Our People

Group Directors

Andrew Sweeney

Chief Executive  & Founder Director (1991 – current)

Andrew Sweeney is a founder member and Chief Executive of The Best Connection Group. His academic achievements include a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Liverpool and an MBA from the University of Aston.   After four years with a firm of Chartered Accountants in Birmingham, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1981, Andy went on to develop his skills and entrepreneurial flair in business accountancy roles at Ladbroke plc and United Trade Press before launching a financial management consultancy which he operated for four years.   This became the springboard for the formation of The Best Connection Group in 1991 with co-directors, Neil Yorke and Martin Recci.

 

 

Neil Yorke

Founder Director (1991 – current)

Neil is a co-founder and Director of The Best Connection Group.  Born in Birmingham and educated at King Edward’s Five Ways School, Neil’s passion for business led him to pursue a degree in Business Studies.  After he graduated with a BA Honours degree Neil joined a firm of Chartered Accountants in Birmingham as an articled clerk and after qualifying joined a leading financial recruitment company as financial controller.  He later took on the finance director role at a software development company.

In 1988 Neil and Andy started their own management consultancy business which undertook a number of varying assignments ranging from an IT recruitment business to systems implementation at an electricity generating company.  They pooled their skills and energies and in 1991, along with Martin Recci, launched The Best Connection employment group.  Neil takes a leading role in day to day operational management, communications and strategy.

 

 

Martin Recci

Founder Director (1991 – current)

Martin is a qualified Metallurgist and Quality Assurance Engineer and worked in the automotive industry after leaving school before making the move into recruitment.  Martin joined a Midlands-based industrial and driving agency where he quickly realised the benefit of his engineering background in aiding his success – almost immediately he emerged as the top performer within the industrial market.  Along with Neil Yorke and Andrew Sweeney, Martin is a founder member of The Best Connection and now has over 25 years’ experience in the industrial and driving marketplace in Birmingham and 10 years’ experience as a ‘hands-on’ temps controller.

 

 

Michael Cooper

Director (1993 – current)

Mike’s experience within the recruitment industry spans more than 40 years, during which time he has been involved in supplying both permanent and temporary personnel to the computing, commercial, industrial, warehouse and driving markets.  Throughout his career Mike has remained ‘hands on’ allowing him to retain a thorough knowledge of both permanent and temporary recruitment which enables him to identify and understand clients’ problems and provide innovative effective solutions.  A desire to move the industry forward has seen Mike elected onto the Council of Directors for the Recruitment & Employment Confederation - by far the largest trade association in recruitment - where he has had a positive influence on decisions that affect our industry, in particular the ever increasing demands of government legislation.

 

 The Best Connection Directors

 

 

Darren Ainge

Darren began his career in the recruitment industry when he was 19 following a short spell in the insurance sector working for a local broker.  He joined The Best Connection in 1998 with the remit of opening the company’s 9th branch in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.  Over the years that followed his career continued to flourish in the business and in 2015, alongside his other regional manager colleagues, Darren was appointed a Director of The Best Connection Group.  As well as maintaining his existing branch portfolio, he is responsible for the Group’s first location in Scotland, which opened in April 2017.

 

 

 

Darren Pollard

Darren had been working in the recruitment sector for a year prior to joining The Best Connection in October 1992 when the business was only 18-months old and operated from a single branch in Tyseley, Birmingham.  Working on one of two Industrial desks, Darren thrived on the company’s culture of openness and honesty.  Rising to become branch manager, Darren went on to manage several branches including new greenfield sites and merging newly acquired agencies’ branches into The Best Connection Group’s own network.  Darren was appointed a Director in December 2015 and has branch responsibilities that extend from Birmingham to Truro, South Wales and Oxford. 

 

 

 

Dave Schilling

With almost 30 years’ recruitment experience within the industrial, warehouse/distribution & driving markets, Dave is currently responsible for thirteen TBC branches, with a further two new openings scheduled for 2018.  Dave began his career in the retail sector and financial services industry where he developed a passion for sales before following Martin Recci’s footsteps into recruitment.  Dave’s customer-centric ethos is based on delivering an honest, quality service and willingness to go the extra mile.  His view is that very few recruiters in the industry do an exceptional job which exceeds a client’s expectations and this is something he believes gives TBC its competitive edge.

 

 

 

Lee Harris

Lee’s career began in the Royal Navy, spending seven years as a Logistics Controller where he was assigned to four different ships.  Having travelled the world and developed essential skills, Lee pursued a career in recruitment, joining The Best Connection in 1995.  At that time, the business had just opened its 2nd branch in Walsall and Lee was quickly engaged in supporting the company’s expansion plans with branch openings occurring in quick succession in Cannock, West Bromwich and Tamworth.  Two decades later, he now has responsibility for 16 branches and numerous dedicated onsite locations.  Lee also sits on the working party groups for National Sales, Key Accounts and Onsite Connection.

 

 

 

Phil Simmonds

Phil’s working life began in retail management, followed by direct sales and recruitment - initially recruiting technical and engineering permanent employees before moving into temporary recruitment for a multi branch/discipline agency.  Phil then spent nine years with a small independent agency where he progressed to general manager.  He joined TBC in 1998, starting at Walsall branch with a brief to establish a Leicester office.  In 1999 Phil ran TBC’s Manchester branch for a year and was subsequently asked to stay and expand the area.  Branches in Bolton, Stockport and Oldham followed and Phil continues to be responsible for these as well as Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Darlington, plus Huddersfield which will open 2017/2018.

 

 

 

Marcus Jepson

Following a four-year apprenticeship with British Aerospace and time spent working as a machinist, Marcus moved into human resources where he worked on the recruitment of engineers and graduates.  In 1990 Marcus joined the world of external recruitment.  His experience includes aerospace, petrochemical, nuclear, automotive, technical and engineering.  Marcus joined The Best Connection in April 2000 with a view to establishing a presence in the South East of England.  He now manages fifteen locations in the UK and three offices in Canada.