IT'S the end of an era for a Cumbrian family's association with a leading Carlisle livestock auctioneer.

Dawn Harrison, who this week steps down as a Non-Executive member of the H&H Group Plc Board, is the last living member of the company's two founding families, the Harrisons and the Hetheringtons, to serve on the Board.

After H&H was formed in 1925, it was Dawn’s father, Dick, who masterminded the company’s rehoming to Borderway, a move which revolutionised a livestock trading company and rural business which has never looked back since.

Speaking at the Board's AGM she described how her relationship with H&H started a long time before joining the Board, hearing her father, Dick Harrison, talk so passionately about the mart.

She said: “When I took my place on the Board twenty-four years ago, I had some insights and had gleaned some very sage advice from my father, specifically that the H&H business is based on relationships and trust, and that there is great value in passion and commitment. These are all energies which I believe should be continually encouraged.”

Dawn Harrison is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire and working with business and management students works within the MBA Team Her particular interest is in the learning process and supporting students to develop. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In recent years the H&H Group has grown and evolved and today employs over 300 members of staff.

Commenting on Dawn’s retirement from the Board, Michael Scott, Chairman of H&H Group said: “With Dawn’s background, she understands the fundamentals of staff support and development, and her knowledge of the traditions and marketplace the company occupied was invaluable Incredibly balanced in her views, Dawn always brought with her a human side, as well as a business head, and always considering the people involved in any decision.

These are exciting times for the H&H Group, and we are incredibly grateful for all the help and advice Dawn has provided throughout her term. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Dawn for her commitment and continuous input and support.”

A people’s person, Dawn is well known and well respected throughout by staff across all the H&H businesses and her knowledge has been integral to the ongoing development of the H&H Employees Trust. Going forward Dawn will retain her position as an independent Trustee of the Trust.

Dawn concludes: “My personal philosophy is ‘enlightened shareholder value’ – this means that looking after staff, suppliers, and customers will result in benefit to shareholders. Interestingly, with H&H we have customers who buy and sell, are shareholders, and in some cases, they also work for H&H – the full ticket!”

“It has genuinely been a privilege to have had a role on the Board, and to learn from, and support the companies within the group. I am excited by the energy and skills new team members bring to the Board. I am confident that they will support our committed executive directors and staff, and that our company has a positive future.”

She will not be ending all ties with the firm her family helped set up. She is to continue as a Trustee for the H&H Employees’ Trust. “So, I will still feel connected,” she adds.