Two new local business leaders have been appointed to the Hertfordshire LEP Board to help lead economic recovery planning, following a rigorous and competitive selection process.

Ceri Humphrey, Finance Director at engineering and construction firm VolkerFitzpatrick (Hoddesdon), will join the LEP Board in June as corporate representative. Dianne Lee, Founder/Director of regulatory consultancy DLRC Ltd. (Letchworth Garden City), will join in July as SME representative.

Mark Bretton, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP, said: “Our new LEP Board appointments come during what is an incredibly difficult time for businesses across the country. Our Board’s collective expertise and leadership is now more important than ever as we face the challenge of reviving Hertfordshire’s economy, rebuilding our communities and giving businesses the support and confidence they need to grow.

“Ceri and Dianne’s wealth of experience will be invaluable to our work to engage with and support the county’s key sectors amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, with VolkerFitzpatrick being one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction firms, and DLRC Limited specialising in the life sciences and healthcare sectors.”Ceri is a Chartered Accountant who qualified with Ernst & Young. She spent a number of years in their Finance Services team and joined the management consultancy practice, working on large business transformation projects in the insurance industry. She joined the Anglian Water Group in 2001 supporting the post- acquisition integration of Morrison Construction, then joined Willmott Dixon in 2004.

On joining VolkerWessels UK in 2009 as Group Financial Controller, Ceri set up their UK finance shared service centre, and then took up a role as Finance Director of VolkerFitzpatrick in 2013. Since then she has also led the start of a new real estate business for the group, and is involved in a number of strategic business change initiatives including acquisitions, learning & development, and major systems implementations.

Dianne was born in Hertfordshire and has lived and worked in the county for most of her life. She started off her career in research where she gained a life sciences degree, and moved into the field of medicines regulation in 1987. Dianne set up DLRC Ltd in 2005, based in Letchworth Garden City, which she manages with her husband. The company now employs about 60 staff and support medicines research companies globally.

Earlier this year, DLRC acquired a small consulting company in Germany where Dianne is Managing Director. Outside the business Dianne recently became the Enterprise Advisor for Knights Templar School with a particular focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

The LEP’s Deputy Chair Adrian Hawkins, also Chair of the LEP’s Skills and Employment Board, is set to step down in July having completed a full six year term. LEP Board member Neil Rutledge, Head of Advisory and Business Development at Amberside Advisors Ltd., will take over from Adrian as Deputy Chair.

Adrian is the Founder of Weldability SIF (Letchworth Garden City), and in mid-March was appointed Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, leading the delivery of the 20-year, £1bn regeneration of Stevenage, one of the largest transformational projects in the east of England.

Mark Bretton said: “Adrian has been an immense support as Deputy Chair and has played a pivotal role in advancing the LEP’s skills and business support agenda

Under his leadership of the Skills and Employment Board, we have successfully bid for and established the Hertfordshire Careers Hub; grown our flourishing Enterprise Advisor Network that now encompasses 103 business leaders supporting 106 Hertfordshire schools; facilitated the improvement and expansion of higher and further educational facilities across the county, essential to closing skills gaps across our key employment sectors; and launched one of our flagship projects - the Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP) - which continues to gain traction and has provided invaluable resources for students, jobseekers, and schools throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

“I thank Adrian for his longstanding dedication and contribution to Hertfordshire LEP and wish him the best in his new role as Chair of the Stevenage Development Board. I look forward to working with Neil as we progress with the vital task at hand to support and accelerate Hertfordshire’s economic recovery.”

Hertfordshire LEP is committed to providing equal opportunities on our Board, regardless of age, gender, race or disability. Female business leaders make up 40% of the Hertfordshire LEP Board, exceeding the guidelines set by Government for women to make up at least one third of LEP Boards by 2020. Meet the Hertfordshire LEP Board.