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Meet the team

Nick Bate

Managing Director

Nick has been steering the VMC ship for 15 years, before that he was Operations Director for 5 years. Nick's background is in electronic coin handling systems for the vending and amusement industry.

Nick is hands-on and is as happy presenting in a sales meeting, as he is retrofitting vending machines. He is passionate about doing the best possible job, attention to detail and ensuring our customers are happy throughout the life of a contract.

His enthusiasm is infectious for all things techie, which ranges from the very latest IoT devices right through to oily nuts n’ bolts in Land Rovers. Nick admits this probably started at the age of five or six, before computers and IT, when he found an old crystal set radio his father had built as a child in the attic.

When he’s not at the VMC helm he is probably tinkering with tech, cooking or catching up on the latest movie releases.

Cheri Gilmurray

Finance and HR Director

Cheri joined the business 10 years ago as part of VMC’s acquisition of rival cashless systems provider Cardinal, where she had been a Director for 16 years. Her role requires her to wear many different hats on a daily basis, looking after all aspects of finance, regulatory compliance, procurement and HR.

Cheri has a BSc Hons in Computer Studies and has always been at home working in technology environments. In the 1980s she worked for Bull CP8 who were at the forefront of emerging smartcard technology at that time, and whilst at Cardinal she co-wrote the operating system for the Mercury One2One mobile phone SIM.

When Cheri is not crunching numbers and keeping us all on our toes she loves to travel, but always has to pack a suitcase full of biscuits as she has discovered that not everywhere in the world is vegetarian friendly!

James Birch

Engineering Director

James has been sharing his passion for all things engineering and electronics with VMC for 24 years now. He has been involved in the development of our cashless technology right from the very start and has experienced all the changes the market has seen in that time. What he doesn’t know about cashless technology today isn’t worth knowing.

James has a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Electronics which launched him into a successful career in engineering spanning over 3 decades. He is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the IET, he is also a member of the AVA Technical Committee and the EVA Payments Committee, where he has also served as Chairman.

James would describe himself as a jack of all trades as he will happily take on any challenge we can throw at him, but we would describe him as a font of all knowledge when it comes to cashless technology.

When he is not tinkering with the latest bit of kit for VMC you will most likely find him eating cake - his second favourite thing to do in the office.

Shaun Rathbone

Operations Director

Shaun has been working in the world of cashless technology for more than 20 years now, 14 of those here at VMC, so has more than earned himself the title of “expert” in our office. His sole focus is making sure we deliver excellent customer service to all of our clients and end users, and with so many different projects on the go, he never quite gets to the end of his to-do list!

He spent the early part of his career in IT systems, travelling the world for large international companies and with some of the top Formula 1 teams, before finally settling in the cashless industry.

Outside of VMC Shaun likes to spend his spare time climbing mountains and racing cars, he also enjoys doing up houses and has spent the last 10 years making every part of his own home automated.

Mike Fulford-Brown

Chairman

Mike started up VMC with John Bennett in 1991.  As director and shareholder of vending components supplier Becktech, Mike saw the opportunity to bring smartcard technology to cashless.  In those days the main medium was magnetic stripe.  Before getting into the vending and catering industry Mike was with accountants PWC in London, leaving as a partner in 1986.

Mike has been heavily involved in the industry and served as director and Treasurer of the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) from 2001 to 2009.  As Chairman of VMC, Mike’s role is now part-time which gives him the opportunity to spend more time on his growing family, his love of Greece and of good wine.  25 years on, Mike is still excited about the opportunities in the cashless payments industry where the technology is so fast moving. 

Kim Pennington

UK Sales Manager

Kim joined VMC back in 2004, following a successful 16 year career in sales and operational management in the contract catering sector. Having worked in the industry for so long Kim has gained a vast amount of expertise and vital insider knowledge of our key markets, and this is the driving force behind our sales team at VMC.

Kim has worked with many high profile brands over the years, including Bank of England, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Exxon Mobil, Barclays, Carphone Warehouse and Coca Cola, to name just a few! Kim takes a consultative approach to sales, working in close partnership with the client to fully understand their needs and identify the best solution.

When she is not seeking out the next big sale, Kim is a keen classic and sports car enthusiast, and can be found at the odd wine tasting event on a weekend.

Craig Henley

Operations Manager

Craig began his career in vending, working initially as a service engineer, then in field support and training, and finally making the move into cashless in 1998. His dual experience of vending and cashless, plus his detailed understanding of working in the field finally led him to join VMC in 2007 to head up the customer service team.

Day to day Craig is focused on managing our customer helpdesk and field support team, as well as technical account management, system upgrades, and training and development.

In his spare time Craig enjoys keeping active outdoors water skiing, wake boarding, running and snow skiing – in fact doing anything that helps him keep up with his teenage children.

Garry Judge

Senior Project Manager

Garry has been managing projects at VMC for 14 years now and has been a key part of many of our major installations during that time.

Prior to VMC Garry spent 16 years in the coal mines as an underground electrician, before moving into the contract catering industry at Sodexo as a service engineer and specialist project manager, which eventually led him to VMC.

Garry is Prince 2 qualified and as a result a real stickler for great customer care, clear communication and efficient processes in his day to day work, which we love! Although he is an old hand at many aspects of his job now, he still enjoys learning about new technology and systems and finding new ways to do things.

At home Garry is kept busy by his 3 grandchildren, and enjoying the great outdoors on the golf course or his mountain bike.

Jill Bode

Retail and Project Support Manager

Jill has been at VMC for 14 years and spends most of her time looking after the needs of our supermarket clients, whilst also project managing many of our other business contracts.

During her time here Jill has overseen our installations into over 1500 Asda and Tesco stores across the UK, making her a bit of an expert on all things retail, she also knows her stuff when it comes to our equipment too.

Jill has a degree in Business Administration & Environmental Management, and during her time at university she worked in contract catering, so understands only too well the challenges facing some of our clients today.

When Jill isn’t helping clients and scheduling equipment in the office, she is busy “project managing” her 2 boys, 1 dog, several chickens, and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

Jamie Sadler

Chief Technology Officer

Jamie has been part of the VMC team since 1998, starting as a field service technician, then moving onto software and systems engineering and finally taking on the key role of CTO. Prior to that he worked as a test technician for GEC Sensors and at Sega as a workshop technician, so has always been tinkering with machines.

Jamie has a BEng in Computer Systems Engineering from Warwick University and his experience really is at the heart of our design and development operation. Innovation has become part of his routine here, always working hard to streamline our existing systems, find solutions to problems and come up with the next big thing all at the same time.

To relax he enjoys running, swimming and video games, and occasionally likes to take his mind to a galaxy far far away watching Star Wars!

Call us now to discuss your requirements

Tel: 01926 816400