Suffolk Agricultural Association appoint new Chief Executive Officer Phillip Ainsworth

Phillip Ainsworth, the incoming Chief Executive at Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Phillip Ainsworth, the incoming Chief Executive at Suffolk Agricultural Association.

A former Army officer has been chosen to head up the organisation which runs the Suffolk Show.

Phillip Ainsworth, the incoming Chief Executive at Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Phillip Ainsworth, the incoming Chief Executive at Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Phillip Ainsworth, who has been going to the event since 1991 and has been a show steward for the past eight years, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA), following a rigorous selection procedure.

He was one of 12 candidates considered for the prestigious SAA role, which became available after Nicola Bateman, the SAA’s first woman chief executive, stepped down earlier this year after five months in the role. She succeeded Christopher Bushby, who ran the organisation for two decades before deciding to stand down in 2014.

Phillip is currently the Deputy CEO of a UK-wide medical society having gained nearly 30 years’ experience in public sector organisations. Prior to this, he spent 17 years in the NHS, six years of which were in main board positions while in London and North Essex.

He led a team which founded and developed a cancer network in England and managed both acute hospital and community NHS services. During his time there, he built up a detailed understanding of the health and social care systems from both the strategic and operational levels in provider and commissioner organisations. In his present role, he advises NHS and private sector organisations on the commissioning and delivery of services.

Phillip Ainsworth, the incoming Chief Executive at Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Phillip Ainsworth, the incoming Chief Executive at Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Prior to his NHS career, Phillip was an army officer for 12 years. He left the regular army in 1993, but continues to serve in the Reserve Army, providing support to Brigade and Divisional Headquarters.

He and wife, Mandy, live near Hadleigh and have three children, aged 20,19 and 16. He spends much of his spare time supporting the family’s equestrian and country pursuits. He is due to take up his new role in January.

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He said he was “thrilled” to have been selected for his latest role.

“I said I would be absolutely delighted to even be considered. I never thought about it because I never thought the opportunity would ever arise,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me.”

The Suffolk Show 2016 takes place on June 1 and 2.

For a full interview with Phillip Ainsworth, see Saturday’s EADT.

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