Member Spotlight

One of the bonuses of Stowmarket and District Chamber membership is that you can be featured in our spotlight, where you can tell people a bit more about you and your business.

If you would like to be included please email Alison Withers [email protected] or call her on 01473 743516 to arrange an interview.

Linda Hughes - Member Spotlight April 2024

Linda Hughes 

 

Linda Hughes, Dynamic Coach Group

 

Current business   

Dynamic Coach Group 

Website: www.dynamiccoachgroup.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 07493290043

 

Career history

Drawing upon her extensive experience spanning diverse industries, Linda Hughes, having worked as an HR Director for an international group where she played a pivotal role in propelling business growth, transitioned to co-founding Dynamic Coach Group. The inception of this venture was rooted in recognising the imperative need for growth and transformative change within organisations.

Linda, in collaboration with her business partner Nick Hughes, established Dynamic Coach Group with the intent to bridge the gap between the aspiration for growth and change and its effective implementation. Their overarching goal is to guide businesses through significant shifts that result in sustainable improvements.

Employing a collaborative leadership style, Linda is adept at engaging with stakeholders at the Board/C level, as well as forging effective partnerships with third-party collaborators. Her proven track record encompasses organisational change management, growth and strategy development.

Dedicated to cultivating innovation, Dynamic Coach Group has introduced a cutting-edge diagnostic tool for Employee Experience, exemplifying their commitment to staying ahead of industry trends. Acknowledging the evolving significance of employee experience in shaping and advancing businesses, Linda continues to bring her extensive expertise to the forefront, contributing to the growth and success of organisations through meaningful and lasting improvements.

 

Passions and interests

 

One of her passions is House of Milly – Linda designs and creates 3D pictures, she wanted to create a simple product that people could connect with; something that might reflect their lives or an experience they’ve had. That’s why most of the pictures are animals as they have characters or typography that is sentiment based.

 

Qualifications

Diploma in Coaching

Master’s degree in Human Resource Management

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development

Alan Ridealgh - Member Spotlight February 2024

Alan Ridealgh

 

Alan Ridealgh - Member Spotlight February 2024

 

Current business   

Humber Doucy Brewing Company Ltd.

Website: www.humberdoucybrew.co 

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 07964 070647 / 01449 780151

We are in Bacton!

We started brewing in 2019.

 

Career history

 

Managing Director Muntons plc from 2007 to 2018. He achieved 40 years and 1 month with Muntons during which time he ran farming, haulage, pet food and grain trading subsidiaries as well as grain procurement.

Currently Chair of the John Milton Academy Trust, Chair of the Development Board at the Food Museum, Non-Executive Director at Dewing Grain Ltd, Board member of the Institute of Sustainability at the University of Suffolk and board member of the Local Skills Improvement Plan board for Norfolk and Suffolk.

 

Passions and interests

 

All things wildlife

Fishing

Gardening (has an allotment)

Buses

Collectable toys

 

Qualifications

 

BSc (Honours) Zoology – Newcastle University

Honorary Fellow (manufacturing and sustainability) – University of Suffolk

Penny Morgan - Member Spotlight January 2024

Penny Morgan

 

Penny Morgan - Member Spotlight January 2024

 

Current business   

Penny Morgan Photography and Love Your Image

Website: www.pennymorgan.co.uk and www.loveyourimage.co.uk

Email: [email protected] and [email protected]

Telephone: 01379 783870

 

 

Career history

 

As a teenager, Penny was hell-bent on heading into the equestrian world and spent a year training to gain her first teaching qualification. But life took a different turn… and she headed into an office to earn enough to get married!

Not long after she was able to have her horse rather than work with them – he was with her for 10 years and she loved him dearly.

After several years working in an accounts department, for a company in Diss, her opportunity to return to college as a mature student came about in the mid-1990s and fulfilled her wish to get into a creative industry. She studied Graphic Design for two years and then found her first job as a junior designer for ‘Get Set’ in Wortham. However, the college course had a photography module, which Penny loved and was her first training in photography. After working for three different companies as a designer, she became self-employed in 2001 (scary!).

However, the interest in photography wouldn’t go away and a fascination with what people see in images. In 2007, another opportunity arose to take up further training in portraiture and invest in some professional-level equipment.

Penny Morgan Photography was launched in August 2009 and 18 months later the graphic design element was dropped.

About four years on, after working with a business coach, the idea for Love Your Image as a specialist niche in photography, was developed to help so many who dislike getting in front of a camera. But it took lockdown and 2020 for the idea to finally get its website.

Today the idea that you can get over this anxiety grows in awareness and popularity.

 

Passions and interests

 

Horses have always been a love of Penny’s since she was a small child and photography has enabled her to be around them while capturing images (they behave very differently to humans).

With a love of dance, she had a go at a ballroom, Jazz, ballet, contemporary and flamenco (that was amazing!).

She spent a decade with a Diss-based drama group, getting involved in both sets creating/painting and choreography, whether it was full-cast dance routines for musicals to individuals bringing their roles to life with movement and dance.

Penny now also has a great love for wildlife and anything she can do to learn, raise awareness and help them survive in this beautiful county of Suffolk where she lives.

Diana Gibbs - Member Spotlight December 2023

Diana Gibbs

 

Diana Gibbs - Member Spotlight December 2023

 

Current business   

Diana Gibbs – Operational Management coach and consultant

Website: www.dianagibbs.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Telephone:  07976 292565

 

Career history

The seeds of Diana’s interest in people development were sown at university.  She was studying English and Drama, both of which encompass the exploration of motivation and personality.

Her first job was in theatre stage management. Then she moved to the BBC and, as a studio manager specialising in radio drama, spent a lot of time listening to authors, musicians, directors and performers discussing character and motivation.  It was like doing a psychology degree without the qualification, and she spent the best part of ten years in this environment in the company of some of the finest brains in the business.

Next she moved into an operations management role at the BBC where at the same time, the first of many internal change programmes were starting. She has always said this is where she ‘cut her teeth’ as a change manager – sometimes by learning how not to do it!

She volunteered to become a facilitator on the change programmes. This was her formal introduction to facilitation skills, consulting and NLP and she was fascinated.  Benefiting from seeing other managers, OD consultants and facilitators in action, she ultimately saw an opportunity to leave and set up on her own.

On her varied journey as a consultant she has worked on corporate client projects ranging from leadership programmes to outplacement programmes to competency-based recruitment. Projects for local SMEs included 1-1 support for the senior management team, appraisal training and recruitment workshops.  She also worked as an associate for a training consultancy in the Not For Profit sector.

That led to her closing her business for a while and joining the HR & Organisational Development (OD) team of a medium sized charity. The core role was providing generalist HR advice, but as a team they also provided OD support and guided members of the executive through a major restructure.

A refresher post-grad course in coaching reconnected her with the field and she chose to return to freelancing. Her focus now is on the development of managers, team leaders, aspiring managers and those ‘on the front line’ in an operational or client-facing environment, including strategies for coping with hybrid working. She is also a partner coach with a company specialising in neuro-diversity at work, and regularly coaches people with ADHD, autism or dyslexia.

Passions and interests

A keen sailor, Diana and her partner have a yacht moored on the River Orwell. She also volunteers in the boating sector as a watchkeeper for Felixstowe National Coastwatch Institution and as a Trustee for the RYA Foundation.

Loves crosswords. Regular concert-goer. Passionate about supporting local businesses in the community.

