Meet the Council for 2021


Claire Longman, FCII

After working in insurance in the South East for 10 years I moved back to Cornwall and joined Cornish Mutual in 2012. I joined the Council after gaining my FCII in 2017. I am keen to promote the Institute to everyone involved in insurance within Cornwall and Plymouth as I see the CII’s role as crucial in improving knowledge and professionalism in our industry. Being on the Council is great fun, I have met some lovely people and been to some really interesting events. We would love to have even more people involved to make a really diverse and interesting Council for the future.

Secretary/Past President

Steven Clemence, FCII, FPFS

I first attended a Council meeting back in 2013 and became the Treasurer at the AGM in 2014 going on to serve as President. I have always believed in putting something back into the communities we live and work in (before it became a Chartered requirement!). This came at about the same time as my commitment to Round Table (being too old) was coming to an end.

At home, with my wife Ciru, we have three children, 5, 4 and 2, so this is all possible even with a young family. As President they all travelled with me to the various dinners making it a time for the family while I was representing the Institute. In my day job I am a Chartered Financial Planner, something I also love.

Nearly forgot nearly everything I do involves drinking espresso.


Rachel Whiteside-Blaxter, DipPFS

Having attended some of the council meetings I was invited to join the council as Treasurer for this Presidential year. I was honoured to accept as a PFS member and help grow the amazing team of volunteers and also give something back. I have been in financial services for over two decades in varying roles including Mortgage Adviser, Paraplanner and Financial Planner.

I’m a proud mummy of one, red wine lover and super multitasker! Outside of work I enjoy stomping around and exploring the local beauty spots with the family and also love to spend time with close family and friends enjoying good food and music.

Regional Forum Officer/Past President

Nat Brown, ACII

Hi, I’m Nat, a Chartered Insurance Broker working at TH March Group and specialising in Customer Experience strategy.

Being part of the council is really important to me, as I think it’s helpful for our local industry to have representation from diverse areas of business and to be able to share ideas and concerns about the insurance and financial services sector. Personally, the time I volunteer is well worth it in exchange for having a say in the profession, as well as the reward of giving something back to the industry after many years working within it.

Joint Social Officer

Tamsyn Saunders

I have worked within the Insurance sector for over 10 years and I am now part of Cornish Mutual's Field Force Team covering various areas in Cornwall. I love what I do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else!

When I'm not at work you'll find me out and about having a stomp around with my dog, Alfie - we love an afternoon of exploring new places.

Joint Social Officer

Janet Pryor

I'm part of the Field Force Team for Cornish Mutual covering the South Hams area for over 10 years, providing General Insurance in the Agriculture Sector, I am Diploma qualified and I joined the Council to try and help promote within Plymouth & Cornwall and further my knowledge of the Institute.

Dinner Secretary

Venetia Hallam

I work as a commercial account handler @ TH March and joined the council when it became obvious that without urgent support, it wasn’t going to survive. Since then Plymouth and Cornwall team has grown considerably – long may this continue!

I enjoy stomping across Dartmoor with either my cocker spaniel, Monty or my horse, Kizmet. I’m also a big fan of food, music and travel.

Social Media & PR Officer

Kay Short, Cert CII, RRP

I joined the Council in 2020 having moved to Cornwall from Leeds where I’d previously been on Council and served as Treasurer. I’m an Education Champion and passionate about all things insurance and risk management related having been in the industry for 35 years across underwriting, broking and consulting but mostly in in-house client roles for property owner, local authority, police, railway and retail organisations. I’m now a Church Insurance Consultant for Ecclesiastical Insurance Group. There are so many different aspects to the insurance industry and I’ve learnt a lot over the years; serving on Council is one way of giving something back to an industry that has taught me so much.

Membership Secretary/Diversity Officer & Joint Education Officer

Jenny Warr

I started working for TH March at the end of September 2008.

Following a conversation with Steven Clemence, the President at the time, I joined the CII Council as Joint Education Officer with another member of staff from TH March. I agreed as I thought that it was a good way to give back to the industry and help the local members.

This is my third year on the Council and I am now the Membership Secretary, along with Diversity Office and Joint Education Office.

Joint Education Officer

Matthew Jardine

My name is Matthew and I have worked for TH March for 4 years, currently as a Commercial Account Handler. I wanted to join the council as I thought it would be a great experience to expand my own knowledge on general insurance and make some new connections with people within the insurance market. I hope you enjoy what we put on and if you ever have any queries, please feel free to contact me.

Careers Officer & Education Champion

Katie Harland

Hi, I’m Katie and I’m HR and Communications Lead for Cornish Mutual. I joined the business in 2011 as an underwriter and progressed into Operations, overseeing learning and development and recruitment. I love that jobs in insurance can be so diverse and it’s very rewarding to be able to support people in developing their careers.

Education Champion

Becky Blanchard, Cert CII

I work at Cornish Mutual, as a Member Services Coordinator. Outside of work, I am Cornwall Young Farmers General Purpose Chairman. I joined the council this year, to learn, to meet some new people and to help promote Discover Risk in schools.

Charities Representative and Charities Officer

Abbie Drown, Dip CII

I’m Abbie, I have worked as a Member Services Advisor at Cornish Mutual for nearly 10 years. I deal with general insurance enquiries but predominantly Fleet Insurance. I received my Diploma qualification at the beginning of 2017 and joined the Council this year to find out a bit more what happens behind the scenes! I am really looking forward to being part of the Council and helping to raise funds for our chosen charities.

Regional PFS Chair/Council Member

Ged Dixon

I am a Chartered Financial Planner with over 30 years experience in Financial Services. My simple professional purpose is to ensure clients' objectives are met to satisfy their lifestyle goals. I am the Chairman for our Professional Body, The Personal Finance Society for my region and also sit on the local CII Council. I decided to become involved with the CII Council to help raise standards in our profession to ultimately assist in establishing trust between the client and the Intermediary. It is also a privilege to work with like minded people who are equally enthusiastic to help clients.

Outside of work I enjoy a game of golf, tennis and I am a football coach for a local football team.

PFS Representative Plymouth/Council Member

Simon Lake(Hons) FPFS Chartered Financial Planner

Fellow of the Personal Finance Society

I have worked in financial services since 2003 and I work as a Chartered Financial Planner for the Thomas Westcott group. I previously worked in the legal sector during the early stages of my career.

I joined the committee in 2019 as a PFS representative and aim to support my committee members with their work on behalf of all of our regional members.

I owe a huge personal debt of gratitude to the CII/PFS as part of my professional career development. The education I have gained from the exams and qualifications coupled with the development and ongoing training gained from the national and regional seminars has been ever so important for my career.

When not at work I am an outdoors man at heart so can often be found exploring the coast, moors and mountains either on foot or on my mountain bike.