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First Choice Group MD becomes CESA Chairman

10th January 2019

First Choice Group’s Managing Director, John Whitehouse, has recently been appointed as CESA Chairman after holding the position of Vice-Chairman since 2016.

CESA’s previous Chairman, Glenn Roberts, stepped down from the position after two years during which time John was Vice-Chair.

The announcement was made during the CESA Conference which took place on November 14th and 15th at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park, in which John made a speech on his future plans as CESA Chairman.

During his speech, John announced that he would continue the excellent work CESA is currently doing in training and education, and a focus would be placed on promoting more member and industry involvement.

John said: “I am delighted and honoured to become CESA Chairman after previously serving as Vice-Chairman for the past two years. Within this new role, my aim is to focus more on the benefits of CESA to encourage others to become involved and to continue the brilliant work CESA has previously carried out in order to make positive changes to the industry.

“Most recently, CESA has put a lot of effort into training and education which is something I wish to continue doing so that others can learn more and gain further knowledge of the catering equipment industry.”

John has over 30 years’ experience in the catering equipment industry and has been MD at First Choice since the business started back in 1999.

First Choice Group headquarters is based in Cannock, Staffordshire, and has developed a reputation for holding the UK’s largest stock of OEM spares in the past 20 years.

The business has grown significantly since it was established and quickly found success moving to two different units in its first decade of operation.

In 2014, First Choice acquired the technical training company, Combico UK, which has now been renamed First Choice Training. This is certified to carry out training by Logic Certification under the Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme for Gas Fitting Operatives.

With First Choice Training, engineers receive expert training in a professional environment and complete assessments to gain their qualifications once the course has taken place.

Keith Warren, Director of CESA, said: “As the leading voice of the foodservice equipment industry, CESA is reliant on the strength of the voluntary support that we receive from the elected officers. Their vision, business acumen and drive are critical to ensuring that the association effectively represents the needs of nearly 200 members across the breadth of the industry’s value chain.

“We are delighted that John has now become Chairman of CESA and we are looking forward to seeing the developments of the plans he has put in place.

“We would like to wish John the best of luck in his role, and we have great confidence that he will be able to further develop CESA’s trusted partner role for foodservice companies across the value chain and in providing industry professionals with the essential information and knowledge they need in this fast-changing and dynamic foodservice equipment industry.”


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