Movers & Shakers: Penny Arbuthnott of Ipswich-based Genesis PR elected to PR and Communications Council

Penny Arbuthnot, managing director at Genesis PR.

Penny Arbuthnot, managing director at Genesis PR. - Credit: Archant

The director of an Ipswich-based PR firm has been elected to the sector’s national think tank, the PR and Communications Council.

Penny Arbuthnot, managing director at Genesis PR, has joined the council, which is the formal mechanism used by the Public Relations Communications Association (PRCA) to consult with the industry’s most senior practitioners on the issues concerning PR and communications. One of its roles is to provide advice and guidance for the industry professionals which make up the PRCA’s membership.

Penny said: “Being an elected member of the PR and Communications Council will be an opportunity to share knowledge and insights with other leaders of the profession and influence the growth and development of our sector which now employs over 83,000 people and contributes £12.9bn to the UK economy.”

Penny has more than 20 years of PR experience having first worked in London and Essex before establishing her own agency. She has grown Genesis with co-director Charles Arbuthnot to a business employing 14 staff.

•Ipswich-based social enterprise Realise Futures, which provides employment support to disabled and disadvantaged people, has made a number of new managerial appointments.


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Trevor Fayers joins the board as finance director. He brings with him a wealth of experience and success at board level in both the public and private sectors.

Corinne Barker is the new manager of Realise Futures Catering, heading up a team of 30 people at four social cafes in Ipswich at St Lawrence’s in Dial Lane, in Bury St Edmunds at Nowton Park and Bury Library, and in Felixstowe Library at Café Libra.

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Corinne was previously catering manager at Suffolk One and has worked in the catering industry for mroe than 20 years.

Lyndsey Hessey takes up its newly-created horticulture manager post, heading up two social businesses - Growing Places, in Claydon, Ipswich, and Nowton Park Nursery, at Nowton Park, in Bury St Edmunds.

Both horticulture-focused businesses offer people with disabilities and/or disadvantages employment and therapeutic placements, growing and packing fresh produce for a successful home-delivery vegetable boxes scheme around Ipswich, working in a commercial nursery, and being part of a gardening team undertaking commercial contracts at schools, colleges and homes.

Lyndsey was previously contract manager at Realise Futures Learning and Development division where she worked for eight years and, prior to that, was in the banking industry.

Her new deputy managers are Phil Ewing, who has worked at Nowton Park Nursery for two-and-a-half years as horticulturalist, and newly-appointed Oliver Barnes at Growing Places. Oliver has six years’ experience of supporting adults with learning disabilities in the Eastern region, focused in the field of work-based training.

Corinne, Lyndsey, Phil and Oliver are part of Realise Futures Enterprises Division management team, which is lead by operations manager Stacey Lewis who joined the company six months ago, from a charity supporting people with learning difficulties, autism and mental health needs.

Managing director Sally Butcher said: “As part of our ongoing development as a company, we are delighted to welcome Trevor to the board, and our new Enterprise Division managers to our existing team and wish them all the best in their new roles.”

•TechEast, an organisation formed in 2016 to accelerate the expansion of the East of England’s technology cluster, has named Tim Robinson as its first chief operating officer.

Tim will lead the delivery of TechEast’s six point manifesto, reporting to the TechEast board, chaired by Neil Miles, former managing director of Smart421 (now KCOM) and founder of Inasight.

“Tim’s exceptional skills and expertise will be pivotal in helping TechEast to expand its work,” said Neil.

“I am confident as chief operating officer he will be able to build the reputation of TechEast as the leading voice of the digital tech community in the East of England – tapping into new networks and processes that will propel us forward.”

Tim said he was excited to be working alongside the board.

“I am impressed by the organisation’s trajectory to date and the work that began last year, to drive the East forwards as a regional powerhouse of tech excellence,” he said.

