Archives: Management Team

Michael-Ratcliffe-MBE-Chairman

Michael Ratcliffe MBE – Chief Executive

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If you're looking for the man with the most passion about ensuring that the business community of Cheltenham continues to thrive and grow, look no further. Michael is the owner and manager of M R Ratcliffe Consultants Ltd, insurance brokers specialising in the transport industry, which was established in 1976. Based in Cheltenham with 50 staff, M R Ratcliffe places business and underwrites insurance cover on behalf of several major insurance companies in the UK.

Michael has been involved with the Chamber since 2000, and has played an instrumental part in setting up the Executive Board in 2004, when he became the Chief Executive. Michael says that his one wish for Cheltenham would be that all sectors of local society take a more holistic approach towards their environment.

Jon Leamon – Deputy Chief Executive

Jon Leamon – Deputy Chief Executive

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When he retired in March 2010, Jon hoped that his life would perhaps become a little more leisurely. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jon has yet to find time to put his feet up as his enthusiasm in working on behalf of the Chamber often takes over. Jon was formerly a General Manager of Eagle Star, and he joined the Chamber in 2003 initially to expand his business contacts, but then began to contribute his own expertise to help other Cheltenham based businesses grow and prosper. He has held a number of roles within the Chamber including President, Membership Executive and now Deputy Chief Executive.

Jon's wish is for Cheltenham to be recognised as the Number 1 destination for everyone visiting the Southwest/Midlands.

Chamber Executive Team_Catriona Murray - President

Catriona Murray – President

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Catriona retired in July 2015, after 40 years as a Civil Servant – specialising in Unemployment and Employment issues throughout her career.
She joined the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce in 2010 to enable her to get out networking with local businesses to make sure they developed the best connections from their Jobcentre team, which proved extremely productive.

Cheltenham is very much home to Catriona, despite her Scottish Royal Air Force Officer father’s career leading to a nomadic existence in her childhood. A true blue Cheltonian mother, whose family can be traced back centuries in the area, supplied a sense of belonging which all the family embraced.

Now she is not working life is busier than ever!  Catriona is enjoying her second year as President of the Chamber, which has given her the opportunity to meet and network with so many companies and organisations on a completely different basis from her previous work role.  She has also managed to take up some new activities, including upholstery and embroidery masterclasses – plus is dedicated to keeping in contact with her old friends and family and enjoys meeting up with them over coffee, lunch or a good dinner, food and wine will always win the day!  She also loves antiques and collects books, especially on her favourite craft subjects; enjoys gardening and hates computers.

Dan Harris - Vice President & Newsletter Editor

Dan Harris – Vice President & Newsletter Editor

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Dan manages two companies: the sales and marketing company, HymnSheet Ltd., and First Move Europe, which helps growth companies establish and develop their operations in the UK and Europe. He has worked in senior marketing positions in the UK, Europe and USA with Apple Computer, McAfee Security, Mitel, BroadVision, Virgin.net and Europe Online. Dan enjoys working with Chamber members to help grow and promote their businesses throughout the UK and internationally, and has served on the Gloucestershire Enterprise Growth Hub on behalf of the Chamber. He has been on the Executive Committee since 2010 serving as Membership Secretary and Head of Marketing until 2013, and sees great things ahead for both the Chamber and its members. He is also the Editor of Cheltenham Chamber News, a publication which is distributed widely across the business community in Gloucestershire.

“One of my favourite places in Cheltenham, if not the world, is atop Cleeve Hill Golf Course. I played a lot of golf while in California, but the view that sweeps down from the fourth is hard to beat.

If I had one wish I’d like Cheltenham to be one of the centres of innovation in the UK. And if I had another wish, I’d like to see Cheltenham FC have another go in Division One.”

Anna-Freeman-Vice-President-and-Membership-Executive

Anna Freeman – Vice President and Membership Executive

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Anna founded her business, Anna’s Parties – Singles Events and Anna Freeman One-to-One Introductions in 1997.  Being single herself, she is well-placed in understanding her clientele and their hopes of finding a life–partner.  She is a qualified counsellor and a member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy.  This training supports her work and gives her a special insight into helping her clients.  She organises parties and speed-dating events, along with personal one-to-one introductions, and as a result she is adept at bringing people together.

Anna was born in Cheltenham and brought up in London.  To quote her “I have been travelling up and down the A40 all my life visiting grandparents as a child/young adult and now visiting relatives in the south-east”.  She has worked in London, Cheltenham and the Middle-East – Muscat, Oman.   Now settled in Cheltenham with her daughter, she is here to stay for the foreseeable future.  She enjoys working for the Chamber as Membership–Executive which gives her the opportunity to use her considerable networking skills to raise membership numbers;  once more, to quote her “They are all such pleasant people to spend time with!”.

Sarah Nicholls - Marketing Planning and Operations Executive

Sarah Nicholls – Marketing Planning and Operations Executive

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In her role as Marketing Executive for the Chamber, Sarah's focus is to support the delivery of member-focused services that add value.  With experience in strategy, marketing and communications, Sarah facilitates the creation of our plans and leads our marketing co-ordination group.  

Sarah has held a number of senior roles in the financial services industry, acquiring valuable experience of leading teams and delivering profitable growth.  In addition to her consultancy and training work with Strategy at Work, she is a member of the Executive team of Qualitas Insurance Brokers.  Sarah has an MBA, an MSc in human resource management, is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Chartered Insurance Practitioner and is a qualified practitioner of the Myers Briggs (MBTI) psychometric tool. 

