• The Board

The GFirst LEP Board members and senior officials keep us focused on our goals and ensure that we fund the right projects. The LEP Board and staff are committed to adhere to the Nolan Principles.

Dr Diane Savory OBE DL

Dr Diane Savory OBE DL

Chair

Diane is the Chair of GFirst LEP and represents Gloucestershire as part of the Future High Streets Forum with the High Streets Minister. In 2013, Diane was awarded an OBE in recognition of her work with GFirst LEP and her contribution to business, and was appointed as a Deputy Lord-Lieutenant in 2015.

With a passion for fashion, Diane studied retail and exhibition design at Cassio College, Watford. After joining Cult Clothing, the predecessor of SuperGroup Plc, she rapidly progressed through the organisation to become its Chief Operating Officer, transforming the company from a small, local enterprise to the now-distinctive global fashion retailer that is Superdry. Furthermore, she has mentored businesses to help them succeed in today's challenging environment and is a board member for a number of organisations.

David Owen

David Owen

Chief Executive

David is Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, one of the most successful Local Enterprise Partnerships in the UK. He is also currently a Non-Executive Director of the responsible finance provider South West Investment Group (SWIG), and training and business development company, Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd.

David is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Economic Development Council. He is also the previous President of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and former Chairman of the South West UK Business Advisory Group. He has a BA (Hons) in business studies and an MA in leading change. Follow David on Twitter: @CEOGFirst.

Adam Starkey

Adam Starkey

Vice Chair

Adam Starkey is a British innovator and founder and CEO of Green Gourmet, an award-winning food company based in Gloucestershire. Driven by his passion for healthy eating, wellbeing and making things happen, he has forged a unique business model that has, in turn, transformed the fortunes of a number of other UK businesses.

As a pioneering thinker, he coaches and mentors people and businesses looking to transform themselves and realise their dreams. A futurist at heart, Adam believes that success comes from personal motivation and engaging head-on with technical change.

Deborah Potts

Deborah Potts

Board Member

With over 25 years professional experience of supporting Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) organisations to grow, Deborah has an all-encompassing knowledge of the sector that is rooted in a genuine passion for its power to change lives.  Deborah is currently CEO of both Active Gloucestershire and The Music Works. Her skills lie in maximising social impact through strategic development and income generation. As previous CEO of Women in Sport and interim Director of Operations for the English Federation of Disability Sport, she also has a strong track record in championing equality of opportunity for marginalised groups.

Jenny Raymond

Jenny Raymond

Board Member

Jenny is a partner with Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ dispute resolution department in Cheltenham. She specialises in a wide range of commercial disputes including financial services, banking and insurance disputes, as well as disputes relating to the misuse of confidential information and breaches of post termination restrictions.  She trained and qualified in London and has a broad range of experience, representing a range of clients from multinational companies to local individuals.

She has lived in Gloucestershire for 4 years, having grown up in a local community in Pembrokeshire. Jenny feels entirely at home in the county, and loves the sense of community as well as the huge opportunities that the county has to offer. 

Ian Mean

Ian Mean

Board Member - Small Business Champion

Ian Mean is Director for Business West in Gloucestershire. He is also a media and marketing consultant following retirement as editor of the Western Daily Press and was previously editor in chief of Gloucestershire Media. He is chairman of the NHS Hospitals Trust organ donation committee. His specific role will include being the Small Business Champion for the LEP. 

Ian is well placed and well versed in the business needs of Gloucestershire, having him as the Small Business Champion will ensure that all business voices are heard. 

Jim Grant

Jim Grant

Board Member

Jim is the Principal of Cirencester 6th Form College.  

With 36 years in education as a teacher, tutor and manager in London and Gloucestershire, Jim has taught (well over 16000 lessons!) and managed in schools, FE and a 6th form College for 11-18 year olds and adults.  He has also had 30 years’ experience as an A Level and GCSE examiner, moderator, principal and chief examiner.