 

Qualifacations

PG Certificate in Coaching

Certificate in Clean Coaching for Leadership

Diploma in General Management

NLP Business Practitioner

Laura Morrison - Member Spotlight November 2023

Laura Morrison

 

Laura Morrison, Your Telemarketing Ltd

 

Current business   

Your Telemarketing Ltd

Website: www.yourtelemarketing.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Telephone:  01284 332506

 

Career history

Laura has over 30 years sales and marketing experience initially in IT and Market Research sectors. Having undertaken numerous courses in the field of sales, negotiation, presentation and sales management, Laura went on to complete a Diploma in Direct Marketing.

Previous to establishing Your Telemarketing, Laura worked for 15 years in the Outsourcing sector, with a specific specialism in contact centre solutions, especially outbound data cleanse & enhancement, lead generation and appointment setting, through to telesales. She has worked with such clients as The Times, The Guardian, BBC Worldwide, St James’ Place, and Nuffield Health.

She believes that key to successful telemarketing campaigns is through intelligently performed call handling. Laura concentrates on offering a personal professional service where her telemarketing agents act as extension to the client brand. She works with her clients to drive flexible, effective telesales campaigns which are tailored to the prospect base and designed to meet the client’s targets and goals.

In addition to the core services, Laura also provides Confident Telemarketing Workshops to the business community and runs Confident Telephone Skills workshops for young people transitioning from education to employment.

Laura has twice won IoD Director of the Year for Innovation & CSR. Your Telemarketing has also won awards in FSB & Suffolk Business Awards.

In 2018 Laura signed the Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of the Business and went on to gain Bronze and Silver Employer Recognition awards in 2019 and 2020. In 2021 the business was awarded Gold Employer recognition, the highest achievement under the scheme.

Passions and interests

Laura is a keen equestrian owning an ex-racing thoroughbred, Allie. She also has 2 English Bull Terriers, mother & daughter. Additionally, Laura likes to read fiction, watch movies, cook and travel.

Cate Caruth - Member Spotlight October 2023

Cate Caruth

Cate Caruth - Member Spotlight October 2023

Current business   

Creative Words

Website: www.creativewords.cc

Email: [email protected]

Telephone:  01284 774797

Career history

Let’s begin at the beginning!

When she was three, Cate said “When I grow up I want to be a cuckoo clock,” and her Dad knew that she would be a writer. From a very early age, she loved writing stories and being creative. She was imaginative and quirky right from that age.

For a variety of (long and complicated) reasons, Cate went on to study Maths and computing at university and then went into the manufacturing industry. This led her into a career as a management consultant where she developed a variety of skills, from project management to staff engagement. She also spent two years in the marketing department of one of the consulting firms she worked for and got her Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Writing was still her passion – she self-published four novels while she was working – and then a friend asked her to help him with the content for his online membership service and Cate realised that there was an opportunity for her to start her own business as a writer.

Creative Words was set up to be a copywriting business in May 2017 but, within a very short time, Cate had something of an epiphany.

Many small businesses could benefit from the content she created for them but writing it and handing it back wasn’t enough. They lacked the time to create the content, yes; but before that, they lacked the time to work out what content was best for them and, once they had it, lacked the time to set that content up (be it on a website, as an eBook or in an online membership system). What they needed was someone who they could trust to own the whole content pathway.

From this realisation, Content Alchemy was born – a total content transformation for the business owner, creating gold from the ideas, knowledge and existing materials they already had.

Creative Words isn’t just about writing copy for you. It is a full-content solution.

If you want a website refresh, they will work with you to agree ideas and what you want to achieve, write the content, set it up on your website and find suitable images.

If you want an e-book, they can write it, get it designed (or work directly with your own designer), create a landing page linked to a mailing list and create the email automations.

If you want an online training or membership service they can develop a strategy, plan out the content, arrange for videographers, designers and source the right platform for you to host it. Everything from images to support videos to worksheets can be developed to support your programme.

They’ve worked with businesses of all kinds. Most clients are small business owners, just like us, who have been trading for a few years either as a Limited Company or a sole trader. They have big plans and an exciting vision for their business but lack the time to make their brilliant content work for them. They enjoy collaborating with Creative Words’ team to crystallise their content vision and make it happen.

Creative Words work across a wide variety of sectors and our clients include:
• Life Coaches
• Keynote Speakers
• Consultants
• Accountants
• Nutritionists
• Therapists
• Authors
• Tradespeople

This is a bespoke service, tailored to your specific needs. If you are seeking ‘a quick blog’ for your website and want ‘cheap and cheerful’ that probably isn’t Creative Words. It is also important to realise that content is only a part of the marketing landscape. Think of them as the delivery part of a content marketing strategy. That means you need to have a strategy and be committed to doing the work to get it into the hands of prospects and clients.

Passions and interests

Outside work, Cate loves to sing. She’s been a member of at least one choir (usually several) since she was nine and now sings with Occasional Voices in London and Aquarius Singers in Bury St Edmunds.

She is also a dedicated ‘crazy cat lady.’ The week she left work to start Creative Words, she adopted a cat from the RSPCA. Lola is an integral part of the Creative Words day and can often be seen walking across the screen during Zoom sessions with clients.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) in Match and Computing

Diploma in Marketing

Ryan Luke - Member Spotlight August 2023

Ryan Luke

Ryan Luke - Member Spotlight August 2023

Current business   

Heart of Suffolk Distillery

Website:  www.heartofsuffolkdistillery.co.uk

Email:  [email protected]

Telephone:  07740 597331

Career history

After graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University in 2015, Ryan decided to utilise his History degree and train to become a secondary school teacher.

Starting his career in Maidstone, Ryan quickly became a Head of Year responsible for the well-being of a large number of students. In 2019, Ryan moved back to Suffolk with his partner and continued working as a Head of Year in a local Ipswich school.

In 2022, Ryan seized the opportunity to become the Managing Director of his family-run distillery. After a successful first year of leading the way, Ryan was joined by a new business partner in May 2023, both of whom are focused on making the Heart of Suffolk Distillery a pillar of the Suffolk drinks scene.

Passions and interests

Outside of work, Ryan has maintained his interest in history, frequently visiting several historical sites.

Ryan is also passionate about the local food and drink scene and can often be found trying something new which he has stumbled upon.

Ryan and his partner also love travelling, recently having been on a skiing trip to Italy and a short walking holiday to Cumbria.

Qualifications

Masters in Education Studies

PGCE Secondary History

BA (hons) History

Jason Ford - Member Spotlight January 2023

Jason Ford

Jason Ford - Member Spotlight January 2023

Current business   

FWD Accounts Limited

Website: www.fwdaccounts.co.uk

Email:  [email protected]

Telephone: 01284 245013

FWD Accounts are a firm of accountants, based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk who concentrate on giving your business the time and effort it deserves. Blending traditional values with a modern approach, they pride themselves on their ability to provide your business with personal, forward-looking advice, based on your unique requirements.

At FWD Accounts, 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.

Career history

Jason had the opportunity to go to University to study Economics but was so sure he wanted to be an accountant that he took the chance to study whilst being paid by Grant Thornton. He qualified as an accountant with them and thoroughly enjoyed his time there but wanted to be a company accountant working in industry.

He joined Fieldens Plc to be Company Secretary for this AIM listed business, to help the company professionalise its senior management after the family had built the business and floated it on the AIM market.

He then joined State Industrial Products as Financial Controller for Europe in Colchester. The job entailed looking after the accounting for the UK, France and Belgium. The companies were owned by a US company and the job entailed regular travel to the USA for finance updates and into Europe dealing with sales staff and European tax authorities.

