Unitas Wholesale is strengthening its trading team to improve member support, enhance supplier relationships and deliver collaborative initiatives.
Under the lead of Cheryl Hope, Trading Director, the new team now includes Lee Wharton as On-Trade Trading Controller, Alex Trotman as Licensed Trading Controller (Retail) and Martin Shears as Procurement Manager – Central Services.
John Kinney, Managing Director of Unitas Wholesale, said: “Lee, Alex and Martin bring an incredible depth of knowledge and experience that will be a real benefit to our members and their customers.
“As the UK’s biggest independent buying group, we pride ourselves on providing the best support and the most competitive trading terms and promotions in the industry. Our new team members will play an important role in delivering these to help our members grow their businesses.”
Lee Wharton, On-Trade Trading Controller, joins with more than 20 years’ experience in the UK’s drinks industry, predominantly within the on-trade sector having worked with some of the biggest companies in the market including Heineken, Molson Coors and Suntory Beverage & Food GBI.
“My experience on the supplier side will be a real benefit to our members and supplier partners,” said Lee. “I have more than 20 years’ experience working across the channel including delivering new trade routes, working with national and local wholesale distributors and working with national on-trade retail groups. Unitas is a forward-thinking organisation that understands the power of collaboration, I love to see all my stakeholders succeed so this role was the perfect opportunity.”
Alex Trotman, Licensed Trading Controller (Retail), joins Unitas from Diageo where he was a key part of the account management team for the wholesale channel. He brings a valuable understanding of the opportunities for both Unitas members and suppliers.
“I’m delighted to be joining Unitas. This is a unique opportunity to not only interact with a range of brands but on behalf of leading independent wholesalers,” he said. “I’m looking forward to helping our members and suppliers grow their businesses with the UK’s biggest independent buying group.”
Martin Shears, Procurement Manager – Central Services brings more than 30 years’ procurement experience having worked with a range of businesses including wholesalers, foodservice operators and retailers to manage their spend.
Martin said: “My role will focus on ensuring our members and their customers can remain competitive on price. The combination of my category, sales, negotiation, strategy sourcing and supply management experience will ensure our members continue to get the best quality goods and services at the best value.”