New boss is unveiled at EEEGR

Former East Anglian Air Ambulance chief executive Simon Gray has landed the top job at the East of England Energy Group.

Mr Gray will succeed founder John Best as chief executive of EEEGR in a move that sees him departing his current role as chief executive of Wells Community Hospital, where he will stay on in a new voluntary unpaid role as a trustee.

The 53-year-old will take up his new role on June 11 and opportunities include ensuring that more than �271bn of opportunities for the region's energy supply chain are not missed and overseeing the development of existing initiatives such as EEEGR's Skills for Energy programme, including the new EPISCentre training hub to be built in the area.

'I want to ensure that this region is at the forefront of the energy industry,' he said. 'We must also make sure that if any international business is looking to inwardly invest into the UK, our region comes out top when they begin their search.

'We need to make sure we seize the business opportunities and the new jobs that any investment into energy would bring to this region. It will be a challenge and we must embrace the wide-ranging interests across an all-energy sector.'

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Accepting that his new role was a change of direction, he said: 'I'm not a helicopter pilot but I ran the Air Ambulance; I'm not a clinician but I ran a hospital; I'm not a journalist but I was in key publishing roles. I think my strength is in managing organisations, understanding what members want and showing how we can grow together.'

Alan Barlow, EEEGR chairman, said: 'We're delighted to appoint Simon who brings a successful track record in both membership organisations and private sector industries. We believe he will bring the right leadership to grow EEEGR and further develop a coordinated energy supply chain in this region to ensure members benefit most from the multi-billion pound opportunities within the all-energy sector on our doorstep.'

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Mr Gray said his first aim would be to meet as many EEEGR stakeholders and members as possible to assess their views – and he would be opening the group's flagship summer conference in Ipswich on July 11.

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