About Us

Your Sector Representatives

Two Area Councils serve Herefordshire and Worcestershire respectively and are comprised of elected sector representatives from Member businesses in the two counties.

Get in touch with your representative to share concerns, trends and opportunities from your sector.

Area Councils

30 specialists from different sectors meet six times a year to provide feedback from their respective profession, which is then used to inform our economic reports and shape the policy activity we offer Member businesses.

The Area Councils form a key part of our governance structure and have links to the Chamber Board. Using the biographies below, get in touch with a sector representative through LinkedIn to discuss challenges in your sector.

Latest Area Council Updates

Click the links below to view a summary of previous Area Council discussions.

Get in touch with your representative to share concerns, trends and opportunities from your sector by clicking on the individual profiles.


Herefordshire Area Council Updates


Worcestershire Area Council Updates

Herefordshire Area Council

Mike Forrester

Food & Drink Sector

Most of Mike’s career has been in the food industry, running manufacturing businesses, heading up sales and commercial activities in export markets and has 25 years of leadership experience in the Food Sector. From local start-up businesses to senior commercial and board roles in a multi-billion pound international PLC. He is a previous winner of Chamber Business of the Year and in 2016 received the Queens Awards for International Trade. Mike is also Chair of the main Chamber Board of Directors.

Connect on LinkedIn

Martin Hitchin

Rehau Ltd, Manufacturing

Martin is the Chief Executive at Rehau Ltd with thirty years’ experience in the manufacturing sector. Joining Rehau in 1988 as an Applications Engineer, he then progressed to become Technical Manager, Technical Director, Sales and Marketing Director and CEO in 2007. He has expertise in people management, product development, focused account management and strategic marketing. Martin has Combined Engineering degree and Polymer Science and Engineering post graduate degree.

Connect on LinkedIn

Samantha Lewis

NMiTE, Education

Samantha is a HR professional with 14 years’ experience operating in the manufacturing & engineering industry. Samantha joined NMiTE and moved into the Higher Education Sector in 2018 as Head of HR, having been tasked with setting up the HR infrastructure, developing and maintaining an inclusive culture and recruiting and retaining significant talent to support the development of the organisation.

Connect on LinkedIn

Stephen Eckley

Sequani Limited, Science & Medical

Stephen is Chief Executive of Sequani who conduct safety assessments during the development of new agrochemicals and medicines. Before Sequani Stephen worked within the healthcare field in various management roles. Stephen is interested in Herefordshire business life and is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. He views active membership as important in supporting and promoting the growth and development of Herefordshire.

Connect on LinkedIn

Clive Brooks

ABE Ledbury, Transport & Logistics

Clive joined ABE (Ledbury) Ltd in 2007 and is now the Managing Director. He has over 20 years’ experience in the transport and logistics industry with 18 years spent at Europa Worldwide, managing contracts with Ford, General Motors, Rank Xerox and Energiser. He is a Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport and Vice Chair of the local Road Haulage Association group.

Connect on LinkedIn

Mark Smith

Lloyds Banking, Banking

Mark is an experienced banker and has worked for Lloyds Banking Group for 36 years, across a range of retail, commercial, risk, and operational management roles.  Currently, Relationship Director with primary responsibility for 60 SME clients, typically with annual sales of £10-£25M and/or debt requirements of c£2M+ within the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Area.

Connect on LinkedIn

David Williams

Herefordshire, Ludlow & North Shropshire College, Education

David has worked in the FE sector for 25 years. He is currently the Principal of Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College, an organisation with campuses across the Marches which serves more than 3500 full-time students and apprentices each year. David is deeply committed to further education and is proud of the sector’s ability to develop students’ skills, knowledge and attitudes, supporting them to become successful future employees and business owners.

Connect on LinkedIn

Mike Hodges

Apreco, Manufacturing

Mike is owner-manager of Apreco, the market leader in the design and manufacture of air pressure control devices. After starting his career as a machinist and toolmaker he gained qualifications in sales and marketing before working with businesses producing motor vehicle testing equipment and hydraulic tube assemblies. He decided to start his own sales and marketing consultancy, which led to a strong working relationship with Apreco.

