Newcastle-based, Activ Technology, has announced the appointment of two business development executives.

22-year-old Tom Johnston from Bedlington and 22-year-old Jessica Ivison from Whitley Bay are the first graduate business development executives to join the company.

The appointments of Tom and Jessica come at a time when sales manager, Dean Cowens is growing his team and is aiming to treble his sales force by 2020. Michael Fulthorpe, director at Stormcast Sales Consulting, has partnered with the company and is contributing towards the induction of the graduates.

Jessica said: “Having completed a performing arts degree at Leeds Beckett University, I did a complete u-turn and switched my attention towards a more business-focused role. I applied to join sales and recruitment training agency, Pareto and following a number of online assessments, I was appointed onto its graduate training programme.

“Through Pareto I applied for the role of business development executive at Activ Technology and was delighted to become a member of the team. Sales is in my blood. My father and grandfather worked in sales roles and the idea of working for a family business really appealed to me.

“My role at Activ is part of a development programme, Tom and myself are working across all sales functions of the business under the supervision of Dean Cowens and Michael Fulthorpe to discover which area is a best fit for us.

“To be supported by Dean and Michael is a huge boost, as joining a new company can be daunting. We also receive ongoing training courses from Pareto in areas such as the fundamentals of sales, telephone sales training, delivering a powerful pitch and negotiation skills training, so the experience I am gaining is second to none.”

Tom said: “I studied a business and management degree at Manchester University and a business development role was something I was keen to pursue. Like Jessica, I also joined from Pareto and being able to share our knowledge and support each other during continued learning, is an added bonus.

“I am really enjoying building my client knowledge and will look forward to developing my own portfolio of clients as I continue my journey with Activ.”

Managing director at Activ Technology, Ian Gillespie, said: “We warmly welcome Jessica and Tom to the team. The graduate scheme provides an opportunity for them to pursue an area of the business they feel would be best suited to their skill set.

“We believe with the right investment from us and support from Michael Fulthorpe and Pareto, this will have a positive impact on the graduates that we employ.

“It is also interesting to note that although Jessica and Tom both left the region for university, they have returned to the North East, choosing to progress their careers with Activ Technology. It is very good news for the local economy if this is to be a growing trend.”