Tim Jones is Chairman of the South West Business Council.
Tim is involved in a number of other organisations including being a Governor at Falmouth University, Chairman of the North Devon Biosphere Foundation, Board Member of North Devon +, Board Member of North Devon Futures, Board Member at One Northern Devon, Board Member of Devon Local Nature Partnership, Board Member of Devon Climate Task Force and External Advisory Board Member of CREWW to name such a few.
Previous roles include Chairing the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Governor at Plymouth University, Governor at Arts University Plymouth, Chairman of the Prince’s Trust for Devon & Cornwall and Trustee at Dartington Hall.
Other business-related activities include a wide range of Criminal Justice Issues being a Special Advisor to HM Prison Services. Tim has active business interests and has been involved for over 35 years in a wide range of property issues. Tim is now extensively involved in Commercial Property Development across the South West Peninsula and is a Director within Belstone Fox Project Management Ltd and Wessex Investors Ltd.
Julie Hawker MBE
Julie is Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic one of the country’s leading social enterprises delivery top quality digital skills, services and support to businesses and individuals across the UK. In its work Cosmic is highly focussed on achieving impact to reduce digital exclusion and to drive up digital transformation for the benefit of local economies. This work includes developing digital strategy for large and complex organisations as well as delivering to thousands of small and medium businesses through local programmes of support. Julie works at strategic levels building future plans, and ensuring key partnerships are developed and maintained, as well as having oversight on delivery and supporting managers across the business. She is a keen follower of the digital agenda in all its shapes and sizes, and its effect on society, and has been involved in many projects aiming to improve digital skills and inclusion across the SW and the wider UK.
Julie is also a Board Member and Trustee with the Good Things Foundation working nationally on programmes to enhance digital inclusion, and is Vice-Chair of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. She also supports the work of the Bank of England in the SW as Chair of its Citizen Panels, and continues to contribute heavily to regional forums and networks aimed at developing the economy.
Dr Christine Allison
Dr Christine Allison, an economist, holds a portfolio of positions including Chair, South West Investment Group (SWIG) Ltd, and Governor of Plymouth University as well as her position with SWBC (Statutory Board and Finance Committee). Her work revolves around finance for SMEs and business ventures.
Organisation: SWIG Finance
Catherine Mathews is a Partner and Board Member at employee-owned law firm, Stephens Scown LLP. Having started her career as a trainee at the Firm, she now has over 20 years’ experience as a lawyer, specialising in commercial litigation. She has been on the management board since 2019, and more recently became head of the Exeter office.
Catherine is responsible for leading the employee engagement strategy at Stephens Scown, a 300+ strong law firm based in the South West, serving regional, national, and international clients from individuals to SMEs and larger corporations. Having grown up in Cornwall, she moved to Devon to study Law at the University of Exeter and has built a strong connection with the South West business community.
With experience acting for clients operating in a wide variety of the South West’s leading industry sectors, including renewable energy, food and drink, technology, and leisure and tourism, as well as acting for a number of regional charities, her work places her at the forefront of the positive development of the region.
As an alumna at the University of Exeter, she volunteers for the Pathways to Law programme, which targets students from underrepresented backgrounds and helps them to attain university places, many of whom are the first in their family to do so.
Organisation: Stephens Scown
Liz is a communications professional with over 25 years’ experience in industry and public sector, specialising in stakeholder engagement with critical infrastructure and crisis management. She provides expert advice to public and private sector, including central Government (Cabinet Office, BEIS and Defra), Scottish and Welsh Governments, as well as local authorities.
Currently advising critical infrastructure portfolios totalling in excess of £16.7bn, including 11 energy from waste projects, major road and rail schemes, and separate regeneration programmes for three major SW towns.
A trustee of the Institution of Civil Engineers, she is also mentor to three engineers, and a regular speaker at Women in Leadership, Construction and other fora to promote engineering and career progression. Liz is a member of the Great Western Railway Advisory Board, SW Infrastructure Panel and Governor (UK) of the Association of Real Property and Infrastructure. She previously chaired the Local Transport Board, BBC Audience Council (representing England) and was interim CEO of Heart of the South West LEP. She has lectured for Bournemouth, Plymouth and Leeds University and been an expert witness to public inquiries on the impact of critical infrastructure on the tourism economy. She founded Coast Communications in 2005, a strategic technical communications agency based in Cornwall, London and Cardiff, with a roster of national and international clients. In her (limited) spare time, Liz enjoys walking in the Black Mountains with her dog, paddle boarding on the coast and photography. She is learning Welsh, with nominal success.
