Board of Directors

In this section

Our board is made up of 16 directors, each of whom is a member of our co-op. Together our board oversees governance, policy and strategy decisions.

The day-to-day management of our co-op is in the hands of five joint chief executives - our Leadership Team.

Sally Chicken, President

Sally Chicken, President

Member of the Remuneration & Search Committee and the Co-op Party Working Group

Sally was first elected to the Board in May 2009. She has been involved with Credit Unions for over 20 years and has retail employment experience.

Colin Barrett, Vice President

Colin Barrett, Vice President

Member of the Remuneration & Search Committee

Colin has been a Director since 1993, when he served on the board of the former Colchester and East Essex Co-op. Colin has obtained the Institute of Co-operative Directors’ Certificate. He is married with two grown-up children.

Belinda Bulsing

Belinda Bulsing

Member of the Membership & Community Engagement Committee and the Rules Committee

Belinda was elected to the Board in May 2014. She is involved in her local community as chairman of the parish council at Pettaugh and trustee of a charitable trust supporting the services of the maternity unit at Eye, Suffolk. Belinda is a qualified solicitor, and has worked in both private practise and in-house legal roles.

John Cook

John Cook

Member of the Remuneration & Search Committee

John was elected to the Board in 2012. He has a background in finance and audit, but since 1996 has worked for the Labour Party in Norfolk and more recently in Suffolk. John is secretary of the Suffolk Branch of the Co-operative Party as well as being Treasurer of East of England Party Council.

John is currently serving as 'Co-opted Director'.

Nicola Fox

Nicola Fox

Member of the Audit Committee

Nicola began her working career in the publishing industry before moving to positions in Health and Education. She has gained over 20 years experience across marketing, communications, managerial and administrative positions in both the public, private and charity sectors. Nicola is a qualified therapist and now runs her own practice. 

Phil Hartwell

Phil Hartwell

Member of the Performance Review Committee and the Co-op Party Working Group

Phil Hartwell is a teacher by profession. He is married with three daughters and has been a co-op member for more than forty years. He become a Director of the former Colchester and East Essex Society in 1993.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins

Member of the Performance Review Committee and the Rules Committee

John spent his working life in local government initially as a solicitor and for the last 14 years as Chief Executive of Tendring District Council. He has experience of planning law, property and governance issues. He is now retired and working in a voluntary capacity, including for St Helena Hospice, the National Trust and Harwich Connexions.

Emma Howard

Emma Howard

Member of the Performance Review Committee

Emma began working for our co-op as a checkout assistant. Since then she has progressed through several different roles and now works in our Finance Team where she is studying accountancy.

Claire Johnsen

Claire Johnsen

Member of the Audit Committee

Claire ran her own manufacturing and retail business in London for 10 years and moved to East Anglia in 2001. After taking a career break to raise a family she undertook a business degree at Anglia Ruskin University, and now works as a business adviser in Cambridge.

Clive Mann

Clive Mann

Member of the Audit Committee and the Rules Committee

Clive retired from our co-op in 2009 as a Management Accountant after 42 years service. He was first elected to the Board in 2007 and has served on several committees.

Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews

Member of the Member and Community Engagement Committee

Chris was elected to the board in May 2016. Chris has worked in the co-op movement since the age of 13, and is currently the Manager of our Woodbridge Supermarket.

Celia Moore

Celia Moore

Member of the Audit Committee

Celia has been a Director since May 2006. She has a background in education, having served as both a governor and in leadership roles. She has been married for over thirty years, has four adult children and has been a foster carer.

Chris Newbury

Chris Newbury

Member of the Performance Review Committee

Chris was first elected to the Board in May 2009. He has past experience as a local councillor, school governor and community health council member.

Beverley Perkins

Beverley Perkins

Member of the Membership and Community Engagement Committee

Bev was elected to the Board in May 2013. She has postgraduate qualifications in both Management and Environment and worked for over 20 years in a number of management roles. She is very active with a number of projects in her local community, including the popular Mersea Island Food, Drink and Leisure Festival.

Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw

Member of the Membership & Community Engagement Committee and the Rules Committee

Steve joined the Board in May 2015. He has worked in a number of different roles, including running a milk round for the former Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society in London, operating an off-licence for Roberts and Cooper and in managing a vending machine company. He now runs his own window cleaning business and volunteers at the Wolsey Theatre and St Elizabeth Hospice

Maria Veronese

Maria Veronese

Member of the Remuneration & Search Committee

Maria joined our board in May 2016. She is a senior news journalist whose career spans 30 years, including recent work for BBC Look East. She has also worked in independent radio and set up her own media training company. Maria is married with a son and two daughters. As a family they raise money for a charity close to their hearts, the East Anglian Air Ambulance.