Our People

Directors
Management
Sales Team
Directors

Rob Laugharne // Managing Director

Rob joined Hills Numberplates in 2017 having assisted with its recent domestic and global acquisitions within the manufacturing industry whilst he was a corporate partner at Irwin Mitchell LLP. Rob was appointed Managing Director as of 1st July 2019.

The move completed an interesting career circle which has seen Rob start at his local Halfords (making number plates!), enjoy a year away working at a law firm in Sydney, Australia, settle into the world of corporate law in Birmingham before “returning” to making number plates (albeit indirectly!).

These days Rob leaves most of the travelling to others and instead enjoys watching the odd game of rugby when he can.

Favourite quote “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” Albert Einstein

Kath Jenkins // Finance Director

Kath joined Hills in 1999 as Finance Manager when the Finance Department relocated from London to Birmingham and became Finance Director in 2009. Kath’s primary function is to provide leadership to the Board’s Finance and Accounting strategy and to optimise the company’s financial performance and strategic position. She is proud to represent female achievement in a male dominated industry.

Outside of work Kath can be found enjoying the theatre and concerts with family and friends and is affectionately known as the ‘Judith Chalmers’ of Hills because she loves holidaying!

Favourite quote “If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor.” Al Anon

Adrian Berry // UK Sales and Marketing Director

Adrian’s journey began at Hills in 2006 as an Area Sales Manager, progressing to National Accounts Manager and then was promoted to Sales and Marketing Director in 2012. Responsible for the domestic market, Adrian’s core objective is to cater for every need of our customers by providing tailored high quality number plate solutions and the best customer service supported by an external and internal Sales Team.

The secret to Adrian’s youth is living in a beautiful part of Gloucestershire, his grandchildren, family, Cricket, Golf, Rugby, National Hunt Horse Racing, Cuban Cigars and litres of Rioja! At weekends you will find Adrian on a golf course working hard to get his handicap down to 14.

Favourite quote “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Benjamin Franklin

Chris Glendinning // Export Director

Chris joined Hills in 1994 as an Area Sales Manager and while in that role worked on many product development projects. Chris has been instrumental in Hills growth in international markets and developing the Group’s overseas operations. In line with the reach and capabilities of the expanded Group Chris became Group Export Director in 2016.

When not in the office you will usually find Chris at a race track, following his previous career in motorsport he remains involved at an administrative and operational level.

Favourite quote “Never take your eye off the goal, no matter how impossible the shot appears – you never know when the wind might change.”

Julian Caine // Technical Director

In 1998 Julian graduated in Marine Biology. To build his office experience, Julian joined Hills in the year 2000 as an Internal Sales Assistant. Fast forward to the present he is the Technical Director, responsible for managing and coordinating Hills group R&D activities.

Outside of work Julian enjoys watching rugby with his friends, and on quieter days fishing with his son (“and I don’t mean using him as bait, I obviously use traditional baits, he fishes too” Julian clarified). Julian’s lifelong goal is to buy a sailing yacht and sail the world.

Favourite quote: Newton’s law “For every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action.”

Richard Taffinder // Chairman

Richard joined the number plate industry in 1981, where he commenced his career in London. He started with the very basics of making a number plate, through hard work he quickly prospered to making business development decisions. Today as Chairman Richard’s motivation, positive energy and drive has developed the company into a global supplier with some of the best production systems in the world and a highly talented work force.

The man dubbed as ‘doesn’t have a stop button’ has a passion for motor racing and has been competing the British GT with the Ultratek Racing team, which Richard hopes will lead to his ambition of racing in the Le Mans 24-H. A family man at heart, his weekends are often tied up with entertaining his two children.

Favourite quote “Negativity should be illegal.”

Management

David Hipkiss // Operations Manager

David was employed as General Manager for Dual Metallising, a sister company of Hills Numberplates Ltd, in 2015. In 2017 David was promoted to UK Group Operations Manager to manage production for Hills UK businesses.