His next job fulfilled his ambition to be a Finance Director, and this was at John K King & Sons Ltd based in Coggeshall. This was a £20m turnover subsidiary of Associated British Foods Plc. They had to report every 4 weeks due to their Plc. status and he learned a great deal during his time there about working for large organisations. He helped set up an office in North Carolina in the US and improve the accounting processes at their office in North Dakota. The company also owned a natural oilseed processing plant in Lincoln.

In 2003 with his first child on her way he decided to go self employed and provide outsourced accounting functions for local businesses. This went well, but 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 into his own entity and formed FWD Accounts. The company now has 7 staff and is still looking to grow in the coming years.

Passions and interests

Sport generally. Member and sponsor of Bury Rugby Club. He follows Ipswich Town and enjoys supporting England Cricket. He also enjoys playing Golf at Thetford Golf Club.

Away from sport he enjoys the peace and quiet of the countryside with his family and walking his two dogs.

Qualifications 

Chartered Certified accountant (FCCA) and a tax qualification with ATT

Sarah Maidment - Member Spotlight October 2022

Sarah Maidment

Sarah Maidment - Member Spotlight October 2022

Current business 

Get Suffolk Reading | National Literacy Trust

Email:  [email protected]

Telephone: 07902 401 918

 

Career history

Sarah has been at Get Suffolk Reading for almost a year. Prior to that she worked in the community with children and families and as a holistic and sports therapist. However, the largest part of her career before that was spent in digital for big corporates such as Sky, BT and a number of financial services brands.

 

Passions and interests

She absolutely loves reading but also loves getting outdoors and being active.

Her favourite genre to read or listen to at the moment is mountaineering books which is a bit weird as all her family climb but she is afraid of heights. She is currently listening to K2 by Ed Viesturs.   

Qualifications 

Digital Marketing and Call Centre Management as well as being a qualified Sports and holistic therapist.

Barry Edge - Member Spotlight July 2022

Barry Edge

Barry Edge - Member Spotlight July 2022

Current business

EA Website Design Services

Website: www.eawebsitedesignservices.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01473 598 839

 

Career history

Following on from a degree and postgraduate at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of East Anglia Barry became the Marketing Manager for an organisation where he cut his teeth in website design and development and now has over 13 years of experience creating websites for his own company.

Passions and interests

Barry is a proud father and enjoys a wide range of activities such as cooking, reading history, gardening, walking and is an avid music fan and attends gigs whenever he can.

Qualifications 

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MBA, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for Web Developers.

Maddy Glenn - Member Spotlight June 2022

Maddy Glenn

Maddy Glenn - Member Spotlight June 2022

Current business

Softwood Self-Publishing

Website: www.swspublishing.com

Email: [email protected]

Social media: @swspublishing

Career history

Following degree and postgraduate courses at the University of Reading and University of Surrey, Maddy founded Softwood Self-Publishing in 2017.

She now supports a global network of independent authors through their own self-publishing journeys.

Her debut fantasy novel was published in 2020 and is available at Waterstones, with her sequel due in July 2022.

She is also an editor for MDPI and NSC (QinetiQ).

Passions and interests

As well as being an avid reader, Maddy enjoys spending time on the Norfolk Broads with her three step-children.

Qualifications 

BA (Hons) English Literature & Philosophy

Kelly Gurteen - Member Spotlight February 2022

Kelly Gurteen

Kelly Gurteen - Member Spotlight February 2022

Current business

 

Spi-des-ign Web & Graphic Solutions Ltd

 

Website: www.spi-des-ign.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01359 518060 /07889801581

 

 

Career history

Kelly originally trained as a school teacher and still enjoys doing some occasional supply teaching across Suffolk alongside her job at Spi-des-ign as marketing and operations director.

Her last permanent teaching role was as Business Studies teacher at Stowmarket High School from 2008-2013, even though she originally trained as a secondary school teacher of vocational subjects, she has enjoyed working in primary, SEN and behaviour roles.

Since starting at Spi-des-ign in 2013 to join her husband Richard they have grown the business to the team they have today, employing another 3 members of staff.

Kelly is responsible for the marketing and day to day operations, always trying to think of new ways to promote Spi-des-ign and helping clients to come up with new ideas on how they could market their business to their full potential.

Passions and interests

Kelly enjoys spending time with her family, walks with her dog Bella and reading when she gets the chance.

She loves visiting Felixstowe for a walk along the promenade (especially in the evenings, when it’s lit up) and having a drink at one of the many café/bars along the way.

 

Qualifications 

BA Hons Business, Leisure and Sports Education

PGCE in Secondary Education

Peter Stanway - Member Spotlight November 2021

Peter Stanway

Peter Stanway - Member Spotlight November 2021

Current business

Hillcrest HR Services Ltd trading as Project HR

 

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 07988 844256 / 01284 755467

Career history

Most of Peter’s early career was spent in the food and drink manufacturing industries in roles from Personnel Officer through to Group Personnel Manager.

He moved into consultancy over 20 years ago, initially in interim HR roles then to a regional consultancy which was selling out to a large national consultancy firm.

He currently combines a paid role with his own consultancy and specialises in providing service mainly to SMES in East Anglia.

He also works part time as a lecturer in Employment law and HR at the University of Suffolk.

He and his wife are also developing a property portfolio to supplement their meagre pension provisions.

 

Passions and interests

Education, rugby league and cricket (Wigan and Lancashire).

He is looking forward to combining his portfolio career with becoming a grandparent.

 

Qualifications 

BA Hons in Law and Politics

A qualified Training Officer

Masters degree in Employment Law from the UEA.

 

Mike Bernard - Member Spotlight September 2021

Mike Bernard

Mike Bernard - Member Spotlight September 2021

Current business

Distributor with Utility Warehouse

 

Website: www.mike-and-beebee.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01473 809751

Career history

Mike’s working life began at Readers’ Digest as a Trainee Computer Programmer. He then spent nine years with a container shipping company called OCL. After a spot of consultancy and IT work for the Inland Revenue and a London bank, he ended up back with OCL (then called P&O Containers).

Then the serious travelling began. He became a Project Manager; his first project covered Le Havre, Rotterdam and Hamburg, and the next required a short trip to Jeddah, Singapore, Korea, The Philippines and Dubai.

He then managed a team based in Delhi. He and his analyst were the first visitors from P&O to the company in Delhi, so received star treatment, including their own villa with two houseboys and a chauffeur. But feel free to ask him to tell you about the time he was kidnapped on an elephant!

After two trips to Hong Kong, he was given a one-year secondment to New Jersey to manage the implementation of a new IT system covering the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

He asked his girlfriend Bee Bee to join him in New Jersey. His landlord and next-door neighbour was the mayor, who kindly conducted the marriage ceremony in Mike’s home. Soon after returning to the UK his son Nicolas arrived.

Following his next project in Santiago, he was given teams to manage in London, Manchester, Sydney and Wellington, and he lived with his family in Sydney for 6 months.

After P&O, he did three NHS contracts, a local government project and a BBC contract. But Nicolas was getting bigger and London isn’t ideal for a teenager. He spent summer 2009 comparing various towns and cities and Ipswich ticked the most boxes. So he moved there in 2010.

Because he read the Which? magazine regularly, he knew he wanted Utility Warehouse to provide his services. The contracts had dried up because of his location and he needed to get to know some people in Suffolk. So that’s how he came to be a distributor.

Utility Warehouse is a discount club established in 1997 that saves £millions by never advertising, using the money to give members a better service for a lower price. They have won over 25 awards from Which? Magazine, including Utilities Brand of the Year 2018 and 2020. They provide one bill for all services, all their staff are UK based, and they provide a guarantee to reimburse double the difference if you would have paid less with your previous suppliers.

