Movers & Shakers: Gavin Dearsley joins Alan Boswell Group

New appointments at Alan Boswell Group, from left, David Wheeler, Michael Henderson, Kodi Burch, Ga

New appointments at Alan Boswell Group, from left, David Wheeler, Michael Henderson, Kodi Burch, Gavin Dearsley, Sin�ad Brogan, Richard Sayer. - Credit: Archant

Highly experienced risk management adviser Gavin Dearsley has joined insurance brokers Alan Boswell Group to help clients with their health and safety and risk management requirements.

Gavin joins the firm, which has offices across East Anglia including Bury St Edmunds, from NFU Mutual. He will work alongside risk management adviser John Neil.

“I’m excited to be joining Alan Boswell Group at this time of growth,” said Gavin.

John said: “I am extremely pleased to be working with an experienced and highly qualified professional like Gavin, who will help me to develop the service we offer to our clients.”

Gavin’s appointment follows that of three other employees from NFU Mutual: David Wheeler has joined the underwriting department, Michael Henderson has joined the account handling team and Sinéad Brogan has become business insurance adviser. Kodi Burch has joined as a business insurance adviser. All four are based at the Group’s head office in Norwich.

Managing director Chris Gibbs said “We’ve seen substantial growth in the company as a direct result of winning new business. We’re anticipating similar increases this year and we’re actively looking to hire the best executives we can find.”

Among these are Richard Sayer, who joined the company as a commercial account executive. He brings 24 years’ experience with him from roles with companies including Lowndes Lambert and Axa.

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“Richard will complement the commercial team, bringing a wealth of experience with him, including expertise in the automotive and construction sectors,” said Chris.

::A new independent chair of Northumbrian Water Group’s (NWG) Water Forums, which represent customers, has been appointed.

Jim Dixon has had a 35 year career in countryside management, public administration and heritage management. He has held senior roles in the RSPB, Natural England’s predecessor organisations and within the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

He currently holds non-executive roles in heritage and public administration and has advised governments, agencies, voluntary bodies and business.

He has worked with the Royal Household, Number 10, Cabinet Ministers and their senior advisers, chairs of national agencies including Visit England and Britain, the Environment Agency and Natural England as well as charities such as Business in the Community, Age UK, the RSPB and the National Trust.

Northumbrian Water Group chief executive officer Heidi Mottram welcomed his appointment.

“This is a time of significant change for the water industry and I’m delighted that Jim has agreed to be our independent chair,” he said.

“We are passionate about providing our customers with an unrivalled experience and the very best service. Water forums offer an important independent view of our business that helps us to improve and provide the very best service we can. Jim will be an outstanding customer champion, who will challenge us on the decisions we make and help our customers remain at the heart of everything we do. ”

Jim Dixon said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed as the independent chair of the Northumbrian and Essex and Suffolk Water Forums. The forums have an important role to play in helping to assure that NWG is supplying as good a service to its customers as possible. The operating environment, customers’ expectations and the regulatory world change constantly. A company like NWG has to adjust, grow and respond to its customers’ ever-changing needs.”

He added: “I have been very impressed so far with the professionalism of all of the staff that I have met.”

My first impressions are of a commitment to serving customers, of working together as one team and being a good partner to other organisations and the community. As the Forums develop, I want to test out these impressions and use data and the expertise of other Forum members to probe and test the assumptions, plans and performance of Northumbrian Water Group.”

::Simon Girling, director of Ipswich-based construction firm SEH French, has been sworn in as the national chair of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) at the federation’s annual general meeting.

The inauguration ceremony took place at Girton College, Cambridge, where the previous NFB chair, Simon Carr, managing director of Henry Boot Construction Limited, handed over the chains of office to mark the beginning of the 12-month term.

Following the inauguration, Simon Girling hosted the NFB National AGM Gala Dinner in Girton College’s Great Hall. In his welcome speech, he highlighted that even though his region – eastern – voted to leave the EU he was highly encouraged that he was surrounded by people who want to work together for the best results.

