Movers & Shakers: Ben Williams becomes head of marketing at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Ben Williams. Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines. Picture: FRED.OLSEN CRUISE LINES

Ben Williams. Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines. Picture: FRED.OLSEN CRUISE LINES - Credit: Archant

Ipswich-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has appointed Ben Williams as its new head of marketing, with effect from March.

Ben has been promoted from his previous role as Fred. Olsen’s eBusiness Manager – in charge of the company’s website and social media communications – and will take responsibility for developing the brand and marketing strategy.

Having joined Fred. Olsen in 2012 as an eBusiness Executive, Ben quickly progressed into a supervisory and then management role. He previously spent six years working as a Marketing Executive in the Business Travel sector for the Gray Dawes Group.

He graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2003 with a BA Honours degree in Business Studies with Marketing, and more recently was sponsored by Fred. Olsen to study for a Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing, and the ILM Level 5 Certificate of Leadership and Management.

“I am very excited by this new challenge and relish the opportunity to further develop our position as a market leader in smaller ship cruising,” he said. “We have a great product which our guests love, strong brand awareness and an excellent team around me – all of which are vital in driving Fred. Olsen forward.

Sales and armekting director Justin Stanton said: “I would like to congratulate Ben on his promotion, which is well deserved. He is an extremely motivated and highly capable individual, and his appointment comes at an exciting time for the company, with the launch of our innovative fly-cruise programme, together with our new European river cruise programme, which has captured the imagination of our guests.

“Ensuring we keep the benefits of cruising with Fred. Olsen in customers’ minds is key to the success of our business, not only for our own promotional activity but also to support our travel agent partners who sell the majority of our cruises. I have no doubt Ben’s drive and talent will help the business’ future development.”

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•Ipswich-based recruitment firm and human resources specialist Waddington Brown Ltd, has announced a new senior addition to its team.

The company has recruited Lizzy Firmin who joins as HR director, a newly-created senior role. The new position is designed to strengthen and support Waddington Brown’s established reputation, reflects the significant growth of the company in the last 12 months, and is part of an organisational expansion strategy.

Lizzy’s career has seen her working in both the private and public sector in a number of senior level HR and operational roles; most recently as HR Director for Border Force. Lizzy is also a Non-Executive Director for the NHS East of England Ambulance Trust.

“With over 20 years experience working at a senior HR level, I am no stranger to the day to day challenges of running a busy HR operation,” said Lizzy.

“I have worked as a head of function, executive and non-executive director for over 15 years in both private and public sector organisations including manufacturing, education, marine engineering, logistics and central government. Being part of the Waddington Brown team enables me to share my extensive experience in operational delivery, public relations and strategy development as well as HR.”

“I would say my pragmatic and practical approach to people management ensures HR becomes an integral part of any business. I focus on building strong, effective working relationships to achieve real value to the organisations I am working with. With my energised, direct style, I enjoy building relationships with my clients and by doing so providing them with a personalised service.”

She added: “I’m passionate about making sure you get the best from your HR team, delivering strategies with real business wide impact, and resolving any conflicts with a positive, open and effective approach. I am looking forward to working with Emma and the team as we focus on growing and developing the business. It is certainly an exciting time to be joining Waddington Brown.”

Emma Gunton, Managing Director of Waddington Brown, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Lizzy to the business, I know she’ll be a big asset to us to help provide our clients with the right HR solution.”

“It was important to add new talent and an individual of Lizzy’s calibre will further enable us take full advantage of the unique position we are in. Lizzy is the right person to champion the potential for Waddington Brown in our unique mix of HR recruitment, operational and commercial expertise.”

•East Anglian builders’ merchants Kent Blaxill has appointed sales director, Mark Robinson.

Managing director Simon Blaxill said while the firm’s heritage was in Colchester, it has more than 240 staff employed at 15 branches with a further three new sites planned in 2018.

“One of the newest branches is in Market Harborough in the East Midlands and the time is right to form an operational management board to drive the continued expansion beyond East Anglia,” he said.

“Mark joins us in a newly-formed role of sales director to work with other more established senior team members including James Park, commercial director, Nick Scully, operations director, Kevin Pryke, finance director and myself.

The final member of the operational management board is Allanna Docherty, HR director. The board decided in 2017 to invest heavily in staff development and Allanna has begun a wide-ranging programme to reinforce core values and develop a talented and motivated team.”

He added: “As a company, we have been evolving in the building materials supply industry for 180 years. We remain a family-owned business with the same core values of quality and service. It is very exciting for me to have a young and energetic team start 2018 with many new ideas for the next stage of Kent Blaxill’s growth. Long may it continue.”

•Ipswich-based architectural practice KLH Architects has appointed Emma Lawrence as interior architectural designer.

Emma, 27, has just completed her BA (Hons) Interior Architectural Design degree at the University of Suffolk.

“I’m thrilled to join an experienced and dynamic firm like KLH Architects while being able to work in an industry that requires creative thought,” she said.

“After starting a career in banking, I realised that my love for drawing and design was my passion and so I enrolled on the course. It was a great step for me and now I get to work on and provide design input into a variety of exciting projects which gives me great job satisfaction.”

Emma scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Suffolk Interior Architecture Student Design Award 2017 at the end of year degree show, presented by Bryan Wybrow and Alan Wilkinson of KLH Architects.

Project architect at KLH and chair of RIBA Suffolk Bryan Wybrow said: “We are pleased to have Emma join our team. Both Alan and I were thoroughly impressed by Emma’s end of year project which looked at repurposing an old theatre/cinema in Colchester into a boutique hotel and we knew that we had to introduce her to the rest of the team.

“Emma’s appointment enables us as a practice to provide a more diverse and expanded service to our clients.”

•Suffolk pay-per-click (PPC) agency Biddable Solutions has appointed Sarah Giles as operations manager. The firm, based on the BT Adastral Business Park in Martlesham, near Ipswich, offers specialist support for companies in paid search optimisation, ecommerce, remarketing and display advertising, using advertising platforms to increase clients’ exposure online.

She will play a key role in furthering company growth, and will get involved in a wide variety of initiatives to raise its profile locally.

Sarah, who is originally from Suffolk, graduated with a First from Royal Holloway University where she subsequently joined a small firm and grew it from four to 30 employees. During her career, she was also awarded one of the Top 10 Business Women in Surrey in 2015.

“I’m excited to join Biddable Solutions,” she said.

“Straight away, it was clear that James, the agency’s founder and MD, has a real talent for getting more out of online campaigns and driving results for our clients. With over ten years’ experience in marketing, James’ drive to achieve better results is evident as soon as he starts talking. Focusing on growing our brand locally, I believe Biddable Solutions has a real opportunity for further growth - so watch this space.

“It’s also great to be part of the Innovation Martlesham (IM) cluster. Everyone I have met so far has been friendly and welcoming. There is a great buzz onsite, which helps our creativity, energy and motivation.”

•Bury St Edmunds-based Beckett Investment Management has promoted staff in two of its divisions.

Craig Brown has been promoted to associate director in the firm’s asset management division after three years managing investment portfolios. Beckett’s funds under management have increased from £190m to £400m since 2015.

Louise Catton has become a financial consultant after successfully completing exams covering Regulated Financial Planning and Equity Release.

“Craig and Louise are talented members of our team and their promotions reflect the expertise they bring to the firm,” said managing director Ian White. “This is a great way to kick-off our 30th Year.”