eStar, a Mercedes-Benz Truck and Van franchise partner in North West England and North Wales, has promoted Kate Howdon (pictured) to human resources director with immediate effect.
Howdon was previously head of HR, and will continue to be responsible for digitalising the HR department and building new reward and benefit strategies, ensuring equal pay across the group, developing bespoke training for the senior management team, implementing new digital HR and payroll system, mentoring new female leaders, and playing a pivotal role in shaping culture.
Howden previously worked in retail, not-for-profit and medico-legal, as well as spending 12 years in the motor trade. Howdon joined eStar in July 2021 from Ford Retail-owned dealer group TrustFord, where she was regional HR manager, responsible for more than 800 employees in the North West.
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Prior to this, she was HR adviser at Premex Group, a specialist outsourcing organisation offering products and services to the insurance, healthcare and legal sectors, HR adviser at Manchester Growth Company, a not-for-profit driving economic, personal, and professional development, and HR adviser at Cambria Automobiles, a multi-franchised dealer group.
Howden said: “It’s a huge honour to be promoted onto the board; I am passionate about eStar and our people, so I’m excited to make even more of a difference now. I’m proud to be the first female onto the eStar board and hold such an influential position within the commercial vehicle network.”
Steve Bridge, managing director at eStar, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Kate to the board. She has transformed both the HR department, and the way that we support and recognise our people here at eStar, taking us all from a start-up with a challenging legacy through to being an award-winning, industry-leading place to be for our staff. With this new position, we have further strengthened our highly accomplished board, and look forward to working together to ensure the strategic success both of the eStar business and the team.”