Meet The Team
Malcolm Dudley - Director
My career path started as a Draughtsman going on to become an Accounts Manager/Commercial Director for a Apricot Computers. Then 28 years ago I set up groupgear (Cornbow Limited) with Simon my Co-director and business partner. Initially, we were in small offices behind a church in Halesowen. Over the years I have enjoyed building the business with Simon and loyal, committed, conscientious staff. We are now in Bromsgrove road with large offices and three warehouses.
Out of work you will normally find me with friends knocking a ball around a field. A good walk spoilt as the saying goes. Finally the best way to top off a good weekend is enjoying dinner or a BBQ, plus a good glass of Sauvignon Blanc, with family and friends.
Simon Tea - Director
I started groupgear or Cornbow Limited as it was first known way back in 1991 along with my co-director Malcolm. I believe one of the greatest testaments to this company is the number of staff who have been on this incredible journey with us, all of whom have embraced the core beliefs of the company and are still with us today, enjoying what they do.
I still get excited after all these years seeing the Company constantly evolving although I do miss those crazy days of picking stock in amongst the bedding and wardrobes of the woman’s refuge. It does however, bring a smile to my face now when I walk through the warehouse and see our stock neatly stacked with the groupgear brands.
Away from work I enjoy whacking a little ball around a big field generally in the wrong direction. However, give me a good red wine, good company, great music and I am happy.
Lea Young - Commercial Manager
I have been with groupgear for nearly 25 Years. In the early days I was responsible for the warehouse operation but have subsequently progressed through the Company to my present position of Commercial Manager. I am now responsible for all the procurement and logistics within the Company, including Far East shipments, as well as dealing with the day-to-day procedural duties of the Company.
I am happily married with 3 children and 1 cat which keeps me busy. In my spare time….. what little there is, I love technology, gadgets, gaming (xbox) and LED lights. I enjoy watching the footie and going out for meals with the family, you cannot beat a good curry or a good rib eye steak and chips. Aston Villa fan – less said the better.
John Caswell - Sales Manager
I first joined Group Gear Ltd (formerly Computer Gear Ltd) in 1999 as an budding young IT apprentice leaving the company in 2001 to further my career, to once again return in 2004 as the IT Manager. On my return it soon became apparent that I had a real passion and knack for sales and with my knowledge and experience of the company and its products it quickly helped me gain the confidence of my customers. This has enabled me to establish the good working relationships that I continue to enjoy with many of you today.
Sad to admit but I do find cables and related products quite exciting. In my personal life I have a horse, four chickens and a cat (oh yeah, and a wife). I enjoy a good soirée round the BBQ with friends & family with maybe a drink or two, including some of my homebrew beers, ciders and wines.
Darren Garner - Sales Supervisor
I’m jealous of my parents, I’ll never be able to have a kid as cool as theirs. Lover of all things Oasis, Liverpool FC, carp fishing & errrrrmmmmmmm cabling of course ever since starting here in 2011.
Kind of a good Samaritan, terrible athlete, but extremely blessed in the sleeping skills department. I try to be funny, because being hot just isn’t an option for me at this point.
My aim is to retire at 50 so better crack on. Hard work never killed anyone, but why take the chance.
Mark White - Sales Account Manager
Happily married, middle aged, beer swilling, Villa supporting, music loving, gig going, grandparent!
As the headline says I love my real ale (stouts and porters) and for my sins I am an Aston Villa supporter (maybe the 2 things are linked). Musically I am into New Model Army, David Bowie, Killing Joke, Fields Of The Nephilim, The Mission & Prince, leaning very heavily to the dark side of punk and post punk, travelling to as many gigs and festivals as time, money and holiday allowance permits.
I have happily been working at Group Gear since 2017 and this year became a grandparent for the first time, yeah, yeah I know, I don’t look old enough!
Chris Harris - Sales Account Manager
I joined Group Gear during the middle part of 2018. I’m in my early 30’s and I am a believer in Aliens. I am a huge childhood fan of Manchester United, Green Bay Packers and Orlando Magic.
Former Florida resident and in my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, playing and listening to music, watching sport, watching movies (movie nerd) studying and understanding ancient Egypt and spending time with my family and friends.