Connect on LinkedIn

Malcolm Ainge

Shires Equestrian, Sports & Leisure

Malcolm has worked in the equestrian trade for over 50 years in manufacturing, distribution and, more recently, online sales direct to the public. The equestrian trade is very international, so he has considerable experience in exports to markets around the world. Shires Equestrian distribute to 800 retailers throughout the UK, export 27% of their turnover and have warehouses in both Ireland and the USA. Most of Malcolm’s life has been dedicated to building Shires Equestrian into a successful family business and if he is able to assist local companies to develop it will give him a lot of pleasure.

Connect on LinkedIn

Darren Morris

Celtic Marches Beverages, Food & Drink

Darren Smith is a Director of Celtic Marches Beverages Ltd where for eight generations we’ve been busy farming 200 acres of luscious lined orchards. Chosen for growth and taste profiles, eight cider apple varieties are grown, pressed and blended with precision to create our international award-winning ciders. As one of the UK’s largest self-sustaining single estate cider producers we’re proud of our genuine heritage, provenance and traceability as well as sustainability. Awarded PGI status, you can be assured that only Herefordshire apples are used in our craft cider.

Connect on LinkedIn

​Rebecca Kirk​

Harrison Clark Rickerbys Solicitors

Rebecca is a Partner at HCR specialising in Employment Law. Rebecca advises businesses of all sizes with regard to people matters and has particular expertise in advising on issues affecting public sector organisations and those working with them, and issues which affect companies operating in the Defence and Security Sector. Rebecca is Head of HCR’s Hereford Office. HCR is a top 70 law firm with 11 office across the UK. The Hereford office lies in the heart of Hereford and employs over 40 people, with lawyers specialising in the full range of legal services for companies, business leaders and individuals.

Connect on LinkedIn

Mark Smith

Level Peaks Associates Ltd, Defence Contractors

Mark is an Owner/Director of Level Peaks Associates Ltd, a leading supplier of military capability to the UKs Ministry of Defence and wider NATO military forces. Mark served in the Army for 22 years before joining an embryonic LPA in 2010. He is also an Owner/Director of Ridgmont Holdings, a Hereford based company that invests in veteran owned businesses, helping them to grow and develop.

Worcestershire Area Council

Ben Mannion

Hewett Recruitment, Recruitment

Ben joined Hewett Recuitment in 2009 and became a director in 2013. He has an Economics degree from the University of Cambridge and started his recruitment career with a national agency in Birmingham. Ben’s role sees him work with client’s CEOs / MDs, HR Teams and Hiring Managers, designing bespoke recruitment solutions and SLAs to ensure compliance with legislation and delivery of KPIs. Ben is Chair of the Worcestershire LEP’s Connecting Schools & Business Board.

Connect on LinkedIn

Daniel Walton

Olpro, Retail

Daniel started OLPRO in 2011 and has adapted to a difficult retail climate through innovation and international growth. This year OLPRO will hit 1.5 million in turnover as they become a national brand. Dan’s key skills are in sales and marketing. He was determined to create a recognisable brand worth value beyond what the balance sheet says and he’s on track to do that. He feels that ecommerce is a growing, but underrepresented, sector in Worcestershire and believes the company’s experience can be of use to other local businesses.

Connect on LinkedIn

Emma Chetwynd Jarvis

Rock Power Connections, Powers & Utility

Emma works for Rock Power Connections, an electrical engineering company specialising in connections from the distribution network to new developments. She has 20 years’ experience in the energy industry and experience of national policy development including the installation of electricity infrastructure. Emma understands the pressures businesses face regarding energy costs, security of supply and tackling sustainability. She is heavily involved in the expansion of the Electric Vehicle Charger network and helping businesses as they electrify their fleets.

Connect on LinkedIn

Matthias Meyer

Heller Machine Tools Limited, Manufacturing

Matthias has been a MD for 15 years in the machine tools and pharmaceutical engineering industries, in the UK and China. He joined Heller Machine Tools 3 years ago. He believes the future challenges for UK businesses will be the ability to train people with the right skills and introduce new technologies and adapt processes to stay competitive in the export market. He is proud to manufacture CNC machines for the global market at Heller’s HQ here in Worcestershire.