Organisation: Coast Communications
Prof Vicky Pope
Vicky Pope had a long and varied career in the Met Office. She worked for many years on climate change. She led the development of some of the best climate models in the world and later ran the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme, acting as the interface between scientists and government and other key stakeholders including the media.
Prof Vicky Pope is Chair of the Devon Wildlife Trust and MEI (A charity that improves Maths Education for all). She is an independent member of the audit and risk assurance committee for Climate Change and Rural Affairs for Welsh government.
She was the founding editor of ‘Climate Resilience and Sustainability’ for the Royal Meteorological Society. She is a Trustee of BRE Trust (Building Research Establishment) and In2ScienceUK. She is also the National Labs lead for the Association of Research Innovation and Technology Organisations (AIRTO).
Vicky had a long and varied career in the Met Office. She worked for many years on climate change. She led the development of some of the best climate models in the world and later ran the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme, acting as the interface between scientists and government and other key stakeholders including the media.
Paula Hewitt chairs the South West Infrastructure Partnership and was the Deputy Chief Executive, Lead Director for Economic and Community Infrastructure and also the Director of Commissioning at Somerset County Council.
She had a diverse mix of responsibilities including economic development, highways and transport, waste, planning, property, environment, registration services and libraries. Paula was acting CEO at Somerset County Council in 2022.
Paula has led a number of high-profile programmes, delivering innovation and partnerships. Paula’s achievements include leading the County Council’s work in relation to accommodating and securing a legacy from the largest construction project in Western Europe, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
Other notable achievements include securing significant Government and private sector investment in regeneration, environmental and transport schemes and the development of a network of innovation and enterprise centres to deliver increased productivity and prosperity.
Paula was heavily involved in co-ordinating the Local Authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and led the work to minimise future flooding in the county through the establishment of the Somerset Rivers Authority.
As a result, she was asked to be an expert advisor to the European Committee of the Regions on disaster resilience.
Paula co-led the work on service alignment and improvement as the 5 councils in Somerset transitioned to a single council. Paula is the current chair of the South West Infrastructure Partnership and the immediate Past President of ADEPT.
Organisation: South West Infrastructure Partnership
Jabo Butera is an accomplished entrepreneur with a remarkable track record of initiating and managing successful businesses over a span of 15 years. With a solid foundation in law, holding a prestigious LLB degree from the National University of Rwanda, Jabo has seamlessly merged his legal acumen with a passion for entrepreneurship.
Throughout his career, Jabo has demonstrated a unique blend of legal expertise and business acumen that has propelled him to the forefront of the business world. His journey has been marked by a series of successful ventures across various industries, solidifying his reputation as a visionary and results-driven entrepreneur.
In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Jabo Butera has been an active participant in the region’s business landscape. He has lent his expertise and leadership to prestigious boards, including the Devon Chamber of Commerce and the Southwest Business Council. His strategic insights and commitment to the economic growth of the region have made him a sought-after voice in the business community.
Jabo’s ability to navigate the complexities of law, coupled with his relentless entrepreneurial spirit, has not only driven his own business successes but has also positively impacted the broader business ecosystem. His dedication to excellence, coupled with his unwavering commitment to the community, sets him apart as a true luminary in the world of business and law.
As he continues to innovate and lead, Jabo Butera remains an inspiring figure for aspiring entrepreneurs and a catalyst for positive change in the business world. His journey stands as a testament to the power of vision, education, and unwavering dedication in the pursuit of success.
Organisation: Diversity Business Incubator
Justin supports the Department of Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) funded & West of England Combined Authority hosted Southwest Net Zero Hub in the role of Funding & Investment Manager, providing price and investment support for the ever-growing South West Net Zero project portfolio. Justin is the Chair of the DESNZ led national Cross-Hub Green Finance Group, an (Associate) Non-Executive Director of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and a member of the Co-op’s National Member’s Council and serves on the Business & Performance Committee.
Justin has an extensive background in education management, curriculum development, consultancy, investment banking, social enterprise, and sector specialisms in renewable energy research (FLOW), capital markets derivatives trading, hedging and customized infrastructure solutions. He has served as a Vice President and Director of Toronto Dominion Securities, Toronto Dominion Bank for over a decade before pursuing a career as senior leader in Further Education with another decade of service prior to entering research.
He has previously served as volunteer Chair of the Senior Executives Forum, Special Advisor to The Office of the Third Sector in the Cameron-led coalition UK Government, the DEFRA representative of the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC), Treasurer of Volunteer Cornwall and a school governor for academies in both Devon & Cornwall as well as serving on a number of other not-for-profit Boards aligned to his professional expertise.
Justin previously owned and operated Celtic Sea Consultants, providing consultancy services across the region in a range of disciplines aligned with his professional practice.