 

Passions and interests

His interests include playing guitar and tennis although not simultaneously. He attends a weekly jam in Ipswich and captains a team for his local tennis club. He foolishly tries to help Nicolas with his studies and when he feels even more masochistic, he watches Tottenham Hotspur. He enjoys reading books by Douglas Adams, Nick Hornby and personal development literature.

 

Qualifications 

Mike has a BSc from the University of Wales in Economics and Materials and a PGCE teaching certificate.

Joanne Moss - Member Spotlight August 2021

Joanne Moss

Joanne Moss, Moss HR

Current business

Moss HR Limited

 

Website: www.mosshr.com

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01449 708999 / 07789 038409

Career history

 

Joanne started her career in finance. However her career shifted from finance to HR in 1999 when she fell into the role of HR Officer for a warehousing and distribution company.

Several roles and industries later Joanne’s last full time, employed role was as HR Services Manager for Jardine Motors Group.

Choosing not to return to the full time corporate world after starting a family, Joanne decided to work independently as an HR Consultant.

In 2019, she took the next step and formed Moss HR Limited. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength and is now a successful outsourced HR Department with clients across East Anglia and beyond.

 

Passions and interests

Family, the outdoors, camping. Joanne is also learning British Sign Language.

 

Qualifications 

Post Graduate Diploma and Chartered Member the CIPD.

Liz Rix - Member Spotlight June 2021

Liz Rix

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Our member in the spotlight for June 2021

Current business

Rix Management Systems

 

Website: www.rixmanagementsystems.co.uk 

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 07432 512224

 

Career history

Liz started work at the University of East Anglia as a trainee technician and over 40 years worked her way up to be Faculty Laboratory Manager responsible for the technical support to the research laboratories across the Science faculty along with the engineering and electronics workshops.

After implementing and successfully maintaining ISO9001:2015 certification across the analytical laboratories, Liz found a passion for quality management and started her consultancy business to help others to understand the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard and how to implement it as painlessly as possible.

One thing led to another and now Liz is qualified as a Lead Auditor in not only Quality management systems but Environmental and Information Security management systems too with Health and Safety next in her sights later this year.

Liz is a member of the Institute of Science and Technology as a Chartered Scientist and now a Chartered Quality Institute member at Practitioner Level. In addition to being a member of the ISOQAR National Associates Network and an Associate of the Centre for Assessment.

 

Passions and interests

Her interests include: walking her two dogs, gardening, renovating her home, learning new skills, meeting interesting people, reading and knitting.

 

Qualifications 

MSc Spectroscopy and Physical Analytical Chemistry
Lead Auditor for Quality Management Systems (9001:2015)

Lead Auditor for Environmental Management Systems (14001:2015)

Lead Auditor for Information Security Management Systems (27001:2013)

ILM Level 5 Leadership Qualification.

Alison Withers - Member Spotlight April 2021

Alison Withers

Alison Withers

 

Our member in the spotlight for April 2021

Current business

Multimedia Reputations

 

Website: www.multimediareputations.com

Email: : [email protected]

Telephone: 01473 743516

 

Career history

Alison started working in Advertising in Birmingham, then Newcastle on Tyne, then Doncaster.

She moved to Grimsby, where her first child was born. Following a divorce, she spent some time working freelance in graphic design and painting reproduction Chinese Lacquer-style furniture panels. This was followed by a move to Norwich to take up a degree in Development Studies at UEA.

She then moved to Ipswich, where her second child was born and joined the East Anglian Daily Times, where she completed the NCTJ journalism training. Her work was in the newsroom as a journalist and equal opportunities/race relations correspondent. She did stints as a chief reporter before being made redundant in 2003.

Alison set up Multimedia Reputations in January 2004, editing for print, particularly the Gap Year Guidebook for six years. She also wrote website content, e-newsletters and blogs for a number of B2B clients.

 

Passions and interests

Travel in India, graphic design and illustration, loves art deco and art nouveau periods particularly, reading – anything and everything but especially politics, crime fiction and mysteries.

 

Qualifications 

BA Hons in Development Studies
NCTJ (National Certificate in Journalism) qualified journalist
Winner of the regional section of the CRE (Commission for Racial Equality) journalism awards 1990 and shortlisted for the following two years.

Nigel George - Member Spotlight March 2021

Nigel George

Nigel George

 

Our member in the spotlight for March 2021

Current business

Ageing with Optimism

Website: www.ageingwithoptimism.com / www.family-funerals.com

Email: : [email protected]

Telephone: 07957 186297 / 01449 737582

 

Career history

Nigel George is the Owner of Ageing with Optimism.  This is an umbrella organisation for his various business and social enterprise activities.

Nigel has been a qualified solicitor for over 35 years and has a great deal of legal knowledge and experience.

He now specialises in giving advice on wills, trusts, inheritance tax, powers of attorney and mental capacity.  He is a member of STEP the Society of Estates Practitioners.

This is the Gold standard for advice on trusts and tax.  Nigel is a partner in Garner & Hancock solicitors who are based in London.  He practices there and in Woolpit.

He is a Dementia Champion and a funeral celebrant.  He set Family Funerals up in 2020 to help people say a very personal goodbye to a loved one. It’s been said “Nigel has the ability to talk with humour and colour while at the same time conveying great empathy and passion”.

 

Passions and interests

Nigel has a keen interest in end of life care and is a Death Café facilitator.  He is also a strong advocate for protecting the rights and respecting the diversity of the older members of the LGBT+ community.

He lives in Woolpit, Suffolk with his wife Rebecca and Labrador pup Roly.  In his spare time, he is a writer and is currently working on his second novel.

 

Qualifications 

Qualified solicitor

Member of STEP the Society of Estates Practitioners

Sarah Manning - Member Spotlight January 2021

Sarah Manning

Sarah Manning MD of Secure Stores Nationwide Ltd

 

Our member in the spotlight for January 2021

 Our first new member for 2021

Current business

Secure Stores Nationwide Ltd

Website: www.securestores.co.uk

Email[email protected]

Telephone: 0208 125 7015 / 07507 106336

 

Career history

After finishing A levels, Sarah went on to start a degree in Criminology & Sociology at Liverpool University. After passing the 1st year, she started to think more long term about what she may want to do with her life. Three years at University seemed an incredibly long time, not to mention the cost of the debt it would result in.

She was left contemplating whether this was the right decision for her. She was eager to get stuck into the ‘real world’ and made the bold decision to leave University, return back home to Suffolk and look for a job within an office environment.

In 2007, she took a Sales & Administration role at a local Shipping Container Sales & Hire business, Mr Box in Ipswich. She remained at Mr Box for 13 years, working her way through the ranks during that time in roles including General Manager and eventually Director.

In 2016, Mr Box was sold to an American multinational company. She stayed on and continued to work for the new owners, in the role of ‘Director, Mr Box Division’ up until mid-2020, when she decided it was time for a change.

She wanted to launch her own container company, as she missed the private business environment. In particular, she missed the fast pace at which decisions can be made in a private company and the control one can have over one’s own path.

January 2021 now sees the launch of her new business, Secure Stores Nationwide Ltd, making use of all her industry experience and contacts.

 

Passions and interests

Hiking, Running, Food, Travel and her Sprocker Spaniel, Max.

 

Paul Dennis - Member Spotlight November 2020

Paul Dennis

Paul Dennis

 

Our member in the spotlight for November 2020

 

Current business

Pure Flooring

Website: www.pureflooring.co.uk

Email[email protected]

Telephone: 01449 257077

 

Career history

From school, Paul went to college to study architecture. He did the first 2 years in college before moving into a draughtsman position in a mechanical and electrical engineering firm in Ipswich. He held that position for 3 years before leaving to go back to college to learn woodwork and joinery, another subject of which he was very fond.