David is a sports fanatic and likes to play squash and watch rugby and gets his muddy thrills from riding road and mountain bikes. “Age is just a number”, with this in mind David plans to party in Ibiza on his 70th, 75th and 80th birthday and agrees that this may lead to a hip or knee replacement.

Favourite quote “I will do today what others will not, so I can live tomorrow as others cannot.”

David Evans // Quality Manager

David comes from an Aircraft Engineering background where he was responsible for the maintenance and repair of aircraft for 24 years. He then became a Quality Manager for 9 years. Dave joined Hills in 2017 with the company’s intent to improve and maintain the groups existing ISO9001 Quality Management System.

In his spare time Dave enjoys Golfing, weekend getaways to places never visited and socialising with his local community (mainly at the local pub).

Favourite quote “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

Victoria De La Rue // HR Manager

Victoria began her career with Hills when she joined the Internal Sales team at the age of 16 after leaving school. Through training and development she was promoted to Office Manager and then HR Manager in 2016. Victoria is responsible for development of staff across the Hills Group.

Victoria has a great passion for skiing and has skied most places around the world. Whistler Blackcomb is her next priority and she will be arranging a ski trip with her son. At weekends you can find Victoria enjoying the outdoors on bikes rides and walks with her son and dog Kippin.

Favourite quote “The most important thing a woman can wear is her confidence”

Sales Team

Gary Dixon // National Account Manager, North West Division

Gary manages Hills large group accounts across the UK. Gary has an abundance of sales experience with over 10 years at Hills and within our sister company Dual Metallising.

Gary lives in Liverpool and is a very keen Everton FC supporter, he travels the UK watching them play. He is fond of trips to European venues when they are fortunate to qualify for those competitions. He is devoted to his family and enjoys dining out with his fiancée and young daughter.

Favourite quote “Nil satis nisi optimum – Nothing but the best is good enough.”

Richard Adamson // Senior Area Sales Manager, South East and London

Richard manages Hills small group accounts and covers some of the South East and London area. Richard joined Hills in 2007 as an Area Sales Manager and was promoted to Senior Area Sales Manager in 2017.

Richard played cricket for Wolverhampton and dreamt of opening the bowling for England one day. Since the day he met his wife, he has been planning a trip to the lovely island Bora Bora. Children came along quite quickly, so Bora Bora has been put on hold. Now Richards’s weekends are spent cheering from the crowd for his children at netball, football and cricket matches.

Favourite quote “Believe you can do it and you’re halfway there.” Theodore Roosevelt

George Clark // Area Sales Manager, North Division

George covers Scotland and some of the North East area. George joined Hills in 1992 as a Delivery Driver, when the digital revolution took over at Hills he moved to the Engineering Division. In 2010 George became an Area Sales Manager for the North.

George’s favourite sport is football along with horse racing. He has backed a few winners in his time but probably a lot more losers. For Georges’ 50th birthday he took his son to America to watch the iconic Wrestle Mania. After enjoying the lifestyle in the states George has made it his aim to visit America more often.

Favourite quote “Every problem has a solution.”

Chad Smith // Area Sales Manager, North East Division

Chad covers the North of England and the North of his beloved home land of Wales. Chad brings a great deal of sales experience from various sectors having worked in the BMW network and small family businesses. Chad was recruited as an Area Sales Manager at Hills in 2016.

Chad has a passion for Welsh Rugby and tries to encourage his two children to cheer for Wales whenever they’re playing. He has little success at this. He has already started training his young ones and hopes to one day play alongside them on the rugby field.

Favourite quote “There’s no bread so you’ll have to have toast”

David Cook // Area Sales Manager, North West and West Midlands Division

David covers the South East, North East, and Midlands area. After studying for a diploma in Business and Finance he worked for British Rail in the Planning Department. He then joined a small family business and focused on customer account management. In 2015 David joined Hills as an Area Sales Manager.

David played football for West Midlands County in his younger days, however didn’t continue with the sport when his eye sight weakened and seeing the ball became difficult. A diehard West Bromwich Albion fan, he’s supported them since buying his very first season ticket with his Father and Grandad.

Favourite quote “Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.”

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