The Chamber has a Board of Directors who are elected by the Membership at an Annual General Meeting. A President and Chairman are elected by the Board of Directors as is the Chief Executive. The Board of Directors are responsible for the strategic direction of the company and authority is delegated down to the Chief Executive and the staff of the organisation.
Kent Invicta Chamber Board of Directors
Christopher Page – President & Company Secretary
Partner: Girlings Solicitors
Carole Barron, Chairman
Director of Innovation & Enterprise: University of Kent
Carole completed her academic study by taking a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies at the University of Kent. She is Director of Innovation & Enterprise at the University of Kent and has worked in academia for 23 years in a variety of roles but has been specifically working at the interface between business and knowledge transfer for 15 years.
She joined Kent Innovation & Enterprise in 2001 and has extensive experience of working in partnership with the business community. Prior to joining Kent Innovation & Enterprise she was Manager of one of only nine DTI Centres funded to promote electronics design expertise to businesses.
Carole’s current interests lie in local and identifying innovative and creative ways of engaging with the business community, regional economic development, demonstrating impact through knowledge transfer/knowledge exchange and working at the interface of academia and the business community.
Tim Allen, Vice Chairman
Managing Director: M J Allen Group
Tim is the MD of the MJ Allen Group, a family owned engineering business with 240 employees. The company employs 100 people at Ashford where it casts and machines for a wide variety of industries including automotive and defence and manufactures and installs architectural metalwork through its Mather and Smith subsidiary. Away from Ashford the group has businesses in tooling and supplies clutches and brake discs to the automotive aftermarket.
Tim grew up in Smarden, attended Norton Knatchbull School and lives 15 minutes from the Ashford factory. He is keen to promote manufacturing within KICC and wants young people to take up engineering as a career.
Jo James, Chief Executive
Chief Executive: Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
Prior to taking up the position of Chief Executive in July 2008, Jo had worked for the Chamber in various positions since 1989 and has played a key role in the Chamber’s development over this period. On behalf of the Chamber, she also holds Directorships of the Ashford Town Centre Partnership and the South East England Chamber of Commerce.
“I have lived in Ashford since 1974 and have seen first hand the positive changes that have taken place in our County over this period and in my new role, I welcome the opportunity to play an active part in future developments.”‘
Jo is married and lives in Ashford, as do her two grown up children.
Managing Director: Creation Interactive Limited
Daniel Ghinn has lived in Maidstone for over twenty years and has co-founded successful local businesses including The Wonderful Creative Agency and Creation Healthcare, a consultancy to the global healthcare industry.
In his capacity as a Director of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Daniel currently represents the Chamber on the Kent Police Business Crime Advisory Panel and is Chairman of the British Chambers of Commerce Accreditation Board.
Vice Principal Corporate Development: K College
Chris has worked in Further Education since 1994, and has experience in the fields of Engineering, IT, Employer Engagement and Business Development.
In 2009 Chris was appointed Vice Principal Corporate Development where he widened his portfolio to include HR, Client Services, Business Improvement and Risk Management. In April 2010, the College successfully merged with a neighbouring College to form K College creating a combined £50m business with 1400 staff and 25,000 students.
Chris is passionate about Employer Engagement and continues to support many other Colleges across the South East region in their efforts to achieve greater results.
Married with two young children and an interest in a variety of sports helps keep Chris busy at the weekend and he returns to work on a Monday for a rest!
Human Resource Director: Groupe Eurotunnel
Nick is Human Resource Director at Groupe Eurotunnel, having joined them back in September 2007. Predominantly focused on the Channel Tunnel operations, Nick also offers support and advice to the recently acquired UK railfreight business of GB Railfreight that has seen Groupe Eurotunnel broaden it’s activities from pure cross channel shuttle services to a fully integrated European passenger, truck and rail freight offering. Nick looks after all aspects of Human Resources management from recruitment and selection, employee relations, Management Development, Compensation and Benefits, including pensions. Additionally, Nick picks up Public Affairs matters for Eurotunnel liaising with regional and national government on both employment and transport issues. With a combined degree in French and Business from Leeds,
Nick’s experience over the last 20 years has been gained in a number of manufacturing sectors including packaging, aerospace, automotive and building materials, his last employer before Groupe Eurotunnel, being Saint-Gobain, the French owned but global industrial and building materials group.
