Employee-owned business Parfetts has appointed Martin Race as chairman of the company’s trust board.

Mr Race replaces Graham Nuttall OBE. The board will comprise of joint MD’s Greg Suszczenia and David Grimes together with the two employee elected members Aaron Forward and Kerry Brennan, as chair and vice-chair of the Central Voice.

The trust board meets biannually to review performance and to be updated on the executive board strategy.

Commenting on the appointment Greg Suszczenia, joint managing director of Parfetts said: “Graham has been an excellent chairman during the company’s transition to full employee ownership. Now as we enter a new era for the company, Martin’s industry experience, together with his personability makes him the ideal chairman to help the company grow while upholding the interests of all employees.”

Mr Race retired a year ago from the role of managing director of Bestway, where he led the company back to profitability. He also had a 26-year career in trading at Batley’s, which included the highly successful creation of a separate Petfood division. He has had active roles on various councils including the FWD and has wider interests in the industry.

Aaron Forward of Parfetts said: “Having interviewed Martin with my colleague Kerry Brennan we are confident that he is `his own man` and will be able to aid both the trust board in their duties and employees at the company. Martin’s role will initially last for two years after which all parties will review the needs of the trust board and the company. As our company continues to grow, we feel his extensive experience and knowledge of running larger national businesses within the same sector will be an excellent asset for both employees and management alike.”

Martin Race said: “I look forward to this new role, which gives me a chance to return, in a small way, to the wholesale sector that I have missed, and in a business, I have always admired.”

Parfetts recently announced record growth in the year ending June 2019 in both sales and profit. It saw turnover hit £380m up 9.8% on last year’s figure and pre-tax profits leapt 17.5% to £6.1m. Like for like sales, excluding its new Middlesbrough depot and cigarettes, grew 5%.

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