These are the key members of the team at Haven Gateway.


George Kieffer

The Chairman, George Kieffer, also chairs Estuary Housing Association, a housing provider in the Haven Gateway area. He is a member of the Enterprise and Industrial Advisory Boards of the University of Essex and a Trustee of Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome Trust (Maldon District) as well as a Board Member of Visit Essex. Until 2015 he served for 9 years on the Board of the Harwich Haven Authority as Deputy Chairman.

He set up the South East Local Enterprise Partnership in 2010 and serves as Vice Chair for businesses in Essex, Southend & Thurrock.

After a career in the City he went into commerce and is now an independent company director.

George is a Freeman of the City of London and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex.

Executive Director

Anita Thornberry

01206 713610

A history graduate with experience of the City of London, Anita has worked in the field of economic regeneration for 20 years.  She started her career at English Heritage, arguing the economic benefits of heritage assets to secure funding.  From there, Anita joined Regional Development Agencies working on projects such as the Olympics bid and writing the Tourism Legacy Plans for the bid.  In 2007 Anita joined Southend Borough Council as the Head of Enterprise, Tourism and Regeneration where she delivered a £25m regeneration programme for the town centre, increased tourism revenue to £350m per annum whilst reducing visitor numbers and helped create a thriving business community.  Before joining HGP, Anita was MedTech Campus Director for Anglia Ruskin University.

Anita lives in the Haven Gateway with her family where she indulges her interests in culture and the countryside.

Programme Director

Lisa Brazier

01206 713612

Lisa joined the Haven Gateway Partnership in July 2008 to manage the office and provide executive support to the team.  Her many roles at the Haven Gateway have included event organisation, supporting the cruise initiative including co-ordinating and attending exhibitions, website administration and supporting our advocacy and business intelligence work. Lisa became the project manager for the Low Carbon Freight Dividend project, which was supported through ERDF and is now the Programme Director for the Partnership, leading on delivery of our projects and activity.  In particular, Lisa oversees the programme delivery for the TALE and I-Construct projects, both of which are supported by ERDF.

Previously Lisa has worked in both the private and public sector in several roles including PA, administrator and practice co-ordinator.

Innovation and Funding Manager

Jemma Little

07912 310066

Jemma joined the Haven Gateway Partnership in May 2017 as Funding Manager, and is now leading on the development of new partnerships and projects to attract funding for economic development to the area.

Jemma joined us from Higher Education, having most recently worked for Anglia Ruskin University, as Assistant Director responsible for research commercialisation and partnerships with business.  She secured over £20m EU funding for strategic projects providing innovation support to SMEs, in collaboration with other universities and delivery partners. She also has significant experience in local government having managed the development of Cambridgeshire Horizons, a strategic local delivery vehicle partnership to support sustainable housing and jobs growth and secured over £40m government funding to support the delivery of infrastructure to accelerate the delivery of major new housing and employment sites.

ERDF Partnerships Lead

Janice Pittis

01206 713612

Janice joined the Haven Gateway Partnership in September 2016 to support the development of funding bids and the delivery of commissioned projects; her responsibility includes the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).

Janice brings extensive experience of the Higher Education and private sectors.

She was the Director of the Research & Enterprise Office at the University of Essex with responsibility for research funding, research commercialisation and partnerships with business.

Janice also has over 10 years experience of research and development in the private sector in the field of Crop Production and Protection where she worked on a number of international projects.

Business Development Manager

Robert Edge

07999 024482

Robert joined the Haven Gateway team in August 2020. Previously he worked in in various roles for a Colchester freight forwarder for 10 years before joining the former East of England inward investment agency where he led on the development of their Chinese and Indian marketing strategy, subsequently moving to work for the Bahrain Economic Development Board as their UK-based Northern Europe representative. He then worked for five years at Invest Essex before its closure in April 2020.

Although he takes a particular interest in logistics, energy and construction, he has supported companies of all sizes and from a range of sectors. From handmade toy manufacturers, TV shopping channels and book distributors, to drone-based surveyors and builders of autonomous marine vessels. He is currently the Eastern regional chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

TALE Business Support Facilitator

Sian Dowell

07739 971659

Sian joined the TALE team in July 2018 after working in local authority organisations.  She graduated in 2015 from Kingston University with a Commendation for Social Entrepreneurism.

