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ICAEW South West Network welcomes new Chair


Published: 20 Jul 2023

On Friday 19 May at the annual general meeting of ICAEW South West, Gavin Roberts was officially elected as Board Chair for 2023 - 2024.
In this article we will find out a bit more about Gavin and what he has planned for his year in office.  

Quick facts

Name: Gavin Roberts
Current employment: Maxwells Chartered Accountants
Qualified: 2018 with Maxwells under ACCA and entered ICAEW Membership under Pathways in 2020
Hometown: Bridgwater
Family: 2 Boys, one 12 and one 8
Interests: I spend a lot of time out and about with the boys, at theme parks and other attractions. When I am not on Dad duties, I am a big musical theatre fan, I have been involved with local amateur theatre nearly all my life and can regularly be found treading the boards somewhere if I am not performing, I am watching musicals. I love comedy and this features heavily on the playlist. If I can get away from the office to sunnier climbs, I enjoy nothing more than lazing by the pool with a good crime/detective novel. I am heavily involved in the Somerset Guy Fawkes Carnivals (look them up if you haven’t heard of them, look at Squibbing at Bridgwater Carnival, it’s a real spectacle). I have been a dedicated charity fundraiser for over 10 years with Cancer Research UK, as chairman of the local fundraising team we achieved £1million in that time.

Why did you put yourself forward as a district society office holder?

ICAEW is such an important resource for the industry, in terms of representation/lobbying, quality training and member support. I am proud to be a small cog in the chartered accountant machine!

What is your priority for the coming year as President? 

I will be concentrating on career succession within practice together with recruitment and retention within the industry. I am also excited about getting back to good quality events post covid, my year will see the formal transition from DS to network so I am keen to navigate this successfully.

What do you think the Society / Network does well?

Engaging it’s local members, there is of course always room for improvement and it’s a two way street, we need members to want to and actively engage with the local network so we can perform the important function of representing the local voice of the membership.

What would you like the Society / Network to do more of (if anything)?

It comes back to member engagement but more specifically member opinion canvassing, and again it needs our local members to want to be involved in offering opinions on legislation and other issues affecting the profession, ICAEW has a really powerful voice nationally and if we can add a local variant to that then we add more value.

You took over from Dawn Mills at the AGM. What do you think was their standout achievement / event / initiative / contribution etc this year that they will be remembered for?

Dawn did a brilliant job hosting our annual dinner, what a fantastic evening, speaker and turnout from the member firms and wider supporters. Dawn will be remembered for her passion, particularly for engaging younger members, and of course, she is still with us actively working on the committee assisting to bring these ambitions to fruition.

Next May Alice Bessell will take over from you as Chair. If we asked them the same question about you, what would you want their answer to be? (i.e., what do you want to be remembered for doing?)

Whilst it really isn’t much of a legacy, it is really important that as we transition from a district society to a local network that there is a steady pair of hands at the helm.

ICAEW South West Board members for 2023 - 2024

President  Gavin Roberts
Deputy Alice Bessell
Caroline Smale
Philip Littler
Dawn Mills
David Norris
Sophie Parkhouse
Ros Aala
Simon Anstiss
Freya Ronayne
Jenny Hill
Lucinda Coleman
Kathryn Mansell
Robyn Gifford-England
John Kelly