Movers and Shakers: UKTI role for Spring founder Erika Clegg

ERIKA Clegg, founder of Southwold-based creative agency Spring, known for producing cutting-edge campaigns for clients within East Anglia and beyond, has been invited to join an influential body to promote UK excellence on an international scale.

As part of her advocate role, Erika will work with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), sharing her knowledge and insights of doing business by giving practical support and mentoring SMEs and entrepreneurs who are taking their first steps into trading in international markets.

UKTI is the Government organisation helping UK-based companies succeed in the global economy and has a target of doubling the number of companies it helps each year to 50,000.

“It is an amazing opportunity to be part of such a purposeful group,” Erika said. “I have always emphasised that Spring is influential nationally, not just in our geographical area. We work with and mentor our clients as their business partners to ensure they surpass their objectives and operate at the top of their sectors. This is a great chance for me to apply that approach on a broader scale.”

Erika is one of several advocates chosen by the Government for the influential leadership roles they play in their market and/or sector. Each is asked to make a minimum of two contributions a year to include speaking at a high-level UKTI event, participating in a “round-table” to discuss key issues affecting their specific industry or mentoring a SME to overcome a particular barrier or obstacle.

The appointment takes effect immediately.

: : REGIONAL law firm Birketts LLP has expanded its mediation team to make it easier for disputing parties to avoid the high costs of formal court action and to reach a quicker resolution to their problems.

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Jolyon Berry, employment law partner at Birketts, has been appointed to the role of commercial mediator having completed his training with the London School of Mediation. This brings the total number of qualified mediators at the regional law firm to five.

Jolyon said: “In my new role as mediator I can offer disputing parties the chance to reach an agreement without having to spend their valuable time and money going through the formal court process. As a mediator I can assist in putting forward impartial questions aimed at encouraging constructive discussion and reaching a solution. This provides unlimited flexibility as it allows parties to settle disputes in many more ways than the courts have the power to determine.”

Jolyon added: “Mediation is proven to be effective. It is a route promoted by the civil justice system and a high percentage of litigants who go to see a mediator will settle their differences at the mediation or soon afterwards”

A solicitor at Birketts since 2003, Jolyon specialises in all aspects of employment law, including advising HR managers and directors with the management of their staff and bringing and defending employment related claims to the Employment Tribunal or the High Court.

Joylon has overseen the Ipswich team grow from two solicitors to being one of the strongest employment teams in the South East of England, with seven employment partners and 17 solicitors.

: : SEH French has welcomed Paul Rodwell in to the role of technical manager.

Paul joins SEH French from Vinci (formerly Haymills (Contractors) Ltd), where he has spent the last 34 years of his career.

Paul was an instrumental part of Vinci’s success, having risen through the ranks from apprentice carpenter, to becoming operations manager in 2009 following the Vinci takeover.

Simon Girling, director, said: “It is a real boost of confidence to us at SEH French that Paul has joined our ranks. We’re excited about the level of experience he is going to bring to the role, and his appointment signals a fresh injection of motivation and expertise into what is already a brilliant team.”

Having been brought in to help drive forward SEH French and to utilise his operational skills on larger scale projects, Paul said: “I want to continue on with what SEH French already do well, and introduce some larger projects into the mix which, from what I have seen, we are more than capable of delivering.”

In the role of technical manager, Paul will be working as part of the pre-tender team to set strategy and upfront planning to aid site delivery and profitability.

: : FRONT of house at the Wivenhoe House hotel in Colchester now has a face, with the appointment of Jennie Hirst, formerly of the award-winning Feversham Arms.

Wivenhoe House is the home of the Edge Hotel School, the UK’s first hotel school based entirely in a fully operational commercial hotel, where degree level students will learn by doing from academic and industry experts to become the hospitality leaders of the future.

Jennie worked at The Feversham Arms Hotel at Helmsley, Yorkshire, for three years serving as reservations manager until the end of last year. While she was there the hotel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment and extension and was awarded its fourth AA red star.

Wivenhoe House will welcome its first guests in August and Jennie, who has already started her new role as front of house manager, said: “The unique concept of combining theory with practice in a high quality commercial environment excites me.

“We are developing the future leaders of the hospitality industry, while ensuring our guests receive an intriguingly different experience with a high ratio of staff to guest.”

General manager Stephen Mannock said: “The calibre of staff applying to work at Wivenhoe House is incredibly high, and I’m delighted how quickly they have grasped what the hotel and hotel school are seeking to achieve.”

: : LONG-serving secondary glazing installer Michael Jackaman has put away his glass cutter and screwdriver for the last time, after 49 years with East Anglian building supplies and glazing company Kent Blaxill.

At a retirement presentation, Michael, 65, from West Mersea near Colchester, was thanked for his dedication and presented with a cheque by managing director Simon Blaxill. He also received gifts from colleagues at the company’s Colchester headquarters.

Michael, who has been popular with customers, has for the last seven years been a secondary glazing installer. He has also been one of the few people still at the company to have worked at Kent Blaxill’s former Colchester town centre premises, where he was based until the company relocated in 1963. He began his Kent Blaxill career as a 15-year-old in the “slabbing” department making fireplace surrounds. Over the years his career has reflected the construction industry’s changing technologies, with spells in departments that have come and gone, including fabricating aluminium window frames, and then plastic window frames. Outside of work Michael is a keen gardener.

: : THE marketing team at Writtle College has been shortlisted for two prestigious industry awards, beating competition from major national companies and some of the UK’s leading universities.

The first shortlisting for the marketing team has come from the 2012 HEIST Awards for Education Marketing, in which the team is amongst the finalists for the Marketing Department of the Year award.

The second is the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) Excellence Awards, in which the college’s Arena publication has been shortlisted in the External Magazine category.

Arena, which is published on and offline. was launched to create a single corporate flagship news and research information source to showcase staff and student achievements. The publication has attracted considerable local, national and global interest and positive feedback since its launch, meeting the initial objectives of providing a flagship news and information source to highlight Writtle’s strengths as a university level institution with world class research and consultancy capability.

Writtle College’s director of marketing, Caroline Benyon, said: “We are really thrilled to have been shortlisted for these two industry leading awards. Our comparatively very small team of just five has attained an outstanding level of performance and achievement in marketing and communications and it’s great that our campaigns have been recognised in this way.

“The HEIST Awards are known as the ‘Oscars’ of education marketing so to be in the final line-up for the most prestigious category of Marketing Department of the Year is a real honour. It’s especially rewarding to have fended off such stiff competition from major national companies in the CIPR Excellence Awards too.”