Movers & Shakers: Four new recruits at Southwold-based agency Spring

Susi Castle, Oliver Whitall, Lucy Henson and Laura Marfell-Williams outside Spring'�s head office in

Susi Castle, Oliver Whitall, Lucy Henson and Laura Marfell-Williams outside Spring'�s head office in Southwold. - Credit: Archant

Southwold-based communications design agency Spring has recruited four new staff thanks to recent significant account wins including the Moroccan Tourist Board.

Laura Marfell-Williams has joined as account manager for the Moroccan account. Fully French-English bilingual, Laura was communications manager for Start-rite shoes and joined Spring from the role of marketing manager for Price Bailey LLP in Norwich.

Lucy Henson will be leading the agency’s offering on a range of cultural and tourism accounts.

Susi Castle has returned from Japan where she worked as an English teacher. She joins Spring’s client services team to support the agency’s research and management function for its growing client base.

The design studio’s newest member is Oliver Whitall who graduated from Norwich University of the Arts earlier this year and has moved to Suffolk from Birmingham to take up the role.

Company co-founder Erika Clegg said: “We’ve held tight over the recession, keeping our headcount reasonably low whilst still delivering a creative, effective and reliable service. Over the course of 2014 we have grown by 20% and enjoyed a high level of inbound sales enquiries and account wins, so recruitment has been necessary in order to keep raising our standards. We are delighted to welcome these four very Springy new members of staff and are glad to see them become valuable members of the team already.”

: : PR agency Genesis PR, based at Holbrook, near Ipswich, has recruited a new senior account executive, Tim Miller.

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He recently moved to the region, having worked in public relations in London, and has experience of creating engaging campaigns and using social media to promote businesses and attract new customers.

His career to date includes a PR role in a London organisation, an in-house role for a Norfolk-based business and work in local government PR where he gained maximum media exposure on a low budget.

After graduating from the University of East Anglia where he studied history and politics, Tim went on to complete a masters in public relations at the University of Greenwich, achieving a distinction grade. He also has a personal and professional interest in social media and writes a weekly blog.

Tim said: “I am very pleased to be joining an award-winning PR agency at an exciting time of expansion and I look forward to working with a range of clients and the experienced public relations team.”

Genesis PR director Penny Arbuthnot said: “Tim has joined Genesis at a very exciting time and his experience in public relations will add to our already talented team.”

: : A former paralegal with Essex law firm Birkett Long is celebrating promotion after qualifying as a solicitor.

Claire Hunt, 27, from Braintree, has been with the firm since 2011 and took the chance to train as a solicitor a year later when a vacancy occurred.

Her promotion coincides with two new starters, Caroline Woodham and Ella Johnson, who began their roles as trainee solicitors recently straight from law school.

The duo will now spend a series of six-month tenures (seats) in various different legal departments as part of their training.

However, Claire, who works across the firm’s Colchester and Chelmsford offices, says she would recommend anyone take the same route she did: “I did not take the traditional route to becoming a solicitor. My first degree is in ancient history and archaeology from the University of Liverpool.”

She later studied at the College of Law in Chester, (now the University of Law) where she completed the conversion course to law – the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and then the Legal Practice Course (LPC) obtaining a 2:1 Law Degree. She said: “I would strongly recommend law graduates or LPC leavers taking paralegal positions. Being a paralegal allows you to experience how the law really works in practice, not just in theory, before you start your training contract.”

She admitted she is part of a trend of staff being taken on as paralegals at the firm. Some of whom go to take up training contracts with the firm.

Liz Jones, partner and head of the childcare team where Claire worked, said: “Claire is a real asset to the business. She rightly deserves her position and has worked hard to become a qualified solicitor.”

: : The managing director of virtual assistant service Bay Tree VA, based at Cockfield, near Bury St Edmunds was awarded the England – VA of the Year 2014 title at the Office 2014 Show held at Olympia.

Jane Cattermole, who already held the award for East Of England – VA of the Year 2014, was up against finalists from across the regions.