Sarah lives in Cheltenham with her family.  In her spare time she enjoys supporting Charlton Kings Cub Scouts, St Mary's Church Charlton Kings and Christian Aid.

Tracey Adams - Seminars Executive

Tracey Adams – Seminars Executive

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Tracey is a CIM qualified marketer, having worked for 20 years in businesses such as British Airways and Tui. However, when it came to returning to the workplace after having children, she discovered a significant issue that not only affected her and her peers but 'UK plc' in general – that there was a complete lack of dialog between businesses and recruiters to address the huge and over-looked talent pool of professional women-returners.

As a result, in 2013 she set up her own niche recruitment business based in Gloucestershire, The Flexible Resource Company, focusing on flexible working, particularly women-returners. In December 2016 this business merged with Ten2Two, a national company championing the same issue, with the aim to further grow the opportunities for flexible working in Gloucestershire and Bristol.

As a mum of 8 year old twin boys, she has very little spare time and is often seen playing taxi driver. But when the little ones are put to bed, she loves seeing friends and having a glass of bubbly.

Joseph-Cox-CAPEX-Marketing-Press-SocialMedia&digital

Joseph Cox – Digital, Press and Social Media

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Joseph is a creative strategist with 15 years in the marketing and advertising industry. The last 10 years have seen him driving distribution and customer growth for some of the world’s top technology manufacturers and retailers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Currently, Joseph is the director of CAPEX Marketing and the press and social media executive for the Cheltenham Chamber of commerce.

Joseph has experience within content, websites, social media, SEO, paid search, email and digital strategy. Joseph has also worked extensively within more traditional channels such as PR, TV, radio, print, SMS and events.

CAPEX Marketing is a Gloucestershire based agency who specialise in the what, the when and the how of effectively marketing a business on and off-line.

Chamber Executive Team_Jacky Fletcher - Events Executive

Jacky Fletcher – Events Executive

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Jacky is one of Cheltenham’s busiest residents. As well as organising all the Events for the Chamber, she is also a Cheltenham Borough Councillor! She also found time to be Mayor of Cheltenham in 2006. Jacky initially became involved with the Chamber in 2002 as its Secretary.

She says that her wish for Cheltenham would be “that the town I love be clean of rubbish, the pavements were flat and we were open for business to all including tourists from all over Great Britain and the world.”

Rob Duncan - Planning Executive

Rob Duncan – Planning Executive

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Rob’s experience spans over 30 years of working in the commercial property market in Gloucestershire and the West Midlands, and for Government Departments across the Country. He has had an interest in Cheltenham’s success ever since he moved here in the early 1970s, and today acts as a consultant for a number of companies in the town.  A keen sportsman, he played hockey and cricket for the town and is a life Vice President of Cheltenham Cricket Club. His sporting activities these days revolve around golf and supporting Gloucester Rugby club.

Steven Murray - Honorary Solicitor

Steven Murray – Honorary Solicitor

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Steven has an innate skill for resolving contentious issues as a commercial litigator at Harrison Clark Rickerbys.  He is astutely aware of the demands and pressures facing business and how a dispute can distract from focusing on making a profit.  Therefore, whenever he advises businesses, from multinational corporations to innovative start-ups, he balances the risks of litigation with the commercial or personal demands, to achieve a satisfactory solution in a cost efficient manner.

Steven is experienced in a wide range of contentious issues including: product liability, breaches of restrictive covenants, professional negligence, and contractual disputes.  However, his specialism is in Intellectual Property issues such as copyright and trade mark infringements and domain name disputes.

Outside of work Steven's focus is his family.  He also enjoys sampling the offerings of the wonderful restaurants and ale houses in and around Cheltenham.  When time permits, he skittles in the local league and practices Kendo.

 

Brian Chaplin - Vice President

Brian Chaplin – Photography Executive

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Brian Chaplin is a former President of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and a past Mayor of Cheltenham (2005-2006). He is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and founded Eurovideo Business Television in 1985, with the primary object of producing professional video films for the industrial and commercial sector.

With a background in most areas of industry and commerce Brian "speaks the customers' language" and understands not only what the customer wants, but also what their customer wants to know. He also has many years involvement in the broadcast television industry and has an unusual mixture of technical ability and creativity, including being a musician.

"I believe Cheltenham has an ambience unlike any other town in the UK. Visitor attractions like the festivals complimented by its architecture, parks and gardens ensure a thriving local economy. I particularly enjoy attending Science and Music festivals with occasional visits to the Playhouse and Everyman theatres. The various social and networking chamber events provide a great opportunity for me to interact with others with a shared outlook on life."

Claire Thayers - Tourism Executive

Claire Thayers – Tourism Executive

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Claire Thayers – Tourism Executive

Passionate about Cheltenham, Claire loves working with the Chamber, and continues to raise awareness about the need to collaborate and work together. If we can shine a light on the town, and encourage people to shop here, eat here and stay here, the local economy improves, which is good for everyone in the community!

Her other passion is social responsibility and she works closely with Michael Ratcliffe via the Association of Gloucestershire Chambers to support not only Cheltenham but other towns across Gloucestershire

Having lived and worked in Cornwall for 17 years, and working as a freelance consultant with Visit Cornwall and Cornwall Chamber she has learnt a lot and is desperate to share…

When she is not working, she has a hectic social life, writes for Cotswold Style magazine and still finds time to entertain! Nothing better than cooking and share a meal and a bottle (or two) of fizz

FROM THE CHAMBER

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