Movers & Shakers: Brad McLean appointed general manager at Thorpeness golf club and hotel

Brad McLean, the new general manager of Thorpeness Golf Club and Hotel.

Brad McLean, the new general manager of Thorpeness Golf Club and Hotel. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk-based hotel group TA Hotel Collection has appointed Brad McLean as general manager overseeing its golf, hotel and private members club at Thorpeness.

Brad, from Vancouver, Canada, has more than 20 years’ experience in the golf industry and has served in director of golf roles with Crown Golf and Marriott International, two of the UK’s largest commercial golf course operators.

He takes charge of TA Hotel Collection’s golf resort located in Thorpeness, an iconic seaside holiday destination in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The centrepiece of the resort is a James Braid-designed heathland course and private members golf club, founded in 1923, and a 36-bedroom golf hotel.

“Thorpeness Golf Club has a fantastic reputation and is one of the finest coastal heathland courses in the country. It’s a wonderful opportunity to manage a successful golf hotel and private members club in one of England’s best-loved seaside holiday villages,” he said.


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“Our goals are to make every visitor feel as though Thorpeness is their golf club and home away from home, with warm customer service, fantastic food and a great golf course.”

Brad qualified as a PGA professional with the Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) in 1997 and worked at Fraserview Golf Course in Vancouver, one of that country’s busiest municipal golf facilities averaging around 90,000 rounds per year.

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He moved to the UK in 2004 to take up a teaching professional’s role at Thetford Golf Club before joining Crown Golf as director of golf at Orpington Golf Centre, a busy 54-hole venue with two pro shops and a driving range.

Most recently, Brad was director of golf, leisure and apa at Marriott International Sprowston Manor in Norwich.

Brad is also a trustee of the Stanley McLean Trust, a registered charity which has raised more than £84,000 for causes benefiting sick children including Great Ormond Street Hospital and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Brad and his wife Debbie set up the trust and its Stanley McLean Brighter Future Fund following the tragic death of their son Stanley, aged 18 months, in July 2012.

Stanley was born with a rare heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot and during a third open heart surgery, he experienced complications.

Brad and Debbie have worked tirelessly to raise funds which have helped part-fund an echocardiogram machine at Great Ormond Street Hospital as well as fully funding EACH Norfolk’s Quidenham Hospice on Stanley’s birthday over the past three years. Their trust has organised three memorial golf days, sponsored bike rides, walks and cake bakes.

:: Woolpit-based grain processing firm Jewers Grain has appointed its first female general manager in its 150 year history.

Heidi Graham joins the independent family-run business, which specialises in grain processing, cleaning, drying, trading, packing, storage and consultancy, as general manager responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business.

She was formerly commercial manager for the wholesale operation of Muntons in Stowmarket and brings a wealth of production, sales, logistics and customer service experience to the role.

As general manager she will oversee the operations and logistics teams and will work alongside managing director Matthew Jewers, driving sales and customer service.

New processing and packaging facilities have been installed at Jewers Grain’s Woolpit site in recent years, leading to the doubling of business in the last three years. Meanwhile, further grain storage facilities have increased capacity to 17,000 tonnes.

Matthew said: “We are delighted to welcome Heidi as our new general manager. She has extensive knowledge of the malting business and her experience in leading production, logistics and sales teams will prove invaluable. It is an exciting time for Jewers Grain, with our outstanding facilities now in place, and this appointment is the next step in our strategy for driving growth. With a customer service focussed background, Heidi is also ideally placed to understand the importance to Jewers Grain of delivering exceptional service to each and every customer.”

Heidi said: “My aim has always been to work for a progressive family-owned business, where I can make a difference and so I am thrilled to join Jewers Grain. The business is at the forefront of grain processing innovation and the opportunities for growth are huge. I look forward to being an instrumental part of the next stage of Jewers Grain’s development.”

:: Simon Bonnett has joined Bury St Edmunds-based Beckett Financial Services as senior consultant to help advise its private clients.

He previously worked at an Essex-based firm where he looked after the wealth strategies of private clients and their families, along with investments for charities and trusts.

“We are delighted that a consultant with Simon’s experience has joined our company,” said managing director Ian White.

“He specialises in areas that are important for our clients such as inter-generational wealth strategies, ethical investment, retirement planning and business succession.”

Simon’s career began at an insurance company nearly 30 years ago and he has held a number of senior positions at global accountancy firms and private banks in the City.

“One of the key reasons I was attracted to Beckett’s was because of their ethical investment portfolio,” said Simon.

“Ethical investing is important to me and it was evident that the team at Beckett’s listened to their clients in order to deliver an outstanding portfolio.”

:: A technician from Suffolk and Cambridgeshire-based DAF dealership Chassis Cab has scooped the DAF National Technician of the Year and the DAF European Technician of the Year awards.

Adam Baker, 31, who lives in Ipswich and has worked for Chassis Cab for six years, is a fully-qualified truck technician. He was shortlisted for the national technician of the year competition by answering four papers designed to test his truck servicing and maintenance theory skills. He then beat 23 other technicians to the title after demonstrating his practical skills at a competition at DAF’s UK headquarters at Thame, Oxfordshire.

As a result of his national win, Adam travelled to DAF’s worldwide headquarters at Eindhoven in Holland to take part in the European heats of the same competition. He, along with 15 other national title winners from all over Europe, completed a tough two-day final which was designed to test theoretical and practical skills by solving malfunctions on engine and vehicle systems.

Tony Shepherd, business services manager at DAF UK, was delighted when Adam was announced the overall winner.

“We are all so proud of Adam – a thoroughly professional and competent performance,” he said.

Adam said: “I was so surprised to win against so many really talented competitors. The testing was intense and demanding. I just did my absolute best.

“It turned out to be enough to win the DAF European Technician of the Year award and I am incredibly grateful to be the winner of this highly prestigious title.”

Robert Baxter, dealer principal at Chassis Cab, said: “Adam was representing the entire UK dealer network, and for this reason alone we were extremely proud.

“For him to be judged best in Europe is exceptional. We are delighted for him and have to say it’s a privilege to have him on our team here in Suffolk.”

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