Statutory Board

Tim Jones

Tim Jones


Tim Jones is Chairman of South West Business Council and a board member of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (having served as Chairman from its inception).

Tim's biography

He is also involved in a number of other organisations including the executive of the HoTSW Business Forum, independent Vice Chairman Water Futures Panel, Board Member of Plymouth Chamber, Vice Chairman of Plymouth Area Business Council and Board Member of North Devon +.

Outside business related activities, Tim is also involved in a wide range of Criminal Justice Issues being a Special Advisor to HM Prison Services serving on the South West Regional Offending Board, is a Trustee of Broadreach which deals with a wide range of Drug and Alcohol Services and is a Patron of Tomorrow’s People. Chairman for the Dartington Hall Trust Property Board and Trustee for Fort Bovisand. Tim also served for 22 years as Chairman of the Princes Trust for Devon & Cornwall and as a South West Regional Board Member.

Tim has active business interests and has been involved for over 30 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.

Paul Coles

Paul Coles

Deputy Chairman

In my career at BT I have worked in BT Retail, BT Global Services and BT Group. Primarily, I have focussed on the Public Sector market place in the last 13 years of my career spanning a range of activities.

Paul's biography

These have included:

1. Driving new Mobilty Solutions into Public Sector customers including creating and signing the first Mobile Broadband shared platform in a city environment – a precursor to Wireless Cities

2. Trebling our Mobility Solutions business in 3 years

3. Doubling our Public Sector Framework Contracts business over a 3 year period

4. Propositon Development – creating new solutions in our core portfolio for Public Sector customers enabling us to maintain a strong market share

5. Sales Excellence – driving transformation and performance in our UK geography. Delivering accreditation and pipeline increase

As of the 1st of January 2014 I became BT’s South West Regional Partnership Director. A hugely exciting role that covers a wide range of activities from fibre broadband to digital inclusion to smart cities and much more

Specialities: Business Development, Relationship Management, Public Sector Market place, Sales Programmes, General Management, Sales Transformation, Proposition Development

Organisation: BT

Thelma Sorensen OBE

Thelma Sorensen OBE

SWBC Vice Chair Cornwall

Thelma Sorensen is a Cornish born and bred businesswoman, having a wealth of experience in business in the South West in general and Cornwall in particular. She has a significant background in the construction industry.

Thelma's biography

Thelma has been involved in furthering, and fighting, the cause of Cornwall and Cornish businesses for many years and continues to represent business on a wide variety of boards and committees across the County. As Chairman of the Cornwall Business Partnership, she is particularly concerned with ensuring that business views are strongly heard where it matters. She sits on several strategic committees, which are helping shape the future economy of Cornwall.

Organisation: Cornwall Business Partnership

Derek Philips

Derek Philips

SWBC Vice Chair Devon

Following over 30 years service at the University of Exeter as Director of Campus Services and Managing Director of its four spin off companies Derek now holds 14 Company Directorships both local and national.

Derek's biography

Other posts include; Vice President of Exeter Chamber of commerce, Chair of South West Chambers of Commerce, Vice Chair of Devon and Cornwall Business Council and Chair of the Area Tourism Partnership.

Organisation: Exeter Chamber of Commerce & Industry

David Whiteley

David Whiteley

Honorary Life President

Formerly a Partner, David is now a Consultant with Slee Blackwell. He has specialised in Wills, Probate, Trusts, Tax Planning and Care of the Elderly for more than 15 years. He is member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners.

David's biography

He is also former President of the Devon & Exeter Law Society having previously acted as the Society’s Honorary Treasurer from 1988 to 1998. David currently chairs the North Devon Economic Partnership and the North Devon & Exmoor Regeneration Company.

Organisation: Slee Blackwell Solicitors

Bob Dow

Bob Dow

SWBC Statutory Board Member

As the former Chief Executive of Business Link (Devon and Cornwall) and owner and director of Dartington Associates, Bob brings his experience and skills to assist small and medium sized businesses in identifying growth routes and undertaking change management, together with providing coaching and mentoring to directors and owner managers across a broad range of business sectors.

Bob's biography

He has successfully applied his broad experince in the electronics industry to assist companies ranging from high tech service providers to care homes in achieving rapid growth.

The company also administers the Inspirus Fund which makes awards of grants or loans for projects in Devon or Cornwall which will have significant impact on the economy and new job creation.

Organisation: Dartington Associates

Julie Hawker

Julie Hawker

SWBC Statutory Board Member

Julie Hawker is Chief Executive at Cosmic one of the region’s leading IT and Digital support agencies and a leader in social enterprise development nationally.

Julie's biography

She has worked in a variety of roles at national, regional and local levels to improve the economic environment for social enterprise and to keep a sharp focus on digital inclusion and its benefits to the local economy.

Julie is Chair of the Heart of SW LEP’s Social Enterprise Special Interest Group and this group now incorporates representation from across the area and the sub-regional networks and their membership in Plymouth, Torbay, Exeter and Somerset.

Organisation: Cosmic