Connect on LinkedIn

Duncan Sutcliffe

Sutcliffe Insurance, Insurance

Worcestershire born and bred, Duncan has worked at Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Brokers since 2002, taking over in 2017. His position requires close relationships with corporate, commercial and private clients across the region, which gives him insight into the local business climate and the ambitions and concerns of businesses. Duncan believes our region has fantastic potential and sees collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce as an effective way to increase prosperity and happiness for all.

Connect on LinkedIn

Chris Walklett

Bishop Fleming, Accounting

Chris is Head of Bishop Fleming’s international tax and advisory services after 23 years’ experience in the sector. He is one of the UK’s leading R&D tax credit advisors and an accredited expert witness. Chris is a director of WLEP, a non-exec director of Malvern Hills Science Park, and advisory board member and founder of Worcestershire’s BetaDen Tech Incubator. Chris became an Area Council member to support the continued economic development of the two counties.

Connect on LinkedIn

Robert Champion

Fisher German, Real Estate

Rob is a Partner of property consultancy Fisher German LLP and specialises in commercial property agency and development land. He has been in the industry for over 10 years. Rob’s decision to become an Area Council member was driven by a desire to help bring key local issues associated with the property market to the region and work closely with other industry representatives to improve the prospects of Worcestershire.

Connect on LinkedIn

Mila Barr Hamilton

Lloyds Bank, Banking

Mila is a Commercial Banking Relationship Manager who has 14 years banking experience. Lloyds Bank are committed to Help Britain Prosper which includes providing businesses with the right funding structure and cashflow management solutions. They challenge businesses to do things differently in order to grow and provide local jobs. Mila works with businesses who typically turnover between £3m and 10m. Her role is more than just a bank manager. She is passionate about providing value to her clients and helping her community.

Connect on LinkedIn

Matt Cooney

Community Housing, Social Care/Charity

Matt joined Community Housing in September 2020 and has led the development of a new Corporate Plan that aims to transform customer perception and generally improve the performance of the business with customer service as its core focus. Matt has considerable experience of working in housing, and since moving to the Midlands in 2000, joined Solihull Council as Deputy Director. He helped to establish North Solihull Regeneration which improved the Chelmsley Wood and Kingshurst areas and then led the team that established Solihull Community Housing (SCH) and became its first Chief Executive.

Connect on LinkedIn

Scott Andrews

University of Worcester, Education

Scott joined the University of Worcester in 2015 and is the Head of Worcester Business School and a Principal Lecturer in Leadership and Business. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Chartered Manager. In 2022, he was awarded the Chartered Management Institute’s Champion of the Year Award. He is a passionate advocate of work-integrated learning, bringing together academic and workplace learning, and is author of The Case Study Companion published by Routledge. Having previously worked at the Royal Agricultural University, Cardiff University and the Open University, Scott has been lecturing and researching since 1996 and has also led over 150 international educational programmes in more than 30 different countries.

Connect on LinkedIn

Clare Lang

mfg Solicitors LLP

Clare is Business Development Partner and Head of Corporate at regional law form mfg Solicitors LLP. As well as sitting on the firm’s board and leading the firm’s marketing strategy, Clare specialises in corporate and commercial transactions including management buy-outs and buy-ins, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and refinances for corporates and owner-managed businesses.

Connect on LinkedIn

Mike Cook

EBC Group, Communications and Managed IT

Mike brings a wealth of experience in the technology sector not only from EBC Group but also 30 plus years in Corporate business, latterly as MD for BT Enterprise.

He is extremely passionate in the support of the counties business sustainability and growth agenda and I truly believe I can support in a multitude of areas , especially in the area of IT & Cyber Security which could unknowingly impact everyone in some way as the technology landscape increases in complexity.

Become a Chamber Member!

Contact our Chamber Membership team to find out how we can help your business.