BUSINESS BOARD MEMBERS

The Business Board comprises a fantastic team of industry experts and key opinion leaders not only within our region but also with national and international networks, interests and focus. We have representatives from key sectors of our economy including life sciences and healthcare, agri-tech and agri-food and advanced manufacturing. We also have strong academic expertise. We ensure that a clear business perspective is brought forward as the Combined Authority seeks to be at the frontier of accelerating delivery and securing new investment models, with and across Government, the private sector and the local area.

THE MEMBERS

AL KINGSLEY Business Board Chair

Al Kingsley has served as a Board member since January 2020 and was appointed chair in August 2023.

Al is the group CEO of NetSupport, an award-winning technology company which develops software for both the education and corporate markets. NetSupport has grown to support over 20 million users in 110 countries around the world.

Passionate about education being the key to unlocking personal and economic growth, Al is chair of Hampton Academies Trust in Peterborough as well as the independent chair of the region’s SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Board. Al also sits on the Regional Schools Directors Advisory Board for the East of England supporting Academies across the region. He also received a civic award in 2020 from Peterborough City council.

Alongside authoring numerous books, Al writes and speaks internationally on the effective use of digital and educational technology, growth, governance and leadership. He is a Forbes Technology Council Member and was awarded the 2023 EduFuturist of the year. Al also mentors technology start-ups entering the education sector.

Al has almost always lived in the region, having grown up and been educated in Cambridge, then moved to Huntingdon, and after a few years of working overseas, returned with his family to settle in Peterborough in 2002.

KATY DAVIES

Katy is the Managing Director of eVolve Your Future, a national skills provider that holds multiple contracts to deliver multiply and AEB to transform prospects and drive economic growth. She started her career at Deloitte before moving to Cambridge aerospace and defence company Marshall, where she held senior leadership roles in finance before moving to operations transformation. As Managing Director of CamdenBoss, a Suffolk-based manufacturer of electronic components and enclosures, she led the turnaround, growth, and diversification of the business. Katy is also a board member of New Anglia LEP, Deputy Chair of NAAME and is also the Chair of the Regional Productivity Forum.

Her visionary leadership and commitment to positive change have earned her recognition as a Manufacturer Top 100 Exemplar for Inspiring Leadership, as well as regular speaking slots and featured in the Wall Street Journal. As the Managing Director of eVolve Your Future, Katy brings her expertise in transformational leadership, culture development, innovation, and manufacturing to the skills sector, running multiple national and local programmes.

Guided by collaboration and a belief in collective action, Katy is dedicated to driving positive economic impact and fostering sustainable practices aligned with the Combined Authority Business Board’s core values.

CHARLOTTE HOROBIN

Charlotte is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, a leading business representative organisation which champions economic prosperity across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Stamford. Through advocacy, education and networking opportunities, the Chamber aims to empower members to achieve their goals and contribute to the prosperity of the local community. The Chamber’s mission is to be a trusted partner and resource for businesses of all sizes, across all industry sectors, and work together with local government organisations to build a thriving, dynamic community that is of benefit to all. Charlotte became CEO of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce in July 2023. Before joining Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, she held the position of Region Director, Midlands and East of England at Make UK, the national body for UK manufacturing (formerly EEF).

Charlotte is responsible for leading the representation of the Chambers’ membership and holds numerous positions including being a member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Business Advisory Panel. Charlotte has formerly held positions on the Midlands Engine Partnership Board, she was a Board Director of the West Midlands Growth Company and has experience of working across local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities. She is also Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board for InterAct, a£4.4 million Made Smarter Innovation-funded Economic and Research Council-led network. She is also a member of the University of Cambridge Industry Advisory Board for manufacturing engineering undergraduate and graduate programmes.

She was recognised in The Manufacturer Top 100 in 2022 and the Trade Association Forum, Women in Trade Association Forum’s Powerlist 2023.

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MIKE HERD

Mike Herd has enjoyed a long career spent in business and technology.

Mike’s career started in the oil industry with Britoil/BP. He became a specialist in rock physics and petroleum engineering, working on North Sea exploration and field development projects. His work took him frequently offshore to supervise well-site operations. He went on to join an international consulting and software business. After many years of projects worldwide, he took on a leadership position managing a sizeable technical consulting operation. When Schlumberger acquired the consultancy, Mike took on an international business development role for the group.

In the late nineties, Mike’s career took an exciting turn as he left the oil industry to become the founding CEO of the Sussex Innovation Centre, one of the UK’s first technology business incubators. Over the next twenty years and through the success of many hundreds of supported businesses, he developed Sussex Innovation to be a national exemplar of entrepreneurial support. Unlike the many business centres that just rent office space, Mike set out to create a more proactive and dynamic support environment. He created specialist finance and market research teams to assist businesses with their new product development, investment and growth. A key difference for Sussex Innovation under Mike’s leadership was the commercial model that enabled it to be financially self-sustainable.

As the Centre became an important part of Sussex’s business community, Mike led the development and delivery of many successful regional economic development and business support initiatives. He also took the lead at the University of Sussex in creating more progressive research commercialisation, student enterprise and graduate intern programmes.

Since leaving Sussex Innovation, Mike has enjoyed working as a business consultant and coach with an eclectic mix of ambitious businesses and entrepreneurs. He also runs peer-to-peer business boards as part of the Alpha Group.

Mike has won many awards for his work with entrepreneurs and businesses, culminating in the Queens’ Award for Enterprise Promotion.

