Meet your Committee Members

Ever since I came to my first Stowmarket Chamber meeting in 2017, it was obvious to me that this was an approachable, supportive group that wanted local independent businesses to thrive. I don’t know what you think of when you think of a ‘chamber of commerce’? Maybe because of the word ‘chamber’ it brings up an illusion of formality and a room full of suited people. This could not be further from the truth of what Stowmarket Chamber stands for. Quite simply we are a community of local businesses that want to enable you and your business to GROW and PROSPER.

It is now my privilege to be the Chairperson of the Stowmarket Chamber and work with a committee that is filled with generosity to give their time, support and advice to local businesses. Being on the committee is an honour as our role is to serve you and your business. Do take a look at the profiles below of the members. You will notice that we represent a range of businesses and that we are just normal people, just like you.

Each member has a particular responsibility that fuels our aims of:

  • Champion Stowmarket & district businesses to the media, Suffolk Chamber, councils & one another
  • Connect Stowmarket & district businesses
  • Convey best businesses practice, support and development.

So, if you have an area you want to talk to us about, do feel free to contact the relevant member of the committee or contact the secretary and she will connect you to the right person.

Colin Tapscott
Chairperson

Peter Down, Honorary President

Peter Down

Honorary President

Peter Down JP, FBCS  was elected Chairman of Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and made Honorary President in 2016 in recognition of the contribution he has made to the development of the Chamber.

Peter moved to Needham Market in 2006 from the North West of England on retirement from a long career in the Information Technology industry. He was a Certified Lead Auditor in Software Quality and Information Systems Security and has written textbooks on these subjects. Work has taken him to Europe (frequently), the Gulf and South East Asia, where he led a government project of technical assistance. His early career in the Royal Navy included active service in that region.

Colin Tapscott

Colin Tapscott

Chair

Training & Development Co-ordinator

Colin Tapscott is the director of Everyday Leader which runs coaching, training and development reviews and provides free resources such as podcasts and blogs all with the purpose to inspire, equip and empower leaders. Colin works with education, business and third sector organisations to help them develop leadership capacity and integrity. He previously was a headteacher for 17 years and also runs a children’s charity with his wife Lisa and a team of volunteers.

Colin’s core values are authenticity and integrity, which equip him well as he serves as Chairperson of the Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce. Colin has a heart for empowering local businesses and for the Stowmarket Chamber to be at the heart of a community of independent businesses.

[email protected]

Jason Ford - Treasurer

Jason Ford

Treasurer

Jason is a Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) and has a tax qualification with ATT. He runs FWD Accounts, based in Bury St Edmunds and concentrates on giving your business the time and effort it deserves.

Blending traditional values with a modern approach, FWD Accounts provides your business with personal, forward-looking advice, based on your unique requirements. The aim is to help you focus on important business decisions, by simplifying compliance and proactively interacting with you on day-to-day finance matters.

After several increasingly responsible roles in industry, Jason decided to go self-employed in 2003 and provide outsourced accounting functions for local businesses. He quickly realised that to grow he needed staff and so he partnered with an old colleague from Grant Thornton to set up a more traditional accounting practice.

In 2018 he decided to take his client portfolio from that partnership and formed FWD Accounts. The company now has 7 staff and is still looking to grow in the coming years.

Keely Taylor, Chamber Secretary

Keely Taylor

Secretary

After 20 years as a PA and Office Manager for various companies in Suffolk and London, Keely was made redundant one too many times and set up her own business in 2005, KTSS, offering administration services to small companies and entrepreneurs.

More recently she has turned her hobby of genealogy into a business, and now focuses on building family trees for her clients: www.taylormadetrees.co.uk.

Keely has been Secretary to the Chamber since 2006. Her quirky, humorous email invitations are a regular source of amusement to those on the mailing list – why not sign up today?

[email protected]

Olivia Higson

Olivia Higson

Membership Co-ordinator

Olivia ‘Lilly’ made the move into financial services from the property sector and took up the great opportunity of studying with the St. James’s Place Academy. Olivia is a friendly, approachable, plain talking Financial Advisor with Brightside Wealth Management – a Senior Partner Practice of St James’s Place.  Passionate about making a difference by helping her clients build and preserve their capital, manage their cash, make the right investment choices and realise their financial goals.

