Movers & Shakers: Servest makes two promotions to its senior catering team

Rob Legge, chief executive,UK & Europe, at Servest (left) with Henry Watts, who has become chief exe

Rob Legge, chief executive,UK & Europe, at Servest (left) with Henry Watts, who has become chief executive of its catering division. - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds-based facilities management firm Servest Group has announced two promotions within the senior management team of its catering division.

Managing director Henry Watts has been promoted to chief executive of the catering division, with director John Hamill taking Henry’s place as managing director. Both promotions were effective from March 1.

Group chief executive Rob Legge said: “I have no doubt that Henry and John, alongside their passionately committed teams, will continue the excellent standards of food and service to our customers. I would like to congratulate both Henry and John on these appointments and wish them good luck in their new roles with the group.”

Henry joined 7 Day Catering, which became part of the Servest Group in January 2013, in May 1997. He has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the catering business and is a well-respected member of Servest’s executive committee. His move to the chief executive role will continue to help shape and drive Servest’s catering offering in the months and years ahead.

John joined 7 Day Catering in 2007. His appointment as managing director is testament to his drive and commitment to Servest and the catering division, the company said. His experience in high street food and beverage retailing alongside his fine dining background will expand Servest’s catering horizons, helping the company to become one of the leading caterers in the UK.

: : Celia Whicher has been appointed sales consultant for the new retirement apartments project at Moat Park retirement village in Great Easton, near Great Dunmow.

Celia has spent 12 years working within the luxury private housing industry. When she is not at work, she is Area 7 chair of the British Horse Society Riding Clubs, having proudly trained the Paralympic team that won team and individual gold medals at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996.

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“I have a passion for both property and equestrianism which have taken me across the eastern counties and now bring me to this beautiful part of Essex,” said Celia.

: : Observatory the Opticians has welcomed experienced optometrist Rani Pert to its Ipswich practice in Queen Street.

Rani is an experienced optometrist , having provided eye care in the Ipswich area for many years. She is also a long term member of Suffolk Local Optical Committee and optical adviser to the local Clinical Commissioning Groups.

She said: “I am delighted to be joining such a great team at such a well-established opticians. I am passionate about eye care and customer service. I hope my enthusiasm and my experience will add to and allow me to be part of this excellent group.”

Practice manager Emma Mobbs said: “Rani is extremely well known and liked in the Ipswich area so she will be a valuable addition to the practice. She has decades of experience and we are thrilled she has decided to join us.”

Observatory the Opticians is an independent company which has four other branches including at Beccles, another in Southwold, Leigh-on-Sea in Essex and Muswell Hill, north London.

: : A new director has been appointed to head export body UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in the East of England.

Alan Pain joins from his latest role as corporate director at Fenland council, where in addition to his corporate responsibilities he had a focus on economic development.

Alan comes with a blend of private and public sector experience and is now charged with maintaining and increasing the enormous potential export growth for the region.

“The East of England is an exporting powerhouse and we want to aim higher still to export more than ever this year,” he said. “The challenge for me lies with increasing the number of companies across the region exporting to meet the national target of getting 100,000 more companies exporting by 2020.

“Having worked to support businesses across the East of England for the last 11 years I am more than well aware of the huge number of innovative and successful firms that are based here, and will be focusing my efforts on converting successful companies into successful exporters.

“It’s a big challenge, but I strongly believe that exporting is how we are going to continue to promote the growth of the local economy.”

Alan’s career experience spans both the private and public sectors, with a focus on enterprise, business growth and partnership development. In the commercial sector, Alan worked extensively in the automotive industry on a range of international products and programmes and also managed and led a successful private business based in the region.

In 2004, he joined the regional development agency network where he headed the business and enterprise agenda throughout the East of England. This included responsibility for business services such as business link, financial support, and inward investment.

From 2009, as a local government director and chief officer, Alan oversaw business relationships, investment, economic development and planning delivery. He also served as a non-executive director with the chamber of commerce in Cambridgeshire.

Alan has lived in the East of England for over 16 years. He holds a degree in engineering and commerce and a Diploma in Industrial Studies from the University of Birmingham and is a Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology. In his spare time he enjoys running, cycling and motorcycle sport, and serves as a non-executive director of Living Sport.

“I have worked closely with the region’s businesses for a number of years and recognise the challenges and issues faced by firms in the global economy,” he said. “A key focus for me now will be exploring how we can encourage firms to export for the first time, to use digital technology, and to embrace emerging markets.

“While the EU is still the East of England’s biggest market, growth will also come from places like Brazil, Russia, India and China. And that’s what I am here to help with: ensuring firms in the region have the support necessary to embrace this.

“Our region has many strong successful sectors – from engineering to agriculture to research and development – and I intend to ensure every business in the region is in line for a share of global contracts.”

: : Pamela Blore has joined the corporate team at law firm Birketts as a professional support lawyer in Norwich.

“Having specialised in corporate law for my entire career I am thrilled to be joining a firm with such a strong reputation and supporting the work we do nationally and overseas. Birketts’ corporate team is consistently rated in the top bandings in the leading legal directories and I am delighted to be joining a team with a first-class reputation,” she said.

Adrian Seagers, partner and head of Birketts’ corporate team, said: “Pamela’s appointment is a crucial strategic move for the firm. She brings with her over 20 years’ corporate experience at leading international law firms and a specialism in the design and delivery of company commercial training.”

“Pamela will play a critical role within the corporate team at Birketts in terms of current awareness, knowledge management and training. Her support will assist the team in continuing to deliver high quality commercial advice to our clients.”

Pamela will support colleagues across Birketts’ four offices in Ipswich, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Norwich.

: : Ipswich based PR agency Prominent PR has welcomed a new member to the team.

Holly Court has joined the company as PR executive, where she will work alongside owner Helen Rudd and editorial director Ellen Widdup.

Holly has been brought on board as the company is celebrating reaching the milestone of its first year in business, and also a recent move into new office premises at Epsilon House on Ransomes Europark.

Holly will support Helen and Ellen with day-to-day client management work and will take a particular lead on social media and online PR. Holly is a graduate from the University of Birmingham and is a fashion & beauty blogger in her spare time.

Holly said: “I am really happy to be joining the team at a very exciting time in their growth as a start-up business. Helen and Ellen have some fantastic plans for the business and I’m very excited to be part of them.

“They have some interesting clients on the books across a whole range of sectors and I’m really looking forwards to developing my skill set and learning from them both.”

Director Helen said: “We are thrilled to welcome Holly to the team. We have no doubt that she will make an excellent contribution to the agency – both in helping to deliver great results for clients and also contributing to the growth of the business.”