). More books. And two mad-but-happy kittens at home that jump about and squeak.