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specials laboratory

Our people

The Specials Laboratory’s Senior Management Team (SMT) is made of several highly-qualified professionals with decades of commercial and operational experience across the pharmaceutical industry. 
 

Our SMT is responsible for the day-to-day running of the company along with being tasked with the strategic growth of the business. Overseeing the 100+ people, the SMT helps retain and encourage its passionate and customer-focused culture. It also ensures smooth integration between all departments across the company’s three sites and is constantly focused on meeting and exceeding customers’ evolving needs. 

Meet the team...



Sharon Clift Managing Director
Sharon is the company’s Managing Director responsible for the ongoing operational and commercial performance of the business as well as its future strategic direction. 
 

Having joined The Specials Laboratory in 2002 in a part-time credit control role, her natural drive and people-focused ethos was instantly recognised. Sharon quickly progressed through the business to become managing director in 2008 at just 32 years old. Her passionate personality and rise through the ranks typifies the vibrant culture at The Specials Laboratory, which revolves around staff welfare, development and progression.

With over a decade of managerial and financial experience, Sharon is focused on nurturing the senior management team to ensure staff at every level are supported and motivated to meet the company’s customer, financial, production, quality and strategic targets.
 

In recognition of her tremendous achievements at the company, Sharon was crowned Young Achiever of the Year at The North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) Awards 2007 and profiled in The Journal’s prestigious Monday Business Interview in 2010. Sharon was also recognised for leading The Specials Laboratory to both Company of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year at the North East Business Awards in 2010.

Exemplifying the importance of continuous professional development at every level, she is currently completing her studies for an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification to become a chartered accountant.

Lee Craig Head of Operations
Lee is the company’s Head of Operations and oversees the whole operations function across The Specials Laboratory.
 
Another one of the senior managers that has climbed up the internal ranks in typical ‘Specials’ style, Lee joined the business back in 2004 as a Warehouse Supervisor. With over fifteen years of experience in the Specials manufacturing industry, Lee has worked in a variety of roles giving him an all-round knowledge of the business. He worked across wholesale, supply and logistics before successfully planning, launching and growing the company’s hospital-focused services.
 
A highly-regarded member of the senior management team, Lee has created completely new business streams for The Specials Laboratory and now looks after operations across all the company's service offerings.
 
Jan Armstrong Head of Marketing

Jan is the company’s Head of Marketing and is responsible for all internal and external brand communications as well as assisting the MD on various projects.

After starting her career at Robinson Healthcare in Derbyshire, she progressed up the ranks in the company’s Marketing team before leaving as a Brand Manager for the company’s flagship cotton wool range working on both brand and own label. Jan now has over 21 years experience within both consumer and B2B marketing.
 
After moving to the North East, Jan was appointed as a Brand Manager at Jackel International where she enjoyed roles across several of the company’s well-known brands working with the retail and consumer side of the business dealing with retailer promotions and marketing campaigns with accounts such as Mothercare, Boots and Tesco.
 
With a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Advanced Certificate in Marketing, Jan is an experienced professional who brings a great deal of knowledge and passion to her role of promoting The Specials Laboratory’s respected brand name among all its stakeholders.
Stuart Jackson Head of Quality
A trainee Qualified Person (QP), Stuart is head of quality at The Specials Laboratory so plays a key role in ensuring the company is meeting current regulations and is always mindful of patient safety.
 
With around 15 years in the manufacturing sector, he has worked for SSL International and Reckitt Benckiser before joining our team in 2013.
 
A member of Royal Society of Chemistry, he also holds a BSc Hons in Chemistry with Chemical Engineering. Stuart is responsible for developing and implementing the Quality department’s strategy as well as overseeing all Quality Assurance systems and ensuring compliance with GMP and GDP.
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