Board of Directors

Patrick Ridgwell

Interim Non-Executive Chairman

Assumed role of Interim Chairman 8 August 2017.
Pat has extensive knowledge of the sugar industry and other food sectors having acquired and developed a number of food businesses during his career. He joined Napier Brown and Company in 1964 and became Managing Director in 1972 following its acquisition of his family interests in 1970. He is a director of Napier Brown Ingredients Limited.

Hugh CL Cawley

Chief Executive Officer

(appointed 1 January 2018)
Hugh has extensive public company experience with a particular focus on helping businesses facing a major strategic challenge or undergoing significant corporate change. After working for Procter & Gamble and ICI plc in the early part of his career, his more recent public company executive roles have included spells with S Daniels PLC, Dawson Holdings PLC, office2office plc and, most recently, Driver Group plc. Hugh is also a founding member of the advisory board of the Confucius Institute for Business at the University of Leeds.

Harveen Rai

Finance Director and Company Secretary

(appointed 7 August 2017)
Harveen has 20 years of experience, predominately in fast-moving consumer goods listed companies. She was previously Chief Financial Officer at Arzyta UK Holdings Limited ("Arzyta"), where she was involved in implementing and streamlining the processes and controls of the company. During her time at Arzyta, Harveen was also involved in developing and strengthening the regional finance teams to grow in line with the needs of the business. Prior to her time at Arzyta, Harveen spent over ten years working at LSG Sky Chefs, a global airline catering company which is owned by Lufthansa. Harveen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Christopher Thomas

Non-Executive Deputy Chairman

Assumed role of Non-Executive Deputy Chairman 1 January 2018.
Chris qualified as a chartered accountant in 1969. In 1973 he joined Breakmate, a vending business, which was admitted to the Unlisted Securities Market in 1984. He joined the Napier Brown Foods Group in 1992 as Group Finance Director and was involved in the day-to-day operations of the Group before becoming Chief Executive Officer of Napier Brown Foods.

Jacques d'Unienville

Non-Executive Director

Jacques has nearly 20 years' experience of sugar and related industries (independent power production, waste and environment management and renewable energy) in France, the Seychelles and Mauritius. He is the CEO of Omnicane and the chairperson of Omnicane Thermal Energy Operations (La Baraque) Limited and Omnicane Thermal Energy Operations (St. Aubin) Limited. He has served as President of the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate and as president of the Mauritius Sugar Producers' Association.

Judith MacKenzie

Non-Executive Director

(appointed 21 July 2017)
Judith joined Downing LLP in October 2009 and is Partner and Head of Public Equity. Previously she was a partner at Acuity Capital, a buy-out from Electra Private Equity, where Judith managed small company assets. Prior to Acuity, she spent seven years with Aberdeen Asset Management Growth Capital as co-Fund Manager of the five Aberdeen VCTs, focusing on technology and media investments in both the public and private arenas. Judith has held a number of public and private directorships.

Mike Holt

Non-Executive Director

(appointed 7 August 2018)
Mike has significant public company board and financial experience. He was CFO of Low & Bonar PLC, an international performance materials group, between 2010 and 2017. Prior to that, he was CFO of Vp plc, the specialist equipment rental group, for over six years from 2004. Prior to joining Vp, Mike held senior financial positions within Rolls-Royce Group in the UK, USA and Hong Kong. He is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of The Association of Corporate Treasurers. Mike qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen. Mike is also a non-executive director, and chair of the audit and risk committees, of Schroders Asian Total Return Investment Trust Company plc and North Midland Construction plc.

Steve Dawson

Non-Executive Director

(appointed 19 September 2018)
Steve has extensive experience of the food and beverage industry, both in the UK and in North America, from both advising clients on how to improve and build their businesses and from practising such skills himself. He is currently the Managing Director and founder of BrandGrowth LLC, a consultancy focused on advising food and beverage brands on how to achieve their growth strategies. From August 2016 to May 2018, Steve was Interim CEO of Bahlsen North America, stabilising the business and setting it well on the path for successful growth. Prior to founding BrandGrowth, Steve had enjoyed success as the CEO of Walkers Shortbread Inc for nearly nine years and had spent eight years as Managing Director of Food From Britain North America.