Movers & Shakers: Joe Fogel receives Entrepreneur of the Year award from Karren Brady

Joe Fogel of Vaiopak receiving his Nectar award from Karren Brady.

Joe Fogel of Vaiopak receiving his Nectar award from Karren Brady. - Credit: Archant

Joe Fogel, founder of Essex-based packaging firm VaioPak Ltd, has beaten hundreds of others to win the Entrepreneur of the Year prize at the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2014, judged by a panel including star of BBC1’s The Apprentice, Karren Brady CBE.

The VaioPak Group, which is based at Shire Hill Industrial Estate, Saffron Walden, specialises in customised foodservice takeaway packaging and other printed goods. The company won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award thanks to its product offering, as well as its vision for the future of the business.

Karren said: “Joe of VaioPak Limited is a very deserving winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year prize in this year’s Nectar Business Small Business Awards. The company is a shining example of what this category stands for and Joe is a great entrepreneur to inspire others to do something similar, and to be a success – especially in the current economic market.

“This year’s Awards have given me the opportunity to meet some of the UK’s brightest business stars and I hope seeing the success of these engaging and insightful winners will inspire others to start up the business they have always dreamed of but never acted upon. It’s not easy running your own business but these six winners have proven that it’s possible with a clear vision, determination and hard work.”

Joe said: “It’s great to be recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year and to give the business more notoriety. The award will give customers assurance to know that they are dealing with a credible company and it really shows that we are moving in the right direction.

“We recently employed two apprentices which is part funded by the government and it’s going really well — so we’ll definitely now be investing more money into apprenticeship schemes to give others a similar opportunity.”

Joe and his company were judged by a panel of business experts which also included Nectar managing director Will Shuckburgh, Nathan Palmer of BOC, Richard Carvell of Viking and 2013 winner and founder of Goody Good Stuff, Melissa Burton.

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Will said: “This year we’ve seen a real increase in the number and quality of entrants and are pleased to award the Entrepreneur of the Year prize to Joe Fogel and wish him the best of luck for the future.”

: : Gotelee Solicitors has appointed Samantha Gray to its family team.

She will based at the Felixstowe office and support the Ipswich office.

Samantha qualified as a legal executive in early 2013 after working eight years in family law, and started her career at a Felixstowe law firm. Experienced in dealing with divorce, separation and other family matters, she is also an active member of Resolution, a family lawyers’ organisation which is committed to an amicable and constructive resolution of matrimonial and family disputes.

She said: “I have lived in Felixstowe all of my life and am delighted to be given the opportunity to work within my local community. I used to work in the Felixstowe office when it was part of another law firm and am looking forward to working with the team again. In recent years I have built a good working relationship with the family lawyers at Gotelee and am very pleased to be joining their experienced and well established team.”

Samantha’s arrival has strengthened the Felixstowe office to offer a full range of services to the Felixstowe community.

Head of the family department Helen Stuart, said: “Samantha has a very strong local connection and is very well regarded.  Our Felixstowe clients will clearly benefit from her experience.  She strengthens our team by being the first point of contact for our family clients in the town. We are delighted that she is joining the Gotelee team.”

: : Damian Brannigan, from Ipswich, has been appointed as business development manager at Ipswich Volkswagen and sister retailers in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Kings Lynn.

He has been looking after local small and medium business users for Ipswich Volkswagen and sister retailers in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Kings Lynn, since he started his new role.

Damian, 38, has a varied background which includes working in insurance, retail and manufacturing, in a variety of roles from quality controller to operations manager.

“This is my first job in the motor trade so I’m enjoying the challenge; I think with my past experiences and skills I am in a great position to make this new role a success,” he said.

“My favourite thing about being in this line of work is having contact with customers and being able to find out what they really think and want which I have missed in my past couple of jobs.”

Damian is an avid Ipswich Town FC fan, and also enjoys playing football and regularly attends sporting and motorsports events.

“I’ve always loved the classic Volkswagens, right back to when I was growing up. The brand, the quality and reliability is second to none so when this job came up I was over the moon,” he said.

“As you can imagine it’s quite different to running an opticians’ franchise, working in retail or within a call centre. However, I have proven that my wide range of skills are transferable.”

Brand manager Tim Hargraves said Damian’s enthusiasm and range of skills will help the dealership to grow across the region.

“We understand the importance of building and growing partnerships with business customers, so we are very pleased to introduce Damian to this role.

“Damian provides customers with a single point of contact for everything they need - from initial enquiry through to purchasing and maintaining their business fleet vehicles.”

: : Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has announced that Sir Adrian Montague is joining the board as non-executive chairman in September and will succeed Mike Davies OBE who recently announced his retirement.

Sir Adrian is currently the non-executive chairman of 3i Group plc, the senior independent director of Aviva plc and a non-executive director of Skanksa AB of Stockholm and CellMark Investments AB of Gothenburg. He is also the non-executive chairman of Anglian Water Group Ltd, but he anticipates that he will be stepping down from this position in March 2015. He is also chairman of The Point of Care Foundation, a charitable trust.

His past appointments have included chairman of British Energy, Crossrail and Friends Provident and deputy chairman of Network Rail and the Green Investment Bank. Earlier in his career he held senior positions connected with the implementation of Government’s policies to expand the use of private finance in the provision of public infrastructure, first as chief executive of the Treasury Taskforce, then as deputy chairman of Partnerships UK plc.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Christian Seymour, Head of Infrastructure for Europe at IFM Investors, said on behalf of shareholders: “We have conducted a comprehensive search and Sir Adrian was the ideal choice. He is an excellent candidate with more than ten years’ experience of chairing boards of major UK companies.”

Charlie Cornish, group chief executive for MAG, said: ”I am delighted to welcome Sir Adrian to the business. He brings with him immense experience of public-private partnerships, financial services and infrastructure sectors that will help guide the next phase of MAG’s development.”

Sir Adrian said: “I am looking forward to working with the board in shaping the future of the Company. MAG has been at the forefront of the UK airport sector recently with its successful acquisition of London Stansted Airport and the innovative development of Airport City in Manchester.”

MAG, the largest UK-owned airport operator, serves over 45 million passengers and handles 600,000 tonnes of air freight every year, through its ownership and operation of the airports of Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth.

The airport group also runs a commercial property company, MAG Property, which has over £500m of property assets across the four airports.