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Two new recruits join CLEP Board

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) has further strengthened its Board following the appointment of Des Moore, Chief Executive of The Cumberland building society, and Janett Walker, Chair of Anti Racist Cumbria and co-founder of events and PR company Flock.

Janett will take up the role of CLEP’s SME champion, succeeding Carolyn Dodwell, who is stepping down from the Board now that she is re-focusing her business and charitable interests. Carolyn remains a member of the Women’s Leadership Network.

Des brings over 40 years’ experience in financial services, having joined the Cumberland as Chief Executive in April 2018. He is leading a transformational change programme “Cumberland 2025” at the society which involves building a new and sustainable digital infrastructure. Prior to that, he was Managing Director of AIB in Northern Ireland. Des holds an MBA from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and is a Certified Bank Director.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining CLEP at this critical time for the future of Cumbria. I’m looking forward to being able to help CLEP in some way and to bring experiences and insights from my career in financial services, especially in the areas of Finance strategy, and customer experience.

“I’m really impressed at the progress the Partnership has been making and the huge role it has to play in promoting the interests of Cumbria.”

Janett worked as a lawyer for 15 years before a career change in 2017, which saw her co-found Windermere-based communications and events company Flock with colleague Sophia Newton. She co-founded the voluntary organisation Anti Racist Cumbria in September 2020, as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Its aim is to identify, challenge, tackle and end racism in Cumbria.

She said: “I am delighted to be joining CLEP at a pivotal moment in Cumbria’s future. Cumbria is at a turning point, recent times have been extremely challenging but equally have presented us with opportunities both economic and social. It’s time for us to think differently and I’m excited to bring my experience and expertise to help us do so.”

CLEP Chair Lord Inglewood said: “I am very pleased to welcome Janett and Des to the Board and greatly look forward to working with them.

“They join us at an exciting and important time as we move forward the delivery of Cumbria’s economic recovery plan and help support our businesses to move from recovery to growth. The financial expertise that Des brings to the Board will help us identify sources of finance to help our economic and business recovery.

“I also welcome Janett’s agreement to take on the role of CLEP’s SME champion as she is currently running an SME within Cumbria and can therefore bring direct and relevant experience to the role.

“Finally, I’d like to thank Carolyn for all of the hard work that she has done as a CLEP Board member. I wish her all best wishes for the future as she continues her local business commitments and increases her voluntary and charitable interests.”

Carolyn brought extensive experience in leadership, strategy, business development, marketing and communications to CLEP. She held senior executive positions in top law firms and ran a very successful professional services consultancy, following management roles in an international accountancy giant and a global technology company earlier in her career.

She said: “I have really valued my role on the CLEP board for the past two years and as Chair of the Business Strategy Group, which has brought me into contact with a wide cross-section of businesses and organisations throughout Cumbria.

“I have been particularly proud to be part of the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) throughout the pandemic and chaired a number of business clinics, working with some amazingly talented local entrepreneurs and professionals. I wish everyone involved in CLEP every continued success.”

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