CHRIS Howard has been appointed group chief executive of Bar Hill-based David Ball Group plc, which specialises in industrial sands, Pudlo concrete water-proofing admixture, and associated construction sealants and screeds. He was previously running Pudlo, the group's specialist division in concrete waterproofing. Mr Howard joined David Ball Group PLC as sales manager in 2004. As divisional director, he oversaw a move to direct sales of the product. He said: "David Ball Group plc is now within the top 50 fastest-growing companies in its industry sector, while remaining in the top 30 listed under profitability. The challenge now is to build on this hard-won position in the face of probably the most challenging trading conditions our industry has ever faced." Pudlo-modified concrete has been used in many prestigious projects, including the Royal Albert Hall, Wimbledon Centre Court and the Olympic Velodrome. Mr Howard lives in St Neots with his wife, Maureen. In his spare time, he is a keen golfer and 10-pin bowler.