As well as Board Member for KICC, he has recently taken up the Transport Portfolio on behalf of the Chamber, ensuring members views on Transport issues in Kent are represented.
Director: Page & Wells, Surveyors, Valuers and Estate Agents.
Practising Chartered Surveyor specialising in commercial and residential development and re-generation, including advice to charities. Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.
Property advisor to major national charities including Order of St John, RBLI etc, and numerous housing associations.
Many years experience in property related litigation work including expert witness in both upper and lower Courts.
Main board member of the Maidstone Strategic Partnership. Appointed Governor of Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.
Director of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the related Chamber Maidstone Economic Development Group.
Chair of St John National Property Committee.
Various Trusteeships including T S Scott/Maidstone Sea Cadets.
Consultant: Facilities Management
A Director and Board member of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the Ashford Economic Development Group.
“I was born and educated in Kent, joined the Royal Air Force as an Aircraft Engineer. I served 25 years before leaving to join the family Building & Construction Company. In 1993 I joined Eurotunnel in the Train Crew Department and enjoyed many positions, eventually retiring as Property Service Director for UK & France. Since retiring I have been involved in many projects as a Property & Facilities Consultant.
“My interests have included: serving the Chamber, including Young Chamber, and school business mentoring which is very satisfying. My hobbies include: golf, caravanning, travel, walking and enjoying retirement when I am not to busy with other things”.
Chief Executive: Ashford Borough Council
Chief Executive: Maidstone Borough Council
Head of Economic Development & Regeneration: Canterbury City Council
Ian heads up planning and other technical services at Canterbury City Council. He lives at Canterbury and is also involved in various partnerships , including chairing the Blean Partnership. He has worked in the planning and regeneration field for many years and has lead on a number of development projects – aimed at promoting economic prosperity and improving the quality of life of local residents.
Ian is keen to advance the work the Council has done to foster an attractive business environment in the District. He has used his role on the Board to help coordinate activity of the Council with the Chamber and to provide positive benefits for the local business community.
Commercial Director: Medway Fibreglass Limited
Suzanne is the joint owner and Commercial Director of Medway Fibreglass, a composites manufacturing company based in Sittingbourne that supplies bespoke components to civil engineering, construction and utilities sectors. With a background in business management she has been involved in manufacturing in Kent since 2004.
With a keen interest in business growth and economic development Suzanne has chaired Medway Council’s Medway Means Business initiative for three years and supports the Kent Foundation as mentor to a young entrepreneur. She also sits on the board of BSK-CiC and is actively involved with Kent County Council’s Skills for Business agenda. She looks forward to setting up and chairing the new North Kent Economic Development Group on behalf of KICC.
Suzanne is a serving officer in the Royal Navy Reserve. She lives in Medway with her husband, two daughters and the family dog.
Managing Director: Facts & Figures Financial Planners Limited
Simon has been in finance all his business life and has worked as a financial adviser to private and commercial clients for over 30 years. He originally studied accountancy and systems analysis before making what was supposed to be a short term move to a life insurance company at the age of 23. In the thirty plus years that have followed Simon has always worked with clients. When he left the life company after 12 years he was running a branch. Subsequently he worked as CEO for one of the country’s largest IFA networks – where he was responsible for over 1,000 advisers, 150 support staff, £50m turnover and £2m profit. Meanwhile, with his wife and business partner Pam, they continued to build their own IFA business, Facts & Figures: Chartered Financial Planners, which has now been successfully trading in Ashford for nearly 20 years.
In 2010 Simon & Pam purchased Stoke House in Church Road Ashford – both to house themselves and to operate as a 13 room business centre. The building has been 100% let for over 18 months and currently has a waiting list.
Simon and Pam have three grown up children, three grandchildren and a cat. They live in Wye.
Regional Local Business Manager: HSBC Bank Plc
Clare has been with HSBC for 23 years, the last nine have been helping SMEs where she has special responsibility for companies with a turnover of up to £2 million.
Clare is dedicated to promoting businesses in the area and helping them grow their trade within the local community, across the UK as well as internationally. Engaging with all businesses in the area, Clare see her role not just as one of giving financial support and advice but as an enabler, helping members build relationships by making introductions and meet their needs by supporting their business development.
Clare lives locally with her husband and black Labrador dog Bob.