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.
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.
Herefordshire Area Council
Claire is MD of a small digital agency, V8 Media, who help clients get more business online and work more efficiently through the web. Their services include web development/design, bespoke systems, online marketing, consultancy and web hosting. Claire has personally been involved with the Chamber for 15+ years and has been closely involved in the business community within that time.
Since 1999 Toby has worked as Managing Director of Barrs Court Engineering, who are a 1st tier supplier to JCB and have developed talent that progressed from his apprenticeship to JLR & Red Bull Racing. Before then he studied Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Nottingham and worked in the Aerospace and Energy sectors. Toby is working with NMiTE in Hereford developing partnerships between industry and the new university.
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. He has a keen interest in building strong links between education and business and works hard to ensure that schools and colleges respond positively to the needs of the local economy.
Simon is Sales Director at BIBUS Metals Ltd, a stockist/distributor of high-grade nickel alloy and titanium products serving a range of industries including aerospace, automotive, motorsport and power generation. He spent 27 years at Special Metals Wiggin in various roles until 2014. Since then, he has spent time in the fresh produce industry, then again within manufacturing in the aerospace industry, working with global civil and military customers on SAR equipment. Simon joined BIBUS Metals Ltd in 2017 and will take over as Managing Director at the end of 2021.
Most of Mike’s career has been in the food industry, running manufacturing businesses and heading up sales and commercial activities in export markets. Orchard Valley Foods develop and sell innovative ingredients to all sectors of the food manufacturing industry, food service and retail and sell to over 30 countries. The company is a previous winner of Chamber Business of the Year and in 2016 received the Queens Awards for International Trade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Colin has worked in the legal sector since 1978.
He specialises in Corporate Law and Commercial Property and is a partner in Harrison Clark Rickerbys inc Gordon Lutton based in Hereford. He enjoys working with all businesses and has seen the benefits that the Chamber of Commerce can offer to businesses, particularly SME’s with their excellent specialist training programmes.
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.
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.
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.
Worcestershire Area Council
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.
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.
James is a corporate solicitor and partner in MFG Solicitors LLP. He specialises in company sales and acquisitions, restructures, joint ventures, public and private share issues, and strategic commercial contracts. His clients include Irish, UK, European and US companies from many sectors. James is an Area Council member because it’s a forum to discuss local issues affecting businesses, and by understanding the issues, he can contribute to the growth of business and commerce in the area.
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.
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.
Isla is the Programme Manager for Malvern Panalytical who are a leading provider of scientific measurement instrumentation. Managing new product development and innovation projects for this global company has built on her strong background in projects and operations management within manufacturing environments. Isla’s position in the Council represents Manufacturing in Worcestershire and she is keen to support continued development and engagement in this sector.
Jim is Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and owner of Lesk Engineers Ltd. He wants our manufacturing businesses to get the recognition they deserve. He says: ‘As a country we do not credit ourselves with being the 6th/7th largest manufacturing country in the world. It is our best kept secret, that needs to change! Let’s get to the positives rather than the negatives to drive UK plc forward’.
Paul has been Managing Director with Charles Faram & Co Ltd, a Hop and Brewing Supplies business, since 1996. He has also been National Chairman for the Brewing Food and Beverage Suppliers Association, Chairman of the Hop Merchants Association and Chairman of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling Hop Committee. During his time in the industry, he has worked with many different companies and is keen to help and support local businesses through his membership of the Worcestershire Area Council.
Nick is Executive Manager of Vestia Community Trust. Vestia deliver development and training for employees of The Community Housing Group and help long term unemployed people back to work. He has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors specialising in housing management, regeneration and support services. Nick previously managed a Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder in Wyre Forest and was a member of the Department for Communities and Local Government Working Group looking at Neighbourhood Management.
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.
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.
Justin has worked with the Chamber in various roles since 1998 and believes the Chamber network can benefit all businesses. He has 20 years’ IT experience, including 10 years in quality management, compliance and governance. Justin contributes to forums that champion Worcestershire as a county, and promote its growth. He welcomes opportunities to feedback from businesses, supporting initiatives where he has expertise – for example, IT best practice, data security, service management, strategy, project management, skills and business development.
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.
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.
Anne-Marie joined the University of Worcester as Head of the Business School in November 2018 after senior higher education roles at Birmingham City Business School, Coventry University and Nottingham Trent University. Before then she built up 20 years’ experience in global management consultancy. She is a leading expert in Location Independent Working (LIW) and Technology Enhanced Flexible Working and has recently led funded projects on business implementation and management of LIW.
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