Marketing firm takes on new recruit

n HADLEIGH-based Free Rein has made two new appointments to strengthen its customer service team

Iona Dean joins the internet marketing company as account manager and will be responsible for developing the client portfolio and raising Free Rein’s profile across East Anglia and the UK. Iona brings extensive traditional and online marketing experience to the role, having been based in London for many years working with multinational businesses. Since moving to Suffolk she has run her own retail business and worked with local SMEs in the eastern region.

She is joined by Mark Oxford who has been appointed as account executive. Mark will primarily be involved in providing customer support and managed services to our existing client base. He will be responsible for managing customer content, project management and data analysis using our web based content management system (CMS).

IPSWICH-based Acer Safety Services Limited has welcomed Eira Trafford to its team.

Director Andr� Castle said that the decision to expand the company, based at Innovation Martlesham, was aimed at broadening the range of products available to its clients and to respond efficiently as the business continues to grow.

“We have worked hard to maintain our portfolio of services, both in consultancy and the delivery of accredited and bespoke training courses. Eira’s appointment will add further support to meeting our clients’ needs,” he said.

Ms Trafford has spent 20 years in manufacturing, in multi-national and small to medium sized businesses. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and is currently working on upgrading her membership with the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

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She said she was “excited” about the opportunities ahead.

“Acer clients know that they can rely on knowledgeable and practical professionals, who are able to present health and safety in a fun and relaxed manner. The reputation of Andr� and Phil often precedes them, in the best possible way of course. I am looking forward to sharing that same reputation,” she said.

Director Philip Steward said the business saw an opportunity to consolidate its combined experience in health, safety and environment and the experience in human resources which Ms Trafford brought with her.

“There are some useful synergies between the HR and H&S worlds. Eira’s insights into both functional specialisms will help Acer to add further value to the support our clients can be offered,” he said.

A FOOD manufacturer from Clacton-on-Sea has been elected vice chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses(FSB) East of England Policy Unit at its annual general meeting in Stowmarket.

Iain Wicks, managing director of Vineyard Fine Foods, said: “I believe it is important that manufacturers’ views and needs are considered when developing policy for small businesses so am delighted to have been elected as vice chairman.

“This policy unit plays an important role working with Government bodies in the East of England including the regional development agency and I hope that by working with colleagues we will be able to persuade those organisations to spend their money more effectively so more small businesses get the help they need to help our economy come out of recession and start growing again.”

Mr Wicks is also chairman of Essex FSB.

MATTHEW Woraker has joined Ipswich-based claims outsourcing solution providers Countrywide Accident Assistance Ltd (CAA) as operations manager.

Mr Woraker will be managing the operational teams who handle motor claims on behalf of the company’s book of leading fleet insurers, as well as its many blue-chip, self insured clients from the retail, chemical, DIY, electronics and fast-food restaurant sectors.

CAA, established just under six years ago, is recruiting to cope with increased demand and moved into new 12,000sq ft premises in Ipswich’s Felaw Maltings at the end of 2009.

Mr Woraker, who will report to the board of directors, will have overall responsibility for the entire claims process. This includes first notification of loss, claims management and engineering.

He joins CAA from Liverpool Victoria, where he managed a claims centre with more than 100 staff. Prior to that he worked for Capita Assistance and Zurich Insurance.

“Joining CAA at such an exciting time is a fabulous opportunity,” he said.

“It is clear the directors have plans to expand the business and whilst CAA is a relatively new name in the industry, it has already built an enviable reputation for providing a quality service.

“The role of operations manager will be to oversee and grow the claims handling team whilst maintaining the high level of quality. Currently we are taking around 12,000 calls a month and our approach is very clear. There’s a real focus on customer service based on prompt responses, reliability and transparency.

“To consistently deliver exceptional customer service and minimise claims cost, we need some very robust systems and processes in place. As we grow, we have to make sure the infrastructure grows with us.”

HSBC Commercial Banking has strengthened its central and eastern England real estate team with the appointment of Andrew Russell as deputy commercial director.

Mr Russell joins the 12-strong real estate team, reporting directly to central and eastern commercial director of real estate, Andy Cole. In his new role, he will provide support to existing and potential commercial real estate customers.

As well as being a respected member of the professional community in East Anglia, he brings a wealth of experience to the role including 25 years at HSBC and more recently, two years in the real estate team at Lloyds HBOS.

Mr Russell said: “I’m really pleased to be joining HSBC’s real estate team in the central and eastern region and look forward to consolidating my experience to assist our real estate customers across the region in achieving their potential.”

Ian Urquhart, HSBC regional commercial director, central and eastern region, said: “I am delighted to welcome Andrew back to HSBC. His skills and experience will strengthen our commercial real estate team as we continue to support our existing and new real estate clients.”

A WOOD worker has carved a successful career following an apprenticeship with an East Anglian firm.

Daniel Elliott, 19, of Starston, scooped a gold medal for carpentry skills at the R E Carter Awards for Norfolk and Waveney Building Apprentices, held at City College Norwich.

Tim Leggett, director and general manager of Blackburns Construction, based in Harleston, where Daniel works said: “We are very proud of Daniels’ achievements.

“Winning this prestigious competition is a just reward for all the hard work and effort Daniel has put in throughout his apprenticeship with us.”

The competition, in its 34th year, showcases the skills of over 60 apprentices from various colleges across the region. The gold medal winners from each of the five categories, carpentry, plumbing, painting and decorating, bricklaying and electrical installation, will progress to the regional heat of SkillBuild on May 25 at St Albans College in Hertfordshire.