Movers & Shakers: Three new appointments at Ipswich-based Inform Direct

New appointments at Inform Direct. From left, Chris Mann, Ben Robinson and Kelly West. Picture: KEIT

New appointments at Inform Direct. From left, Chris Mann, Ben Robinson and Kelly West. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

Ipswich-based secretarial software firm Inform Direct has appointed Kelly West as senior sales manager, Ben Robinson as business analyst and Chris Mann as customer support executive.

Kelly’s previous sales roles include Black Horse and Automotive Finance and more recently with polkadotfrog Ltd where she was a senior specialist consultant recruiting in the sales and marketing and logistics sectors.

“I am loving learning about a new product in a new sector for me and working with a great group of people who are all extremely passionate about the product they are working with,” she said.

Ben previously worked in the insurance sector as a Business Analyst with Willis Towers Watson and as product owner at Sequel Business Solutions.

“It is great to work with such high quality software and helping to meet and exceed customer expectations,” he said.

Chris previously worked in customer support roles with Green Duck and Equiniti.

“I am really enjoying supporting our wide range of customers, as well as keeping up to speed with changes in regulations and the way our software is developing to accommodate them,” he said.

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Chief executive Henry Catchpole said: “We are delighted to welcome Kelly, Ben and Chris to our enthusiastic team. This has been a very successful year in terms of growing business, including signing up our 75,000th customer and we are looking forward to a positive 2018.”

•Chief executive of the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (COLBEA) Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford has been appointed to the board of directors of the National Enterprise Network (NEN).NEN is a membership body made up of enterprise agencies, Chambers of Commerce, local authorities and other specialist providers representing those working in the enterprise sector across England, She officially joined at the NEN annual conference at the RBS Conference Centre in London.

Ashleigh, who has headed up Colbea since September, brings more than 15 years of experience to the NEN board, including four years as assistant chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

“It is a great honour to be appointed to the National Enterprise Network’s board of directors,” she said.

“I am excited to join such select group who are so passionate about the provision of high-quality enterprise support for new and establishing businesses in all areas of the country.

“As much as this is an exciting appointment on a personal level, this is a great opportunity for Colbea to benefit from sharing ideas with the leading support organisations nationwide, which can only help the agency and enterprise in Essex in its future growth.”

•Lowestoft developer Wellington Construction has appointed Liz Ley to its board.

She first joined the company straight from school in 2008 as a trainee quantity surveyor, and since then has completed a degree in quantity surveying at Anglia Ruskin University, as well as developing the skills to head up the firm’s design capability.

Managing director Paul Pitcher, who started out as an apprentice carpenter, said: “Liz is the first of a number of trainees we have supported through degree courses, and her hard work and success have inspired our ongoing programme.

“Her appointment to the board is testament to our commitment to training and career development of our people.”

Liz joins chairman Richard Sullivan, managing director Paul Pitcher and commercial director James Denny on the board.

•East of England timber merchants Ridgeons has promoted five employees at its Sudbury branch.

Stuart Shadbolt, Steve Bowyer, Craig Williams, Louise Edenbrow and Jo Paterson have been promoted to various roles within the business. Each have been given additional responsibilities in recognition of their high standards of customer service, which has helped the branch develop a strong and loyal customer base.

Stuart, now assistant Branch Manager; Steve has been promoted to PlumbStock Supervisor; Craig Williams is now leading the Sales Office Team; Louise Edenbrow has become the Sales Counter Team Leader; and Jo Paterson has taken on a new role in the Sales Office.

Phil Yearling, Branch Manager of Ridgeons Sudbury, commented: “We are thrilled to announce these promotions in our team. Each employee is committed to building the Sudbury branch, while supporting colleagues.

We believe the promotions underline Ridgeons commitment to offering the opportunities to our staff to grow within the business, rewarding our brightest and best. I am sure these promotions will also help our branch go from strength to strength.”

Ridgeons is one of the largest independently owned builders’ merchants in the UK and trades from 26 merchant branches in the East of England.

The Group also includes PlumbStock, Anglia Tool Centre, Ridgeons Forest Products and CRS Wholesale. Turnover stands at £160 million per annum and Ridgeons Group employs around 850 people.

•Suffolk-based freelance journalist Felicity Landon has won a major international award for her work in the maritime, transport and logistics press.

Felicity, a maritime specialist, was named Innovation Journalist of the Year 2017 at the Seahorse Club Awards, for an article examining blockchain technology, published in Port Strategy magazine.

The article, entitled ‘The digital handover’, considered how blockchain technology could turn accepted supply chain practice on its head. As well as looking at the opportunities, such as eliminating fraud, authenticating certificates, enhancing process flows, sharing data for collaborative planning and providing full traceability of products, the article reported on industry concerns, including security questions, software issues and the ‘what could possibly go wrong?’ attitude.

The Seahorse Club is a networking group for public relations, marketing, advertising and journalism professionals working within the freight, passenger, shipping and logistics sectors.

This year’s awards, presented in London, attracted more than 250 entries from journalists around the world. The awards recognise excellence in news and feature writing for journalists specialising in the maritime, transport and supply chain industries.

•Essex food ingredients firm EDME has recently appointed Olivia Willett as apprentice quality technician.

The company, based at Mistley, near Manningtree, produces flour, flakes, and sprouted grains for bakers and food manufacturers.

“We’re always looking for talented people to develop their skills – and add value to the business at the same time,” said quality manager Renata Faldo.

“There are plenty of able young people out there. The tricky part is getting the message to them that the food industry can provide fantastic opportunities and a highly rewarding career path.

“Olivia’s good grades, engineering background and hard work ethic are proving to be a great asset in her current role.”

Before joining EDME, Olivia studied engineering at Suffolk One and decided to use her interest in systems and process.

“I’ve always been intrigued by how things run – and it’s been a real eye-opener to find out the complex layers of controls in a company in the food sector,” she said.