Steve Taylor-Smith (Managing Director)
Dave Wheeler (Education and Third Sector Specialist)
Dave Wheeler has worked for seven years as a freelance Education and Business Consultant on a variety of projects for clients including Big Potential, CIPP, IAB, Aston University, Salford University, Sterling Power Group, CIMA, and Reed Business School. For CIPP he led a £1.7m UKCES Growth and Innovation Fund National Project around job creation and skills and apprenticeship interventions for financial administration roles. This follows twenty years in senior management positions within further education, preceded by twenty years in senior finance positions in engineering companies. He has an MBA and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Geoff Stevenson (Business Consultant)
Geoff Stevenson advises start-ups and large organisations on sustainability and growth, and delivers workshops and events on entrepreneurship in social business growth. He is leading the effort to secure stability and growth for a large-scale social enterprise in North Wales, and is adviser to several smaller organisations on setup, business planning and funding applications. He has expertise in business strategy, financial control, change management and scaling up business processes.
He has established three computer businesses and a specialist retail organisation that operated for twenty-four years.
Mark Cotton (Third Sector Specialist)
Mark Cotton is an experienced business development consultant who specialises in working with charities and social enterprises. His areas of expertise include visioning and business strategy development, business planning, fundraising, social investment readiness support, personal development coaching and leadership mentoring.
Mark was previously Senior Head of Regions for the Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery funds to good causes, where he was responsible for several regional teams overseeing policy and programme development and delivery, local intelligence, public affairs and external relations; he also played a key role in external communications and customer service improvement across England. He led the development of several multi-million-pound national funding programmes from conception, through design and production, to final delivery and has experience of managing multi-million-pound operational and funding budgets.
With extensive experience in stakeholder relationship management, Mark has developed and continues to expand a broad network of contacts within the public, private and voluntary sectors, using these relationships to support clients through a process of change, development and growth.
In his spare time Mark is Chair and Trustee of Effervescent, a Plymouth-based charity working with vulnerable children; Chair of Cosmic, an IT social enterprise based in Honiton; and Chair of Kaleider, an Exeter-based arts organisation. He is also a director of OneFest, a music industry training and development Community Interest Company.
Sonia Thompson (Third Sector Specialist)
Sonia Thompson is an Organisational Development Consultant with a background in training, coaching and mentoring. She brings with her years of experience in working in universities across the UK, and developed the UK’s first three-year undergraduate Community and Youth Work course incorporating a professional qualification in youth work. She has assisted the establishment of many organisations in the East Midlands, including housing associations, community agencies, and two women’s refuges. More recently she has been providing business support to small and medium-sized private and third-sector businesses. She is a Fellow of the East Midlands School of Social Entrepreneurs.
Jo Gratrick (Third Sector Specialist)
Jo Gratrick has many years of experience working in commercial roles within social enterprises and across the third sector, and provides support to organisations seeking to improve the performance of their business and to understand their social impact in order to improve bids and strategic decision-making. She has experience in a range of areas including complex project management, measurement of social impact and social return on investment, stakeholder management,and dealing with disability and diversity in the workplace.
Her positions on executive boards, as a charity trustee, and as Company Secretary for a large non-departmental public body and a Community Benefit Society give her experience of both executive and non-executive boards and governance.
Lindsay Tilston-Jones (Fundraising Specialist)
Lindsay Tilston Jones has spent nearly 20 years as a professional fundraiser across a variety of charities and not-for-profit organisations. Lindsay has a breadth of experience, from gaining funds to start a charity and early years fundraising, to adapting strategy and increasing income from fundraising to meet increasing need. She has worked across the sector, from small local charities to large internationals, in a variety of roles.
Lindsay can advise on how to attract income, maximise existing sources and gain income from new areas. She has particular expertise in strategy development, volunteers, policies and procedures, relationship management (individual and corporate) and environmental analysis.
As a fully certified member of the Institute of Fundraising, Lindsay holds one of the highest qualifications in fundraising and adds to her knowledge frequently through using all development opportunities across the sector.
Lindsay is a native of Wirral and is passionate about local organisations and working together with them.
Malcolm Wright (Finance Consultant)
Having served in a senior capacity with a number of large companies, predominantly in the software/IT sector, Malcolm has over 35 years of wide-ranging business experience; he is a Chartered Accountant looking to bring his experience and personal skills to the benefit of developing businesses and organisations. He has strong leadership and people skills and is able to bring the best out of multi-skilled management teams and individuals while enabling an environment in which commitment and loyalty within the team can flourish; by nature he is a caring and sensitive person with the capacity to relate to people of all skill bases and backgrounds. As a very good listener, he is well equipped to grasp the needs of both individuals and organisations.
His commitment is to bring these skills, talents and experiences together in meaningful, significant and people-oriented environments delivered in a supportive manner.
Peter Furmedge (Third Sector Specialist)