Heather Thirtle F. R. I. C. S. - President
I am a Chartered Valuation Surveyor and Estate Agent working in Buckhurst Hill.
I have been a member of the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce for many years and have served as Chairman for a long period and now as President. My other duties are as Assistant to the Treasurer and Social Events.
Carol Byatt - Chair
Seamus Setterfield - Vice Chair
For over 40 years I have worked in the Funeral Profession. I have worked 27 years at Daniel Robinson & Sons Ltd, Independent Family Funeral Directors and Monumental Masons, covering all aspects of the job and being part of the Management Team. I’m usually based at our Epping and Loughton offices. I have been involved with the chamber as a member and part of the executive committee, and also a member of the Epping Rotary Club for over 20 years.
Melvyn Manning - Vice Chairman
Matthew Southgate is an innovative and visionary technology leader, currently serving as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Epping Forest Chamber. With a passion for leveraging cutting-edge solutions to drive organizational growth, Matthew has been instrumental in transforming the chamber’s digital landscape and empowering businesses in the Epping Forest community.
Throughout his career, Matthew has held several key leadership positions in prominent tech companies, gaining invaluable insights into diverse business environments and honing his skills in team management, project execution, and strategic planning.
His expertise spans a broad range of technology domains, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, and software development.I learned quite early in life that technology can be a powerful tool. I’ve made it my life’s work to help
support and educate others, showing them how each challenge, be it business or personal, can be
enhanced when yielding the right tools.
He’s experience spans years of working for some of the biggest companies in the world. For example,
VISA the credit card processor working on the business community planning for
the millennium bug. Has worked for a large ISP supporting many large-scale networks and hosting
servers, before building my own business.
He’s hobbies have always involved being around water, I am a Sailing Yacht Master Offshore and also
an RYA Sailing instructor. I have completed many offshore racing and sailing trips including 1200
miles sailing from the UK to the Mediterranean.
For over 15 years Pesh Kapasiawala has been volunteering to bring the community together, working with local schools, frontline agencies, churches, local authorities, and community groups, building long-term sustainable solutions to issues that affect vulnerable people in the community.
In 2020 Pesh founded 3Food4U, a charity group of community surplus hubs, offering free groceries, clothing and essentials without assessment or referral. Its ethos is ‘supporting and treating people humanely, with dignity and respect.’ It is now the largest emergency food agency in Essex and North London, supporting over 1500 families & individuals seven days a week. 3Food4U’s holistic approach to the needs of the community has seen it expand its offering to include FREE counselling, NHS health checks, job club, numeracy support and Memory Cafés for those with dementia and mental health concerns.
Pesh is also the chairman and driving force of charity Youth Employment Strategy (YES) which deliver motivating, inspiring and mentoring Conferences to 13-16-year-olds and provides them with life skills and career options. Pesh leads a team to support the community of over 300 volunteers, who are inspired by his infectious enthusiasm and tireless energy.
He was honoured with The British Citizen Award 2023 (BCA)
He was honoured with the BBC Essex ‘Make a Difference Award’ in 2022
Awarded The High Sheriff of Essex Award in 2021 & 2022
Awarded The Loughton Town Citizen of the Year 2021
I have worked within the insolvency profession for more than 40 years supporting individuals as well as business owners tackling various financial problems. I feel I am the person you turn to when these difficulties appear impossible to resolve and hopefully I can alleviate the stress caused.
Mitchell has 30 years of cross-disciplinary experience in the audio-visual, education and management fields. He organised and founded a centralised print and media unit, introducing cutting-edge desktop publishing systems for several Inner London colleges.
Since 1990 Mitchell has founded and directed three marketing & advertising, graphics design and print enterprises with clientele including such names as Jordan Grand Prix F1 Team, FA Premier league, Oki Europe, Xerox and many others.
Mitchell plays for Heathcote Table Tennis Club in the West Essex League. He is also a keen scuba diver and has dived extensively around the world.