On arrival, he was informed that the course had been cancelled, but luckily he picked up a job working for Allied carpets as a sales/estimator. After a year or so he had another shot at engineering with Marlows as a truss design engineer before being made redundant 8 months later.

From there he began working with some carpet fitters he knew and 7 months later he went out carpet fitting on his own.

He says he has always been ambitious and he began to supply his own flooring and grow his own customer base.

In 2012 he established Pure Flooring and in 2018 acquired the showroom at Combs Tannery.

He spent a year developing the showroom and it has evolved into a small home store, selling beds and mattresses as well as the odd soft furnishing.

It has been a slow process but the company is still here and going, (and growing) strong!

 

Passions and interests

His family is his passion! You can’t beat the looks on their faces!

He enjoys adapting his creative side to their interests. He recently made his son a castle with a slide for the garden, and his daughter a fairy village around a tree. Plus, he gets the odd request for planters from his wife as well!

Personally, he loves to go out on his motorbike, (when time allows! and enjoys exploring new places and experiences.

 

Qualifications

GNVQ ADV Construction & the Built Environment.

Sean Billings - Member Spotlight October 2020

Sean Billings

Sean Billings

 

Our member in the spotlight for October 2020

 

Current business

Syrinx Systems

Website: https://syrinxsystems.co.uk/

Email: [email protected]

 

Career history

Sean is self-taught and says “I’ve always wanted to build better. When the Sinclair ZX-81 computer launched, I discovered that programming was a powerful tool for learning and creativity. Building something from nothing gives me a massive buzz – it’s like painting a picture, but instead, I use computer code.”

He loves working with Digital Creatives, Business Owners, and Product Designers to help them take their WordPress websites to the next level. At a basic level, this means making sure that what they have designed creates the great user experience needed for target audience.

Sean also offers IT support giving clients peace of mind that technical issues will be sorted so that they can focus on growing their business, working on the things they enjoy doing rather than dreading the learning curve of yet another technical issue.

He is also a great believer in “plain English” and avoiding “tech jargon”.

Syrinx also provides Software Development

From small modifications to improve the performance of current systems to something entirely new that will operate either as a stand-alone or integrates seamlessly with existing software.

 

Experience

More than 30 years’ experience consistently delivering proven award-winning solutions – from the smallest software fix to a major system build.

What he can help you with:

  • JavaScript
  • HTML / CSS
  • PHP
  • SQL Databases
  • WordPress (Theme & Plugin development)
  • Shopify (Liquid coding)
  • Hosting, Linux or Cpanel
  • C, C#, Java, Python
  • Embedded systems.

 

Passions and interests

Retro Computing (Collecting old machines like ZX-Spectrums, Commodore 64, BBC Micros etc.

Recently learned to play the Ukulele

 

Qualifications

All self taught, love to learn on the job.

Owen Williams - Member Spotlight September 2020

Owen Williams

Owen Williams - Member Spotlight September 2020

 

Our member in the spotlight for September 2020

 

Current business

West View IT

 

Website: www.westviewit.co.uk

 

Telephone: 01449 798119 / 07478 349440

Email: [email protected]

 

Career history

Westview IT was founded by Owen Williams in 2018 following his decision to leave full-time employment and establish a Managed Services Business which delivered IT solutions with outstanding customer care. His vision is to build and grow a business which is recognised as the leading supplier of Managed Services across the region.

Having gained his first customer 18 months ago, Owen grew his client base to 12 very quickly through referrals and recommendations. He quickly realised that to grow further he would need to supplement his lead pipeline with opportunities built through direct and digital marketing. This process started just prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. Owen could easily have put his business development on hold during lockdown but knew that it maintain his business growth he would need to persevere. He continued to work with his marketing consultant and established all the processes necessary to generate new clients. As the economy is re-starting Owen has found that his activities are now reaping rewards with 2-3 new enquires for his services each week.

Owen’s vision, as well as being recognised as the leading supplier of Managed Services for the region, is to build a team who reflect his own ethos, and who will support and manage clients with the same care and conscientiousness that he currently provides. Owen’s customer care policy ensures that his client retention statistics are extremely high for his industry, and results in a continued stream of recommendation alongside very generous testimonials.

A considerate and compassionate person, Owen is an empathetic leader, providing education, guidance and advice. He engenders respect from all his stakeholders including customers and suppliers. Owen will shortly be recruiting his first employee, which, so soon after a difficult period for all businesses, is particularly impressive.

 

 

Qualifications

Owen has been working in and on the business on his own, utilising external third parties to help him develop the business in areas where he feels he lacks expertise. He has been working with a business coach for nearly 1 year, alongside working with a marketing specialist to develop a marketing strategy which works to deliver new prospects to the business. Being an individual who prides himself in his own personal development, Owen works with enablers – consultants who will instruct him on the justification for actions and activities, as well as the ‘how to’ element.

A keen advocate of personal and professional development, Owen ensures that he maximises every opportunity for learning. He is always at the forefront of industry changes and development. He is a learner and always likes to have a new topic to review, investigate or study. He shares his learnings with customers and teams where appropriate.

Annya Stoddart - Member Spotlight July 2020

Annya Stoddart

Annya Stoddart

 

Our member in the spotlight for July 2020

 

Current business

Pain Relief Clinic

 

Website:  www.annya-stoddart.co.uk

 

Telephone: 07841 203412

Email: [email protected]

 

Career history

Annya started off working in agriculture. Something people may not know about her – she used to hand milk sheep and make cheese and yogurt!

Sadly, she realised there wasn’t much future in agriculture unless you’re a farmer’s daughter or married to one, so she moved into the Leisure Industry. She worked at Centre Parcs in Thetford running the Sports Desk and all the sports facilities and alongside that taught aerobics, steps classes and gym.

She moved from there to setting up Leisure and Tourism related courses at Otley College, then expanded into running Modern Apprenticeships in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

The leap from there was to go and study a degree in acupuncture, from which she graduated about 12 years ago and has been running her own clinic ever since.

 

Passions and interests

Walking, yoga, meditation, reading.

 

Qualifications

BSc Hons in Acupuncture, Licensed Acupuncturist

BA Hons Independently Negotiated Learning (work out what research to do around a topic, then do it – a bit like a Masters).

Dave Baker - Member Spotlight June/July 2020

Dave Baker

Dave Baker, PerformancePlus Partnership

 

Our member in the spotlight for June 2020

 

Current business

 

Performance Plus Partnership

 

Website: www.performanceplus.co.uk

Telephone: 01284 330400

Email: [email protected]

 

 

Career history

Dave has a degree in Computer Engineering with a specialisation in the design and implementation of microprocessor-based systems. Fairly early on in his career, he realised that success in any job was a direct function of personal sales and marketing skills (whether marketing one’s suitability for a new job or selling an idea to a group of colleagues) and therefore decided to develop his skills in this area. Ultimately, he moved into direct selling roles which culminated in running his own (successful) business for 12 years which he eventually sold to a large plc. He subsequently worked for a US corporation and developed their business in the UK from nothing to an annual turnover of over $10 million.

Personal circumstances then led to a change in his career, and he trained and qualified as a business coach and started his own coaching business which he eventually incorporated into a partnership with a number of other professionals (Performance Plus Partnership). Further changes led to him acquiring qualifications as a Lead Auditor for ISO27001 and ISO9001 (the International Standards for Data Security and Quality Management) and he now spends most of his working time helping companies who want to improve their businesses and achieve certification to one of these Standards.

