Helen becomes founder member of future PR leaders’ forum

HELEN Rudd, account director at Suffolk based PR agency Project PR, has become a founding member of a pioneering new forum for the Public Relations industry.

Ms Rudd, who is currently the CIPR Young Communicator of the Year for East Anglia, is one of only 13 people across the UK asked to help establish the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Future Leaders Forum.

The forum aims to draw together some of the UK’s most inspiring and talented young PR practitioners aged 30 years or under, representing all UK regions and nations.

The forum will input to the Institute’s policy and professional development activities, connect with local PR students and reach out to other young PR practitioners regionally and nationally to offer support and share ideas. Each member has been asked to represent their region at a national level.

She said: “I was really excited to be asked to be a part of this new initiative and represent East Anglia on such a prestigious forum. PR is such a dynamic and changing profession, but sometimes the views and great ideas of young people can be overlooked. That’s why I’m excited about joining this forum to ensure young communications professionals are given a voice and the opportunity to engage with the profession.”

CIPR president Jay O’Connor, herself a former CIPR Young Communicator of the Year, said: “The future success of the PR profession lies in the hands of young practitioners. We celebrate outstanding young practitioners every year at our national and regional awards but it is also about long-term engagement and reaching out to those yet to be in the spotlight. As tomorrow’s leaders, they should be empowered to influence the agenda, to input, share ideas and to build an engaged, collaborative community of PR professionals. This forum provides a platform.”

Ms Rudd started her career in the PR department at the Port of Felixstowe before joining Project PR in January 2008. She currently manages a crop of clients including East of England Inward Investment, Resource Efficiency East, Skills Training UK and Overeaters Anonymous and has in the past worked with other public sector organisations such as East of England Regional Assembly and UK Trade & Investment.

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CHARTERED accountants and business advisers Larking Gowen is continuing its student recruitment policy with the creation of a new position at its Bungay office.

Grant Edwards is joining the team, based at St Mary’s Street, having completed his A-levels at Lowestoft Sixth Form College. He will now study towards the AAT qualification (Association of Accounting Technicians).

Larking Gowen’s Human Resources Executive, Julie Best, said: “I am delighted to welcome Grant to the firm and look forward to seeing him progress with us.

“Grant joins 12 other students we have appointed throughout our offices in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. As a firm we continue to grow and it is vital that we recruit high calibre students annually, ensuring we build our team to meet our client needs.”

Mr Edwards lives in Lowestoft and enjoys playing the guitar. After completing his AAT qualification, he would like to continue his accountancy studies and progress in his career.

RESTORATION and conservation expert City & Country Group has appointed Jonathan Davies as finance director of its residential development business.

Working closely with Andy Sargeant, the group’s corporate director, Mr Davies has assumed day-to-day responsibility for the financial management of the business and will be based at the company’s head office in Stansted.

This is the second Board-level appointment to be made in only a month, following the recruitment of Dave Bahra as construction director in August.

For the past 12 years he was finance director at Bennett Homes. During that period the circumstances of the company were transformed with the introduction of state of the art systems and a relocation to modern offices. He trained as a chartered accountant with Grant Thornton, before working for nine years for various companies in the transport sector.

Mr Davies said: “I am very pleased to be joining the team and look forward to applying my experience in helping City & Country group develop their business over the coming years. I can see the company have an excellent product and a high level of expertise. I couldn’t have picked a better time to arrive at the company, with the new Residential board having recently been created. There is so much potential in the business and I look forward to the opportunity to work with my new colleagues to take the business forward to even greater achievements.”

Chief executive Tim Sargeant said: “The board and I are delighted to welcome Jonathan Davies to City & Country Group. He is an experienced Finance Director, with an impressive track record managing and delivering profit growth. He brings a wealth of financial and commercial expertise to the role, which will stand him in excellent stead to help drive the strong performance of our business. This appointment further strengthens the group’s senior team as we look to the future. City & Country Group recognises the value that fresh new perspectives and complimentary skills, like Jonathan’s, will bring to the group, especially at a time when we are expanding our business through recent and exciting new site acquisitions.”

