Movers & Shakers: Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa appoints Ashley Gogan as head of events

Ashley Gogan, Bedford Lodge

Ashley Gogan, Bedford Lodge - Credit: Archant

A four-star hotel in Newmarket has appointed a new face to head up its conference and events service.

Ashley Gogan, 29, joins Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa to help ensure its business events, balls or weddings run like clockwork.

Ashley, who is married and from North Carolina, on America’s east coast, previously worked for the internationally-renowned Marriott Hotel.

“I’m loving the role already. The team is fabulous and they really know how to offer good service. The connection you can make with someone planning an event is a big draw for me,” she said.

“It’s gratifying seeing something start from nothing and become a successful event.

“Here you can step back from the hustle and bustle, it’s very peaceful and the advantage is you are not paying city prices, as you would in Cambridge, yet you get so much more.

“This hotel is so unique and beautiful and has so much history, too, the perfect mix of a little bit of country with a great town. A real getaway for our guests.”

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The 77-bed hotel, which went from four black AA stars to the prestigious four red AA stars recently, is close to the town’s famous paddocks and training stables.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey East Anglia has appointed Steve Rolt as its new managing director.

Steve returns to familiar territory, having worked for the developer’s East Anglia team as sales director from 2007 to 2010. Between then and starting his latest position, he was sales and marketing director at the firm’s South Midlands regional unit, based in Milton Keynes.

“It’s fantastic to be back, and I’m delighted to have been appointed as the new managing director” he said. “I love the area and it’s great to be working with familiar faces again. “There’s an amazing spirit and great family-orientated atmosphere here at Taylor Wimpey, and I’m proud to be leading the East Anglia team as we look to continue building traditional family homes in a traditional marketplace.”

Steve, 55, started his career as an independent financial adviser, running his own business for 10 years before joining Taylor Wimpey, or McLean Homes as it was then, in 1999 as sales manager for its North London team. He was promoted to sales director in 2001 before moving to the East Anglia team as his career progressed six years later.

“I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy so much variety in my years working for Taylor Wimpey,” said Steve. “North London was obviously all about providing compact developments in dense locations and working in a first-time buyers and investment market. East Anglia was a completely different world, developing family homes around lots of greenery, while South Midlands was a nice middle ground between the two.

“It’s really nice to see that a large proportion – probably over 60% – of staff I’m working with now were here the last time I was at East Anglia, whether that’s site management or office-based staff, so there’s a real backbone to this region and a very strong management structure.”

“There’s a lot of land supply here and a great deal of exciting developments in the pipeline, so the challenge for me is to maintain the good things that are going on here while moving things forward.”

Steve, a father of two, lives with his wife Beverley in Bedfordshire, where he enjoys tennis, playing twice a week at Flitwick and Ampthill Tennis Club. He also loves walking and recently trekked the Pennine Way, while he is also a keen traveller and recently came back from a safari tour in South Africa.

Three solicitors who trained with Essex law firm Birkett Long and remained with the organisation have had their years of hard work rewarded by receiving promotion to associate.

Ben Parmenter, Emily Brown and Lisa Collins all joined the firm within a year of each other in 2007/08 and qualified around 2010 before being offered jobs with the firm.

Ben, who works in the wills, trust and probate team, said: “Birkett Long is really good at rewarding its staff who put in the extra mile for their clients and colleagues – it felt fantastic to be recognised for this.”

Emily, who advises on employment law and heads the education team, said: “It was so nice to have others who were in the same boat as you.

“The first time that you speak at court can be daunting, but it really makes a difference when you can get tips from the others or share your experiences with them afterwards.”

Lisa, a team leader in family, divorce and relationship law, said: “You quickly learn a lot more once you are qualified and experience the weight of responsibility. But I remember feeling incredibly happy when they offered me a job after I qualified and I’m delighted to be made associate. It’s been something we’ve all been working towards.”

Ben added: “Being promoted to associate makes the hard work worthwhile. It is a stamp of achievement from the partners that shows that they have been noticing that you have gone that extra mile.”

Andy Rust of Woodbridge has been named one of Britain’s best builders by the National House-Building Council (NHBC).

Andy, a senior site manager with affordable housing developer Lovell, scooped a coveted NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Award – known as the house-building industry’s Oscars – for his outstanding management of a new development which has created Clacton-on-Sea’s first purpose-built accommodation enabling local adults with learning and physical disabilities to live independently.

He is one of only 450 Pride in the Job winners across the UK selected from around 15,000 site managers working on NHBC-registered housing projects.

The Pride in the Job Awards recognise builders who have created homes of outstanding quality.

“This award recognises the way the entire construction team have worked in harmony on site to deliver a high-quality, successful development,” he said. “The thing I most enjoy about my job is the challenge that comes with achieving things that others may not think are possible. The key is to know what you want to achieve and get everyone working well together. My goal is always to get things right first time as that benefits everyone.”

Andy, who joined Lovell nearly four years, has more than 40 years’ experience of managing major construction projects from large-scale open market and local authority new-build housing developments and commercial and public buildings to conversion schemes for listed properties. He started in construction as a 16-year-old apprentice bricklayer before carving out a highly successful career in site management which has included a number of other NHBC awards in addition to his latest achievement.

Lovell regional director Simon Medler says: “Andy is an outstanding senior site manager at the top of his profession and it’s fantastic to see this recognised by the NHBC. Pride in the Job awards are not easily gained, making his achievement even more impressive.

“This success is also down to the talent and hard work of the team working with Andy, who are all similarly dedicated to delivering new housing of the highest quality.”

Andy will now go forward for the next round of the Pride in the Job award scheme when he will compete for a regional title.

Chartered accountants LB Group has appointed Andrew Hingston as its new tax supervisor at the group’s Ipswich office.

Andrew will be responsible for contributing to LB Group’s overall strategy and increasing offerings to clients. Andrew joins from Larking Gowen, has been ATT qualified since 2006 and has more than 17 years’ experience in practice.

Chris Annis, director at the Ipswich office, said: “Andrew brings valuable know-how to LB Group and will be an asset to the management team. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we look to define more proactive accountancy, tax and business solutions for our clients and grow our presence locally.”

Andrew said: “I am delighted to take on this opportunity with LB Group with the intention of growing the practice, while at the same time delivering an all-round client service.

“LB Group is a dynamic, forward thinking company, constantly seeking to improve the service we can offer to our clients and I look forward to being able to add value to a well-established team which shares the same brand values as I do.”

Three lawyers from Ellisons Solicitors have been promoted to associate.

Patrick Logan, licensed conveyancer, Natalie Simpkins, insurance litigation solicitor, and Gina Westbrook, solicitor in wills, trusts and probate, are all celebrating their recent promotions.

Senior partner Guy Longhurst said he was “delighted” at their promotion.

“All three have made invaluable contributions to their respective departments and offices, and the promotions are well earned and deserved,” he said.