Movers & Shakers: VW technician Craig Daniels among world’s best

Barnards Volkswagen sales executive Craig Daniels

Barnards Volkswagen sales executive Craig Daniels - Credit: Archant

A Stowmarket Volkswagen sales executive has proved himself among the best in the world at a global competition.

Barnards Volkswagen’s Craig Daniels was selected to be part of the four-man UK team at the company’s Retail Qualification World Championships (RQWC) in Germany.

He and his team-mates did Britain proud by battling through three rounds of fierce competition before finally bowing out.

The team spent three days pitting their specialist skills and knowledge against 300 other competitors at the international event at the end of May.

The lucky group got to test the Volkswagen Touareg, the new electric Golf, Segways and scooters, and were also given a tour of the renowned Autostadt museum and factory as well as attending the awards dinner.

Craig said: “Competing in the RQWC was an amazing experience. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to compete and to meet some brilliant people. We had a wonderful time in Wolfsburg, off-roading and driving the e-Golf was a definite highlight.”

Brand manager Gary Halestrap said: “We are extremely proud of Craig. Not only did he represent the UK but he also represented Barnards.

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“The RQWC are an excellent and practical demonstration of Volkswagen’s One Business ethos, showing how the different sections of the retailer businesses work together to give our customers an easy enjoyable experience.

“Craig continually goes above and beyond to give our customers the best service possible and this has definitely been highlighted throughout this competition.”

The competition brought together people from 80 different countries to show how each section of a Volkswagen retail business should work together to achieve success. It pooled the knowledge and skills of service advisors, master technicians, sales executives and parts advisors.

Other UK team members were Chris McLachlan from Heritage of Bristol, Clare Culkin from Lancaster Volkswagen and David Appleton of Volkswagen South Hereford.

: : ESSEX-based independent business travel company Gray Dawes has appointed Gavin Sanderson as head of account management. He will take overall responsibility for the account management team at the company, with a keen focus on customer retention and the development of incremental business.

Gavin, who will be based at the company’s head office in Colchester has worked for Gray Dawes for 19 years as both a travel consultant and an account manager.

Mr Sanderson said: “I am committed to delivering added value to our customers with our proactive approach to account management and range of innovative travel technology that includes a mobile itinerary app, online traveller tracking and expense management solutions.”

Chief executive Suzanne Cockburn said: “I am delighted with Gavin’s appointment. His extensive knowledge of the company and client base will ensure that our accounts continue to be well managed and developed to their full potential over time.”

: : NICHOLAS Leeming, joint founder of national property portal Propertyfinder, has been appointed chairman of national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff.

He took over as chairman elect from July and becomes chairman in October this year from current chairman Andrew Froude, who joined the company as a newly qualified chartered surveyor in 1963 and has held the office of chairman since 1992 when he was instrumental in restructuring the business to its current format.

Since he took over the chairmanship, the business has expanded from a 14-strong office practice to 42 offices in London and throughout the UK.

Nicholas will bring an outstanding track record in the property industry to Jackson-Stops & Staff.

A chartered surveyor and former partner of Humberts estate agents (now Chesterton Humberts), Nicholas oversaw the development of Propertyfinder into one of the country’s best known property portals before it was merged into the Asserta Group where he became a main board director.

The combined businesses were sold to News International and the REA Group before subsequently being acquired by Zoopla in 2009 where Nicholas was the business development director until 2012.

Nicolas’ award-winning roles have involved handling the business relationship with many of the key estate agency firms across the UK, providing a unique insight into the property industry in this country.

“I am delighted to be taking on the chairmanship of such a well-respected firm and believe that, by combining Jackson-Stops & Staff’s unique position in the property market with experience from the online and wider business sectors, this provides a great opportunity to further develop the range and quality of services that we provide our clients with,” he said.

: : STEPHEN Williams, partner and head of Ashton KCJ’s family team, has gained the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced Accreditation.

Members of the accreditation scheme have demonstrated to the Law Society that they have a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in two or more specialist areas of family law.

Stephen joins Ian Winterbone, partner and family law solicitor at the firm’s Bury St Edmunds office, who also holds this specialist qualification.

: : DAVID Burr Estate Agents has appointed Jack Thornley MNAEA Bsc Hons as an associate partner.

The Newmarket firm has had Investors in People status since 2002, and this appointment is further proof of the group’s intention to promote from within, the firm says.

: : THERE were double celebrations at Woodbridge-based housebuilder Hopkins Homes after two of the company’s site managers scooped National House-Building Council (NHBC) Pride in the Job quality awards for 2013.

Ian Jones is the site manager at Hopkins Homes’ St Andrew’s Place development in Kilverstone in Norfolk, while Jamie Howe is the site manager at Eastgate Rise at Bury St Edmunds.

Only around 400 winners are selected from over 18,000 site managers across the UK.

Ian Jones and Jamie Howe will now go forward to the next stage of the competition, the Seal of Excellence Awards which take place in the autumn.

The NHBC Pride in the Job Awards was established in 1980 to improve quality and raise the standard of service to homebuyers.

The rigorous judging takes place throughout the year and all areas of the site managers work are inspected from the first dig through to the final touches.

: : ANGLIA Ruskin University has appointed John Thompson as its new Professor of Social Entrepreneurship.

Professor Thompson, who also holds the position of Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield, is an active researcher and writer, focusing on applied strategy and entrepreneurship.

He is recognised as one of the UK’s leading authors on strategic management.

The seventh edition of his textbook Strategic Management will be published later this year, while Entrepreneurs: Talent, Temperament and Opportunity, co-authored with Bill Bolton, is now in its third edition.

Professor Thompson has extensive experience of working with senior and middle managers through his involvement in knowledge transfer partnerships, in-company programmes and consultancy. In 2009, he received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.