Throughout life’s key milestones and events, there will be times when financial advice comes to the fore. These may not be the most obvious times either, but you work hard for your money – we believe it’s our job to make it work hard for you. With Lilly and the Brightside team alongside, clients are better-informed to make smarter money decisions, as their plans and priorities change over time.

Lilly now has the privilege of advising clients on a broad range of financial solutions from Retirement & Pension Planning, Investment Planning, Protection, Estate & Inheritance planning.

[email protected]

Sarah Manning MD of Secure Stores Nationwide Ltd

Sarah Manning

Events Co-ordinator

Sarah has spent most of her working life dealing with big metal boxes, doing her damnedest to make sure her clients get the best possible service. She likes to make sure they’re in perfect condition for their new owners – whatever they want to use it for.

She started at the bottom of this industry in 2007, as a sales rep and working her way up to take an ownership share in a local container business.

Why did she go out on her own? Easy. She’s always believed good business means putting the client first. Doing what needs to be done – quickly. She launched her own business, Secure Stores Nationwide, to do business her way.

So whether you want a container for storage, for working in, or for something so mind-blowing she hasn’t thought of it yet – give her a call. New, used or rented, they’ll aim to have it with you within 3-5 days.

[email protected]

Kim Morrison

Kim Morrison

Promotion Co-ordinator

Kim has led many marketing, social media and change management programmes across multicultural sites, turning round three loss-making businesses into profit.

After having lived and worked in New York and travelled extensively around the world, she decided to work for herself originally based in East Anglia and now spending most of her time in Portugal.

With her business, Morr Marketing, she focuses on helping small and medium-size businesses find their ideal clients.  She strongly believes that a combination of traditional and digital marketing methods are the most effective route forward for businesses.

She is a Canva Champion, one of the first Ambassadors for Canva, the rapidly growing graphic design platform and also runs Be Your Own Graphic Designer, an original collection of over 3,000 downloadable colour coordinated images.

[email protected]

Joanne Moss, Moss HR

Joanne Moss

Networking Secretary

Joanne has been a member of the Stowmarket Chamber for a number of years and joined our committee in 2022.

Joanne is the founder of Moss HR and a Chartered Member of the CIPD. Joanne has a wealth of knowledge built up over her long career in HR. Her experience covers many industries including education and schools, motor retail, warehousing and distribution, hospitality and the not-for-profit sector.

Joanne has a keen interest in helping businesses expand through people and provides tools to enable the process of taking on the first employee simple.

Joanne is Networking Secretary to the Chamber and runs our very successful breakfast networking meetings and coffee mornings. See Eventbrite or our website for our upcoming events.

[email protected]

Alison Wthers

Alison Withers

Publicity

Alison has 20 years experience as a journalist with the East Anglian Daily Times, following a previous career as an advertising account executive for a variety of clients including a chain of nightclubs in the North of England, then as a media buyer.

She has also had intermittent spells as a graphic designer/illustrator.

She has had her business, Multimedia Reputations, for 20 years and writes and manages marketing content for clients’ websites, blogs, social media and print needs. She also occasionally edits books.

Alison is responsible for organising collection of the Chamber’s Member Spotlights and writing Breakfast News for the website.

[email protected]

Upcoming Events

Please note that cut-off for booking Coffee Mornings is Thursday at midnight the day before and for Breakfasts is Wednesday, 12noon of that week as we have to let The Mix know numbers!

Note: New later start time for breakfast!!

Coffee Morning
Friday, 7th June 2024
10.00am-12.00noon at
Brightside Wealth Management – hosted by Stowmarket Carnival
Brightside House
7 Finborough Road
Stowmarket IP14 1PN
Book here
Members £6.00 /Visitors £8.00

Networking Breakfast
Friday, 21st June 2024
7.15am-9.00am at
The Mix Stowmarket
127 Ipswich Street
Stowmarket IP14 1BB
Book here
Members £19.00/Visitors £24.50
Zoom attendees join at 7.45am
Online Members £4.50/Visitors £6.00


Thanks for joining us at MSBE 2024 and hope to see you at MSBE 2025!

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