“I’m delighted with this recognition of what we are building at Bay Tree VA,” she said.

“Having previously worked as a PA to senior management for over 20 years I can see that VA support is a growth area and I’m pleased to be seen as a champion and leader of this new way of working.”

Crispin Clay, managing director of Munchy Seeds based in Leiston, said: “We’ve been a Bay Tree client for a number of years and for a company our size – where we can’t justify someone with Jane’s skill set on a full time basis – the service has been incredibly important to our business.

“Her knowledge of us and our products helps enormously when she is dealing with initial sales enquiries.

“Her flexibility, professionalism and efficiency make her worth her weight in gold – this is an accolade well deserved,” he added.

: : Employee Benefits specialist Ken Bird has re-joined Beckett Financial Services in Bury St Edmunds to help support its corporate solutions team in dealing with an increase in clients carrying out pension auto enrolment.

“Ken was the natural choice when we were searching for expertise for our team,” said Nicola Prince, director of employee benefits at Beckett. “He is familiar with the way our firm operates and he is able to provide top-level support to our clients right away.”

Mr Bird originally joined Beckett in 2012 and left the company for 10 months in 2014 to work for a local competitor. He draws on 25 years’ experience in financial services, including corporate pension work at leading provider Aegon.

“At a time when companies need the advice of pension experts like us to help with their auto enrolment delivery, we are delighted that Ken can provide the very highest level of service,” added Nicola Prince.

“He is used to dealing with senior directors and junior payroll/HR people alike, and his experience is underpinned with a Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning plus a Certificate in Auto Enrolment.”

: : Julie Forsyth has joined law firm Birketts’ construction team in Chelmsford as a legal director.

Julie qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and, since then, has specialised in the construction and engineering sector. She has more than 20 years’ experience and was previously a partner in London. She has represented and advised clients on a wide variety of infrastructure projects worldwide including airports, bridges, roads and dams, acting for engineers and their insurers as well as main contractors, specialist sub-contractors and suppliers.

Julie said: “I am thrilled to be joining Birketts, where I will be able to contribute to and share in the success of the team. The construction team was recently ranked in the top tier by Chambers UK 2015 and has an excellent reputation. I am really looking forward to being part of such a well-respected team, and building upon its growing presence in Chelmsford.”

Andrew Rush, partner and head of Birketts’ construction team, said: “I’m delighted that Julie has joined Birketts. Julie’s career encompasses both contentious and non-contentious work, with an emphasis on dispute avoidance and resolution and extensive experience in international arbitration and litigation. She is also experienced in legal risk management, providing training and advice to help minimise and raise awareness of legal pitfalls within projects of all. Our construction team at Birketts continues to go from strength to strength.”

: : Essex-based housing association Colne has made a number of appointments to strengthen its team.

Interim finance director Derek Young has joined with responsibility for all aspects of finance, HR, IT, and corporate services.

He comes with a wealth of experience from the private sector, a number of housing associations and Arms-Length Management Organisations (ALMOs).

Derek takes over from long-serving finance director and deputy chief executive Lynne Shea, who worked for Colne for almost 12 years. Sarah Cawley, an experienced journalist and former news editor at the Gazette in Colchester, has taken up the role of PR, marketing and communications manager.

For the last five years she had worked in the marketing and xommunications team at leading Suffolk charity St Elizabeth Hospice in Suffolk.

“It is rewarding to enter the affordable housing sector and be able to use my wide-ranging PR and communications skills to enhance Colne’s profile,” she said. “I want to ensure as many people as possible know the work Colne does to house some of the most vulnerable people in north Essex and the support we provide that goes beyond bricks and mortar.”

Mark Flint, is Colne’s first graduate property services officer, swiftly followed by Lucy Holby, who has just joined as a graduate property services officer on a short-term contract.

Mark said: “I am delighted to be a part of the only housing association based in Colchester and be able to develop my career with Colne.”