Celebrating 10 years of business advice by STANTA stalwart Mel

PUBLISHED: 10:14 21 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:14 21 August 2014

Mel Hillbrown, STANTA

Mel Hillbrown, STANTA


This month, Chamber director and STANTA (St Albans Enterprise Agency) executive director Mel Hilbrown (pictured) celebrated 10 years of service, providing sound advice to our business community.

Mel and I share an office and I am constantly impressed by his dedication and enthusiasm to help others succeed in business.

Mel said: “I have probably seen about 2,500 businesses over the last 10 years, mostly start ups. What is especially satisfying is when you see the businesses doing well! It was great at our 30th anniversary event this year to see so many previous clients.

“The biggest personal satisfaction is when you can help a business or start up see possibilities that they hadn’t perhaps thought of before because they were too involved, too close to it. Although we normally see start ups for free we also occasionally for a low cost help more established business get their ducks in order.”

Is it a nonsense that business stops or almost grinds to a halt in August? Well not the Chamber it doesn’t! We have been very busy co-ordinating interviews with all of our Community Business Awards finalists and organising the awards evening at St Albans Cathedral.

Here is the shortlist for 2014:

Young Person

• Erin Keenan (Rumball Sedgwick)

• David Wright (KDW Associates)

• Morgana Evans (Oaklands College Apprentice)

• Joseph Arm (Trestle Theatre)

• Sophie Burnett (PA Business Support)

New Business

• Ben Jackson PT

• The Pudding Stop

• The Chocolate Wrapper

• Clearcut Recruitment

• Mums Guide To Harpenden


• St Michaels Manor

• Golden Giving

• St Albans Film Festival

• Raindrops on Roses

• St Albans District Credit Union


• BRE (Building Research Establishment)

• Rothamsted Research

• Sera Technologies

• Butterfly World Project

• Lussmanns Ltd

Best Restaurant

• Chez Mumtaj

• Bar Azita

• The Lake Restaurant (St Michael’s Manor Hotel)

• Thompson @ Darcy’s

• Lussmanns

Business Leader

• Jon Dean (Impellus)

• Andrei Lussmann (Lussmanns)

• Ian Hopkins (Debenhams Ottaway)

• Keith Lunn (Breathing Space Harpenden)

• Penny Mortimer (Dragons Apprentice)

President’s Award

• Annie Brewster

• Abraham Bejerano (AB Hotels)

• James Allen (FCC Train Announcer)

• Ellena Ophira (St Albans Fashion Week)

• Anthony Baker (St Albans District Credit Union)

Tickets are now on sale for our awards gala evening at St Albans cathedral on Thursday September 25 during the Festival of Bloom. Bok now online or give us a call!

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