Organisation: SW Net Zero Hub
Laurence is Principal and CEO of South Devon College which includes University Centre South Devon (UCSD). As well as being a member of the Statutory Board of SWBC he is also Co- Chair of EAUC, The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership In Education, a national membership body for UK Universities and Colleges; a member of Torbay Place Leadership Board; a member of the Heart of the South West LEP’s Skills Advisory Panel; and Statutory Member of a Multi-Academy Trust in Paignton.
Beginning his working life in Banking & Finance, Laurence has significant experience in that sector, including as an underwriter of corporate lending to a range of large SMEs and mid-corporates. As an Area Retail Manager he left the world of banking in 2002 to begin his new career.
He first joined South Devon College as Vice Principal in 2010 and successfully led professional services at the College, including Business Development, Employer Engagement, Estates & Facilities, Finance, Human Resources, IT, Data & Systems, Commercial Services and Catering & Retail. Laurence has been instrumental in growing and diversifying College income including successful partnership working and project development to secure bids which have also included in excess of £30m of new capital grants. Laurence was instrumental in the College successfully securing achievement of Investors in People Platinum in 2017 and its reaccreditation in 2020. South Devon College is a general further education college supporting 10,000 students a year from entry level through to honours degrees and works with over 1,200 businesses and employers.
The College is itself the third largest employer in South Devon with 700 staff and contributing in excess of £35m to the local economy every year.
Laurence was appointed as Principal and CEO of South Devon College in September 2019 and believes education and lifelong learning is transformational and the keystone for a successful and sustainable economy, business and individual prosperity and social mobility.
Organisation: South Devon College
Martin qualified with KPMG in 2006, before moving into the energy industry. Martin worked in various finance and commercial roles within RWE nPower before moving to Infinis Energy Plc, helping list the business on the London Stock Exchange. Martin moved back to the South West of England, working for Babcock International Plc and Rittal, before taking up his current role as Chief Financial Officer for Wildanet, an internet service provider with a network across Cornwall and Devon.
Martin has previously also been active within the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), being President for the South West during 2018-2019 and is a former member of the main Governing Council. Martin lives in Cornwall with his wife and two children. In his spare time Martin is an avid reader of history, a legacy of his university studies.
Paul is a strategic leader and thinker, who over the last few years has built a portfolio career covering the commercial world; public and third sectors. He has a passion for innovation and for digital which he brings to bear when seeking to advance the South-West economy.
He has an extensive range of contacts across both the commercial and public sector built on a solid foundation of trust, passion, and delivery. Senior level stakeholder management has been a key attribute throughout his career.
Paul has recently left BT after 31 years to expand his portfolio of interests and to also help people and businesses navigate through Covid. These interests include being Deputy Chair of the South West Business where Paul has focussed on governance; stakeholder management, innovation, and business development.
Andrew works with Jo to support our growing network of members, principally responsible for managing key accounts. In addition, Andrew works for SWBC on a part-time, self-employed basis helping them to keep administrative and compliance costs to a minimum whilst offering a friendly efficient service to our customers and suppliers.
Jo has over 25 years’ experience of high-level business admin and support roles, working within the financial, medical and accountancy sectors under various titles, i.e. Senior Executive Assistant, Medical Secretary and Senior Business Administrator.
Jo has spent most of her working life in the South East of England, where her most recent position of some 13 years was with Deloitte LLP working within their Global Employers Services department, supporting Partner and Directors within the firm, but also developing the relationships with key stakeholders both internally and externally. In February 2018, Jo relocated to the South West and after a brief sabbatical set up her own Virtual Assistant business.
Jo joined SWBC in May 2019 and is primarily responsible for member contact and for utilising her organisational skills to support the operations team with a wide range of admin tasks.
Email: [email protected]
Leah Erdbrink is an Account Manager at award-winning PR & Marketing agency Program Agency. She is responsible for day-to-day digital marketing and PR activity across the South West Business Council account and plays a key role in the development and implementation of creative and strategic campaigns.
Before Program Agency, Leah graduated from University of Reading with a BA Hons in English Literature before completing a Master’s degree at University of Exeter in English Literary Studies, achieving a high class Distinction.
Email: [email protected]
Emma Anderson is an Account Executive at award-winning PR & Marketing agency, Program Agency. She is responsible for supporting and developing day-to-day digital marketing and PR assets for the South West Business Council and provides assistance to the Marketing and PR Manager in delivering regular creative and strategic campaigns.
Before Program Agency, Emma graduated from the University of Exeter with a first-class BA Hons in English before completing her Master of Arts degree, also from the University of Exeter, in Creativity: Innovation and Business Strategy, achieving a Distinction.
Email: [email protected]