Movers and Shakers: Kerry Blair joins ECL as commercial director

Kerry Blair, is ECL'�s new commercial director.

Kerry Blair, is ECL'�s new commercial director. - Credit: Archant

Care and wellbeing company ECL has appointed a new commercial director to lead on the organisation’s development in the integrated health and social care sector.

Kerry Blair joined ECL, which supports people aged 18+ with learning disabilities, sensory and physical impairments and older people who are living with dementia, in July.

His appointment follows the organisation’s rebrand from Essex Cares and the introduction of the Care Act in April earlier this year, which introduced a new standard for assessing people’s care needs and gives a greater focus living independently for longer.

Kerry will be responsible for turning an ambitious growth strategy into reality and is keen to build a business development team from ECL’s existing home-grown talent.

With a range of experience in the social care sector, Kerry has a track record in delivering business growth through commercial activities. In his previous role as Executive Director for Growth at the Terrance Higgins Trust, Kerry was responsible for managing both statutory revenue streams and the organisation’s highest ever level of voluntary income. He also previously worked as a development director at Advance Housing and Support, a UK-wide care and support provider, in a role which saw him implement a new growth strategy, increase turnover and develop new business opportunities.


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“I’m delighted to be joining ECL at such an exciting time,” he said.

Mike Fitzgerald, interim managing director at ECL, said: “We are very excited to have someone of Kerry’s calibre join our team. His vast experience of the social care sector, skills and expertise will be a great match for our business and I’m sure he will prove invaluable as we move forward and seek to develop the organisation further.”

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ECL (formerly Essex Cares), a care and wellbeing company, was set up by Essex County Council as a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) in 2009, to provide adult social care services across the county and is based at Chelmsford.

: : Saxmundham-based winter maintenance firm Ice Watch has recruited a number of new staff to support its fast-growing business. The company, which provides snow clearance and gritting services for businesses across the UK, has won a number of major new contracts in the past year and, in response, has strengthened its operations and business support teams.

Steven Simpson joins Ice Watch as operations manager (operations) and will work closely with operations manager (forecasting) Dean Harvey. Steven’s key focus will be liaising with operators and managing operational quality.

Steven has a background in military operation logistics and support, and has also worked in operational management at Anglia Railways and quality assurance with the MOD.

He said: “I’m excited to be joining Ice Watch at this time and believe in what the company is doing and where we want to go. I look forward to working with the team to consolidate the business and to build it.”

Business manager at Ice Watch, Andrew Henry, added: “We are delighted Steven has joined us at what is an exciting time for IceWatch, as the business continues to grow at an impressive rate. His experience in logistics and man management will be of huge benefit as we expand our footprint across the UK.”

In addition, the company has also taken on apprentice Laura Bailey to develop its social media operations, and gradute Stewart Tomkins as a key accounts handler.

: : East Anglian recruitment firm polkadotfrog has welcomed the arrival of Guy Fleming who joins the Ipswich team to take over its busy shipping and transport sector.

Director Emma Cotton said: “Guy is a much needed addition to our busy team. Shipping and transport has always been a large part of our business and with a recent upturn in vacancies in this area bringing on board an experienced consultant with a real passion for the industry was a logical move. Guy is already getting out and about meeting clients and jobseekers, and he has been welcomed with open arms as someone who is enthusiastic about his specialist area and can focus solely on them and their needs.”

: : Colchester-based Whybrow Chartered Surveyors has welcomed Sarah Clarke as head of property and asset management.

Her key areas of expertise are commercial property and asset management, service charge management, developing asset management strategies, measuring portfolio performance and landlord and tenant advisory services.

Sarah has more than 15 years’ experience in commercial property management, in both the private and public sectors.

She will be supported by Sam Parrott, Charlotte Bailey and Ben Davies in managing the diverse portfolio which comprises of 400 tenants spread across 180 properties ranging from offices, retail, and industrial premises across the eastern region, London and the south east, including the financial management of around £4million a year.

: : Ipswich-based online company secretarial software company, Inform Direct, has boosted its team with the appointment of Tom Clark.

Tom joins as subscriptions manager, and will be driving sales for the business, as well as exploring new opportunities in the market and nurturing business relationships for the company.

Previously, he worked in a business development role for Growth Accelerator in London, a company which identifies fast growing businesses and offers them a service to help achieve sustainable growth.

Inform Direct was identified as a rapidly-growing company by Growth Accelerator and chief executive Henry Catchpole was the second person to whom Tom sold the service in his previous role.

Tom said: “My new role with Inform Direct is a glorious merging of all the different areas I love working in. I am passionate about sales and fascinated by online activity, so this is the ideal position for me.

“The company has created a cost-effective cloud-based software application for accountants and business owners. I am looking forward to introducing our subscription service to the market both locally and nationally.

“The team at Inform Direct are the best I have worked with so far. The spirit in the company is fantastic and everyone identifies with the need to look after our customers with the highest level of care and attention.”

Inform Direct founder and chief executive Henry Catchpole said: “We are delighted to have welcomed Tom to the team. Our company is going through a period of rapid expansion, and when it came to picking someone to drive sales, Tom was a clear choice. He knows a huge amount about Inform Direct because we have worked together already and he will prove to be a very valuable member of the team.”

Jennifer Spencer-Charles of Ingatestone has made the big leap and decided to start her own PR agency after 10 years as a publicist in Essex’s public and private sector.

She joined hi-tech firm e2v in Chelmsford in 2013, after spending three years at Essex County Council, promoting the London 2012 Olympics as well as businesses and tourism.

“On joining e2v I faced the biggest challenge of my 10 years in PR - setting up a press office,” she said.

“During that time I enjoyed the success of achieving a 233% increase in monthly coverage and gaining 12 national TV and radio features for the company. I now face the next big challenge which is setting up my own company.

“With a mission to change perceptions about our beautiful county, I set up The Essex Press Office in order to showcase the amazing organisations, charities, businesses and people we have in Essex. After all, Essex is a great place to live and work.

“After more than 10 years of working as a publicist across both public and private sector, I understand that a fully serviced press office is a luxury for most companies. In fact, the majority of businesses only have one or two members of staff balancing all the communications activity for the whole company.

“So I specialise in delivering cost-effective media and public relations through both digital and traditional media, but in an array of ‘packages’ to assist companies of all sizes.”

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