Five Norfolk and Suffolk leaders named as Faces of a Vibrant Economy
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A digital disruptor, a coffee baron and a care home boss are among the business leaders highlighted for driving growth in the economy.
Five key figures from Norfolk and Suffolk were named in accountancy firm grant Thornton's 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy list, which focuses on people who 'change the world for the better' through business.
Among the 100 are Paddy & Scott's Cafes co-founder Scott Russell and Troy Group managing director Warren Troy, Epos Now founder and chief executive Jacyn Heavens, KakeCo and Digital City founder Kieran Miles and Black Swan International managing director Tom Lyons.
Grant Thornton looked how they had boosted the economy by growing their businesses, and considered corporate social responsibility and the wider impact of their work.
Mr Lyons has overseen the growth of the Black Swan group of homes, which has increased turnover by 64% from 2013 to 2016. Grant Thornton chose him as the firm takes struggling care facilities and turns them around.
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Mr Lyons said: 'We are expanding but at the same time we are making sure we are focusing on training our staff and benefitting the wider community.' The group, which employs 500 people across East Anglia, has bought three care homes in last 18 months with another acquisition imminent and is expecting to turn over £17m this year.
Framlingham-based Paddy and Scott's has recently invested in a Kenyan coffee plantation and its innovation helped Mr Russell make the list. He said: 'We have taken a little Suffolk brand and it has become a worldwide one. We are now being exported to Hong Kong, Shanghai and the Middle East and we are being touted around in New York restaurants and cafes.'
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Rapid growth at Epos Now in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds-based Troy Group helped their bosses make the cut while Mr Miles's work with lead Norfolk and DigitalCity – initiatives to help young people in the digital world – earned his spot.
Grant Thornton director Tim Hansell said: 'Our local faces are all exceptional leaders, showing how business can be a force for good in society; how creative approaches to public services and commitment to investing in people can drive superior results and how passion, coupled with purpose and a great idea, can change the world for the better.'