Kevin Shapland (President)
Partner, CJS (UK Management) Limited

Kevin set up CJS in 2002 after a successful career in the Metropolitan Police Service. During the latter part of his police career Kevin moved into marketing and PR, project-managing a number of successful, award-winning campaigns aimed at helping the Met to reach out to a variety of different audiences.

Having identified a gap in the ability of police forces to engage with their diverse range of stakeholders on a proactive basis, Kevin created CJS to help to fill that void, by building and improving relationships between the criminal justice sector, the media an

Mark DarnellMark Darnell (Vice President)

Director, Home Instead East Northants

Mark commenced his working life with Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants in Wellingborough in 1976, then moved to R Griggs Group Ltd (Dr Martens) as Group Financial Controller. He was promoted to the Main Board in 1993 as Group Commercial Director after a period as Group Company Secretary. He remained in that position until 2004, and also served as Managing Director of the wholly owned subsidiary Dr Martens Sports & Leisure Ltd, and the Griggs financed Rushden & Diamonds Football Club for 12 years from 1992 to 2004.

Following redundancy from Dr Martens Mark returned to full time financial and commercial roles and was appointed General Manager of Aspers new casino in Northampton in 2008. Mark was presented with an opportunity to own his own care at home business in mid 2010, working with a family friend with 37 years’ experience in care management. Mark decided to buy into the internationally franchised Home Instead Senior Care operation where he is primarily responsible for business development and financial control.

Ian Beattie
Managing Director, Knights of Old

Ian has worked in the transport industry for over 21 years; ten of which have been with Knights of Old, Kettering. Having now established himself as the Managing Director, he is determined to continue the company’s growth through innovation, efficiency and a strong ‘team ethic’.

Since starting with the company in 1999 Ian has witnessed the company’s change from a regional haulier into a nationally recognised brand. Having gained a BSc in Transport Planning and an MBA from Loughborough University, Ian believes that training his staff and keeping them motivated enables the company to remain profitable and strong within the transport industry.

 

Jon Thorpe
ACS Office Solutions

Jon is Joint Managing Director of ACS Office Solutions, a national provider of IT and workplace solutions that celebrated 20 years of business in January 2015. The company, like it’s directors, works under core values of honesty, passion, loyaty, teamwork and trust.  

Jon and his fellow directors have also been heavily involved in the success stories of expanding companies Datastore365, ACS Recruitment and Starting Off, which complete the ACS group. 

Jon himself graduated from Northampton University in IT and Business and today remains very passionate about how modern work styles and new technologies can improve business productivity. Alongside technology, Jon is a Northamptonshire ambassador and is keen to promote and help support the continued growth of the county and most importantly, the local SME community. Jon also resides on the Microsoft UK Advisory Board.  

Jon is married with two daughters and outside of his work life is very passionate about most sports, but particularly golf and tennis, both as a spectator and player.  

Kevin Rogers
Partner - Wilson Browne Solicitors

Kevin is Chairman of the Board at Wilson Browne and his Teams are responsible for marketing and business development, human resources and operations including compliance, ICT and facilities management.

Kevin practices in commercial dispute resolution and professional negligence. He trained in both Manchester and London firms and has acted in a number of high profile cases that have attracted a good deal of media coverage. He is proud to act for local and national businesses, from sole trader to large companies, providing innovative funding options and practical commercial advice for clients large and small. Kevin lives in Northamptonshire with his wife and two young children.

 

Paul Batson
Managing Director - Master Abrasives

Paul is originally from Birmingham where he qualified as a Production Engineer through the old style company apprenticeship scheme, working for a blue chip company producing high volume precision engineered automotive components.  Paul moved into an application engineering role working in support of a national sales team within the abrasive industry.  He has remained in the abrasives industry working for Master Abrasives, based in Daventry, for the past 23 years in various engineering, sales and marketing roles.  This  culminating in Paul being appointed Managing Director in 2014.  He is married with two children and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

 

Alan Smith
Chief Executive - Northamptonshire Industrial Training Association Limited (NITAL)

Alan is the Chief Executive at NITAL a Charitable organisation established in 1969 specialising in developing young people through apprenticeship opportunities across Northamptonshire and surrounding counties.
Married with three children Alan was brought up in the County and he and his family continue to live and work in Northamptonshire. Alan has an extensive background within Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics and his organisation supports a large number of companies across the county to develop training. He is a member of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Employment and Skills Strategy Board and Group Training Association (GTA) England.

 

 

Richard Osborne
eFiling 

Richard began his Entrepreneurial career by starting and subsequently selling a web hosting company in the ’90’s where he then continued building and selling a number of companies up until 2014. Today he is the Managing Director of eFiling Limited, a cloud based technology company that supports more than 100,000 new start businesses a year and is the largest incorporator of new companies in the UK.

Richard is also a volunteer mentor and coach to youth at risk of falling out of the education system and he supports similar organisations. He is married to his lifelong friend and they have a young son and daughter. In his spare time he enjoys performance motorbikes, mountain biking and downhill skiing.

Maggie Halsall
Director, Acanthus Management Limited

Maggie is an HR Consultant, Director of Acanthus Management Limited and a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.  She established her outsourced HR Consultancy in 2009 after over 20 years working as an in-house HR practitioner. 

Following a career in professional services and UK-based plc’s, she has seen Acanthus’ client base grow from local, family owned companies to UK-wide organisations which have a global reach. Maggie takes a “prevention rather than cure” approach to HR, offering practical solutions to complex issues.  Her ethos is to take the pressure off business owners, so that they can concentrate on running the business and develop their people, enabling them to achieve the very best that they can at work.

Maggie’s roots are firmly in Northamptonshire - she is an advocate of the area for career and business opportunities as well as the recreational facilities the county has to offer.  As a Non-Executive Director of NCC, her aim is to maintain strong business relationships with existing and future members in an evolving business community.

Paul Griffiths (Chief Executive)
Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce

Paul is Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Chamber. He makes sure that the Chamber's Members, which employ over one third of the county's workforce, have their voice heard at local, regional and national levels and that Members can take advantage of extensive networking opportunities and savings on essential business services. Other responsibilities include maintaining relationships with county and regional stakeholders in order to progress county initiatives and ensure Northamptonshire is one of the best places to do business in the UK.

Paul is a qualified accountant with an extensive business background at senior level, in both finance and general management roles. He has a diverse background covering manufacturing, software development and publishing, hospitality and financial shared services.