OUR TEAM

OUR TEAM

Dr. John Williams


A globally experienced technology director and recognised expert and advisor to Governments, industry and investors in the field of renewable materials and sustainable technology. An innovative self-sufficient and strategic thinker who combines excellent communication skills with commercial ability. Having worked in start-up and multinational companies has a proven ability in using technical expertise to evaluate and exploit new technologies.

Mike Farrar


Mike Farrar, CBE is a management consultant with 15 years of CEO experience in the NHS, having stepped down as the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation in September 2013. Since that time Mike has been a member of the PwC Health Industries Oversight Board and has worked with the company on a number of major projects across the country. Mike chairs the PwC public sector board helping to support the company’s offer to the health and care sector.

Mike has also built alongside this a successful business practice working with clients such as Celesio, RCGP, ABPI, NHS Quest, NHS Leadership Academy, Health Foundation, Vanguard Health Solutions, Pfizer, CIPFA, etc as well as starting up a number of small companies aimed at promoting health innovations, and links between health and sport.

Mike remains a prominent thought leader and consultant to NHS, where he supports system wide leadership groups in Manchester, West Yorkshire, The North West, South Nottinghamshire, Essex, Oxfordshire, and South Hampshire along with work in a number of individual NHS organisations including Bradford,  Leeds, SW Yorks and Liverpool.

Prof. Tim Benton


Professor Benton has a significant track record of thought-leadership, institutional leadership and management. He has worked in-depth with agri-food industries (e.g. NFU, Soil Association, food manufacturers and retailers, the IGD) and other industries with interests in the area (financial, water, nutrition) as well as the civil society sector.

He has worked across Whitehall, including interfacing with devolved governments, briefed Ministers and worked with the EC at a senior level. He led the UK delegation to G20 meetings of agricultural chief scientists, and spoken at Parliamentary events on a number of occasions. He is politically aware and connected.

Mick Swales


Mick co-founded Sutcliffe Swales Consulting with Gerry Sutcliffe in 2015, offering a wide range of political and public affairs consultancy services. He served as Senior Political Adviser to Gerry Sutcliffe for 18 years, dividing his time between Westminster and Yorkshire. He served as Operations Director for Alan Johnson in his Labour Deputy Leadership campaign in 2007, and Deputy Director of Andy Burnham’s Labour Leadership campaign in 2010.

Les Newby


Les specialises in strategy development, stakeholder engagement, report writing, and translating intelligence and analysis into tangible solutions. He has pronounced expertise in economic development, employment and skills issues, and also work in areas such as inclusion, devolution, health and sustainable development. He has quickly built a track record in an array of fields and gained great customer feedback.

Larraine Howard-Jones


Larraine is an HR and OD Specialist with a strong track record of success gained over 24 years of working within complex, politically sensitive multi-unionised environments. For the last 10 years, Larraine has been leading HR within the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a high profile Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB).

Larraine has spent many years leading and developing HR services and working with Boards and senior teams to develop and implement people strategies that achieve business objectives. She has a strong track record in managing transformational change projects including those that involve TUPE, collective consultations and trade union negotiations.

Larraine is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development and has a Masters’ Degree in Employee Relations and Employment Law and considers this as her specialist area of knowledge and expertise. She has spent many years developing staff engagement and partnership working strategies as well as managing complex employee relations issues and Employment Tribunal casework.

Larraine is a trained mediator and a member of the Professional Mediator’s Association and has a particular interest in helping organisations develop effective conflict resolution strategies.

Dr. Andrew Thomson


An environment and sustainability director/expert with extensive international experience. Andrew was CEO of Hong Kong’s Business Environment Council for 11 years, and was an advisor to the Hong Kong Government, private corporations, universities and various NGO boards.

Andrew has worked for corporations ranging from Fortune 50 to SMEs, as either in house environmental/corporate sustainability lead or consultant. His expertise spans, strategy, management systems, corporate sustainability and carbon reporting, clean/green technology research/technology transfer, and cleaner production and eco-product design. For over 15 years Andrew was at the forefront of the green building movement in Hong Kong, and was a founding director of the Hong Kong Green Building Council. He was also instrumental in setting up the Harbour Business and the Climate Business Forums, and led the agenda for sustainable urban planning and an integrated approach to reducing carbon footprint.

He has authored/co-authored numerous publications, articles and papers including guidebooks on auditing, management systems for SMEs, environmental reporting, eco-labelling, sustainable packaging, green building certification, low carbon business, waste management and recycling, financing sustainable development and urban planning/harbor-front design. Andrew was previously a visiting lecturer at both the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and has spoken frequently at international conferences and events from Mexico to Australia.

Sarah Wilson


Sarah is a highly experienced project manager, trainer, consultant and public speaker with more than 20 years experience supporting and inspiring organisations and individuals to deliver cross organisational change.

Sarah set up her own project management training and consultancy business in 2010 and has clients in many sectors, including education, food manufacturing, utilities, police forces, charities and finance, but has a particular specialism in supporting project management skills development in public sector organisations and continues to deliver practical project management training to several local authorities and Universities on a retained basis.

Sarah has a BSc in Marketing and an MSc in Information Technology and has used this mix of skills, along with an ability to build relationships at all levels of business, to effectively support complex organisational change, often acting as a bridge between technical and non-technical teams.

Sarah has a strong interest in supporting the development of the project management office. Her understanding that project management needs to be adaptable and appropriate to the project, the team and the organisation has helped several organisations to develop and embed in-house project management methodologies. She acts as an auditor for the PMO development of a Yorkshire based health and social care lottery funded programme.
Using a highly pragmatic approach to project management and great communication skills Sarah has delivered a number of complex projects with an efficient but light touch – always on time and always on budget.

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