 

Passions and interests

Having dabbled in various hobbies including archery, radio-controlled models and motorsports, he settled into the more sedate interests of cycling and playing with his grandchildren (though he says that actually the latter is turning out to be somewhat less than sedate!).

 

Qualifications

B.Sc. (Eng) MIET, IRCA Certified Lead Auditor for ISO27001 and ISO9001.

Andrew Dawson - Member Spotlight April/May 2020

Andrew Dawson

Andrew Dawson - Akzo Nobel

 

Our member in the spotlight for April/May 2020

 

Current business

AkzoNobel Stowmarket

 

Website: www.akzonobel.com

Telephone: 07917 184473 / 01449 778107

Email: [email protected]

 

Career history

Until 2017 the majority of Andrew’s career was with Royal Mail in London and the East of England. He held many senior leadership roles in the company running large sorting and parcel centres with teams of up to 600 people. He has led change management during significant turning points in the company (industrial action, employee change programmes and privatisation in 2013).

In 2017 he joined AkzoNobel (Dulux Paints) in Stowmarket as the Site Manager leading a team of 100 people manufacturing 100 million litres of Dulux paint and Cuprinol woodcare for the UK and European markets. He finds surprising similarities in the two companies where success depends on a deep understanding and empathy with people, employee engagement and visionary leadership.

 

Passions and interests

Outside of work, Andrew is married with 3 grown-up children who have all left home and work here or abroad. He is an active runner, fell-walker (Press Officer for the Wainwright Society no less!), snowboarder and traveller and has trekked to Machu Picchu and Everest Base Camp. Downtime involves “fine food and wine”!

 

Qualifications

A Geography graduate many years ago from the University of London and attended a business programme at Oxford University in 2016.

Kim Morrison - Member Spotlight September 2019

Kim Morrison

Kim Morrison

Our member in the spotlight for September 2019

Current businesses

 

Morr Marketing (previously Morrison Social Media)

Website:  www.morrmarketing.co.uk

Telephone: 07905 361694

Email: [email protected]

Be Your Own Graphic Designer

Website:  www.beyourowngraphicdesigner.com

Email: [email protected]

Career and business history

Kim describes herself as a marketer, author, life-long learner, and teacher and has built a reputation as a specialist in marketing and social media.

She’s been in Marketing most of her career and it’s let her travel all over the world, working with different cultures and languages. She lived in New York for five years working for one of the world’s largest cosmetics companies – very “Sex in the City”!  She’s also worked in what could be seen as the unglamorous side of industry working in service businesses, but found those equally fun and exciting.

Kim has held the position of Managing Director of three different companies that she turned round from loss making to profit. She loves managing people and building a strong team. “Creating great teams has been integral to my business success”.

She believes that communication and marketing are the lifeblood of a business. She stresses that making sure understand where you’re going, have a steady stream of customers, and provide excellent value and service, is what great marketing is all about.

She also worked with graphic designer, Sammy Teather, to develop BeYourOwnGraphicDesigner, a unique collection of flat graphics that allow busy business owners and social media managers to create their own social media posts and web graphics quickly and easily. They were thrilled and excited to be chosen as one of the first Ambassadors for Canva.com and are officially Canva Certified Creatives.

 

Passions and interests

Kim has always travelled extensively and now lives with her husband in the Western Algarve, Portugal. She loves being location independent and works anywhere in the world with a decent internet connection though she does pop back to the UK regularly to meet clients personally.

She indulges in her other passion horseriding and has a Lusitano horse which she is training for dressage and also hacks through the beautiful Portuguese countryside.

 

Qualifications

SFEDI Social Media and Digital Marketing Certificates

MBA

Colin Tapscott - Member Spotlight August 2019

Colin Tapscott 

Colin Tapscott

Our member in the spotlight for August 2019

Current business

Everyday Leader

Website:  www.everydayleader.co.uk

Telephone: 07905 361694

Email: [email protected]

Career and business history

After seeing his French teacher being locked in a cupboard, he vowed he would never be a teacher. But in 1991 he began a 26-year career as a teacher, realising not all teachers got locked in cupboards if you built relationships and taught well. Teaching posts in Surrey and Hertfordshire gave Colin the experience to become a headteacher in 2000. His first headteacher post in Stevenage, Hertfordshire was amalgamating two schools – no mean feat for a first headteacher post and aged just 32.

In 2007 he took on improving a 650 place primary school in Ipswich. It’s obvious that the role of the headteacher is to develop children, but Colin’s heart was also to develop the school community and therefore a key part of that is to develop leaders within the school.

That heart for developing leaders meant that in 2017 Colin left education to establish Everyday Leader, a company passionate about inspiring, equipping and developing leaders.

So, Colin now works with companies, schools and charities to help develop leadership and communication skills of leaders at all levels of the organisation.

 

Passions and interests

Colin and his wife Lisa run a children’s charity, Lemmings Holidays, providing holidays for children and young people to learn about themselves and the Christian faith.

Colin and his wife have 3 adult children. In his spare time, Colin enjoys watching his adult son Matt play for Sporting 87 football club and walking the two family dogs.

Colin also has recently taken up running having got started with the ‘Couch to 5k’ app.

 

Qualifications

BA Hons in Theology

PGCE (Teacher qualification)

NPQH (National Professional Qualification of Headteachers)

Qualified Professional Coach (EMCC – European Mentoring Coaching Council)

Olivia Higson - Member Spotlight June 2019

Olivia Higson

Olivia Higson

Our member in the spotlight for June 2019

Current business

Blackwater Wealth Management

Website:  Brightside Wealth Management

Telephone: 01245 905405/07788 247390

Email: [email protected]

Career and business history

Olivia completed a Business Studies course locally and then went on to pursue her interest in property and become an estate agent. She has always enjoyed talking to clients and building long term relationships.

After spending some time travelling in South East Asia Olivia returned home and worked in a law firm focusing on client care.

Most recently Olivia has graduated from the St. James’s Place Academy as a Financial Adviser before undertaking the role full time.

 

Passions and interests

Olivia has an ex-racehorse called Titus Andronicus who takes up most of her free time and she enjoys riding five times a week.

She also enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and they have a very sociable group of friends.

 

Qualifications

Diploma in Business Studies

Diploma in Financial Planning

Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice.

Andrew Bingham - Member Spotlight May 2019

Andrew Bingham

Andrew Bingham

Our member in the spotlight for May 2019

Current business

Andrew Bingham Independent Funeral Service

Website:  www.andrewbingham.co.uk

Telephone:  01449 771666

Email: [email protected]

Career and business history

In his last year at school, having no idea what to do and Andrew’s dad coming home from leading a funeral as a Methodist minister, Andrew asked ‘what do you have to do to be a funeral director?’ That was in 1985 and, as they say, the rest is history.

In 1986, Andrew started working at an independent funeral service in Chesterfield and then joined B&C Co-op Funeral Service in Sheffield. In 1988 he qualified as an embalmer, in 1989 he moved to Ipswich and joined Farthing Singleton and Hastings funeral service, where he qualified as a funeral director in 1991. He joined the Co-op in 1996 but went back to Farthing Singleton and Hastings in 1999.

In 2006 Andrew and his wife Heidi opened their own business, Andrew Bingham Independent Funeral Service.

 

Passions and interests

Other than work and family, if there is any time left Andrew loves walking.

They have a golden retriever dog called Toby and spend many hours walking locally and visiting the Peak District and the Lakes in their VW campervan which Andrew converted himself.

He says: “I am no glory hunter, my son and I follow Chesterfield Football Club who are not doing very well, having been relegated to the non-league for the first time in their history.”

