As some grappled with how best to spend this year’s summer holiday, Gloucestershire’s businesses were as busy as ever welcoming new faces to new roles.
Appointments in sectors from education to engineering, law firms to business improvement districts, as well as wealth managers, all highlight the ongoing rise of talent in the county.
Dr Becky Taylor and Dr Simon Bicknell – Hartpury University
Hartpury University has announced two experienced appointments to its senior leadership team.
Dr Becky Taylor has joined dean of enhancement, focusing on leading and supporting colleagues to improve all aspects of academic provision and associated professional services.
Dr Simon Bicknell is the new head of student experience, focusing on student retention, engagement and induction, working across academic and professional staff teams and in partnership with student advisors.
Russell Marchant, vice-chancellor of Hartpury University, said: ‘Their experience will make a valuable contribution to ensuring our programmes remain current and relevant and that we provide a positive setting where students are inspired to fulfil their goals and aspirations.’
Dawn Oliver – Harrison Clark Rickerbys
Dawn Oliver has become the new senior partner at law firm, Harrison Clark Rickerbys, which has offices in Cheltenham.
She is the firm’s first female senior partner and takes over from Richard Knight, who has been with the firm for 32 years.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys has more than 780 staff and as well as Cheltenham, has offices in Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Hereford, London, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Thames Valley, Worcester and the Wye Valley.
Dr Julie Urquhart – University of Gloucestershire
The University of Gloucestershire’s Dr Julie Urquhart, associate professor in environmental science, has been appointed to the government’s newly-formed Trees and Woodlands Scientific Advisory Group.
The group has been set up to provide expert scientific input to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to inform the England tree planting programme – the government’s plan for increasing tree planting rates to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK from 2025, aimed at helping reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Lesley Sainty, Rob Buckley, Richard and Laura Ashton-Phillips – Gloucester BID
City centre business group, Gloucester BID, has welcomed new board members Richard and Laura Ashton-Phillips, owners of music shop Soundhouse and Rob Buckley director of Sure Sales and Lettings.
Gloucester BID also welcomes new marketing lead, Lesley Sainty, who will be working to promote the BID’s achievements and ongoing benefits to Gloucester businesses, along with marketing levy payers to new and existing audiences.
The Gloucester BID board is made up of business owners who make decisions on behalf of the 500-plus levy payers in the Gloucester district to help promote the city and boost its economy.
James Brookner and Tom Jaffrey – Blackfinch
Investment specialist Blackfinch has bolstered its investment division’s senior management team with the appointment of James Brookner, who joins as ventures director.
A former consultant at Accenture, he is also the co-founder of three companies including one operating in the enterprise software space.
Tom Jaffrey also joins the Gloucester-headquartered firm in the business development team as an investment relationships manager.
10 senior promotions – Lodders
Law firm Lodders has announced 10 senior promotions across its real estate, private client and family teams, including two legal director appointments and a partner.
Ian Yarde and Theresa Spalding are promoted to legal director; with Daniel Macleod and Josy Haigh promoted to senior associate.
Lauren Pearson – who joined Lodders as a paralegal in 2014, completed her training and qualified as a solicitor at the firm – is promoted to associate.
Family law expert, Vivienne Middleton of Lodders’ family law team, becomes a partner, while Gill Coombs and Sarah Hawkins are promoted to senior associate in Lodders’ private client team.
Family law team member, Christine Williams, becomes an associate, and Angela Howard is promoted to the role of marketing manager at the firm.
Alison Townsend – Hazlewoods
Alison Townsend has been appointed marketing director at Cheltenham-based Hazlewoods.
She joined the firm in July 2021 after three and a half years leading the marketing team at Gloucestershire College, where she was responsible for launching its new cyber classrooms and business networking space, as well as increasing further and higher education applications and increasing apprenticeship revenue, bucking the national trend.
Alison has also held senior roles at Cheltenham College; Nelson Thornes Publishers; SITA Airline Services; and Deloitte and Touche in London.
Suzanne Hemingway – Two Rivers Housing
Two Rivers Housing has appointed Suzanne Hemingway as its new corporate director. A former strategic director at Cambridge City Council, she will take charge of the operations teams including housing; development; asset management; and planned maintenance and repairs service, provided by the group’s subsidiary company Centigen.
Sam Scott and Zakk Papasideris – First Solution Group
First Solutions Group has appointed Sam Scott and Zakk Papasideris as technical account managers at its Cheltenham offices. The pair will be working across both First Solution and First Digital.
Tom Henson, managing director of First Solution, said: ‘Their energy and experience will hugely benefit our customers, helping them realise their ambitions through our digital business strategy process.’
Amy Bates – Cheltenham Festivals
Amy Bates has become the new event operations manager at Cheltenham Festivals, the organisation which stages the town’s hugely successful literature, science, jazz and music festivals.
Camomile Soper, Rhianna Smith and Maria Gushchina also join the operations team.
Richard Gillingwater – Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc
World leading Cheltenham-based engineering firm Spirax Sarco has appointed Richard Gillingwater as senior independent director.
Mr Gillingwater became a non-executive director in March 2021. He replaces Dr Trudy Schoolenberg, who has stepped down from the board after nine years.
The firm described her input as ‘crucial in guiding the business through significant changes and challenges whilst maintaining the highest governance standards’.
Other Gloucestershire movers and shakers
Daniel Boden joins Cheltenham-based wealth managers RockWealth from Cirencester firm Ermin Fosse; the University of Gloucestershire has appointed Julie Walkling as a director; Gloucestershire Airport has appointed Alexandra Pentecost, Andrew Mark Cooke and Andrew Kafkaris as directors; Denise Laxton has joined the team at Tewkesbury-based law firm DF Legal team; and Gloucester-based GR Lanes has appointed Elizabeth Hardy as a director.