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Adnams adds Karen Hester as executive director

Published:  07 October, 2014

Suffolk brewer and distiller Adnams has added Karen Hester to its main board as an executive director.

Suffolk brewer and distiller Adnams has added Karen Hester to its main board as an executive director.

Karen HesterKaren Hester joins Adnams main boardHester is the third woman on Adnam’s main board, and the first female executive director.

Hester's appointment will take effect from the company's next annual general meeting in April 2015. She has responsibility for the operations of the Adnams brewery, distillery, hotels, pubs and shops.

Hester joined Adnams in 1988 as a part-time cleaner but her background in Army logistics and transport saw her elevated to operational management. Having progressed in logistics, procurement and transport, Karen became operations director in 2007 and is now responsible for over 400 employees. In 2008 Karen won the title of East of England Business Woman of the Year and in 2013 won the CBI First Women Business of the Year title in recognition of Adnams' success in supporting women employees to reach their full potential.

Chairman of the board Jonathan Adnams said: "Karen has a superb proven track-record for her management of all areas of our business. She is well-respected throughout the organisation and we look forward to her joining the main board."

Chief executive Andy Wood added: "I am absolutely delighted for Karen, she has the tenacity and talent that has been allowed to flourish here at Adnams and is a terrific role model for others. Following the appointments of Bridget McIntyre and Nicky Dulieu, Karen will be the third woman to join our main board and will be our first female executive director."

Hester said: "Adnams is a fantastic company which firmly believes in nurturing and developing its own people. I joined Adnams some 26 years ago and have been positively encouraged and supported throughout my career. I feel honoured and extremely proud to be the first female executive director to join the board and am looking forward to continuing to support others to develop their own careers."

Adnams has been brewing from its base at Southwold on the Suffolk coast for over 140 years and produces a range of cask and bottled beers, which are available in pubs and supermarkets nationwide.  In 2009 it set up its own Copper House distillery, with the aim of creating artisan spirits using local products. The company has an estate of 70 pubs throughout East Anglia and one in London, as well as two hotels and an 11-strong chain of Adnams Cellar & Kitchen stores.