Movers and Shakers - June 21

ORWELL Housing Association, one of Suffolk’s leading housing associations, has recently appointed Jeni Levent. Jeni joins the team as tenant involvement officer.

Jeni brings with her over 20 years experience of working in social housing both in the charitable sector and local government, where she has worked closely with local communities.

Jeni said: “I am delighted to be joining the team at Orwell and looking forward to working for an organisation which is committed to listening to its residents and encouraging their contributions to help it maintain an excellent level of service. I very much look forward to meeting with the residents and getting them involved in the decision making process, to ensure we are providing services which are meeting all their needs.”

Paul Kingston, director of housing and care services at Orwell Housing Association, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Jeni to the team. Jeni will bring with her a wealth of experience and is a very strong addition to our organisation. The role of tenant involvement officer is an important one. It means working closely with our tenants, helping them to focus and develop ideas, organise meetings and activities and generally making sure we know what the residents are thinking. It’s a way of making sure people have a measure of influence in decisions that deeply affect their lives. I wish Jeni every success in her new role.”

ASPALL, the super-premium cyder, vinegar and juice maker, is restructuring and investing in its business in response to increasing demand and as it gears up for the next stage of its growth plans.

Following a 40% growth in sales volumes of all Aspall products during the last year, Aspall is implementing a new structure with a series of new roles, appointments, and investment in its business.

As part of the restructure, commercial director Geoff Bradman and finance director Des Smith have been promoted to become joint managing directors, responsible for driving the business forward under the chairmanship of Barry Chevallier Guild. Henry Chevallier Guild remains an active member of the Aspall board but leaves day-to-day involvement to concentrate on the Chevallier Brewing Company, which he set up last year to develop and source new and interesting premium beer products such as Suffolk Blonde and Little Creatures.

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As part of the restructure Aspall has also established a new cross functional executive team and created a number of new roles to manage its business growth.

Clive Maskell will join the business shortly, as head of finance, and the commercial teams have also been strengthened with additional recruits: Paul Walker joins in the new role of commercial manager to head up development of the recently re-launched vinegar range.

As a result of this appointment John Hadingham moves into the on-trade as commercial manager, to further support key on-trade partners with a strong focus on training and education in on-trade outlets. John Bennett also joins the Aspall team from Adnams as business development manager to further support and grow regional on-trade business.

Aspall chairman, Barry Chevallier Guild, says: “Aspall has experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years. Our new structure and significant investments in people and production facilities ensure we are able keep pace with this growth and to lead the premium cider and vinegar markets. Realigning responsibilities within the business ensures we have the right people doing the right jobs in order to properly manage our growth strategy.”

LOCAL firm, Lighthouse Platinum Wealth Management Ltd, is celebrating 10 years in business and, at the same time, exam success for independent financial adviser, Nick Hodgetts.

The company, based in Felaw Maltings in Ipswich, was launched in June 2001. It is headed by Nick Hodgetts, who recently passed QCF4 level exams, the Financial Services Authority’s newest benchmark for financial advisers.

He said: “We have had 10 good years and we are feeling very optimistic for the future. The need for financial advice has never been greater, to protect families and businesses and plan for retirement. There is so much happening – partly because of economic conditions but also changing demographics. Life expectancy is increasing so there is greater focus on income in retirement too.

“At the same time, our regulators are raising the bar in terms of qualifications and standards are rising. That’s good news for the public but it is making life harder for many IFAs. The legal requirement to pass QCF4 exams by the end of next year may be the final straw for many,” he said.

“At the moment there are four taxpayers to every one person of pensionable age but that ratio is forecast to fall to just two to one. That could place a huge burden on taxpayers and it explains the renewed encouragement for personal pension planning,” he added.

“The government’s Workplace Pension Reform package, due next year, is only one of the changes in the pipeline for which employers and employees should take proper advice.”

Mr Hodgetts left Sun Life Financial of Canada after 21 years’ service. He had also previously worked for HM Revenue & Customs.

GRAY Dawes, the business travel management company, announced today that it has appointed Nathalie Claiborne as manager of its event management team.

Nathalie recently joined Gray Dawes Travel from The Corporate Team where she worked as conference and events manager.

The team at Gray Dawes co-ordinates meetings, conferences, corporate hospitality, incentives, team building activities, group travel and accommodation and special events.

Nikki Regan, director, operations, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nathalie. Our clients will certainly benefit from the expertise of a team that are experienced in delivering creative solutions that meet their needs on time and on budget.”

ANGLIA Farmers has boosted its member business services team with the appointments of Philip Bryce and Charlotte Woolliams. Key account manager Philip Bryce (far left in image) is covering familiar territory in Essex and South Suffolk in a field-based role. Prior to his appointment he was working as a partner in a farming business for more than 20 years.

Charlotte Woolliams (far right in image) is also a key account manager and covers The Fens and South Lincolnshire. She also has a farming background and has worked for Gleadell Agriculture as a farm trader. She has a BSc Hons degree in Rural Enterprise and Land Management from Harper Adams University.

Headed by business development manager David Moar, Philip and Charlotte join key account managers Lesley Last, who covers North Norfolk and is also responsible for risk management work; Philip Brown who is a business development manager focusing on AF Land Services and AF Biomass and Vicky Hull who has recently been promoted to member services manager.

The AF Member Business Services team is both office and field based. Its main purpose is to ensure members make the most of their membership in terms of ordering, forward planning and risk management. The team also visits farmers and other rural business people who want to know more about joining Anglia Farmers.

IPSWICH based recruitment specialists David Mills Recruitment have appointed a director of driving with over seven years experience in local transport and logistics recruitment. Barry Griffiths began his career as a financial advisor before moving into the local recruitment market in 2004 as a trainee consultant and soon worked his way up to management level.

Barry said: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity, as working at David Mills Recruitment has given me the chance to develop a core team of like-minded professionals working in a market in which I am very familiar.”

David Mills Recruitment are based at 25 Princes Street, Ipswich and specialise in the supply of temporary manufacturing and warehousing staff as well as professional, qualified drivers for all sectors.

Managing director David Mills said: “Having worked with Barry for a number of years now I have watched him develop and grow his reputation within the local recruitment market and I’m very pleased to be able to offer him this step up to director level”.

NIKKI Barker, from agencies in London and Cornwall, working on accounts including Cornish Sea Salt and the Eden Project, has relocated back to Suffolk and joined Southwold agency Spring.

The agency is staffing up having landed prestigious accounts including handcrafted home furnishings manufacturer Jim Lawrence and the world’s leading concierge company, Ten.

She said: “I’m delighted to be back home in my native Suffolk and being able to work in a really creative agency with such great clients”.

Spring’s MD Erika Clegg said: “Nikki’s combination of creativity and practicality coupled with her in-depth experience in some of our growth sectors makes her a great addition to the Spring team.”

Nikki has also started to work on the National Trust, Southwold Pier and Visit Suffolk accounts.