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12 October 2017

Hertfordshire LEP Board recruits new business leaders

Five high-calibre business leaders are to join Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board over the coming months covering a wide range of industry sectors.

Following an open and transparent selection process, five candidates have been selected to join the LEP Board, four as business representatives and one as SME rep.

The five successful applicants are: Neil Rutledge, Director, Clubfinance Project Finance Ltd; Richard Whitehead, Managing Director, Buildings and Places, AECOM; Nitin Dahad, Director, TechSpark Ltd and co-founder of The Next Silicon Valley, David Conway, Managing Director, BBC Studioworks Ltd, and John Patsavellas, Manufacturing and Technical Director, Altro Ltd.

The LEP Board members who will be stepping down over the next six months are: Peter O'Gorman, Regional Director of Santander Business Bank; John Gourd, former LEP Board Chairman and site Planning and Services Director, Johnson Matthey; Dan Dark, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden; Andrew Percival, Managing Director of UPP Projects and Graham Lane, founder of IT support service Cheeky Munkey. Nitin Dahad will take over from Graham as SME representative.

Neil Rutledge, is part of the Local Enterprise Partnership's business leaders' Envoy Programme and also sits on its Programme Management Committee (PMC) board which monitors financial spend. Neil will be taking over from Peter O'Gorman as Chair of PMC.

In addition Herts Leaders' Group is to select the new local authority representative following Cllr Julian Daly's decision to step down as Leader of St Albans City and District Council.

Mark Bretton, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP said: "This is the biggest change in the make-up of the LEP Board since its inception in 2012 and heralds a new phase in the LEP's evolution. In the past five years it has developed from its strategic role to include delivering the projects that it has secured funding for and that will have enormous economic impact for the county.

"The LEP Board members stepping down have all been instrumental in helping to steer the LEP to this new phase and I hope we will be able to continue to benefit from their wealth of expertise. I am very grateful for their personal contribution.

"Fixed terms of office means that the LEP can remain agile and responsive to the county's challenges and opportunities and I look forward to the fresh ways of thinking our new representatives will bring."

The decision to appoint the new LEP Board Members was formally ratified by the Board on 21 September and will come into effect on a rolling basis over the next six months as current LEP Board members' terms of office come to an end.

This latest announcement follows the decision to appoint Adrian Hawkins, Chair of Weldability-Sif, Letchworth Garden City, as the new Deputy Chair of Hertfordshire LEP. Adrian already sits on the LEP Board and is Chair of its Skills and Employment Board. Adrian took over the role from Peter O'Gorman.

Peter O'Gorman said: "I am delighted to have supported the Hertfordshire LEP over the past five years and share my sector expertise for the benefit of both the LEP and the wider economy of Hertfordshire. I am sure that under Adrian's leadership, the LEP will continue to make a difference in the business community and I wish everyone at Hertfordshire LEP the best of success for the future."

Board Members are unremunerated and are elected to stand for a three-year period. This can be extended to a maximum of six years in order to refresh the membership of the Board on a regular basis. The Board is set at a maximum of 15 members, eight drawn from the private sector, to enable a strong team ethic, fully inclusive debate, and a capacity for rapid decisions.

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