Executive Profiles

Lee Jon Newman

Lee Jon Newman – Chief Executive Officer joined The VPS Group as CEO in March 2018

Lee has held a number of senior positions prior to joining The VPS Group. Recent roles include CEO of Elliott Group, the UK’s leading provider of re-locatable buildings; co-founding CEO of ilke Homes, the UK modular house builder; Managing Director of Wolseley UK — Pipe & Climate Center, the largest distribution business in the heating and cooling products industry; and Group Operations Director at HSS Hire, the UK & Ireland’s national supplier of equipment and tool hire.

Prior to his corporate life, Lee spent 14 years as an International Athlete representing Wales and Great Britain in Shot Put and Discus. Health, fitness and wellbeing continue to play an important part in his day to day life. 

Lee lives in Worcestershire with his wife, two daughters, and the family dog. 

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Richard Jones

Richard Jones – Chief Finance Officer joined The VPS Group in July 2018 as UK Finance Director, before being promoted to Chief Financial Officer in January 2019.

Richard started his career at Jewson, a building and construction materials supplier, where he held numerous finance roles over the course of thirteen years. Richard then joined Wolseley UK — Pipe & Climate Center, the largest distribution business in the heating and cooling products industry, where he was Finance Director, before moving on to Elliot Group, the UK’s leading provider of re-locatable buildings, where he was appointed Chief Financial Officer.

Richard lives in Rugby with his wife, two teenage daughters, and their family dog. 

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Andy McEwan

Andy McEwan – Chief of Staff and Group Commercial Director joined The VPS Group in April 2018 as the Group Commercial Manager. In October 2018 Andy was appointed Interim Managing Director for VPS UK Security Services, a role he held for three months before being promoted to Group Commercial Director. In October 2019 Andy was appointed to the role of Chief of Staff.

Andy started his career as a Data Analyst at Wolseley UK, the UK’s largest plumbing, heating and cooling trade specialist merchant, where he held numerous roles over an eight year period including Strategy & Markets Manager; Future Business Development Manager; Head of Strategy — Wolseley UK; and Commercial Director — Pipe & Climate Center. Andy then moved on to lead Ashworth, a leading distributor to the Mechanical Services and Process Industries markets, as General Manager and Commercial Director.

Andy lives with his wife in Leamington Spa.

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Suzy Hardyman

Suzy Hardyman – Group General Counsel and Company Secretary joined The VPS Group in March 2016 as Group General Counsel and Company Secretary. In addition to heading up the Group’s Legal team Suzy is the Executive Sponsor for our Group-wide Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda.

Suzy started her career at Allen & Overy LLP, where she qualified into the Banking team and became a Senior Associate working on a wide range of financing transactions including syndicated loans, leverage finance, and workouts. Suzy then moved in-house to the legal team at Credit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank, where she advised on structured commodity finance, trade finance, pre-export finance, work outs and other debt structures.

Suzy lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, two young daughters, and their family pets. 

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Darron Cavanagh

Darron Cavanagh – Chief Operating Officer joined The VPS Group as The Chief Operating Officer in November 2018

Darron started his career in sales, spending 23 years at HSS Hire, the UK & Ireland’s national supplier of equipment and tool hire, becoming the company’s Managing Director — Sales. He then moved onto become the Group Sales and Marketing Director of Elliott Group, the UK’s leading provider of re-locatable buildings, and was then appointed to the role of Managing Director.

Darron lives in South London with his wife and dog. 

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Jean-Christophe Chwat

Jean-Christophe Chwat — France President joined The VPS Group in March 2013 as President of VPS France. 

Jean-Christophe started his career in the Ministry of Industry, as a cabinet member. He then joined UNISYS for 5 years in various sales and business development roles, before joining De La Rue, the first private banknote printing company. He stayed there for 10 years, becoming the Marketing Director in charge of strategy and development, before moving on to become Vice President – EMEA at The Brink’s Company, the world’s largest cash management company. Jean-Christophe then went on to join Neo Security, a 5000 people French security company as the President Director General, with the mission to sell it. 

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Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis — Evander Managing Director joined The VPS Group in September 2018 as the Managing Director of Evander.

Paul started his career working in the Facilities Management sector before joining HSS Hire, the UK & Ireland’s largest national supplier of equipment and tool hire where he held a number of sales and operational roles including Group Sales Director and Managing Director of the groups cleaning equipment rental division (Reintec). After leading the successful disposal of Reintec, Paul joined Industrial Cleaning Equipment Ltd, the UK’s largest independent industrial cleaning equipment specialist, as Chief Commercial Officer.

Paul relocated during the summer of 2019 to live in Norwich (Evander’s head office location) bringing his wife and two young sons with him. 

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Jeroen Van Der Poel

Jeroen Van Der Poel — European Guardians Managing Director joined The VPS Group in June 2016 as the Managing Director of VPS Netherlands. 

Jeroen started his career in 1994 in Marketing holding Marketing and Communication Manager roles at Randstad, a global leader in the HR services industry and specialized in solutions in the field of flexible work and HR services. He continued his career in the Security Industry working for Securicor and G4S, a global Integrated Security Company. He held senior roles in Marketing and Sales before he joined the Dutch Executive Board of G4S in 2012 as Business Development Director responsible for Sales, Business Development and Acquisitions in the Netherlands.

Jeroen holds Master Degrees in International Relations and Business Administration from the Universities of Utrecht and Bradford. He lives in Gouda with his wife, three teenage daughters and the family cats.