Paul Bird, Manager
Paul Bird Joined Amber Valley Memorial Park and Crematorium in late 2014. Paul started his career with Amber Valley as the chapel attendant before being promoted to manager in 2016. He is responsible for overseeing the site and general management of the site. Paul started his working Career in the British Army. His last role before joining Amber Valley was working in operating theatres.
Neil Bond, Chapel Attendant/Cremator Operator
Neil started his career with Memoria in 2017 as Head of Grounds Maintenance, bringing many years of gardening and maintenance experience. He has now been promoted to Chapel Attendant and is enjoying the varied roles across the site.
Catherine Widdowson, Administrator
Catherine joined Memoria in 2015 bringing 25 years’ administration experience. She is responsible for the day to day office management and works alongside Paul as the Assistant Manager. Catherine also assists families with choosing memorials within the grounds.
Gareth Wragg, Head of Grounds Maintenance
Gareth is the newest member of the Amber Valley team, his role as Head of Grounds Maintenance involves ensuring the grounds are kept immaculate at all times. He is also involved in creating new features and projects for the site. Gareth is always on hand to help families with memorials. He has experience in maintenance and plumbing.
Directors and Key Executives
Howard Hodgson MBIFD (Dip) Ass. RSH (Chief Executive Officer)
(b,1950) A fourth generation funeral director, Howard trained with James Summers of Cardiff in 1968. He took over the family business in 1975 and launched an expansion programme that culminated in the flotation of Hodgson Holdings plc in 1986. Through subsequent mergers the company formed the largest funeral/crematorium group in the UK. Howard sold his interests in 1991, having taken the company from one branch to 546 and became ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 1987’ in the process. He is largely recognised as the individual who transformed the funeral industry in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s. After a second career in the gift industry as chief executive of Ronson plc and Colibri International he returned to the funeral industry as founder and CEO of Memoria, and has developed it into the third largest and fastest growing crematoria company in the UK today. In 2016 he founded Memoria Low Cost Funeral, the direct cremation arm of Memoria and has taken that company from a standing start to the largest direct cremation company in the UK. He is the author of four books, including a biography of HRH The Prince of Wales.
Michael Hackney MA (Oxon) (Chairman & Finance Director)
(b,1950) is a former career banker who has held senior positions with both the ANZ/Grindlays and Abbey National banking groups, including in venture capital, where he was responsible for the flotation of Hodgson Holdings plc, and in debt recovery, which resulted in him directly managing a succession of troubled commercial and financial businesses as principal for the bank, both in the UK and Europe, 1992-2000.
Jamieson Hodgson (Business Development Director and Head of Planning)
(b, 1983) Jamieson Hodgson joined Memoria in early 2009. He initially lead business development but has since progressed into the role of Head of Planning. During that time he has helped to grow the business by leading our planning team to securing 8 new planning consents for new crematoria and memorial parks in the last 5 years. Jamieson has overseen 5 planning appeals during this time – leading to 4 consents. This has allowed him to develop knowledge in planning law and policy. He is a demographic expert who has helped to develop GIS technology in order to better understand the way that ‘need’ and financial viability is measured in crematoria development. Jamieson also maintains an operational support role which sees him involved in various areas of the ongoing business. These areas include recruitment of staff, financial performance, ongoing demographic assessment and facility service standards.
He spent the previous 3 years working for Accenture where he led business development for their UK Capital Markets strategy group. This role saw him work on a number of projects for UBS, HSBC, RBS and Citi Group. Prior to joining Accenture, Jamieson completed a honours degree in International Business and Finance and also worked for the VW Group and PwC during this time.
Paul Reed, Managing Director, Memoria LCF
(b 1977) Paul is the Managing Director of Memoria Low Cost Funeral Ltd, the Direct Cremation arm of Memoria Ltd and the largest direct cremation company in the country. Paul joined Memoria in late 2013 after a career working in both the public and private sector. A horticultural specialist with extensive experience in groundworks, facilities management and sales and marketing, he has held multiple roles within Memoria before his current promotion.
Prior to joining Memoria, he graduated from Teesside University after studying Business Management and has enjoyed a successful career in both telecommunications and the utility sales industries where he founded and managed his own direct sales business employing 70 members of staff.
Carl Clamp – Director of Operations, Memoria
Carl Clamp is our Director of Operations. He was previously manager of our Amber Valley Memorial Park and Crematorium. He now oversees operational performance in terms of service standards across the Memoria Group. In particular, he is responsible for practical training for cremation, administration and general crematorium management across all staff members in the Memoria Group. He is also the CEO’s assistant in all operational matters.
Richard Todd – Sales & Marketing Director, Memoria
Richard Todd is our Sales & Marketing Director. Richard has over 35 years’ experience in the Funeral sector having held a number of senior operational & sales roles across market leading independent, Co-operative and private equity supported Funeral & pre-need businesses. Richard is responsible for Memoria’s local community and funeral director relations across all sites in England and Wales.
Frank Meilack – Director of Community Engagement, Memoria
Frank Meilack is our Director of Community Engagement. From 1995 Frank worked in the Outdoor Media industry as part of the Clear Channel / Transport for London partnership transforming the Outdoor Media options across the capital and the UK, with involvement in procurement, development, sales and operational delivery as Regional General Manager.
In 2015 Frank came into the funeral Industry at Kemnal Park in South-East London, a 55-acre site with outline approval for a cemetery. Over a 4 year period, Frank transformed the performance of the park with cremation services rising from circa 150 to over 900 per annum. Burial numbers and prestige burial options also rose dramatically with the introduction and marketing of products for specific community groups such as Muslim, Turkish, Catholic and Italian communities.