 

Qualifications

Andrew is a qualified Embalmer belonging to the British Institute of Embalmers and a qualified Funeral Director belonging to the (NAFD) National Association of Funeral Directors and (SAIF) Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors.

Danny Cuff - Member Spotlight February 2019

Danny Cuff

Danny Cuff - Gipping Press

Our member in the spotlight for February 2019

Current business

Gipping Press Ltd,
Units 1 and 2, Maitland Rd, Needham Market, Ipswich IP6 8NZ

Website:  https://www.gippingpress.co.uk/

Telephone:  01449 721599

Email: [email protected]

 

Career and business history

After completing A levels at Northgate High School in Ipswich, Danny studied Journalism at Staffordshire University. Whilst writing was his first passion, as part of the course he studied the layout of publications and this became more of a passion than the actual writing side of journalism!

After completing his University degree in 2011, Danny worked with Icon Consultants in Ipswich before joining Gipping Press in December of the same year.

Danny is the second generation of his family to work in the business, which was founded by Mike Truscott in 1980 before his father, Bob, brought the company upon Mike’s retirement.

He is currently Customer Services Director and is responsible for estimating, enquiry handling and looking after customers.

Gipping Press has been in Needham Market for 39 years and throughout that time has invested heavily in staff and equipment to be able to offer a complete print service under its one roof.

As a result, it has become a specialist in a few areas and is a trade printer for many print companies across the area.

Danny is also Vice Chairman of Stowmarket and District Chamber of Commerce and the coordinator of our newest, successful venture, the Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition (MSBE), now in its second year.

 

Passions and interests

Danny’s main passion is the outdoors and wildlife and loves nothing more than spending time in his garden with his wife, Cyntia, and three-year-old son, Noah. This goes hand in hand with bird watching. Danny is a keen twitcher!

 

Qualifications

BA Hons in Journalism, member of the British Print Industry Federation and Vice-Chair of Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce.

Stowmarket and Area Food Bank - December 2018

Stowmarket and Area Food Bank

Stownarket and Area Foodbank

Our member in the spotlight for December 2018

Stowmarket and Area Food Bank

http://www.livingit.org.uk/foodbank/

01449 774000 (9am – 1pm)

Stowmarket Community Centre, Hillside, Stowmarket, IP14 2BD

Opening hours: Tuesdays: 9 am – 1 pm, Wednesdays: 9 am – 1 pm, Thursdays: 9 am – 1 pm,
Fridays: 9 am – 1 pm

About the foodbank

The Foodbank has been the Chamber’s chosen charity for the last two years as we feel it plays an incredibly important role in the local community.  The Foodbank manager is Mike Smith and the Centre is run entirely by volunteers. The Foodbank was founded in October 2012 by Stowmarket Churches Together. By October 2014 demand had risen by 140%, according to Stowmarket’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau, and still continues to increase.

The Foodbank works with Stowmarket Churches Together and other organisations to identify individuals and families who can benefit from the Foodbank’s services. The Stowmarket Citizens’ Advice Bureau is the main source of referrals to the Foodbank.

Parcels are delivered to the town and surrounding area, including Needham Market and several mid-Suffolk villages.

The Foodbank generally provides 1 or 3-day emergency food parcels. These contain dried and canned goods, plus tea and personal hygiene products. It has been delivering an average of 50 packages a month.

With the roll-out of Universal Credit this summer, demand for parcels has increased by 21% to 71 packages, an equivalent of two tonnes of food per month.

What is in a typical parcel?

Breakfast cereals, Soup, Pasta, Rice, Pasta sauce, Tinned beans, Tinned meat, Tinned vegetables, Tinned fruit, Tea or coffee, Sugar, Biscuits, Snacks.

At Christmas, when demand is at its highest, the Foodbank collects and includes seasonal items such as Christmas cake, mince pies, custard powder, fruit juices, Christmas Crackers and other items recipients might otherwise not be able to afford.

Where does the food come from?

All the food is donated.  There are collection points at some of Stowmarket’s supermarkets; organisations, such as Scout groups, run special collections; Church Harvest Festivals are another source, and not forgetting the many individuals throughout the area also donate regularly as well as volunteering to run the Foodbank.

The Chamber has a special Christmas collection of seasonal food donations as well as providing food donations throughout the year.  We will be running our Reverse Advent Calendar again this year asking people to buy an item per day to add to the stocks, which will be collected and handed over at our Christmas Lunch on 14 December.

Mike Drain - Member Spotlight November 2018

Mike Drain

Mike Drain - Member Spotlight November 2018

Our member in the spotlight for November 2018

Current businesses:

Superb Travel Suffolk

https://www.superbtravelsuffolk.co.uk/

email: [email protected]

Tel: 01449 507775

The Suffolk Foot Man

https://www.thesuffolkfootman.co.uk/

email: [email protected]

Tel: 01449 860338

Career history

Mike left school after failing his A-levels and worked on the shop floor at Boots, in Tavern Street, Ipswich, where he met his future wife, Margaret, following a family tradition that began with his parents.

From there, he moved to Ipswich Hospital to work as a theatre technician.

His next job was with Life Science Research (Essex and Suffolk), where he was to remain for 20 years working as a foetal pathologist studying the effects of drugs on the unborn and also gaining an Open University degree. Between 1997 and 1999, while still at LSR, he also retrained as a chiropodist which was to eventually lead to his setting up one of his two businesses.

In a complete change of direction when he left LSR, he set up his first business, initially called Mikey’s Travel. It has subsequently been re-branded as Superb Airport Transfers and most recently as Superb Travel Suffolk. It focuses on transporting people both locally, to family events, celebrations, weddings, hospital appointments and more, and long-distance to and from airports and cruise ship terminals.

In his other incarnation as The Suffolk Foot Man, Mike takes care of people’s feet, visiting elderly clients in their homes and also running a clinic on alternate Fridays at the Station Pharmacy in Elmswell.

Passions and interests

As if two businesses were not enough, Mike is also the FSB’s national councillor for the East of England and treasurer of the Stowmarket Methodist Church.

Apart from his obvious passion for his family, which includes his wife of 37 years, Margaret, and their three children, Tim, Julie and Robin, plus two grandchildren, Henry and Georgia, he has recently taken up both golf and running. He realised that in both his businesses he had a largely sedentary lifestyle and had always enjoyed swimming and walking.

Mike, who shares a birthday with his daughter Julie, is also “working on developing a taste for cruising” and the two are booked to take a birthday celebration cruise in July 2019 to Norway. He confesses that after many years of hanging around airports for hours waiting for clients he is not much interested in flying anywhere!

Qualifications

BA (Hons) in Biochemistry
Fully-trained and HCPC registered Chiropodist

Keely Taylor - Member Spotlight September/October 2018

Keely Taylor

Keely Taylor - KTSS and Taylor-Made Trees

Our member in the spotlight for September/October 2018

Current businesses:

KTSS (Keely Taylor Support Services) http://ktss.co.uk/ Email: [email protected] Tel: 01449 770965 / 07711 186626 Taylor-Made Trees https://taylormadetrees.co.uk/ Email: [email protected] Tel: 01449 770965 / 07711 186626

Career history

In 2005 after 5 redundancies in a row, Keely decided she’d had enough of the corporate world and set up KTSS, providing admin support for small businesses. Her most recent venture is to turn a lifelong passion into a second business researching clients’ family history and producing family trees.  In 1982 she started to draw a family tree at her grandparents’ golden wedding party, and she hasn’t stopped ancestor-hunting since. While she can’t promise to find royal ancestors, nor transport you to glamorous foreign locations, unlike a certain TV programme, she can provide focused, accurate research into your roots, and build a family tree for you to treasure. For those who have already had a go and got confused and discouraged, she can work with you on your family history, helping to ensure you’re on the right track. If you’re stuck on a particular brick wall, she can help you to break it down. If you’re a total beginner she can help you to get started. Keely is a highly experienced researcher and also offers talks, training and courses for groups and individuals.

