Meet The Team

Launchpad Business Start-Up Team

Julia Millea

Julia Millea, New Business Developer

Julia has over 12 years’ experience supporting start-up and early-stage businesses in Rotherham, delivering one-to-one business coaching and workshop sessions around the Business Model Canvas. She is passionate about helping people develop their skillset and reach their potential, including seeking the ‘why’ behind every business idea, and understanding what makes people motivated to succeed. Julia has a background working in business development and management in the voluntary and charity sector, and as a self-employed teacher delivering family learning. She also runs a small business offering yoga classes, with a focus on mindfulness to take care of your mental health.
Darren McDool

Darren McDool, New Business Developer

After teaching Business Studies at A Level Darren began working with start-up businesses in 2002. Over the last two decades he’s supported hundreds of clients in planning, launching and growing their new businesses. Alongside his role as a Business Coach he has provided hands-on support to a family business since 2005, experiencing first-hand the varying challenges facing the small business owner. Darren’s background in business education and small business management leads him to take a realistic and analytical approach to coaching, helping his clients assess the viability of their ideas, get organised and get started.

Business Productivity and Growth Team

John Fox

John Fox, Key Account Manager

John started his career as a mining engineer, but after ten years ventured out into a business of his own. After a number of years, he moved into the business support network as a consultant, adviser, and manager. For the past 25 years John has worked in both the public and private sector in business consultancy and consultancy management roles. During this time, he has been involved in three more businesses of his own and held a total on 5 Non-Executive director roles. In addition to his mining degree John also holds a master’s degree in business administration. Outside of work John is an enthusiastic amateur chef and loves live music and festivals.
Claire Green

Claire Green, Key Account Manager

Claire has worked in the business and skills arena for over 15 years. Organisations include Business Link, Cogent Skills and more recently RIDO. Starting as an NVQ Assessor working on Apprenticeships and then moving across to Business Link to work with businesses initially looking at the upskilling of their staff and then moving into the wider Business Support arena. Claire holds Level 4 and 5 qualifications in Business Advice, Support and Operational Management and is a Chartered Manager. In her spare time, Claire volunteers with the Royal Air Force Air Cadets as a Civilian Instructor.

SYMCA Recovery Action Plan Advisor Team

Paul Moorhead

Paul Moorhead, Business Support Advisor

Paul has spent over 20 years advising hundreds of companies in a wide range of sectors. As a qualified turnaround practitioner, he specialises in helping companies overcome financial barriers to growth, as well as advising businesses facing unforeseen financial challenges. He has also held senior positions in industry and in recent years has worked with companies on business strategy, marketing, financial forecasting, investment readiness and business coaching. Paul is also passionate about start-up businesses, having been involved in a number of early start businesses in a diverse range of sectors including industrial products manufacturing, professional services and the low carbon economy.
Dave Grimes

David Grimes, Business Support Advisor

David has extensive experience in directly supporting many hundreds of businesses from large global organisations to smaller local businesses on business growth and improvements over the past 16 years. He also has extensive experience in managing teams of specialist business advisors and delivering regional support initiatives at the SCR Growth Hub. David has run several businesses himself, including exiting one. He has a first-class Honours Degree and an Executive MBA both from the University of Sheffield he is an experienced and current non-executive director. He is also a Chartered Manager, Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and Manufacturing.
Neil Wilkinson

Neil Wilkinson, Business Support Advisor

Neil has an outstanding record in multiple businesses as Managing Director and Executive Director Board Member for both SME and large organisations including a UK FTSE 100 company. He is an engineer by background and training; he has a deep understanding of organisational performance and business growth. He has proven and strategic leadership skills in global organisations and a strong record of value creation. Neil speaks reasonable business German, basic French, Dutch and elementary Mandarin. He graduated with an MBA distinction from the University of Liverpool and Strategic Marketing from INSEAD in Paris.

Retail Advisor Team

Helen Genn

Helen Green, Retail Advisor

Helen has a wealth of experience of working in many different environments alone or as part of a team, from large corporates to SME’s, and the challenges all businesses face from corporate investors to the fully independent owner-managed businesses. Helen has worked as Joint Managing Director in CSMS Print Solutions Limited and Managing Director of HLG Associates Limited for over 20 years, with expertise in sales and marketing, finance, IT, training and procurement.
Chris Hamby

Chris Hamby, Retail Advisor

Since leaving business college Chris has been a partner in his family business, with almost 40 years' experience in retail management running a chain of footwear shops and an antiques and giftware centre. Chris also owns a property company that owns and lets commercial and residential properties and has undertaken renovations and restorations on Rotherham Town centre buildings. For over 20 years Chris has been Director of his own charity, the Hamby Foundation that has raised over £1 million pounds to help the poorest street children and the elderly in Romania. Chris is very enthusiastic about Rotherham and its people and is excited to support business owners.
Alex Gardner

Alex Gardner, Retail Advisor

Alex has owned and managed businesses within the retail and hospitality sectors over the last 25 years. She is passionate about the customer journey and the importance of delivering excellent service. She works with start-ups and SME management teams to provide a strategic approach to operations with a focus on strong leadership, business culture, the customer experience and delivering digital and social media marketing strategies. Also, as a qualified Food Hygiene Trainer Alex works with food businesses to implement excellent food hygiene standards and processes. Alex is a trustee of a charity that supports children around the world and is an ambassador for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
George Elliott

George Elliot, Retail Advisor

George assisted in Rotherham High Street's past Retail Renaissance, working alongside RMBC and RIDO successfully delivering business solutions and training to many Rotherham retailers. He was co-originator and developer of No. 26 The Makers Emporium and The Sheffield City showcase project. He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of retail, travel, markets and hospitality sectors. George is passionate about delivering excellence in customer service and was awarded the UK National Retail Trainer of the Year 2010/11. Additionally, George is a member of the European Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) and is ex-chairperson for Rotherham Voice.

People and Skills Team

Jenny Lawlesss

Jenny Lawless, Senior Employment Initiatives Officer

Jenny is experienced in working in private sector business in retail and employment training management. She has spent over thirty years working with adults and young people in training, education, and careers guidance settings, leading on service delivery and quality as a qualified careers guidance practitioner and trainer. Jenny specialises in bringing partners together to help deliver the employment and skills strategy for Rotherham. In addition to advising and supporting businesses and a wide range of partners with employment, recruitment, and skills.
Jennie Watts

Jennie Watts, Employability and Skills Advisor

Jennie has 20 years’ experience of working with young people supporting their career transition and progression, with a passion for ensuring young people are well equipped and prepared for the world of work. Through the ESF Business and Education and Alliance Project, Jennie is embracing the opportunity to support local businesses to engage with young people, share their knowledge and experience of industry, and inspire the next generation, making the most of her long-established links with local schools, colleges, and community organisations.
Julie Hussey

Julie Hussey, Careers & Enterprise Co-ordinator

As a qualified teacher and Headteacher in two Doncaster Primary Schools, Julie has worked in the Education sector for 22 years. She fully understands the competing priorities and pressures faced by schools and colleges and uses this knowledge to initiate and support impactful connections between business and education. Through the Enterprise Adviser Network, Julie supports schools and colleges to develop their careers strategy and also coordinates a local network of senior business personnel, linking them to Career Leaders to help shape and improve careers provision. Julie is passionate about supporting young people to find their ‘best next step’ through raising aspirations and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.
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