Ramesh Shingadia

Ramesh Shingadia

MFG finance director Maria Eaton has been appointed to a senior role on the board of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) as it also announced independent retailer Ramesh Shingadia was its new chair.

Phil Ponsonby, chief executive of Midcounties Co-operative, and Booker Retail’s managing director Colm Johnson are also taking leadership roles on the board.

Ramesh Shingadia owns and operates with his family two stores in Horsham, Sussex, and he has been involved in the retail sector for 40 years, winning a number of industry awards for Store of the Year, as well as other accolades. He moves into the position of chair from his previous position of vice chair on the ACS board, which he has held since February 2021. He joined the ACS board in 2017.

Shingadia replaces Louise Hoste as chair of the ACS board, who has served in the position since September 2021, and recently stepped down from her role as managing director of Spar UK.

The full ACS board leadership appointments are:

  • main board chair: Ramesh Shingadia;
  • main board vice chair: Phil Ponsonby;
  • main board vice chair: Colm Johnson;
  • audit committee chair: Maria Eaton.

Speaking on the appointments, ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “I am delighted to be working closely with Ramesh, Phil, Colm and Maria in their leadership positions on the board. Their combined experience and knowledge of the convenience sector is invaluable and will further strengthen ACS’s position as the influential, effective and truly representative voice for all convenience stores.

“Louise has been a fantastic chair throughout the last two years, as well as being an incredible advocate for ACS and the work that we do to represent our members. Louise’s leadership of the board has helped us to bolster our support for both retailers and suppliers.”

Ramesh Shingadia said: “As an independent retailer and previous vice chair on the ACS board, I am deeply honoured, humbled, and privileged to be elected to the role of the chair. The convenience market is a complex and dynamic sector, with significant changes, challenges, and opportunities at every corner. Against this background, the ACS has demonstrated great foresight, innovation, and leadership in providing guidance and support to both the retailer and supplier. The ACS board and management team looks to build on this foundation, to continue lobbying the government on agendas impacting the convenience sector but more importantly, supporting on a day-to-day basis the retailers and suppliers who are an integral part of our sector.”

Maria Eaton said: “I am honoured to have joined the ACS Board as a member since November 2022, and to chair their Audit Committee. A truly worthwhile organisation, the ACS team work tirelessly to support local shops and ACS members by lobbying government on relevant issues, simplifying legislative requirements and providing its members with learning and networking events which they ordinarily wouldn’t have access to, connecting retailers and suppliers together.”