Harry Burr's statement on STM reaching 20 staff members

As Sustainable Transport Midlands (STM) reaches 20 staff members, just two months after we reached 10, I wanted to reflect on the last three years.

Harry Burr, Chief Executive Officer

4/1/20232 min read

As Sustainable Transport Midlands (STM) reaches 20 staff members, just two months after we reached 10, I wanted to reflect on the last three years.

I started STM because of one need that I identified in 2020 (at age 13), for a new railway station in my local area. The idea was originally known as Weedon Station Project, and it took off in the local and regional press. Shortly after I did my initial engagement with Northamptonshire County Council and some very friendly local councillors like Phil Larratt and Rupert Frost - I met Owen O'Neill, a fellow transport campaigner.

From there, Weedon Station Project became Daventry Parkway Project, and became part of Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire, an organisation I ran as Managing Director. Daventry Parkway saw even more success under what was then STN, featuring in BBC News a couple of times and some more local/regional press.

I made the decision in late-2021 that STN wasn't the right name - and we rebranded to what we now know as Sustainable Transport Midlands in an essential move for our company. Shortly after this, I appointed my first volunteer, Thomas Haines.

After six months of project development, with Daventry Parkway Project (now known as Daventry Transport Development Group) continuing to take off, it was clear we needed to become official. On 5th September 2022, we became Sustainable Transport Midlands CIC, joined by Board Directors John Tippett, Gareth Dennis, Stephen Chaytow, Owen O'Neill, and me!

Then something happened - team growth. In October, two new unpaid staff joined the STM team - David Frankal and George Marshall. And this was just the start. Six months afterwards, we appointed 14 more staff, across three organisation levels, six departments, and one (to be two) projects. There are seven line managers within our Group, with me holding eight direct reports and David Frankal taking the 2nd spot on five!

I didn't think, three years ago, that I would lead a team of 19 staff members, in departments from Communications (Nikita Jan) and Marketing (Narek Melkonyan), to Project Development (David Frankal) and Information Services (Chris Elmes). It's amazing, and one of the best bits is that I've brought people together.

More recently, Mandeep Gill and George Marshall have joined STM's board, and we continue to grow our essential Group People department with Samantha Ruffell and Rishita Rastogi also joining the team.

Project teams are continuing to grow also, with Shubham Chakravorty joining Daventry Transport Development Group, assisting John Tippett in day-to-day activities. I also can't forget about Xiaolu Chen, who has taken up the tough role of CFO alongside a directorship!

As our Group Project Development department, led by David Frankal, continues to work on sifting through projects and performing high-level assessments, you can expect to hear a lot more from us in the next couple of months.