Movers & Shakers: Josh Hopkins returns to family roots at Hopkins Homes

Josh Hopkins who has joined Hopkins Homes.

Josh Hopkins who has joined Hopkins Homes. - Credit: Archant

Josh Hopkins has joined the family contruction firm he grew up with.

Josh has spent some years working in finance and completing his master’s degree in real estate before returning to his roots to begin work at Hopkins Homes’ head office in Melton, near Woodbridge.

The company was launched 20 years ago from the family home in Southwold, but is now the largest independent housebuilder in the East of England with a 120-strong head office.

After a degree in business management from Brighton University Josh started his career in asset management which included time spent living in Canada, Singapore and London. However, having grown up in Southwold, he always saw Suffolk as home and is very happy to have returned to the familiar countryside.

“It’s great to be back in Suffolk. I’m grateful for the experience I gained in finance but having grown up with Hopkins Homes and spending summer holidays from school and university doing work experience with the various teams I always knew that this is where I wanted to be,” he said.

“The single most important thing in my professional life is to feel proud of where I work and that is my overwhelming emotion upon joining Hopkins Homes.

“I attended a show home launch recently and it was so good to hear the reactions of the public to both the show home and the beauty of the finished houses. It’s this that really sets us apart from larger housebuilders, our local roots mean that we make every effort to create new communities that blend seamlessly into existing towns and villages – after all we live here too.”

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Josh has been gaining experience across all departments of the business before taking up a role in land acquisitions starting this month, where his passion for analysis and finding solutions to complex challenges will be put to good use.

::Suffolk and Cambridgeshire-based DAF family-owned dealership Chassis Cab has appointed a new area parts sales manager.

Paul Twilley, 47, of Bishop’s Stortford, will develop the after-sales service at the firm, which has sites in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Cambridgeshire, in order to supply DAF, TRP and other parts and products to truck owners in the East of England region.

Paul has worked in the truck retail sector for the past 16 years previously with another DAF truck dealership covering the North London area. His role will see him building relationships with all types of truck parts buyers ranging from global road transport companies to family businesses and owner operators. The parts sourced cover every model from the ultimate distribution LF Euro 6 truck to the largest DAF XF Euro 6 long haul truck – recently voted MotorTransort Fleet Truck of the Year 2016.

“I am delighted to move to a truck dealership such as Chassis Cab that offers top quality service and the family business values that all fleet engineers and owner operators welcome and rely on,” said Paul.

Dealer principal Robert Baxter said: “Paul has a key role to play in matching up customers with the parts and service that will keep them ahead in their field. He will be helping us to develop a customer-facing parts team that offers unrivalled experience and expertise.”

The company, based at Newmarket Road in Cambridge, Addison Way in Great Blakenham, Northern Way in Bury St Edmunds, and at Isleham in Cambridgeshire, now employs more than 110 members of staff between its separate locations.

::Law firm Prettys has appointed Abigail Hubert, Anna Mulholland and Sian Llewelyn to trainee positions at its Ipswich office. Each will have the opportunity to work in different business areas to build their skills and experience before choosing which field in which to specialise.

Abigail completed her law degree at Queen Mary’s University, London before continuing with the Legal Practice Course combined with a masters at University of Law, Moorgate. Abigail’s first seat is within the shipping team.

Anna, who is currently within the corporate and commercial department, studied for her undergraduate law degree at the University of Birmingham before attending the University of Law for the Legal Practice Course as well as a masters in law, business and management.

Sian is a familiar face at Prettys having worked with the Insurance team and on business development projects last year after following completion of her law degree at the University of Exeter. She went on to complete her Legal Practice Course at the University of Law, London and has returned to the Insurance team for her first seat.

Chief executive officer Ian Carr said: “I am delighted to welcome Abigail, Anna and Sian onto the trainee solicitor programme at Prettys. They are all very strong candidates and will benefit from a full understanding of the different services we offer to our business and private clients before deciding upon their area of specialism.”

::Easton and Otley College has appointed a new head of employer engagement.

Louise Wicks previously worked for Buckinghamshire New University where she helped create a ‘Student Temp Agency’ aimed at improving learner employability and business relations in the region.

Prior to that she spent eight years within employer engagement at the same university and has also gained experience at Amersham & Wycombe College developing employer apprenticeships – specifically introducing and managing the introduction of a plumbing and electrical installation programme.

She said she was “delighted” to join the college, which has its Suffolk base at Otley, near Ipswich.

“In my new role I have responsibility for the growth of all employer based skills contracts, projects and the Apprenticeship offer. I’ll be looking to establish and develop excellent working relationships with a range of businesses in East Anglia and beyond for the benefit of our students and local companies,” she said.

“This new role excites me because I am passionate about working, developing and strengthening commercial links between the public and private sector. I strongly believe education has the power to impact and change lives for the better and open up new and exciting challenges for everyone. We already work with hundreds of businesses across this region but there is always scope to spread our net even further. That’s why I’m here.”

::Bury St Edmunds-based marketing communications agency Montage Communications has appointed Benjamin Francis as junior account executive.

Benjamin, 18, a former King Edward VI Upper School student, lives Bury St Edmunds.

“It’s super exciting for me to join Montage,” he said. “The world is becoming an ‘Internet of Things’ and this is something I love. Within this industry I can be at the forefront to learn and implement these developments with our work with leading international and regional brands.”

Co-founder and director Aime Southgate said he was confident Benjamin would be a valuable asset to the team.

“Investing and nurturing local talent is important to us. Benjamin’s analytical mind and social media knowledge really impressed us. He has come on board at a busy and exciting time,” he said.

::Ipswich-based law firm Ashtons Legal has appointed two new solicitors to its Ipswich office.

Kim King has joined the commercial property team after undertaking her training contract and qualifying at an East Anglian firm. Bee Belby joins the dispute resolution team following roles with firms in Lincolnshire and London.

Kim deals with a broad range of commercial property matters but will also be working alongside Sarah Duncan who joined the firm in 2015 to head up the construction department.

Bee has experience of property acquisition and redevelopment having worked in these areas before entering the legal profession. Her movements have given her a wide experience in general dispute resolution work, from phone hacking and privacy claims, to a sound grasp and special interest in agricultural law.

Partner and head of business law Paul Whittingham said: “Ashtons is going through a period of significant growth and expansion at the moment and Kim and Bee’s appointments are part of the exciting steps we are taking in expanding and developing our regional presence.”