Our Team

Business Enterprise Agency Team.

Colbea is a not for profit organisation dedicated to helping businesses in Essex start, grow and thrive. Our sole aim is to help improve the economic prosperity of the region. If you wish to contact us, please do not hesitate to call or email us. Our friendly team will be more than happy to help you.


Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford

Chief Executive

Ashleigh has spent four years in business support arena as Assistant CEO of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, where she led the business development team as well as establishing the Suffolk Young Chamber brand, which ‘bridged the gap’ between business and local schools. Her time working within the Chamber network also encompassed a fellowship with the Policy team at the British Chambers and has led to a passion for both business support and supporting young people into business.

Prior to working in the counties, Ashleigh worked in the City in financial services for 12 years, the last six of those spent at Seymour-Pierce where she was part of the team that listed Supergroup – known better as the brand Superdry. Ashleigh has worked with and within many different industries throughout her professional career, which has given her a well rounded view on what makes a business successful.

Keith Powell

Business Advisor

Keith spent 25 years in industry in a variety of jobs in the packaging industry before spending seven years as a salesman. He then became a Commercial Manager in the paper trade and then for an engineering company running home and export sales plus warehouse and distribution. He then moved over to become Production and Materials Controller responsible for manufacturing and stock control systems.
He then decided to form his own business and for twenty-five years he was an independent systems consultant assisting small and medium sized enterprises on how to increase their business efficiency through the implementation of efficient systems applications.
He has also been a part-time lecturer in Business Organisation and Management Studies in the Technology Department of Anglia Ruskin University working with students (both full and part time) taking degrees in engineering, communications and electronics.
He holds the Diploma in Marketing of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
He was accredited as a consultant under the Enterprise Initiative, by The Assessment Network under the Small Business Service Consultancy scheme and registered with the Supplier Matching Scheme operated by Business Link.

Trevor Edwards

Business Trainer

Trevor Edwards originally formed his own business development and training consultancy in 1991, having previously gained 20 years business management experience with several blue-chip companies. During this time he headed up operating divisions for three companies, managing strategic product development, marketing and sales initiatives. As an independent consultant and business advisor he has worked with clients in a variety of market sectors including retail, leisure, print and publishing, computer systems and ICT in the UK and in France. He also has extensive specialist knowledge in the development of new technologies. Trevor is a director of People Spark Co. Ltd, specialising in developing and implementing training and education programmes built round the specific needs of individuals and organisations.

Paula Ruane

Business Advisor

As an experienced business owner and employer, Paula Ruane works with new business to promote growth. Her Business Resilience Training Programme is designed for stress prevention and build up which improves performance, business acuity and profitability.
Paula is a small business advisor with Colbea. Her business career includes the launch and sale of a successful London based interior design business , creating a high net worth client portfolio within Financial Services and setting up 4 thriving women’s WIBN networking groups. In 2009 Paula formed a unique consultancy specialising in workplace stress prevention and resilience training and now works in collaboration with an employment law expert .

Jane Green

Facilities Manager

Facility Contracts and administration.

Val Baggalley

Tenants' Services

Tenancy Agreements, Invoicing and Administration.

Liz Bourne

Client Contract Services

Client, Trainer and Advisor Liaison; Database and Administration.

Fee Cuthew


Fee is responsible for the Social Media and general administration.