Meet your Committee Members
Ever since I came to the 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.
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.
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.
Liz worked at the University of East Anglia for 40 years before moving to Needham Market in 2016 and starting her own business, Rix Management Systems, as a Freelance ISO consultant and auditor specialising in the quality, environment and information security standards.
Whilst working at the University, Liz managed a team of technicians in an environment supporting both research and commercial enterprise, giving her an excellent understanding of the importance of developing and managing processes that can be demonstrated to deliver reproducible results without fail.
This background enables Liz to help bridge the gap in understanding of how to meet the requirements of the generic standards against the often complex and controlled work of an individual business.
Liz is a Member of the Institute of Science and Technology, Chartered Quality Institute and, has a Masters degree in Spectroscopy & Physical Analytical Chemistry alongside an ILM level 5 leadership certificate.
It’s hard to see the wood for the trees when you’re working inside a business – and that’s where Kate Kelly, the Business Plumber, can help. She will give you the perspective you need to make the right decisions about what to do, how and when to do it, and how to achieve it better, faster, more safely and at a lower cost.
Kate has more than 20 years’ hard-won experience of improving business processes to maximise profit – and in that time she has worked with organisations of all sizes, from major enterprises and public service bodies to micro-businesses.
Tackling issues in companies like Trebor Sharps, Black & Decker, Ozalid and Schlumberger has given Kate first-hand knowledge of how big companies work – and what even the very smallest company can learn from them to “help the work flow and the profits grow”.
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 and runs our very successful breakfast networking meetings and coffee mornings. Her quirky, humorous email invitations are a regular source of amusement to those on the mailing list – why not sign up today?
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.
Suzanne is a Licensed AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) Accountant and a Certified Xero Advisor and runs SB Bookkeeping Services.
Irrespective of whether you view your bookkeeping duties as a chore to be suffered, or the basis on which you gain valuable management information. There’s no getting away from the fact that it has to be done, like it or not.
Suzanne can work with you to make the process less painful.
She believes in using the latest technology to make life easier and save your business time and money. The software she uses for this is Xero, a simple way to handle your books online from your mobile devices. Setting you free from the office. She also offers full training and support.
Danny is Customer Services Director at Gipping Press, a family-run printing company based in Needham Market.
Gipping has been in operation for over 35 years and on their current site in the Lion Barn Industrial Estate for 33 of those! Times have moved on, though. As Danny says “We have invested in digital print, meaning there are no minimum run lengths; Litho print, meaning there are no maximum run lengths, and also in large format, meaning there is no maximum size!”
Danny brings a fresh perspective to the Stowmarket Chamber Committee and has been a welcome addition.
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.
Kim has led many marketing, social media and change management programmes across multicultural sites, turning round three loss-making businesses into profit. T
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 Certified Creative, 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 colour coordinated images
Allan Scott currently owns and operates Mill House Media, providing email newsletters and content marketing support to a growing roster of UK clients.
Previously, after an 8-year stint as an award-winning audiovisual scriptwriter and producer, he had a successful career as a video scriptwriter and speechwriter working with many of the country’s top companies including BAA, BT, BOC, British Gas, and British Airways (to pick a few of the ‘b’s). He is a published author of both fiction and nonfiction.
Allan previously served as Chair of the Chamber before handing over the reins to Colin Tapscott.
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.
What’s been happening at Chamber events
September 2021 – We did it and it worked! Not content with resuming face to face breakfast networking in September 2021 at The Mix, our committee decided to run a hybrid version as well, with some people joining online via zoom. Plenty of attendees, including guests,...
August 2021 – Favourite places to visit August 2021’s virtual breakfasters were asked to name their favourite places for a UK staycation and they ranged from Scotland to Cornwall, taking in North Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Suffolk along the way. The 10-minute...
July 2021 – Lots of Praise for Members July 2021’s virtual breakfasters were asked to do a shout-out for a fellow member as part of their 60 seconds and there were plenty of plaudits! The 10-minute presentation was from Sharon Jenkins, of Mansion House...
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