Suffolk Agricultural Association appoints first woman chief executive

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A Tostock woman with more than 18 years’ experience in the international events industry will be leading Suffolk’s premier agricultural showcase in May.

Global exhibition and conference organisation specialist Nicola Bateman has been appointed chief executive officer for the Suffolk Agricultural Association, the organisation responsible for the annual two-day Suffolk Show.

Replacing Christopher Bushby, who stepped down last year, she is the first woman CEO in its 184-year history.

Nicola said: “When I was told about the vacancy at the Agricultural Association, I knew it was the next challenge for me. The Suffolk Show is the most famous show in the county - everyone has heard of it, even if they haven’t attended.

“It truly demonstrates the best of Suffolk’s culture and traditions and come rain or shine generations have visited it and enjoyed discovering and being part of what makes Suffolk great.

“Having worked extensively abroad for the past decade, this role allows me to give something back locally for a change and, with a young family at home, it seems the dream job and a perfect fit.”

SAA chairman Robert Rous said: “The new Trustee Board feel Nicola’s extensive experience in the events industry and ability to identify and drive new revenue streams will help raise the Suffolk Show to new heights.

“As a mother she also understands the market demand for content in a great family day out.”