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Photograph courtesy of Derek Hunter, Chagford, Devon
Alan is a veteran of thirty years plus in Information Technology specialising in systems for retail sector. In his long career he has served as Managing Director of two European software and services providers and up to his retirement was Chief Operating Officer of an international development and services company with worldwide installations in the stores and warehouses of many famous retailing giants. He is the founder of USI Europe, now merged into the Epicor Corporation, a market leader and innovator in the UK fashion retail sector, and after the merger of that organisation into NSB Retail, firstly the Chief Operating Officer of the US arm and then the UK company.

Notwithstanding his IT and commercial background the Arts have always been of intense interest and it often surprises friends and colleagues to discover that he attended Farnham School of Art in the Sixties and trained in both the Fine and Applied Arts. He has continued to support the visual Arts in many ways throughout his business career and also developed his lifelong interest in the theatre, starting up two community theatre companies in Surrey and Buckinghamshire.

Despite commitments as Chair of Governors at the local school and writing and directing two local pantomimes, he has recently been awarded a BA (Hons) in Humanities by the Open University, a project long planned for when time permitted. His association with SWAc began in 2006 when in partnership with his wife Sonia, who had been accepted as an Academician, he helped with the staging of the Open and Young Artists' Shows. He joined the Trustees as Honorary Treasurer in 2008, a post he continues to hold today alongside that of Chair of Trustees.

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