Movers & Shakers: Larking Gowen duo celebrate exam success

Kelly Corpe, John Woolston, Julie Best and Ben Chaplin of Larking Gowen

Kelly Corpe, John Woolston, Julie Best and Ben Chaplin of Larking Gowen - Credit: Archant

BEN Chaplin and Kelly Corpe of chartered accountants and business advisers Larking Gowen are celebrating after passing their accountancy exams.

Both are based at the firm’s Ipswich office, with Ben completing the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ACA) qualification, and Kelly achieving Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) status. To mark their achievements they were invited to a celebratory lunch by Larking Gowen managing partner Jon Woolston and were joined by the other six successful students from the firm’s offices throughout East Anglia.

Mr Woolston said: “We constantly invest in our staff to ensure they have the correct training and support to service the growing demands of our clients. I look forward to seeing Ben and Kelly develop with us and take on more responsibility.”

The students were also joined by Larking Gowen partner Mark Curtis, chairman David Whitehead, and human resources executive Julie Best.

Ben and Kelly both live in Ipswich, with Kelly enjoying socialising with friends in her spare time, while Ben supports Ipswich Town Football Club.

: : RB Media & PR, based on Ransomes Euro Park in Ipswich, has expanded with the appointment of three new members of staff.

The company has now doubled in size in the last six months. Managing director Tanya Ruffles said: “It’s really exciting to see the business grow as we’d hoped it would, particularly given the tough economic climate that we’re all operating in. The continued growth of the agency means we can offer increased value and creativity to our clients, which is what our business is all about. ”

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Stacey Phillips joins the team as an account executive. She has almost 10 years’ experience in marketing and PR and began her professional career with Ipswich Building Society, during which time she completed professional marketing qualifications with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Stacey then moved on to Suffolk County Council where she managed the publicity and marketing for its fostering and adoption services for five years.

Becki Wainwright joins the team as a graduate account executive, after graduating last July from the University of Reading with a first class degree in English Language. Becki first came to RB Media & PR in January 2013 on a two-week work experience arrangement and made such a good impression she was invited to stay.

Jess Rudland has been appointed as office and marketing assistant to support the day-to-day operations of the company and provide the general office management.

: : IPSWICH Building Society has welcomed Sarah Evans as its new chairman of the board. Sarah becomes the society’s first female chairman and is one of just four women holding the position amongst 46 building societies throughout the UK.

Sarah joined the society’s board of directors and became chairman of the audit and compliance committee in 2008. Her appointment to chairman of the board follows the recent retirement of Mark Sargeantson, who stepped down from the position after seven years.

Sarah is a chartered accountant and was a former partner in the financial services practice of Ernst & Young. Sarah is also chairman of The Wine Society, another mutual organisation.

Speaking of her appointment, Sarah Evans said: “I am delighted to have been appointed chairman of Ipswich Building Society. As a board member for nearly five years, I have seen the society respond to the challenges of the financial crisis in 2007 through to delivering its best-ever results in 2012.

“I am passionate about the mutual model for business and believe that regional, building societies have an important role in the UK financial services industry for both borrowers and savers. Our products and services must be relevant and be delivered efficiently, effectively and with the highest levels of integrity.”

Chief executive Paul Winter said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Sarah as our new chairman. She is a very experienced board member, having expertly led our audit and compliance committee. Her commitment to the mutual sector and expertise in financial services is a real asset for the society and our membership.”

: : FRAMLINGHAM-based cloud telecoms company X-on has taken on four new local employees to cope with business growth and demand, continuing its record of creating jobs in the Suffolk town.

Mark Gittens who previously worked for BT, joins as a business development manager and has vast experience in Voice over IP (VoIP).

Mark, who also plays football for Framlingham Town, said: “It’s great to join a successful Suffolk company with a great product and huge ambition.”

Already in 2013, in addition to Mark, Sean Allgrove has joined as an account manager, Trevor Norris has come on board as purchasing manager and Tom Fairbrother has taken on the role of sales and marketing assistant.

Managing director Paul Bensley, a Marlesford resident, is proud of the company’s tradition of employing from the area and does not believe that this comes at the cost of the calibre of the applicants.

“With the excellent high schools in the area, we are finding that the level of applicants is so high that we can recruit engaging people, with technical skills sets and expertise, all from Framlingham and the surrounding area.”

: : CORPORATE hospitality packages provider Sodexo Prestige, the specialist food division of Sodexo, has appointed Steve Smith as general manager and Alexandra Cox as sales and marketing manager at the venues of the St Edmundsbury Collection in Bury St Edmunds.

Steve Smith has more than 20 years of food and beverage led experience in the catering and hospitality industry.

After several years working in hotel management, his roles have included working with Delia Smith at Norwich City Football Club for 10 years before setting up his own catering and hospitality consultancy in East Anglia. He has previous experience of working with Sodexo on a contract bases when he worked at the London 2012 Olympic Park.

Alexandra Cox has come from Cambridge University where she managed both the sales and marketing function and a portfolio of events at Homerton College. Prior to this she built up valuable experience and knowledge working at a number of other companies including the Wellcome Trust, Newmarket Racecourse, DC Leisure and ITS Entertainments Ltd.

Steve said: “I am very excited about my new role at Sodexo and look forward to embarking on this new challenge.”

Alexandra said: “I am really excited about joining Sodexo and to make Bury St Edmunds my professional home.

“The collection of venues is very diverse and offers something for everyone and for every event. This is an exciting new challenge in my career.”

The St Edmundsbury Collection is a diverse portfolio of council-owned venues in the heart of Bury St Edmunds comprising The Apex, The Athenaeum, and Moyse’s Hall Museum.

: : ESSEX law firm Birkett Long has hired Claire Neal following a year’s apprenticeship with the firm.

The firm launched an apprentice scheme one year ago and took on Claire, then 20, as its first apprentice in the Colchester office. It was so impressed with her that it has offered her a permanent role as a marketing administrator in the marketing team.

Former Philip Morant pupil Claire, who previously worked as a customer adviser in the retail industry, says she is relishing her role in the Crouch Street office.

“I’m very pleased to have been offered a permanent role as I really enjoy working for Birkett Long. I am part of a great team, all of whom have been very supportive throughout my Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration.

“My role has evolved dramatically over the past year as I have gained a much greater understanding of the business and I have been given much more responsibility from updating the website and writing blogs to organising events,” she said.

Director of business development and marketing David Cant said: “We felt that we had a responsibility to try and help young people enter the job market, which is so competitive at the moment. The majority of the roles at Birkett Long require degrees and legal qualifications, but we decided the marketing department was one area which would suit an apprentice.

“Claire has taken to her apprenticeship like a duck to water and has really helped to strengthen our marketing team. We have no doubt that we will take on further apprentices in the future.”