THE joint National Trust and RSPB conservation project on Orford Ness and Havergate Island has taken major steps forward, led by Gail Turney, newly appointed project manager, and project warden Matt Guilliatt.

Ms Turney comes to Alde Ore Future for Wildlife with an excellent track record of project management, and she is already flexing her organisational muscles to deliver the project - on time and to budget. Mr Guilliatt recently graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MSc in applied ecology and conservation. His academic achievements are backed up by a wealth of hands-on volunteering experience with organisations such as BCTV and Wildlife Trusts.

The focus of the project, funded by European Union LIFE+ Nature, is on infrastructure for water level management and quality. This will mean that both these important and internationally designated nature reserves will be resilient to the challenges of climate change.

Originally from near Guildford, Surrey, Ms Turney, 32, has a degree in civil engineering, and got her career off the ground as traffic and highways engineer, working for transport consultancy Parkman. Then followed a move to Mayer Brown, starting as highways engineer then becoming a project manager.

She then decided to pursue a career in conservation, taking on the role of residential volunteer with the RSPB on the North Kent Marshes. This was essentially a trainee warden role, learning the essentials of nature conservation and how to use equipment such as chain saw and brush cutter. She also joined the Surrey Hills Conservation Volunteers on the North Downs in Surrey, volunteering at weekends on all sorts of outdoors activities, learning about plants and wildlife along the way.

It is this combination of proven project management skills and commitment to nature conservation which made her an obvious choice for her role with the National Trust and RSPB on the Suffolk coast.

She is clearly enjoying the challenge: “Alde Ore Future for Wildlife is a very rounded project in terms of what it is bringing to the two reserves. It is improving wildlife habitats, but also raising awareness of what we’re doing. We will be working hard on communicating with local communities and users of the reserves, letting people know what we are doing and why.

“On the Ness, we’re installing equipment so we can use wind energy to try and move water around marshes so it doesn’t stagnate. Solar power will be captured for the wildlife video camera which will help monitor and survey the predation of ground nest eggs and chicks. It is also an important part of giving people an insight into our work.

“On Havergate Island, the RSPB is creating new and re-profiling some existing islands, with different types of habitat, such as short grass which is good for avocets, or shingle for common, Sandwich and Little Terns. They are controlling rats which can decimate breeding populations of these ground-nesting birds.”

Mr Guilliatt, 25, is from Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire. He gained a BSc in geography before completing a year’s placement with the Sheffield Wildlife Trust and then moving on to his Masters. His specialist subject is small mammals, including a dissertation on water voles, which will come in handy on Orford Ness.

Happy with his appointment to the National Trust, Matt said: “I like the National Trust’s policy on conservation which is a softer approach, letting nature be nature rather than aggressively changing habitats. This is an interesting habitat which I’ve not experienced before, with a completely different set of species to learn. Coming from an upland heath environment, the coastline here contrasts markedly.

“This is a really good job for me. Working with all the gadgets and techy stuff, such as the GPS kit and laser distance finder, is great fun and will add to my conservation experience. I’ve not used remote cameras before, so using it to monitor predation will be a good learning curve. I’m a secret techno geek which I hadn’t realised before.”

ESSEX law firm Thompson Smith & Puxon has appointed a new partner, Nick Mayles Limited.

Nick Mayles, the director of Nick Mayles Ltd, joined the commercial team at the firm in May 2009. He trained and previously practised in London for several years, gaining specialist expertise in large corporate transactions. His new appointment brings the total number of partners at the expanding Colchester and Clacton based firm to nine.

Mr Mayles said: “I am both excited and honoured by the appointment at such a progressive, and forward-thinking firm. I hope to play an important role in steering TS&P’s future, building on its strong reputation for offering a friendly service which combines City expertise with regional rates, and always puts the needs of the client first.”

Acting for a broad range of clients, he has expertise covering acquisitions and disposals, mergers and restructurings, shareholder and partnership issues, banking, and other commercial arrangements.

Commercial team head Mary Anne Fedeyko said: “Nick’s wealth of experience in corporate and commercial law, and general business affairs has been, and will continue to be, a great asset to the firm as we further expand our presence in the region.