Gloucestershire business appointments round-up: March 2021

An overwhelming number of female faces have moved or taken on new senior roles in Gloucestershire in March 2021 – spanning GFirst LEP and Stroud’s new department store to Weston Aviation and Willans LLP.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Diane Savory is one of the female leaders announcing their changing roles in Gloucestershire, this March 2021.
Diane Savory is one of the female leaders announcing their changing roles in Gloucestershire, this March 2021.

SoGlos has handpicked some of the most interesting business appointments in Gloucestershire, in its now monthly Business series. With a particularly high number of female leaders moving roles and taking on new positions.

Diane Savory – GFirst LEP

Diane Savory

It is no secret that Diane Savory, chairwoman of GFirst LEP, was due to step down from her role this year – but now we know the date of her departure is August 2021.

After three terms of office she was given special permission by government to remain in her role to help lead the local enterprise partnership through the pandemic.

During her decade at the helm she has forged a singularly effective working relationship with David Owen, chief executive of GFirst LEP, which has seen Gloucestershire’s LEP win more than £100 million for the county.

Her efforts were recognised as early as 2013 with an OBE and more recently saw her named on a national High Streets Task Force and national Economic Recovery Workgroup. She is also the chairwoman of Cheltenham Festivals.

Nicole O’Connor – Weston Aviation

Nicole O’Connor

Nicole O’Connor has been appointed as the commercial director at Staverton-based Weston Aviation. She joined the long-standing team at the private jet operator in 2019, with two decades of experience in the travel and tourism sector.

Nick Weston, the firm’s chief executive officer, said Ms O’Connor’s new role would see her focus on driving forward the long-term growth of the business, which handles what is called FBO (fixed-base operator) and cargo flights, and continuing to raise awareness of using regional airports on an international scale.

Joanne Ireland – Sandersons Boutique

Joanne Ireland

After much talk and anticipation, the waiting will be over this month when Stroud’s new department store, Sandersons Boutique, opens its doors – with manager Joanne Ireland at the helm.

Ms Ireland, from Cirencester, brings more than 25 years of expertise in customer service and retail management to the new Dransfield property-owned store at Five Valleys Shopping centre.

‘As a local girl I know that the town is in need of somewhere that provides the very best high end, luxury and exciting brands to local shoppers and here at Sandersons we will achieve just that,’ said Ms Ireland.

Jean Cole – Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service

Steven Marston

Those who know the story of the last few years at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will know it has been building a new leadership team, and another key piece of that jigsaw will be Jean Cole.

Ms Cole is to be the service’s new assistant chief fire officer. She will move from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS), where she has been head of transformation and change.

She will take up her post from 10 May 2021 with responsibilities including business planning and performance and transformation and organisational development.

Wayne Bowcock, chief fire officer, said: ‘The standard in the assessment process was exceptional and it was an incredibly hard decision.’

Hartpury Agri-Tech Centre

Top (left to right) Sophie Hope, Paul Westaway, Alison Capper; bottom (left to right) Robert Davies, Charlie Whitehouse, Andrew Eastabrook.

Hartpury College and Hartpury University were clearly keen to feature in SoGlos’s roundup, naming a plethora of ‘key appointments’ as it continues to underline its importance to those in the agriculture sector.

The specialist institution has announced six lead farming representatives for its recently launched Digital Farming Network, created by the Hartpury Agri-Tech Centre as a community of practice for UK farmers to receive support with the adoption and use of the latest agri-technologies.

The new faces – all successful farmers – are Alison Capper (horticulture and potatoes), Paul Westaway (beef and sheep), Robert Davies (dairy), Sophie Hope (pig and poultry), Charlie Whitehouse (arable) and Hartpury’s award-winning farm manager Andrew Eastabrook.

Other appointments in Gloucestershire

Kristie Rhodes and Janine Guthrie join Willans

Legal experts Willans named two new appointments to its private client division as the Legal 500-rated Gloucestershire law firm continues to grow.

Janine Guthrie, a chartered legal executive with over 12 years’ experience joined the wills, trusts and probate team as an associate.

And solicitor Kristie Rhodes joined the family law department, which secured a coveted top-tier ranking for the sixth year running in the latest edition of Chambers UK.

Bridget Redmond, managing partner of the Cheltenham-headquartered law firm, said: ‘It is a privilege for Willans to be able to attract such high-calibre lawyers.’

Brenda Ward

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have appointed a new palliative care consultant to work across both sites, in what is a described as ‘a first for the county’.

Brenda Ward is working at the Sue Ryder hospice site in Cheltenham two days a week and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital three days a week, sharing her expertise and knowledge across both organisations.

Brenda is working alongside Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice’s palliative care consultant Paul Perkins.

At Gloucester-headquartered solicitors Tayntons Alex Lyttle, already known county-wide and beyond for his experience dealing with all kinds of employment and contract disputes, was promoted to partner.

Three new appointments were also named at Gloucester-based Brunsdon Insurance Brokers.

Experts in the insurance industry all, the trio joining the ever forward-looking business include Robert Minshull ACII (BA Hons), a key member of the firm’s corporate team who was promoted from commercial account executive to account director.

Howard Beddoe (Cert CII), also part of the corporate team, was promoted to account director, and Toby Mills (Cert CII), promoted from commercial account handler to commercial account executive.

Neville Mills, managing director of Brunsdon Insurance Brokers, said: ‘Myself and the Brunsdon team would like to congratulate Robert, Howard and Toby on these great achievements and wish them all the very best for the future.’

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