Jim is also a text book author.

 

Neill Ricketts

Neill Ricketts

Board Member

Neill is Chief Executive Officer of Versarien, a high technology company in Cinderford that specialises in the application of a patented manufacturing process for developing and supplying advanced engineering solutions to leading multinational firms.

With over 20 years of senior level experience in manufacturing and engineering companies, Neill has demonstrated success in introducing and commercialising new technology. As an active GL Ambassador and a member of the Advanced Engineering Sector Group, Neill is passionate about sharing his expertise to enthuse and inspire others.

Rob Loveday

Rob Loveday

Board Member

Rob is the UK Aerospace Growth Strategy Director at GE Aviation, and is responsible for ensuring that we work together with our national and local communities to drive growth and economic benefit into our businesses and the UK economy. The benefits are tremendous, like shared investment in new technologies and skills training secured in Gloucestershire under the government’s Aerospace Growth Partnership initiative.

In his role on the board of GFirst LEP, and the board of the West of England Aerospace Forum, Rob shares his vast experience and knowledge with the local aerospace and general business communities.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne

Cllr Mark Hawthorne

Board Member

Mark is the Leader of Gloucestershire County Council. Upon taking over as leader, Mark became the driving force behind the council’s Meeting the Challenge project – a fundamental redesign of how the council operates, with a view to saving £114 million over four years. Two years on, the programme is on target with £65 million already saved.

Looking to the future, Mark’s focus is continuing the economic stimulus programme and supporting Gloucestershire’s businesses, while keeping council tax as low as possible. A key task for the year ahead is to deliver a new highways contract that will improve how Gloucestershire’s roads are maintained, along with transforming social care and increasing the ability for communities to decide on and deliver more of the services that are important to them.

Russell Marchant

Russell Marchant

Board Member

Russell Marchant, BSc (Hons), MBA, Cert.Ed.  Principal and CEO of Hartpury College since September 2012.  Previously Principal and CEO of Barony College, Dumfriesshire since August 2001.  An agriculturalist with a keen interest in all rural businesses.  Experienced in co-operative marketing at both operational and board level.  A keen member of the LEP Agri-Food & Rural Business Sector Group and newly appointed to the LEP Employment & Skills Board.  Excited about the potential that is all around us in Gloucestershire.  Passionate about all things land based and all sports, Hartpury is the right place for Russell!

Cllr Steve Jordan

Cllr Steve Jordan

Board Member

Steve is the Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council and represents Leadership Gloucestershire on the GFirst LEP board, which brings together public sector organisations that allocate and spend significant resources in Gloucestershire.

Steve was elected as Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council in 2008 and has a portfolio that includes responsibility for both economic development and strategic land use. Away from the council, Steve spent over 20 years in the IT industry, most recently as a programmer, systems analyst and project manager with Swiss Reinsurance.

Michael D Warner

Michael D Warner

Board Member

Michael is Chairman of the Warner Group, a family business he joined after studying mechanical engineering and business management. The Warner Group has 300 employees in the food, retail and motor industries, giving Michael beneficial experience in dealing with small- and medium-sized business within a range of sectors. As an active GL Ambassador, Michael believes that SMEs are a great driver for future growth in Gloucestershire.

Michael has lived and worked in Gloucestershire almost all his life and is a previous Director of Gloucester Rugby. He has chaired the Three Counties Agricultural Society Board for the last 10 years and is also Chair of the RHS Malvern Spring Show.

GFirst LEP Team

The GFirst LEP team are working hard to keep everything ticking over – managing projects, helping promote funding calls, and facilitating opportunities.

 

You can view the latest board meeting minutes and various supporting documents by clicking on the Board Minutes Archive below. 

Please note, if individual papers are not published on the website it is because they have been marked ‘Commercial in confidence’.

 

Board Minutes Archive

Register of Members' Interests

 

 

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