“This is the spirit that will help the UK still play its part globally,” said Simon Girling. “This is spirit of the construction industry that will deliver growth and build the homes that people need. This is the spirit that looks at chaos and, while everyone else is losing their heads, allows us to press on with the job.”

Simon has been involved as a member of the NFB for 15 years and took up the role of chair for Suffolk in 2012, becoming eastern chair in 2014. He is a director of SEH French, one of East Anglia’s leading construction companies with clients including the NHS, Suffolk County Council and Orwell Housing Association.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, said: “The NFB’s eastern region has a particularly strong network of building companies in membership and is a formidable hub of activity. It’s wonderful that Simon will be able to share the spirit of the region with our membership throughout England and Wales.

“The EU referendum results have created some uncertainty but investment in construction is vital for reinvigorating the economy. We have an opportunity to show that construction can lead the UK through economic uncertainty, so it’s an exciting time for Simon to take the helm.”

::Housebuilder Bloor Homes has appointed a new chief executive officer to spearhead the business’s continued expansion.

Adrian Bloor stepped into the newly-created role at the Leicestershire-based developer at the beginning of July.

The post is a natural progression for Adrian, who was Southern regional chairman alongside other key areas of responsibility for a number of years.

Established in 1969, Bloor Homes has grown to become one of the largest privately-owned housebuilders in the UK, with seven regional offices across the country, including one at Bury St Edmunds.

Based in Measham, Leicestershire, the business has enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years and is set to hit the circa 3,000 plot completion mark for the first time next year.

“I am extremely honoured to have been given the opportunity to fulfil the role of chief executive officer at Bloor Homes and am very much looking forward to working alongside my colleagues to take the business forward,” said Adrian.

“My responsibility will be to ensure all day-to-day elements of the business run smoothly whilst formulating strategy with the board to ensure we successfully achieve our business objectives. These are very exciting times for the company and we need to make sure we are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead in the years to come.

“We have made fantastic progress as a business over the last few years thanks to the collective efforts of our passionate and dedicated staff, increasing volumes whilst at the same time maintaining our renowned commitment to quality, and I look forward to continuing this progress in the years ahead.”

::Chartered legal executive Emma Harper at Essex law firm Birkett Long is celebrating after passing tough legal exams.

Emma, of Essex law firm Birkett Long, specialises in the management of people’s estates when they die and has added to her list of qualifications after passing the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners’ (STEP) Diploma, in this area of law.

She has been with the firm for 15 years, starting out as a secretary, and becoming a legal executive in 2008.

“Having this qualification means clients know that they are dealing with someone who specialises in this specific area of law and who will have the knowledge and experience to be able to help them achieve their objectives,” said Emma, who fitted in study for the exams around work and family life.

“The firm and my colleagues were so supportive – not only with time off for study and actually taking the exams but with moral support, too,” she said.

::Head chef Lee Bye is celebrating a prestigious sector accolade.

Lee Bye, who works at hotel and restaurant Tuddenham Mill, which lies between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds, scooped an Acorn Award, which recognises 30 rising stars from every sector of the UK’s hospitality industry.

Applicants have to be under 30 and nominated by their peers for demonstrating exceptional skills and accomplishments in their field before undergoing rigorous judging. Previous Acorn Award winners include chefs Marco Pierre White, Marcus Wareing and Michael Caines.

The award was presented by The Caterer magazine’s editor Amanda Afiya at a ceremony in Hampshire last month.

“It is an unbelievable moment in my career to be recognised by the leaders of this amazing industry and have my name listed alongside such talented and inspirational personalities,” he said.

“I am delighted and very proud to add this award to my portfolio. My aim is to continue nurturing the team and building the business and reputation here at Tuddenham Mill.”

Lee has been Tuddenham Mill’s head chef for more than two years, and his talent has consistently been praised by food inspectors and critics.

He has scooped Suffolk’s Best Restaurant Award at the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards 2016, Suffolk’s Chef of the Year Award in the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards 2015, Square Meal’s UK Top 100 list and the prestigious Good Food Guide Editors’ Award 2015 for the Best Set Lunch menu.

Tuddenham Mill is owned and managed by Agellus Hotels.