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Meet the team


Nick Bate

Managing Director

Nick has been steering the VMC ship for many years, before that he was Operations Director. 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 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 30 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.

Laura Barwell

Business Development Director 

Laura joins us with an impressive track record in sales, gained at leading prestige car group Sytner. After studying Music Technology at De Montfort University, she decided against a career in the music industry and as a result discovered her natural talent for sales. 

Starting off in admin but knowing sales was her goal, she voluntarily worked weekends to meet and greet customers and gain valuable skills in relationship building. This enthusiasm saw her achieve top 3 sales person in her first year, and continue to excel ahead of her colleagues in the years that followed.

Hungry for a new challenge and looking to transfer her skills to a different industry, she decided to join VMC and we are very happy to have her on board.

When she isn’t coming up with new sales ideas she can be found enjoying two of her other passions in life – singing (of course) and trampolining!

Chris Ives

Business Development Manager

Chris joined the VMC team after 5 successful years in the motor industry. Always one of the top sales people in his dealership, Chris was also recognised for his consistent 100% customer satisfaction record.

Looking for a new sales challenge in a different industry, Chris is a great match for VMC thanks to his own interest in all things technology.

Chris is a man of many talents, having previously studied cabinet-making at university and been a butcher for many years before discovering his passion for sales.

Outside of work Chris is a keen golfer and loves travelling and motorbikes, which he often does together!

Jill Bode

Operations Director

Jill has been at VMC since 2002 and spends most of her time ensuring that things run smoothly within the operations team and our manufacturing facility, making sure our customers are happy with the equipment and service we provide.

During her time here Jill has overseen our installations into over 1500 Asda and Tesco stores across the UK, whilst also project managing many of our major business contracts - she also knows her stuff when it comes to our equipment too.

Jill has a degree in Business Administration & Environmental Management, and having worked in contract catering whilst at Uni, she understands the challenges facing our clients today.

When Jill isn’t helping clients, 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