Movers & Shakers: Three senior appointments at Ipswich digital agency Crafted

Phil McEwan, Adrian Willings and Zhanna Askarova of Crafted.

Phil McEwan, Adrian Willings and Zhanna Askarova of Crafted. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich-based digital agency Crafted has appointed three new senior staff members.

Phil McEwan has joined as head of marketing. He recently moving up from Essex and bringing with him a wealth of experience working both agency and client side across a range of industries.

He will work closely with Crafted’s commercial director and will be focussing on developing the agencies marketing strategies as well as supporting relationships with brands across the UK and beyond.

“I’m thrilled to have joined Crafted at such an exciting time for the agency,” he said.

“Moving to Suffolk was an easy decision to make, East Anglia is a veritable hive of digital activity and Crafted has an impressive portfolio and well established digital capability. I cannot wait to help develop the next phase of the agency’s marketing plan and keep driving the brand forward and upward.”

Adrian Willings has joined the firm as senior search strategist, to help further strengthen its online marketing arm.

“It’s great to now be a part of the organic search team,” he said.

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“There’s a lot of dedicated and skilled people here at Crafted, working together daily to come up with new ideas and ways to improve results for our client base. It’ll be great to see how the team (and Crafted) grows in future and I’m excited for what lies ahead.”

Zhanna Askarova joins the search team as senior advertising strategist. She had an extensive background in PPC search marketing having worked with clients such as Google and Cisco.

“I am delighted to be welcomed into the team as a Senior Advertising Strategist,” she said. “Crafted has a very strong reputation within the industry, a great working culture and professional development opportunities. It’s a pleasure to be a part of this award winning team.”

Chief executive Ian Miller said: “It’s been a great start to the year for Crafted. We’ve worked through a period of re-structuring to ensure that we have the individuals we need in key positions to meet our clients evolving needs and our new team-members, coupled with some significant new client wins puts us in a great position to push on through the rest of the year and continue to prove ourselves as one of the best agencies in the region.”

:: Ipswich-based software company Two10degrees has taken on two new members of staff – Jeremy Barnes and Charlotte Prodger.

Jeremy joins as business development manager. He has a broad background in the technology industry from high growth start-ups to global software companies. Over the past 10 years he has focused on leading edge technology markets including cloud, SaaS, IoT and M2M.

Jeremy previously worked at two10degrees as client services director from 2010-2013 and is looking forward to his new role.

“I’m very excited to join up with the team at two10degrees again at such an interesting time in the market,” he said.

“The Internet of Things and M2M markets are experiencing incredible growth. Our solutions, industry knowledge and network of global partners, positions two10degrees perfectly to help businesses connect their devices, wherever they are on the planet, securely and reliably.”

Charlotte joins as marketing and communications manager. Since graduating from the University of Kent in 2013 with a first class honours degree in business administration, she has worked in a number of marketing and communications roles.

She worked for one of the country’s largest dance organisations, where she was responsible for the implementation of an award-winning rebrand and the development of a fully-integrated website and ticketing system.

Like Jeremy, Charlotte is no stranger to two10degrees, having worked for the business in several temporary marketing and administrative roles in the past. She is charged with implementing, monitoring and developing a wide range of marketing and communication strategies and initiatives to support organisational growth.

“I am thrilled to be joining the two10degrees team,” she said.

“The technology industry is the most exciting industry on the planet with ever-increasing new products, services and markets to work with. I am more than ready for the challenges that may come my way and look forward to getting stuck in.”

Operations director Ken Lawrence said: “I’m very pleased to welcome both Charlotte and Jeremy on board. It’s an exciting time for two10degrees and I’m sure that their experience and enthusiasm will help us grow our marketing and sales efforts to take advantage of current and future business opportunities.”

:: A Herts and Essex firm of solicitors has announced a raft of promotions and appointments.

Attwater Jameson Hill’s residential property specialist Sheri-Anne Mizon and company and commercial expert Mark Stigwood have accepted invitations to become equity partners.

Five members of staff - personal injury expert Elaine Prewer, wills, trusts and probate solicitors Tony Brownlie and Alison Hon, licensed conveyancer Debbie Barnett, and town and country planning specialist Salvatore Amico - have been promoted to join Leanne Philp and Hannah Collins as associates at the firm.

“These appointments reflect the professionalism and commitment of those involved as we position ourselves for the challenge of meeting all our clients’ needs into the 2020s,” said managing partner Andrew Flannagan.

“This includes a strategy for developing the expert solicitors of the future, so we were delighted to offer training contracts to Gemma Connolly and Monika Ostros, initially based in wills, trusts and probate, and dispute resolution respectively.”

:: Suffolk Housing has appointed a new chief executive. Sue Philp spent 10 years as the Bury St Edmunds-based housing association’s operations director. She replaces Ian Winslet, who is moving to housing consultancy Ark after five years in the top role.

Sue brings with her more than 30 years of experience in the housing sector, which began when she took up a three-month temporary placement with Family Housing in Manchester after leaving university.

Prior to moving to Suffolk, she managed the residential portfolio for Church Commissioners, a private sector company based in London.

“I am really looking forward to taking up the role of chief executive and building on the success that Suffolk Housing has enjoyed under Ian’s leadership,” she said.

