Movers & Shakers: Gemma Hopkins joins Felixstowe branch of Fred. Olsen Travel

Gemma Hopkins, Fred.Olsen Travel

Gemma Hopkins, Fred.Olsen Travel - Credit: Archant

Travel agency Fred. Olsen Travel has appointed Gemma Hopkins to its Felixstowe branch. She joins the team as an experienced sales consultant with 16 years’ experience within the travel industry.

She has always had a passion for travel, and as a seasoned traveller herself knew from a young age that she would like to develop this keen interest into a career, so on leaving school enrolled on to a Youth Training Scheme at Going Places. Gemma then took a position at Thomas Cook before a brief interlude as a holiday rep in Menorca. She went on to work for Imaginative Traveller where she spent eight years specialising in adventure travel and progressing her career and knowledge within the industry. For the past two years she has been working for Co-operative Travel in Felixstowe and so is a familiar face in the town, and now brings her wealth of experience and enthusiasm to Fred.Olsen Travel.

Kerrie Lake, branch manager at Fred. Olsen Travel Felixstowe, said: “We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to bring Gemma into our team. We have such a wide range of expertise within the branch now. That means we can offer our customers the best possible advice.”

Gemma said: “I am so excited to have this opportunity to work for an independent travel agent. I am particularly excited about learning more about the cruise side of the travel industry and to offer customers such a wide range of holidays, from adventure breaks to beach resorts.”

: :IPSWICH-based solicitors Michael Smith and Co has appointed litigator Craig Fiddaman.


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Traditionally known for its conveyancing, commercial and residential legal services, the firm, based at St Margaret’s Green, has chosen to broaden its expertise by recruiting a litigation specialist.

“We have a strong and loyal local client base within the Ipswich community who are increasingly turning to us for other legal issues. We identified that it was time to offer litigation services as well as wider law advice,” explained Michael Smith.

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Originally from Ipswich, Craig Fiddaman studied in Norwich and London and then joined Darby’s Solicitors in Oxford. After three years with a large national firm, he is returning to Ipswich with the aim to develop his career within the local area.

Craig brings with him experience of acting on commercial and civil disputes on such matters as commercial contracts, leases, professional services, non-payment, property disputes and bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings. Craig also has experience in proceedings where the defendant is located outside the jurisdiction.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me and provides me with an exciting new challenge. I look forward to offering the Michael Smith client base, and new clients, advice they may need prior to or following disputes that may arise.”

: : COLCHESTER-based commercial property consultants Newman Commercial has promoted Michael Moody to associate director.

Michael, who has been with Newman Commercial since 2006, has become an important member of the commercial agency team and is responsible for sales, lettings and acquisitions within the eastern region.

The firm has also recently appointed Gemma Brett, who is to be responsible for administrative, marketing and management related matters.

: : CARPENTER Ross Payne, 22, of M and S Contractors of Ipswich, was awarded the SJCC Carpentry Level 3 Commendation at the annual Suffolk Joint Consultative Committee for Building Annual Supper held at Trinity Park in Ipswich.

Ross, of Ipswich, only joined M and S Contractors in the past year and was presented with his award by Graham Lambert, chairman of the committee

: : COLCHESTER-based PR and digital marketing agency Mosaic Publicity has taken on two new recruits.

Jenna Gregory and Nick May bring with them a diverse range of experience, from both the public and private sectors, to support the firm’s growing client base across the UK.

New PR and digital account executive Jenna, 26, brings with her a raft of social media experience and expertise, gleaned from her role as social media editor for national publications LOOK and Marie Claire.

Jenna joins fresh from winning an award for an innovative integrated marketing campaign for the University of Essex’s Student Union.

She is now relishing the opportunity to apply her creative flair at Mosaic.

Jenna said: “I’m thrilled to be working at Mosaic. It is a fantastic company with really exciting projects on the horizon which I can’t wait to be part of.”

Nick, 36, joins the team as PR and digital account assistant, having spent three years working in a communications environment at Essex County Council and, more recently, the University of Essex.

He also has extensive project experience from his employment within the NHS and construction industry.

Nick said: “I’m really looking forward to using my writing and photographic skills to benefit our clients. This is an exciting new start and I’m raring to go.”

Chief executive Karen Ainley said that the new recruits’ diverse skills, experience and enthusiasm would make them an asset to the company.

: : THE East of England Co-operative Society has appointed Oli Watts as its new head of digital and internal communications to enhance the society’s engagement with its members online.

He will be based at the society’s head office in Wherstead, near Ipswich, and brings more than 10 years’ experience in strategic communications and marketing.

He specialises in digital tools and will lead on using these to engage with the society’s 500,000-strong membership, which comprises employees and customers from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

“I have a real passion and interest in the co-operative business model and a love for the East of England which I hope to put to good use in encouraging our customers to shop locally and reduce their food miles. There is so much the society can do using digital tools to promote its amazing range of local suppliers across the region,” he said.

Previously Oli ran an online company offering young people across the globe the chance to learn from shared experiences. He has also provided strategic and digital consultancy delivering online marketing and campaigns, product promotions and website development for organisations such as Cancer Research, the NFU, New Covent Garden Soup and Fresh Networks.

: : ACCOUNTANCY firm Baker Tilly has strengthened its indirect tax team with the appointment of Anne Holt as a partner in its East Anglian offices.

Anne, who will be based in Bury St.Edmunds and Chelmsford, recently joined Baker Tilly from Ernst & Young LLP. She has worked for over 15 years in the East Anglian and London markets providing leading advice to entrepreneurial businesses.

“I’m excited to be joining Baker Tilly’s already successful team and I’m hoping that my knowledge and contacts across the region will help strengthen Baker Tilly’s reputation and local client base,” she said.

Managing partner Stephen Duffety said: “I am delighted that Anne has agreed to join the firm in East Anglia. Her appointment underlines our commitment to bringing in the best talent to help us develop and grow.”

: : PROFESSOR Professor Lorna Fox O’Mahony has been appointed as executive dean for the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Essex and takes up her new role this summer. Professor Fox O’Mahony is currently Professor of Law at Durham Law School.

Her teaching experience is in land law and in trusts and equity and her research focuses on socio-legal analyses of property problems.

Her work is focused on advancing policy-oriented, socio-legal and critical theoretical understandings of a wide range of property issues, particularly relating to housing and home.

As well as publishing widely in these areas, she has interned at the United States District Court in Los Angeles; been a visiting scholar at Cornell Law School, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, Stellenbosch University in South Africa and the University of Western Australia; been a consultant to the Office of Law Reform; and presented expert evidence on housing rights for inner-city tenants in Belfast and Dublin.

“I am excited to be joining Essex as executive dean for Humanities, as the university celebrates its 50th anniversary and embarks on an ambitious new strategic plan to shape the next stage of its development,” she said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “Lorna will make an outstanding contribution to the senior leadership team and we look forward to welcoming her in July.”

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