East Anglia: Simon Gray named as new chief of the East of England Energy Group

SIMON Gray has been named as the new chief executive of the East of England Energy Group, taking over the role from EEEGR founder John Best who stepped down earlier this year.

Mr Gray is currently chief executive of Wells Community Hospital in Norfolk and previously held the same title at the East Anglian Air Ambulance, having held a number of senior positions in the publishing sector earlier in his career.

EEEGR chairman Alan Barlow said: “We’re delighted to appoint Simon who brings a successful track record in both membership organisations and private sector industries.

“We believe he will bring the right leadership to grow EEEGR and further develop a coordinated energy supply chain in this region to ensure members benefit most from the multi-billion pound opportunities within the all-energy sector on our doorstep.”

EEEGR is working with small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the supply chain to ensure that the region is able to take advantage of opportunities in the energy sector worth an estimated �271billion.

Mr Gray, who takes his new role from June 11, said: “With EEEGR, I want to ensure that this region is at the forefront of the energy industry. We must also make sure that if any international business is looking to inwardly invest into the UK, our region comes out top when they begin their search.

“We need to make sure we seize the business opportunities and the new jobs that any investment into energy would bring to this region. It will be a challenge and we must embrace the wide-ranging interests across an all-energy sector.”

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Mr Gray said his first aim would be to meet as many EEEGR stakeholders and members as possible to assess their views and he would be opening the group’s flagship summer conference, EEEGR2012, at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Wednesday July 11.

Accepting that his new role was a change of direction, Mr Gray, 53, said: “I’m not a helicopter pilot but I ran the Air Ambulance; I’m not a clinician but I ran a hospital; I’m not a journalist but I was in key publishing roles. I think my strength is in managing organisations, understanding what members want and showing how we can grow together.”

He added that he was sad to leave Wells Hospital and intended to continue his support for its work by becoming a voluntary unpaid trustee.