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Graeme is the owner and Managing Director of Level Up (SW) Ltd in Hambridge, near Langport. Since founding the business in December 2006, Graeme has successfully supported business growth and leadership & management development in SMEs and professional organisations across Somerset and the South West.
He was an accredited Growth Coach with the Business Growth Service and its predecessors between 2010 and 2016, and he has delivered numerous presentations, seminars and workshops for Somerset Chamber and various town Chambers over the past 12 years.
Emma Warren is the Managing Director of Elite Staffing Solutions in Taunton which has been established for five years. Elite Staffing Solutions was launched to bring a fresh approach to recruiting in specialist sectors and is now a team of seven and has secured over 600 people roles. Elite have been active Chamber members for five years and have been heavily involved in the Somerset Business Awards throughout that time both as a sponsor and winner. They won two Somerset Business awards on 2016, a Taunton Deane Business Award in 2016 and Emma scooped Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the South West Business Awards in January 2019.
Business is Emma's passion and she actively develops her knowledge through reading and belonging to a Mastery Consultancy Group for recruitment business owners. Emma uses this knowledge to work with companies, small and large in developing their hiring proposition and overcoming the challenges that the current recruitment market presents. Emma is looking forward to using these experiences in assisting the chamber to help businesses locally to continue to thrive and grow and also give back to a community that has supported her in achieving her goals.
Emma has two young children and has successfully launched and grown a business whilst juggling life as a working mum. As a business and family they support Taunton Deane Cricket Club and she enjoys walking in the Somerset countryside and is an active gym member.
Nick was appointed to the Board as Finance Director in November 2016 and brings with him well over a decade of experience as a chartered accountant having worked in London and the South East with national and international accountancy firms prior to his current role as a corporate services partner at PKF Francis Clark’s Taunton office.
As a fully qualified Senior Statutory Auditor Nick has experience of working with an incredibly broad range of businesses and not for profit organisations right across Somerset and beyond and including sectors as diverse as food & drink, financial services, healthcare, professional sport, manufacturing, hospitality and education to name a few.
Before joining the Board Nick had already developed a working relationship with Somerset Chamber and has been Honorary Treasurer of Taunton Chamber of Commerce since 2011.
Nick grew up over the border in Wiltshire, graduated from Exeter University with degrees in History and International Business Management and, via London, made his family home here in Somerset just outside Taunton in 2010.
Outside work Nick can mainly be found on the side-lines, as either coach or spectator, of his four children’s various rugby, football and other sporting endeavours. Whilst his own rugby (to a decent standard) and cricket (to an indecent standard) days are sadly behind him that doesn’t seem to stop him offering his thoughts from the stands at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton or the various Premiership Rugby grounds in the region.
Evelyn qualified as a solicitor in 2002 having completed her training with a firm in Nottingham, where she worked as part of the corporate team for a further five years.
Following a round the world trip, Evelyn worked with a firm in Reading for a number of years before making the move closer to home and joining Porter Dodson as a partner in 2012.
She has extensive experience on the full range of business services, having worked with a broad range of businesses, ranging from local sole traders, partnerships and small owner-managed companies to larger regional, national and international corporates.
Her experience allows her to ease the legal process for my clients, working with clients to understand their business and objectives to deliver high quality focused advice and solutions relevant to their needs.
Evelyn seeks to build a strong personal relationship with her clients and is the direct point of contact for all her client work.
David was appointed to the Board as a Town Chamber Representative Director in September 2019 and brings with him three decades of experience in financial services. Since 2000 he has been an Independent Financial Adviser and wealth manager in private practice, having worked in Bristol and Taunton, prior to his current role with the Wilcox Young Partnership.
Having begun his working life as an aircraft systems engineer (ask David how he made the jump!), David moved into financial services in 1986. A Yeovil Chamber member since 1996, David became President in 2015 and has developed Yeovil Chamber into a hugely influential player in the recent and ambitious economic development of the town. In this voluntary capacity, David holds nearly thirty meetings each month with an incredibly broad range of large and small businesses, as well as key players in local government and stakeholder organisations across the region - gaining insight, delivering support to Yeovil Chamber member businesses and empowering the wider business community with a big say in creating and influencing change, attracting private investment and driving Yeovil forward.
