Winner of the Women in Business Rising Star accolade and runner up of the Role Model of the Year award, I have 18 years’ experience in leading teams in the placemaking industry, starting in Truro where I was born, moving to Farnham, then Winchester, Weybridge and Bouremouth, which is where I now call home.
The Governance Geek is a consultancy championing good governance and leadership, primarily within Business Improvement Districts. I advise on governance and leadership challenges, working with boards of directors and executive management teams. For a full range of services, click here.
I spent 7 years at Winchester BID, starting as Projects Manager back in 2011, to BID Manager in 2013, and then Executive Director in 2015, before leaving in spring 2018, following a successful second renewal ballot (77% majority by number, 87% majority by rateable value and a turnout of 41% of 904 hereditaments).
During the global pandemic, I was the Executive Director of the Institute of Place Management (IPM), an international, professional body delivering research, training and qualifications that supports people committed to developing, managing and making better places. I was hired in May 2018 to help set-up The BID Foundation, an industry body to provide an authoritative voice for the BID industry at what was a critical juncture in their growth and development. I increased membership by 50% within 6 months and developed the team from 9 people to 15 during what was no doubt a challenging period for any business.
During my time at IPM, I was crucial to establishing relationships and regular dialogue with central government and trade bodies, promoting the value of place management to policymakers, ensuring they are an integral part of High Street/Town Centre policy and programmes. The main programme delivered by IPM is the High Streets Task Force. A £8.6 million government contract to create an alliance of place making experts, working to redefine the high street. The IPM provide guidance, tools and skills to help communities, partnerships and local government transform their high streets.
I led the development of the industry standards for BIDs, launched in 2019 and supported by central government and trade bodies representing business. The 11 standards encourage transparency and responsible governance in the sector, covering key aspects of a BID’s structure and operations including its business plan, governance and reporting, and Directors and personal interests.
I co-authored a state-of-the-art review into the development of the BID industry, which has influenced policy change and practices and is now published as an article in the Journal of Place Management and Development.
Working with boards having been in several chair and trustee roles, I am Vice Chair of the National Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (NBCRP) Standards Board, delivered by the National Business Crime Centre and held at New Scotland Yard. The NBCRP exists to provide governance to local police forces, councils and BIDs who deliver a BCRP scheme.
I have worked extensively with the media including appearing on the BBC South Politics Show to discuss business rates and I have spoken about the future of the BID model at several hundred events - both nationally and internationally, including Spain, South Africa and Washington.
Whilst at Winchester, I studied a MBA at the University of Southampton, completing my thesis exploring the dyad between CEO's and Chairs of the Board, to which I received a distinction. Further, I was one of the first 11 BID practitioners to complete the Certificate in BID Management, endorsed by the University of Westminster and run by British BIDs.
In 2022, I joined BCPFuturePlaces - a teckal company owned by BCP Council. FuturePlaces drives regenerative development and property market transformation in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The company's key activities include project scoping work, commissioning professional and technical work, preparing business cases and providing urban development and placemaking advice. There are 18 sites earmarked for development across the conurbation, with a GDP of two million.
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