Tim spent 14 years with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in London where he created a product technology division in 2007 and ran the information, data and technology business from 2010-14. He founded his own marketing strategy consultancy in Suffolk in 2014, specialising in the technology sector. He was also digital lead on the board of the UK Publishing Training Centre where he served as a trustee for nine years.

•Chloe Young has been appointed as a PR and social media executive at Montage Communications in Bury St Edmunds following the successful completion of her PRCA Level 4 Higher Diploma in Public Relations.

Chloe, 19, joined the firm in October 2015.

“The content of my apprenticeship course, which is the equivalent to completing the first year at university, was relevant to all the activities I undertake daily in my role at Montage, which enabled me to put into practice all that I was learning,” she said.

Director Aime Southgate said: “We’re delighted that Chloe has successfully completed her apprenticeship and has been promoted in recognition of this achievement. The training the PRCA apprenticeship provides which includes monthly visits from a dedicated assessor, offers the perfect platform for those who haven’t taken the graduate route to achieve industry recognised qualifications, which are then instantly transferable into the workplace.”

•Ipswich-based law firm Birketts has welcomed Juliet Harvey, a chartered legal executive and collaborative lawyer, to its family law team as a senior associate.

Juliet, who will be based at its Ipswich and Cambridge offices, has extensive experience both regionally and nationally dealing with family issues including divorce, children and financial issues having worked with an established and well regarded local firm for the past 29 years.

She is a director and national committee member of Resolution, which represents 6,500 family justice professionals and sits on the committee of local Resolution groups in Cambridge and Ipswich.

Oliver Gravell, head of the family law team, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Juliet to the team. She is a fantastic addition to our team. I am delighted also to confirm that Sarina Bailey has qualified into the Family Law Team, after spending much of the training contract within the department. Sarina specialises in all aspects of family law including divorce, financial proceedings and matters relating to children.”

Oliver continued: “Birketts is recognised as a leading firm for the provision of private client, family and agricultural law advice throughout the UK and internationally, having recently been named as the UK Regional Private Client Firm of the Year at The Legal 500 Awards for a second consecutive year. We are delighted to have been able to recruit a lawyer of Juliet’s status into the team.”

Juliet said: “I’m thrilled to be joining an outstanding team with real strength in depth.”

•Bob Whittle has succeeded Roger Thompson as president of the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (AVLP), a UK-wide body.

Both are high-profile figures who have played a large part in ensuring it remains the leading body for those requiring specialist property advice on hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs or other leisure related premises.

Roger Thompson, founder of AW Gore, was elected to the AVLP in 1971, serving as president since 2005. He will continue as a member of the association.

Bob Whittle, who lives in Felixstowe, has been in the industry for 46 years and is a director of leisure property specialists Fleurets. Bob joined the AVLP in 1985 and was the association honorary secretary from 2003 until 2012.

Fellow Fleurets director Graeme Bunn said: “I’m sure Bob’s appointment as president of the AVLP will be a great success, given his energy, enthusiasm and vast experience in the sector.”

The AVLP Honorary Secretary, Daniel Mackernan said: “Both Roger and Bob have given so much to the association. It’s difficult to imagine what it would have looked like today without their energy, passion and desire to instil the highest standards to our profession.”

The director of an Ipswich-based PR firm has been elected to the sector’s national think tank, the PR and Communications Council.

Penny Arbuthnot, managing director at Genesis PR, has joined the council, which is the formal mechanism used by the Public Relations Communications Association (PRCA) to consult with the industry’s most senior practitioners on the issues concerning PR and communications. One of its roles is to provide advice and guidance for the industry professionals which make up the PRCA’s membership.

Penny said: “Being an elected member of the PR and Communications Council will be an opportunity to share knowledge and insights with other leaders of the profession and influence the growth and development of our sector which now employs over 83,000 people and contributes £12.9bn to the UK economy.”

Penny has more than 20 years of PR experience having first worked in London and Essex before establishing her own agency. She has grown Genesis with co-director Charles Arbuthnot to a business employing 14 staff.

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