“We have some exciting times ahead, which include moving to our new office later this year and introducing new and innovative ways of working. There will also be opportunities to showcase our achievements nationally by attending conferences and shouting about our successes to colleagues from across the industry.

“However, we will also face some challenges as budgets become more squeezed and our income from rent is reduced. Despite this, we are determined not to compromise on quality and will retain our focus on providing the best possible services for our residents.”

Ian joined Suffolk Housing in January 2011, and has led the organisation as its housing stock has grown by a third, to almost 3,000 flats, houses and sheltered homes.

“My time at Suffolk Housing has been fantastic and I have relished the chance to grow the organisation and make it more sustainable while also maintaining our ethos and values,” he said.

“The staff at Suffolk Housing all believe in the good work they are doing and that makes them a really strong and consistent team. I will miss them all and wish them continued success in the future.”

Society chairman Richard Carter said: “I am delighted that Sue had accepted the challenge of leading Suffolk Housing in the next phase of its growth and development. She will bring a focus and determination to put residents first while ensuring that we are able to continue building homes for local people.”

:: Colchester-based automotive brand promotion firm Ultimotive has recruited two new members of staff.

Alex Youngs has been appointed as its new general sales manager. Alex has expertise in a range of different areas, including sales, paint protection and the automotive chemical industry and takes on the role after previously working at AutoProtect’s Paint Protection Division as head of sales.

After joining AutoProtect in 2011, he helped grow the business from infancy to becoming an established paint protection company providing products for the automotive industry. As part of his position, he managed a sales team and was responsible for the growth of the Williams Paint Protection brand in the UK.

He started his career in insurance as an accredited practitioner, facilitating insurance programmes for a range of high turnover commercial clients as a commercial insurance broker at Windsor Insurance Brokers.

He then moved to Stuart Alexander Insurance Brokers (now Bluefin) as head of sales in its charity insurance division, before becoming a self-employed consultant at the largest insurance broker in the world, Marsh. At Marsh he helped launch the company’s charity division while having input in their sales for the SME commercial sector.

Ella Barber joins as sales and marketing executive, after working within the sales teams for Pravins and Aceville Publications.

She joined Pravins as a senior sales adviser where she headed up the development of a new training programme and manual for new members of sales staff.

As a result of the success of the training programme, Ella was promoted to brand ambassador and was named the Top Sales Person three years in a row after accumulating the highest sales revenue for an individual staff member across five stores.

After relocating to Colchester, she joined Aceville Publications as senior account manager for Period Ideas, Veggie Magazine, 100 Beautiful Kitchens and Your Vintage Home.

Managing director Andy Smith said: “We are delighted to be expanding Ultimotive with two new members of staff. Alex and Ella bring a wealth of experience to the company and they have already become valuable members of the team. We hope to build further on our recent growth through their skills and expertise and we look forward to working with them both.”

:: Financial and business advisory firm Grant Thornton has promoted two members of staff at its Ipswich office.

Rob Thomson, who joined the firm in 2012 as a senior tax manager, now takes on the role of tax director. Rob has more than 25 years’ experience in the field, providing specialist tax advice to a wide portfolio of clients across Suffolk and the wider East Anglian region.

Holly Holt has also been promoted to senior manager in the Ipswich office’s audit team having joined Grant Thornton as an audit executive in 2012. During her four years with the firm, Holly has developed a lead role in auditing, working with a range of medium sized, owner managed businesses in the region.

Rob said: “I was initially attracted to Grant Thornton by the personal approach the firm takes to working with clients. During my four years as part of the highly experienced team I’ve had the opportunity to really get to know the local companies I work with and become part of their growth journeys.

“I am delighted to take on the role of director and look forward to supporting more local businesses, as well as Grant Thornton’s own growth ambitions.”

Holly said she was “excited” to take on this new role at a time when the firm is further sharpening its focus on growth and creating a more progressive local economy.

Regional managing partner James Brown said: “This is an exciting time for Grant Thornton as we continue to expand on our long standing presence across Suffolk, building on the firm’s outstanding reputation as a trusted adviser to many vibrant local businesses.

“Both Rob and Holly have demonstrated a strong commitment to business growth and their promotions are part of our continued investment in the best people to help take the business forward.”

:: Jennifer Willcox has joined the corporate events team at Center Parcs Conferences & Events as business development manager at Elveden Forest, near Thetford.

Prior to joining Center Parcs, Jennifer worked for Greene King as a buyer and was also responsible for organising staff events throughout the year. In her new role, she will be the key point of contact for corporate guests and will be responsible for actively increasing local contacts and maintaining relationships with current clients, as well as promoting the versatile events space.

Center Parcs has also taken on Ellie Jones who joins as national account manager, and Sophie McDonald who has been appointed as events coordinator at Woburn Forest.

Head of sales Ryan Gray: “We are delighted to welcome Ellie, Jennifer and Sophie to the team. The corporate events teams across the Villages do a fantastic job and with demand at an unprecedented level we are pleased to be able to add three fantastic new recruits.

“We have lots to look forward to this year when it comes to the corporate side of the business, not least as we have just launched our brand new Den Building team-building package, which encourages delegates to forget about work and commitments and be social in an unstructured, creative way, while taking full advantage of the associated health benefits of play in adulthood.”