Sian's work revolves around design thinking and business analysis, using problem solving in industries where perhaps creative solutions have not be considered before; this is what drew her to working for social enterprises.  At Surrey Choices, she formed part of the Business Development, Marketing and Communications Team. Sian delivered a redesign of the day activity centres, ran campaigns to raise awareness and drive sales, and worked with senior management to enact organisational changes.

Most recently, Sian was a Junior Business Analyst at Essex County Council, gaining accreditation as a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma, a key business analytics system. Working in the Adult Social Care sector, she focused on continuous service improvement benefitting of both staff members and Essex residents.

Sian is an avid reader and a film buff. When she is not inside, she enjoys dog walks across the fields and beaches of Essex.

TALE Business Support Facilitator

Patrick Maynard

07739 971658

Patrick joined the TALE team in July 2018.  Most recently, Patrick spent over 3 years at the Essex Chambers of Commerce as the Client Relationship Manager working with all sectors of business across the County, with extensive experience of organising exhibitions and networking events.  Previously, he has worked at a range of roles in professional services across Essex and Suffolk, including the print industry, event management and recruitment.

Patrick has a memorable personality, always willing to ask clients "How can I help you?".  With a strong focus on building client relationships, The TALE  project is an ideal fit for Patrick in his quest to support companies growth plans.

TALE Business Support Facilitator

Fred Thomas

07739 971 655

Fred has joined the TALE team in August 2018.  Previously Fred spent 3 years as a Growth Hub Navigator, advising business across Kent and East Sussex.  This included providing access to support networks, sharing specialist knowledge, together with financial and grant application expertise.

Fred established and ran a multimillion pound turnover company for 15 years.  His key strength in Sales and Marketing encompassed both physical retail outlets and a pan UK sales force, as well as e-commerce platforms.  His digital skills include the use of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and analytics, with a keen interest in Big Data, Cyber Security and The Internet of Things.

Programme Manager

Jenny Ryan

07739 971656

Jenny can advise on preparing a successful grant application and help with any queries on documentation.  She keeps the TALE and I-Construct systems running smoothly, working alongside the Facilitators and Programme Director.

Jenny has a background in Financial Services, having worked in the City for a retail bank  for over 25 years.  This included site visits to Europe and India, reviewing and improving the compliance and business process.

She loves travelling and can often be found with a travel brochure in her hand.

Finance and Compliance Administrator

Helen Cadwallader

07999 027439

As Finance and Compliance Administrator, Helen manages project compliance for TALE and I-Construct. Her particular focus is on all aspects of the project claims process and procurement. Helen supports the project team and small medium enterprises (SMEs), and is the first point of contact for those submitting grant claims.

Helen has over 25 years’ experience in corporate life, public and non-profit sectors. She has managed an arts commissioning programme at BAA plc, the airport management company, and a range of national arts funding programmes at Arts Council England. She has also led small arts organisations with national strategic and sector-wide remits. Over the last 10 years, Helen has enhanced the performance of small non-profit organisations, by focusing on growth, financial sustainability, and revising models of delivery.

Educated to post-graduate degree level, she is committed to lifelong learning. Having spent the last 25 years living in Central London advocating for and supporting wilding and greening projects in her locality, Helen has recently moved to North Essex to be closer to nature, to go walking and to get back into gardening.

Marketing and Communications Manager

Charlotte Porter

01206 713612

Joining the team in November 2020, Charlotte supports the TALE and I-Construct projects. Previously she was the Marketing Manager for a group of UK furniture brands, specialising in smart locker technology; Prior to that she worked in various marketing roles at the local university and several London-based financial businesses.

Passionate about life-long learning, Charlotte has an MSc in Marketing from Anglia Ruskin University, a PGDip in Magazine Journalism from Cardiff University and a BA in English from Aberystwyth University. In her Master’s dissertation she examined the role of branding in Higher Education, exposing disparities between stakeholder perceptions of brand image and universities’ projected brand identities. Most recently she completed her ILM Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management.

In her free time Charlotte enjoys creative activities, reading and going for long walks.