A few of my favourite musicians are; Sam Cooke, Bob Marley, John Mayer and Blackbear. In 2022 I am planning on climbing Mt Fuji, to raise money for a charity supporting a cause close to my heart. If I were to be described in a few words I think people would say I’m an easy going, kind hearted soul.
Josh Welch - Accounts Supervisor
After graduating from University and failing to gain employment as a Lion Tamer I joined the company as Accounts & Administration Assistant in 2013. I have held the position of Accounts & Administration Supervisor since 2017.
I’m a record collector, a bookworm, a big fan of the Los Angeles Rams and a member of FC United of Manchester. Mine’s a Guinness.
Claire Price - Admin
I have worked for groupgear for nearly 20 years on the accounts/admin team and surprisingly still enjoying it. In my spare time I love rummaging through junk shops, flea markets and attending auctions hoping to pick up a mid-century modern bargain or two.
I have two very greedy cats that cost me a fortune and I also support a small local dog and cat rescue. I love all sorts of music except chart/pop and enjoy watching 60s/70s and 80s British comedy programs.
Lauren Smith - Admin Support
I joined groupgear near the end of 2017 after leaving college. Since then I have been improving my skills in the admin department. Football is a big part of my life and takes up most of my spare time. I play as a goalkeeper for a local team and I am a Birmingham City season ticket holder.
I usually spend the rest of my spare time playing badminton and spending time with my family and friends. I don’t watch much TV unless it involves sport, but I do watch a lot of YouTube (probably too much).
Tom Mullender - Technical Support Engineer (AKA Techie Tom)
I started at groupgear in 2016, since then I have participated at the Screwfix show, the Grand Designs show and helped to develop products, all by the age of 21.
My main role at groupgear is supporting the WiFi CONNEkT wall sockets. I’m interested in; mythology, music, science and mainly any other type of geeky thing you can think of.
Since working in the office, I have officially adopted the nickname of Techie Tom. For a while when our other technician Alex joined, we were referred to as Thelma and Louise, however we’re both still here and we haven’t driven off a cliff … yet.
Alex Bane - Technical Support Engineer
I started at groupgear in 2018 as an IT apprentice and have since found myself thrown into the deep-end programming the new website. The website has been my first real task and a lot of blood sweat and tears were shed (not mine though, I just filled out all of the databases).
I’m probably the biggest nerd in the office (surprisingly) with a love of Dungeons and Dragons, PC’s and video games of all sorts, attending pub quizzes and doing a bit of writing in my downtime between all of these.
Musically I like everything but love Hip-Hop, especially Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator as well as Rock from the 60s-90s. I am a big fan of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Oasis and Blur.
Julie Shaw - Marketing Creative Designer
I started working at groupgear (formerly Cornbow Limited) in my early twenties, I’m now in my mid-forties and still here enjoying all things creative within the Marketing Department.
I’m a fan of 80’s music and not ashamed to admit it. Love a good book, enjoy TV shows & films mainly comedy’s & thrillers. My passion is food & drink, anything ranging from fine dining, pub grub or a greasy burger and my favourite sound is a cork popping.
In my spare time I attempt cooking, in my head I’m Nigella unfortunately the reality is very different. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, I love my holidays especially road trips in America which can be quite an adventure.
Matthew Skidmore - Warehouse Supervisor
I am a family man first and attempt to run the groupgear warehouse second. I was born and raised in the Black Country and have acquired a great sense of humour over the years, working at groupgear I have needed to.
I do not have any spare time for hobbies but on the odd chance that I am allowed out I enjoy a few beers and a game of darts which helps me to relax and forget how sad life as become. Joking aside I have worked at groupgear for over 10 years and during that period it has become my passion to run the warehouse as efficiently as it can be. With a beautiful fiancée and two wonderful children I can honestly say being happy in my life is an understatement.
Paul Griffin - Warehouse AssistantI’ve been a member of the groupgear family for two years.
I have a military background, 5 years as an instructor with the army cadets and 15 years with the Territorial Army. I held the rank of Staff Sergeant and have served in Afghanistan.
During my time supporting my country I have received many awards including the Queens Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and also received the long service medal the latter being presented to me by Prince Philip at Windsor Castle.
In my free time I have many hobbies which include; kayaking and canoeing owing to my love of water which are my favourite past times. I also enjoy rock climbing.