Passions and interests

Not content with running two businesses Keely is also Secretary of Stowmarket and District Chamber of Commerce (aka “our lovely secretary”) and the author of our regular, somewhat quirky emails. She is also passionate about the theatre, was a member for many years of the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society and has directed/choreographed several shows at the Stowmarket Regal, although these days she settles for being in the audience. She has recently taken up yoga and is equally passionate about her three cats and…. Cake, did we mention cake?

Shelli Moyes - Member Spotlight July 2018

Shelli Moyes

Shelli Moyes

Our member in the spotlight for July 2018

Current business:

MPM Computer Consultancy

www.mpmit.co.uk

Email Shelli on: [email protected]

Or call: 01449 770704 | 07733 262116

Shelli is a self-confessed fixer of puzzles.

Her training has taken place via many mediums to keep up to date with all that technology has to throw at us.  From the classroom to residential courses learning Novell, Unix, Microsoft server and Microsoft Office application software and moving on to BT Meridian telephone systems, she has gained various IT qualifications (see below for the full list).

Technology changes fast, so learning is an ongoing process. She says: “Computers are all a puzzle and the software we use just adds that extra bit of spice to the mix”.

Career history

Shelli started her IT career as a Civil Servant working locally.

Later she moved on to the private sector, still keeping up her IT knowledge and progressing through several company acquisitions before deciding in 2003 to start her own company and give back the knowledge she had gained to micro businesses and the community.  This year MPMIT is celebrating its fifteenth year in business.

Hobbies and interests

Shelli loves to play golf, likes nature walking, live music concerts and theatre shows, reading crime novels, thrillers and general girly stuff plus generally socialising – with or without alcohol!

Qualifications

NCVQ Use and Support of Information Technology Level 3
European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) Administrator
SNOW certified professional (SCP)

Other qualifications that give Shelli an all-round business mix are:

Certificate in IT Training – Institute of IT Training
D32 and D33 – London Chamber Commerce Industry Education Trust
Certificate in Management Studies (CMS) – Nottingham Trent University
Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) – Nottingham Trent University
Master of Science (MSc) in Human Resource Management – Anglia Polytechnic University.

Steve Stoddart - Member Spotlight June 2018

Steve Stoddart

Steve Stoddart

Our member in the spotlight for June 2018

Current business:

 

Wandering River Stills and Video Production

www.wandering-river.co.uk

email Steve at: [email protected]

or call: 07984 017832

Steve was born in Japan in 1957.  He soon developed abilities which were very different from the rest of his family.  They all had an intensely artistic leaning. Languages and art were to the fore with them and all could “draw exquisitely”. Steve would develop a mind full of wizard industries and all things engineering and spent 35 years in electronic engineering and IT system design.

Steve learned his engineering skills on the job and in the early years in engineering had a great employer who bundled him off to college.  That eventually lead to an HNC in Electronic Engineering.  Some years later, Steve started his dream job working for a company that designed recording and stereo equipment.  Sadly, it lasted only three weeks before the company went bust.  Not the best choice of employers, it would seem!

Fortunately, he was offered another job in the oil and gas industry designing equipment to run compressor installations.  It was to take him to many amazing parts of the world, including North West Canada, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Spain and the USA.  He then moved to another company, where he stayed for 14 years and this one took him to Saudi Arabia to work on military aircraft and reconnaissance equipment.

In 2011, the threat of redundancy was to rear its head.  Although he describes himself as very “risk averse”, he saw this as an opportunity to start his own business in photography and video production.

Although the company he had been working for was about to make him redundant, he held them in high esteem.  Through their encouragement, he had become a Chartered Engineer.  Also, over the past years, he had gathered significant experience in product photography and his engineering background would prove very useful in not only understanding the subject matter but also how to plan and carry out a shoot.

Steve says he knew nothing about running a business before starting Wandering River. Most of what he has learned, he picked up “by the seat of the pants”, by making mistakes and by the generosity of the business folk he has met at networking groups.

Where does “Wandering River” come from?

Years before, his oil and gas work would take Steve to the northern reaches of Canada – usually in the depth of Winter. On one occasion, a flight from one compressor station to another took him over the Athabasca River, 2000 feet below.  Its meandering path through the frozen wilderness immediately gave Steve the idea of a name – should he ever work for himself.  “Wandering River” – a frozen river seen from 2000 feet.

How Stills and Video entered the picture

While engineering was (and still is) a mainstay, there lurked beneath the surface a small flame of an artistic leaning.  He had discovered old monochrome photographs taken by his Mother and was drawn to them.  So, encouraged by both Mum and Dad, Steve was given his first camera when he was 12 and to begin with he concentrated on taking pictures of first his own family, then other folk.

The start of a working life relegated photography to an intermittent hobby for a while but eventually opportunities popped up to provide product stills for the various companies Steve worked for.

Present Day

So now, Steve combines Stills and Video Production with Engineering activities.  Both involve some travel, but so far all within the shores of the UK!

The furthest afield he has worked is Oxford for a video project and Glasgow for an ongoing engineering task.

Steve finds both avenues of endeavour fulfilling… The stills and video has allowed what was always a nascent artistic characteristic to finally come to the fore and is great for the heart (and the head) and the engineering is great to keep his analytical mind on its toes.

On a personal note

Steve and Annya met in Berkshire, where they were both living back in 1983.  They moved to Suffolk in 1986 and have been married for 31 years.

Hobbies

Hobbies include woodwork and, a recent discovery, a graphics tablet with a stylus. He uses these to edit natural world photographs into something more akin to “artwork”.

He also enjoys creative writing. It arose out of being plagued at one time with “screaming nightmares” that he learned to defuse by writing about them. They are now forming the basis of a book that, said with a sideways smile, “might be worth a read”.

We can’t wait!

G. Tydeman Jewellers - Member Spotlight May 2018

G. Tydeman Jewellers – Les Basham

Les Basham - G. Tydeman Jewellers

Our member in the spotlight for May 2018

Current business:

 

G. Tydeman Jewellers

http://tydeman-jewellers.co.uk/

01449 612510, 1-3 Bury Street, Stowmarket

[email protected]

G. Tydeman Jewellers has been serving the people of Stowmarket and the surrounding area since 1790.

The shop was founded by George Tydeman, originally as a clock-makers before moving into retail jewellery.

The shop stayed in the Tydeman family until the 1950s, when it was taken over by former employees who ran it until 1970 when the business was bought by John and Florrie Heller. John learnt his trade as a jeweller and watchmaker in London’s West End.

The business has remained in the family ever since and current MD Leslie J Basham is the son-in-law of John and Florrie, with a third generation of the family also in the company.

G. Tydeman Jewellers is a member of the National Association of Jewellers and of the Company of Master Jewellers, which gives the company access to the many UK and International suppliers enabling it to select the best in contemporary and traditional designs.

They offer a bespoke service, creating exquisite pieces customers will be able to treasure forever, as well as a full repair service for watches and jewellery.

Mr Basham believes the business owes a great deal to being an independent, family-run business that prides itself on the care it takes with its service, especially when asked to repair treasured family heirlooms.

He is equally passionate about preserving and promoting the town centre and its retailers. He says during their time in Stowmarket they have seen both footfall and catchment area increasing, partly due to the additional housing that has been built around the town.

The business has been involved with Stowmarket Chamber for many years and was involved in setting up its previous incarnation.

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