Since starting in the jewellery trade at the age of 19, Ashley has worked his way from a Christmas temp for a leading jewellery multiple to the managing director of three successful businesses.
Taking over the W Bruford business in 2003, Ashley has developed this traditional jewellers in to a prestigious brand know throughout the local area. With the addition of Inspired by Brufords and PANDORA to the W Bruford portfolio, over the last eight years Ashley has bought Brufords to a new generation of customer.
With the redevelopment of the Arndale centre Ashley has major expansion plans for the business which will be announced over the coming months.
Keith Ridley is a consulting editor with Johnston Press, having previously spent 42 years in the newspaper and media industry.
He was the UK’s youngest ever editor when he took the reins of his home town newspaper in Northamptonshire, aged 21. He edited newspapers across the midlands and south and was a one-time managing director of TR Beckett, the company which published the Eastbourne Herald and Hastings Observer series.
He now works as a communication consultant and has been heavily involved in the Eastbourne BID (Business Improvement District) project. He is a local rotarian, governor of Sussex Downs College, board member of the Eastbourne Education Business Partnership, an advisory board member to People Matter and a campaigner with the Save The DGH group.
Keith’s wife, Amanda, works locally as a dental surgeon
Melanie has a great passion for colour and design, and has worked in interiors for over twenty years. She joined Brewers in 1995 and in 2000, she helped set up wallpaperdirect.com, which was the first online wallpaper shop. In 2002, launching Designerpaint.com again a first in internet selling. In 2013 she launched the wallpaperdirect model to the USA, which has gone from strength to strength. Melanie’s title is Retail Development Manager for Brewers, and drives the retail element of the business in all of the Company’s 156 stores throughout England. In 2015 she was instrumental in launching Brewers Home, at Birch Road in Eastbourne as the Company’s flagship store and Exeter is the next to receive a similar makeover. The Birch Road store is the first to have a coffee shop and profits from that go to charity. With the Company’s Head Office in Eastbourne Melanie and her team train branch staff from around the country in wallpaper hanging, curtains and blinds, fabric, designer paint and create the look and feel of the brand that is now Brewers Home. With the Company continuing to expand she spends more and more time out of Eastbourne but is always very happy to be home.
Stephen Holt is the Business Development Manager for the Eastbourne unLtd Chamber of Commerce, the largest town based Chamber in the South with over 600 members. The Chamber provides business support, mentoring and best practice to its members and lobbies on behalf of the business community of the District. Stephen said “The awards are a great opportunity for our fantastic business community to showcase the best of what they do and why Eastbourne and its district is such a fantastic opportunity to do business”
Jonathan Webley has worked in the hospitality industry for 37 years much of it at the Grand Hotel where he is General Manager. Immediately prior to this he was GM of the De Vere Hotel in Coventry. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Master Innholder and Graduate of the University of Sussex. Jonathan is currently President of Eastbourne Hospitality Association.
Ian Fletcher-Price is the founder and CEO of Posturite Ltd, the UK’s largest ergonomics company with a turnover in excess of £30m and nearly 250 employees. From starting in his mother’s garden shed in 1990 with a single product, an adjustable sloping writing board, Posturite has led the healthy workplace revolution over the last 30 years. The benefits of good ergonomics are now well understood and appreciated by employers and employees alike and such proclamations that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ are well understood. The perils of static posture have led to more and more computer users enjoying the benefits of varying their posture at work by using sit-stand desks to increase comfort and productivity.
Ian has personally designed over 70% of the product range and that remains a key passion, with the ultimate goal to be 100% own brand. The route to market is via 100 fully employed field sales personnel who look after most of the FTSE250 on a regular basis helping out staff experiencing musculoskeletal disorders. With increased awareness of the problems associated with computer work, the ultimate goal is to encourage businesses to invest in good ergonomics for everyone before problems arise.