Movers & Shakers: West Suffolk College principal Nikos Savvas joins New Anglia LEP board

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, and Nikos Savvas, principal of West Suffolk College, w

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, and Nikos Savvas, principal of West Suffolk College, who has joined the LEP board. - Credit: Archant

Demonstrating the importance and influence of further and higher education in driving the local economy, Dr Nikos Savvas has been appointed to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) board.

Dr Savvas has been principal at West Suffolk College since September 2013. He has a Doctorate in High Energy Particle Physics from Manchester University and is also a board member for University Campus Suffolk and ACER – the Association of Colleges in the Eastern Region. He is also chair of the New Anglia Colleges group.

“The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Suffolk and Norfolk is one of the most active, successful and forward-looking in the country,” said Dr Savvas.

“Their commitment to education is outstanding and I am honoured to have been appointed to the board. Colleges are the driving engines of New Anglia and make an invaluable contribution to society, both economically and socially.

“The LEP is dedicated to raising standards and establishing the New Anglia economy as a centre for global talent. I applaud the ambition and vision of the board and I very much look forward to contributing to it”.

Dr Savvas will be the voice of further education colleges across Norfolk and Suffolk alongside Prof David Richardson, vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia, who represents Higher Education on the LEP board. Prof Richardson replaced previous vice-chancellor and board member Prof Edward Acton.

Chairman Mark Pendlington said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Nikos to the board.

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“This recognises that our further and higher education colleges are fundamental to the success of our economy, to improving skills and to inspiring young adults to work in the world-leading sectors and companies based here.

“Through Nikos, their voice will be heard loud and clear as we influence and shape the future of the New Anglia economy.”

The appointment comes as Erika Clegg stands down from the LEP board to focus on her communications design agency, Spring, based in Southwold.

Mr Pendlington added: “We are very grateful for all the work Erika has done for the LEP since its inception. Her company Spring is going from strength to strength and we know she now needs to spend more time focusing on growing her business.”

New Anglia is already recruiting for an additional private sector board member and, to ensure a cost-effective recruitment process, it will now be seeking two new private sector members to take into account the departure of Erika.

: : Jane Cattermole, managing director of Bay Tree VA near Bury St Edmunds, has been named as East of England Virtual Assistant (VA) of the Year 2014.

The award is judged on criteria including structure of the company, services and continued professional development. Jane collected her award from the industry organisers, BeMyVA, at an event in Peterborough.

“I’m delighted by this regional recognition. Although much of our work is done remotely from home offices, Bay Tree VA places great store on building close working relationships with its clients.

“This award will help to raise the profile of the flexible assistance we provide, that helps businesses gain extra time and a safe pair of hands to delegate to,” she said.

: : The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), has appointed Tim Page as its new chief executive.

Mr Page brings a wealth of experience from the charitable sector, having previously served as chief executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and national director of homeless charity Emmaus UK.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining CAMRA as chief executive,” he said.

“The campaign has an outstanding reputation which appears to me to be the result of its large membership, its huge number of hard-working and committed volunteers and its highly-competent and professional team of employees.

“My aim is to continue to develop CAMRA as both the universally-recognised representative and the most-authoritative voice of real ale drinkers and pub-goers in the UK.”

Tim succeeds Mike Benner, who has remained within the beer industry and is now managing director at the Society for Independent Brewers (SIBA).

Chairman Colin Valentine said: “CAMRA are very pleased to welcome Tim Page as our new chief executive and look forward to seeing him further cement CAMRA’s place as the voice of beer drinkers within the beer and pub industry.”

: : An Essex engineer has collected a national award for her “fabulous” work.

Vicky Clark, 29, of Halstead, has been named Student of the Year by the Institution of Cast Metal of Engineers.

She was presented with the award by Anthony Carter-Clout, the Worshipful Master of Ironmongers, during a ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Vicky, who works at Halstead’s precision engineering firm Maycast-Nokes, received the award for work she completed as part of a distance learning degree at Bradford University.

“I am delighted to have received a national award; it is a very proud moment for me and something I worked very hard to achieve,” she said.

“I have always been engineer orientated, even as a child I would take apart anything that had screws in it.

“I love my job and I am looking forward to a long career in engineering.”

Maycast-Nokes sales director Dave Blower said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Vicky, she has produced some fabulous work on her way to receiving this national recognition, which is thoroughly deserved.

“Vicky is currently our only female engineer and is a very highly valued member of staff. We are sure Vicky has a very bright career ahead of her and she is our first ever winner of a national award.”

: : Laura Downing, decorating centre manager at builders’ merchants Kent Blaxill in Colchester, has been announced as runner-up in a national Young Merchant Achiever award.

Laura, 25, was presented with her trophy at a Builders Merchants Federation awards dinner which was held at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire.

Judges praised Laura’s personal development, including being promoted to a management role earlier this year as decorating centre manager at Kent Blaxill, obtaining a diploma in management, increasing her department’s sales and margins and launching a DecXpress daily delivery service.

“It was a really exciting evening,” said Laura.

“It was also a great networking opportunity and I was able to meet lots of new people in the industry.

“It was all a bit of whirlwind as I only heard a few days before that I had been nominated and then shortlisted to the final four,” she added.

Colchester branch manager Andy McMahon said: “Laura thoroughly deserves all the plaudits. She has been absolutely fantastic.”

: : Cambridge & Counties Bank has appointed the highly experienced Sue Higginson as its new director of business development for East Anglia.

Sue’s area of responsibility includes Cambridge, home of the bank’s joint owners – Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund and the University of Cambridge’s Trinity Hall.

Cambridge & Counties, which has seen its loan book surge past £200million in recent weeks, is keen to lend to more Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMEs) in Cambridgeshire and East Anglia.

Sue Higginson has worked in business banking in the region for more than 27 years, including for Barclays and the Cambridge Building Society.

During this time she has worked with all sizes of business, from hairdressers to portfolio landlords, helping them fund their growth plans and property purchases.

Sue said: “My new role at Cambridge & Counties Bank is an exciting challenge. I look forward to raising the profile of this up and coming bank across East Anglia.

“I will be working hard to ensure the region’s SMEs discover that we actually are the bank that likes to say yes whilst providing a friendly service that is quick, flexible, transparent and personal.”

Chief executive Gary Wilkinson welcomed her appointment to the team.

“Sue’s extensive experience, strong network of contacts and her insight into the region make her an excellent addition for the bank and its ‘can do’ source of lending for the region’s SMEs,” he said.