NITIN PATEL

Nitin Patel is a General Management Executive and CEO with operational and commercial skills gained from several turnaround situations with Glen Dimplex, a privately-owned business based in Dublin. He has experience of working in a multinational business having worked with General Motor in various capacities, including European Powertrain Manager, leading design innovation and manufacturing excellence in the UK and internationally.

He is now an independent consultant and lecturer on business transformation, with experience of change and scale-up in global corporations up to £100bn.

REBECCA STEPHENS

Rebecca Stephens is director of her own communications consultancy, Syntax Communications, providing public relations, community engagement, and internal communications services to a wide range of clients across both private and public sectors. She is currently working with the UK’s leading alternative provider of fibre infrastructure, CityFibre, to digitally transform Peterborough and Cambridge by bringing gigabit-speed full fibre connectivity within reach of almost every home and business in the cities.

Previously she was the editor of the Peterborough Evening Telegraph and editorial director of East Midlands Newspapers, where she campaigned on community issues, launched new publications, and won industry awards.

Rebecca, who lives in Peterborough, has held several non-executive roles with 10 years at various NHS organisations, including as vice chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG; as well as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Probation Trust and as an Independent Member of Police Misconduct Panels.

DR ANDY WILLIAMS

After 30 years within the biopharmaceutical industry, Andy recently established his own consultancy business advising clients in the areas of strategy, policy development and engagement.

Andy is Chair of the recently established OxCam Supercluster Board (SCB), comprised of globally recognised scientific enterprises, investors and world-leading universities alongside the local enterprise partnerships for the region.  The board has been actively engaging with central government in support of the business case for East West Rail and policy to support growth across the region and the wider UK economy.

In his previous role at AstraZeneca, Andy oversaw the move and integration of the organization into the Cambridge area ahead of their move onto the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, reporting directly into the senior executive team.  As part of that role, he was an active contributor to evolving Cambridge’s thinking in areas like transport, skill development, community amenity, housing and digital.

Andy remains active in the local Cambridge business community, sitting on the boards of Cambridge Ahead and Cambridge Network and is the Business Board representative on the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board.

Andy has a first degree in Biochemistry from Kings College London, a PhD in Molecular Genetics from QMW College London and post-doctoral experience gained at the University of British Columbia.

SAM BAKRI

Sam is a healthcare entrepreneur who has founded several life sciences businesses including Kind Consumer, Gelmetix and Solascure where he was CEO. He has previously been an advisor to the Department for International Trade with the Global Entrepreneur Programme. He is a board member of Neutron therapeutics, and chairs the business advisory board of Aviko radiopharmaceuticals. He has previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Sam holds a medical degree from Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, and an MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Fulbright scholar.

 

BARNABY PERKS

Barnaby is an engineer, entrepreneur and business builder with global experience across multiple business sectors. In recent years he has specialised in digital health innovation, especially tools for diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.  He has built university spinouts from both Cambridge and Oxford Universities as well as the University of Colorado in the US.  As founding CEO of Cambridge-based Ieso Digital Health, he built the UK’s leading provider of online mental health therapy services to the NHS. He is active in businesses in both the UK and US, where he focuses on building high-performing teams around an effective and inclusive business culture.

EMMA GARFIELD

Emma is a passionate supporter of farming and horticulture in the region.

Emma has over 25 years work experience in leading edge businesses driving the application of science, research and agritech in the food and farming sectors nationally.  Most recently as Head of Research Agronomy with G’s Growers, one of the country’s largest farming supply companies based near Ely, supplying quality fresh produce to all UK supermarkets.

Emma currently works at University of Cambridge Enterprise commercialising agritech to help agricultural and horticultural businesses improve their productivity and sustainability.  She also runs a consultancy business with clients in industry, agritech, government and science and is based in Peterborough.

Emma represented the UK government in a Women in Agritech delegation to the Netherlands, Chaired the PhD programme for Sustainable Agriculture Innovation, was a member of the Waitrose Agronomy Board and led the British Leafy Salads R&D Committee.

Emma has a Master’s degree in Horticulture and is a Nuffield scholar (awarded to future leaders in the farming sector).

TIM JONES

Tim is Chairman of the Allia Charitable Group and its FCA-regulated social impact stockbroking subsidiary AlliaC&C. Having joined Allia as CEO in December 2001 when it was a 5 person operation trading as Citylife in Hooper Street he has seen it grow into the social and environmental impact catalyst it is today. During his 22+ years at Allia he has overseen a range of new solutions enabling small businesses to grow, helping ventures create greater social and environmental innovation and raising nearly £2bn in impact and ESG finance.

Tim also chairs Carr’s Group plc, a listed company with a focus on speciality agriculture feed and a division based near Bury St Edmunds; and he chairs the Board of the Oximio Group, an international clinical trials logistics business with its head office in Huntingdon. Previously Tim was Chairman of Bury St Edmunds based Treatt plc.

Tim is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, and was previously an entrepreneur in residence and Honorary Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School and an Associate Fellow at Oxford Said Business School.

DR ARAMINTA LEDGER

Araminta is the Managing Director of Cambridge University Health Partnership (CUHP), and works with academic, industry, and healthcare providers across the Cambridge life sciences ecosystem to maintain a globally competitive destination for health and life sciences. With responsibility for CUHP strategy and operations, she develops regional, national and international collaborations which accelerate the discovery, proving and scaling of healthcare innovations to improve health and economic outcomes.

Araminta has a PhD in Chemistry, and joined CUHP from the University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine. She previously held an NIHR Research Fellowship at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, initiating a clinical trial in breast cancer risk and developing novel MRI technology