LEGAL eagle Jane Powell is settling in very nicely into her new role as the Group Secretary for Lincolnshire Co-op.
A qualified solicitor, Jane (42) worked both in private practice and as an in-house lawyer, before she joined Plymouth & South West Co-op in 1999.
She took up her new role with Lincolnshire Co-operative at the beginning of April, replacing predecessor Ursula Lidbetter, who was appointed Chief Executive in November.
After spending many years in the West Country, she decided the time was right to head north-east with her partner and their five-year-old daughter Amy.
"We have only been here a couple of months but already I really like it up here, the people are absolutely lovely. I like the countryside and we're still very close to the coast."
Jane is currently living in a small village called Dunholme, just outside Lincoln. But at the moment she sees far more of her office ? where the working day typically starts at a very early hour.
Does she miss her old role? "I worked with some wonderful people in Plymouth so yes I miss colleagues. But as far as the two jobs go, there are a lot of similarities. I attend Board meetings and play an important administrative role. But here I will not be involved in the legal transactional work and I won't miss that.
"This society has a lot more commercial property and is about three times as big, so I'll be kept very busy in all kinds of ways ? looking after issues like insurance and the Audit Committee and there will be a lot of liasing with external lawyers.
"Lincoln also has a much more active community approach, so there's a lot more liasing with schools and local groups. "
Shrewsbury-born Jane has no regrets about making the decision to move away from private practice in the earlier years of her career.
"I had always wanted to work in industry, not private practice, where you are never really able to have a proper input and see decisions through until the end. I am also very supportive of Co-op principles, which I think are becoming more relevant than they were in the recent past.
"Societies now are taking on board all kinds of initiatives and doing a lot more work within communities. Here in Lincoln, for example, we have a co-operative development agency; have helped set up a bereavement centre to help people cope with grief and loss and we also work with local schools on projects like Football In The Community."
Once Jane has thoroughly mastered her brief, there is one other pursuit she has a yen to follow ? though Lincoln is not the most obvious of locations for it. "I am desperately trying to find the time to go ski-ing. People may think this is an odd place to be for that but I hear there is a very good dry ski slope in Sheffield, which is not so far away!"