“I have many years’ experience of working in business development in commercial companies, teaching and managing in higher education and some part-time roles in other social enterprises. From 2005-9, I chaired the UK standards body that formulated the National Occupational Standards for Sales, and I consider myself a pioneer of sales education. When selling is done professionally, customers get good value. I am currently Head of an academic group at University of Portsmouth Business School (since 2012). I have
learnt a huge amount throughout my career about the importance of organisations working creatively and positively with their customers, and I felt that this could be useful to the Board of The Southern Co-operative.
I have been interested in co-operatives and The Co-op since I was a teenager. I feel very proud to be part of an organisation which has a long history of giving people power over the quality of their food and ownership of their local shop. It is like being part of a big, extended family. My local store is at Portchester; a bright and friendly store close to where I live.
I have been known wherever I have worked for being open to new ideas and helping to implement them, and I think that is an important quality for a Director. We live in a very fast-moving, highly competitive world and there are always new retail formats to explore, new technologies to apply and new risks to manage. I put myself forward to become a Director of The Southern Co-operative (2016) as I would like to help the business grow.
Given the difficult trading conditions for grocery retail, we need to emphasise our difference and our values as an ethical and fair trade organisation which supports local communities. I would get a buzz from winning customers away from competition, but I want to win them for the long-term; creating more members and encouraging members to be active and
join in with all that we offer them.
In my spare time, I like gardening and do my best to consider bees in whatever I plant. One of the few things that help me to relax is hearing them buzzing away! I also enjoy theatre and music. Having grown up in High Wycombe, I’m a big fan of Wycombe Wanderers FC.”