Our board of Ambassadors covers a broad range of sectors, from banking and accounting to print and PR. As experts in their fields, they have been selected to represent Sussex. Each Ambassador serves as the voice of their sector, raising contentious issues, new laws/regulations, and features ideas in quarterly editorial meetings.
Find out more about our Ambassadors…
Andy Hill – Director of OBC Accountants
Andy is a Director of OBC the Accountants and The Profit Team, offering a range of advice and support to entrepreneurial businesses in the South East. Having been a qualified Chartered Accountant and business consultant for over 25 years, he has a wealth of experience in a variety of industries and a deep understanding of the challenges they face. During that, time Andy has also been an external consultant, undertaking business diagnostic reviews for both Sussex Enterprise and EDEAL, and in recent years he has joined the board of the Let’s Do Business Group.
As well as advising businesses, Andy also has a hands-on role in a number of entities as a non-executive director dealing with the day-to-day practical concerns facing SME’s.
As a good communicator with an ability to engage with and support highly motivated business owners, Andy draws on his wide-ranging experience to offer insightful advice on issues that arise – something that is greatly valued by his clients and contacts.
In order to move with the times, Andy is a certified adviser for cloud-based software Xero, and an approved partner for Funding Circle, the leading online Peer-to-Peer funding platform.
Christina Ewbank – Chief Exec at Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce
During 23 years with Mercedes-Benz and smart, Christina Ewbank has run dealerships in Chichester, Eastbourne and Brighton. She was also Regional Manager for Lexus Northern Europe, based in Brussels. She has brought her expertise of running multi-million pound businesses to Eastbourne unLtd Chamber of Commerce and works with members to help stimulate ideas, share best practice, network, and influence policy makers. She is also responsible for facilitating the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex (ACES), which represents 4,000 members across the County.
Alongside the Chamber of Commerce, Christina heads up Edeal, the not-for-profit enterprise agency that delivers start-up workshops and business clinics, and manages the Eastbourne Town Centre Management Team and the Eastbourne Borough Market.
She also sits on the Eastbourne Town Team and attends South East Local Enterprise Partnership board meetings as a business representative for East Sussex.
She enjoys everything Eastbourne has to offer, including dancing, reading, and relaxing in Sovereign Harbour – when she is not busy networking with Chamber businesses.
Gary Chown – Director of Commercial Banking, NatWest
Gary has over 30 years of banking experience with RBS/NatWest across the South East. The majority of that time has been spent within the Commercial Banking arena, and for the last 3 years he has led the Commercial Banking team for East Sussex. That team includes nine Relationship Directors, who cover an area delineated by Shoreham and Rye on the coast and stretching back inland to Uckfield in Mid Sussex. Areas of specialism within the team include Leisure, Healthcare, Professional Practices, Education, and Not for Profit.
Gary sits on the Bank’s National Steering Committee for the Healthcare sector and has recently completed the Chartered Banker qualification.
Jason Fry – Managing Director of PAV I.T.
Jason’s career started when he left college and went to work in local government as a technician working on mainframe systems and micro systems, during which time he gained valuable technical experience. He joined PAV I.T. services in April 1993 as a “Network Engineer” and progressed through various technical and hands-on implementation roles in both consultancy and leadership positions. In February 2010, he proudly accepted the role of Managing Director, leading a fantastic team of technical, sales, finance, and logistics people.
He has always lived in Sussex and enjoys everything that it has to offer. Outside of work, he is a passionate photographer and enjoys keeping active by cycling around the countryside.
Jim Fletcher – Partner of Fletcher Business Solutions
Having recently retired after a 30 year career with Marshall-Tufflex Ltd, a leading manufacturer and supplier of electrical installation products to the UK and global market, Jim is now a partner of Fletcher Business Solutions. The boutique Business Consultancy partnership offers business reviews, strategic planning, interim management, and financial planning.
Jim qualified as a management accountant in 1982 and used his accountancy training as a good grounding to evolve into wider business management activities, culminating in his ten years as Group Managing Director at Marshall Tufflex. Along the way, Jim has picked up much experience of commercial activities, including international trade and overseas manufacturing, as well as more internal operational management experience.
