Southwold: Karen Hester to join the main board at Adnams

Karen Hester, who has been appointed as an executive director at Adnams.

Karen Hester, who has been appointed as an executive director at Adnams. - Credit: Archant

Karen Hester, the head of operations at Southwold-based brewer and distiller Adnams, is to join the company’s main board as an executive director.

Her appointment, due to take effect from the company’s next annual general meeting in April 2015, is the latest step in a career which has seen her rise through the ranks since joining Adnams as a part-time cleaner in 1988.

Karen’s expertise in operational management, stemming from a previous career in Army, was quickly spotted and, having progressed through company roles in logistics, procurement and transport, she became operations director in 2007.

She is now reponsible for operations across Adnams’ brewery, distillery, hotels, pubs and shops, which together employ more than 400 people.

Her achievements have received wide recognition, including the East of England Business Woman of the Year title in 2008 and the CBI First Women Business of the Year award in 2013, reflecting Adnams’ success in supporting female employees to reach their full potential.

Company chairman Jonathan Adnams said: “Karen has a superb proven track-record for her management of all areas of our business. She is well-respected throughout the organisation and we look forward to her joining the main board.”

Chief executive Andy Wood added: “I am absolutely delighted for Karen; she has the tenacity and talent that has been allowed to flourish here at Adnams and is a terrific role model for others.

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“Following the appointments of Bridget McIntyre and Nicky Dulieu, Karen will be the third woman to join our main board and will be our first female executive director.”

Karen said: “Adnams is a fantastic company which firmly believes in nurturing and developing its own people. I joined Adnams some 26 years ago and have been positively encouraged and supported throughout my career.

“I feel honoured and extremely proud to be the first female executive director to join the board and am looking forward to continuing to support others to develop their own careers.”