David was born and educated in Yeovil and raised his family in Yeovil. Aside from spells working in Bristol and Taunton and his love of travel, David’s heart is in Yeovil and anyone who knows David will know his unquenchable passion for the town and the region.
David is also an accomplished guitarist and singer-songwriter, well-known around the Yeovil area, who regularly and enthusiastically performs his work to audiences in the coffee-house music scene in Yeovil.
Any spare time left is devoted to running. David completed two full Marathons in 2010 and 2011, and since 2011 David has run in all but one of the annual Yeovil Half Marathons.
Image credit: Jason Holt
Matthew was appointed to the Board as a Town Chamber Representative Director in November 2019, bringing with him more than 16 years of experience working in sales, marketing and customer success. As a previously award winning Customer Success Director, Matthew started his own business in early 2019, helping businesses to use the latest technology to drive their businesses forward, using his experience of working with the likes of Rugby World Cup 2015, RFU, Xerox to name a few. A keen advocate of all things Digital Marketing, Matthew is a keen speaker at events, where he shares great value and insight into how businesses can grow through simple, yet powerful marketing methods.
He joined the Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce as a board member in 2018, where he continues to sit on the board and help grow the chamber and the value it brings to it's members.
Educated in Bridgwater at Bridgwater and Taunton College, where he studied for a HND in Computing and A Level in Law. Matthew is also a big rugby fan, whilst he supports The Scarlets, from where his family come from in West Wales, Matthew has played for Bridgwater & Albion RFC since joining them at the age of 11 through to a handful of 1st team appearances. He's also appeared for Somerton RFC and Morganians RFC in recent years.
Lizzie is the co-owner and co-director of Teapot Creative, a design and digital creative agency based in rural Somerset, just outside Langport. The business is in its 10th year, with 20 employees and well established within the business community in Somerset. Teapot Creative have been active members of the Chamber for seven years and regularly sponsors of the Somerset Business Awards, having won Business of the Year in 2016.
Lizzie feels that as we are becoming more and more reliant on creative and digital industries, they need a spokesperson. She is proud to help represent them within the Somerset Chamber.
She also strongly supports the cause of rural businesses. Teapot Creative are based in the heart of the Somerset countryside on the levels. Lizzie feels that rural businesses bring much needed employment and income to areas outside the town centres and raise the profile of these areas at the same time.
Lizzie has three teenage children at three different schools and a more than full-time job which raises its challenges. She feels that these days, work and home life are symbiotic hard-working mums are a vital part of our business community.
When she has time Lizzie can be found walking coastal paths and given half a chance, riding her daughter's horse. With a love of all things creative, lino printing and visiting galleries are also a favourite pastime.
Jerome leads C2 – The Helpful Company, a Health and Safety, Fire Protection and HR Consultancy with offices across the UK and a Head Office just outside Bridgwater. The company is proud to have been an active member of Somerset Chamber of Commerce since 2007.
Jerome returned home to Somerset from an international career managing a Pan EMEA Logistics Team of 4,500 people at the turn of the century with his wife and two children. He purchased a sole trader safety consultancy and set about rolling up his sleeves and growing the business on the back of going the extra mile to help business owners.
The company's charitable giving programme consistently supports many local and national charities including the Lighthouse Club, of which Jerome is a committee member.
His first degree is in Economics and Applied Statistics, with higher qualifications in Management, Leadership and Safety.
Away from work Jerome is the Chairman of the Quantock Harriers and has run over 140 marathon and ultra-marathons all over the world.
Leona is Commercial Director of Frome based food manufacturer, Marston Foods, employing over 100 people and supplying the nations biggest retailers with private label desserts. Her career in food and drink ranges from start-up size, working directly with field to fork initiatives to multi-national suppliers and customers, but always with Somerset produce at its core.
It’s this experience and breadth of knowledge that has led to Leona being asked to be an expert panel member on many industry forums, and see her nominated as one of the South Wests “42 Under 42”.
Somerset’s manufacturing expertise is something that Leona feels passionately about promoting, both inside and outside of the area, to attract further skills and enhance further Somerset’s “centre of excellence” reputation.
Training, networking and community involvement and in particular encouraging the next generation to see food and drink as a fulfilling career are what excites her. Apart from that, you’ll see her walking her own and other rescue dogs (mainly greyhounds and lurchers) or enjoying some of that food and drink that she is always going on about!