Jim is an active member of Team East Sussex. TES is committed to delivering a better business environment and creating jobs for the East Sussex community. He is also a board member of Sea Change Sussex, a company that delivers business space – from incubation units to large office accommodation.
Mark Tulley – Group Sales Director, Gemini Print Group
Mark Tulley is a sales, marketing & industry professional with over 35 years’ knowledge of the print sector.
Specific areas of expertise are in the use of environmental print, digital and ISO colour management.
Mary Lacey – Head of Fundraising, St Wilfrids Hospice
Mary was recruited for the post in February 2013, having been Director of Fundraising at Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, as well as working with Barnardo’s Children’s Charity for 24 years. She is a Certified Member of the Institute of Fundraising, and is experienced in all aspects of the profession, with responsibility for a £4.5m budget annually.
Now she is living in Bexhill on Sea East Sussex. Mark enjoys travelling, meeting people, and having fun.
Nik Askaroff – Chief Executive, EMC
Nik Askaroff FCA is Chief Executive of EMC Corporate Finance and Interim Management. They have 5 offices in Sussex and Kent, and are the leading Corporate Finance boutique in the South East. Nik is a past President of the South Eastern Society of Chartered Accountants and Sussex Enterprise, as well as being past Chairman of Sussex Business Link, the South East Proof of Concept Fund, and the Sussex Innovation and Growth Team. He is currently a Director of eight companies employing more than 800 people in eight different countries, including international ergonomic specialist Posturite Ltd and the Cobb Media group.
He completed an international Clinical research organisation and Montefiore Hospital Ltd, a £35m private hospital that opened in Brighton in November 2012.
Nik has completed over 100 corporate transactions in the last 25 years, and in that time has created more than 50 millionaires.
Nicky Binning – Managing Director, LoveLocalJobs.com
Nicky recently returned to Brighton and is passionate about inspiring local job seekers and helping local business recruit in a highly competitive marketplace. Nicky joined LoveLocalJobs.com as MD from KPMG, where she was Head of Recruitment and Head of HR. She has also worked for JP Morgan, AXA Insurance, and Michael Page, and is a University of Brighton Alumni.
Nicky has been a keynote speaker for CIPD and Global Recruitment conferences, quoted in the FT and Sunday Times, and she won the Recruiter Award for Best Recruitment Team 2012 in recognition for the transformation she led at KPMG, stripping millions of pounds worth of costs from recruitment and driving client and candidate engagement.
In her spare time, Nicky is a regular bootcamp attendee, and she cycles, sails, and has competed in triathlons.
Robert Clare – Co-Founder, Innovation Capital Team
Robert Clare is a qualified former banker for RBS, with 30 years of experience in the UK SME market. He is the co-founder and owner of Innovation Capital Team, a specialist growth consultancy for healthcare and technology sector businesses. Robert is also a non-executive director of Sussex Enterprise, the accredited Chamber of Commerce for East and West Sussex.
Robert has lived in Sussex for over 40 years and is a retired hockey player with 4 national titles and England Hockey divisional medals.
In his spare time, Robert is the Manager of AFC Uckfield Colts U16 football team.
Tim Cobb – Tim Cobb PR
Cobb PR employs 11 communication specialists based in Eastbourne. Cobb Digital and Cobb Healthcare, both based in Brighton, employ four people. Tim is a director of Eastbourne & District Chamber of Commerce and the Eastbourne Enterprise Agency Ltd (EDEAL). Tim is currently Vice President of the Eastbourne Chamber, and he is due to take over as President next year. He set up three business lunch clubs, which regularly give support to Sussex charities. The support is either through talking opportunities to members or through fundraising at the lunches.
Tim is often asked to judge awards by his professional bodies, The Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations Consultants Association. In 2014, Tim was a judge for the CIPR’s prestigious national Excellence Awards.
Tim enjoys running with his dog and cycling around the wonderful South Downs.