Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board members represent some of the leading names in business and management.

Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett 

Managing Director, Barretts Group, Kent

Paul is Managing Director of Barretts of Canterbury Ltd, a privately owned multi-franchised motor dealer group established over 110 years, with businesses in Canterbury and Ashford. The company employs 350 people and has a turnover of £120m.

Paul is also involved with a range of other organisations including Canterbury for Business (C4B), Canterbury Partnership, South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), and Kent Economic Board Business Advisory Board (KEB) among others.

John Burbidge-King

John Burbidge-King 

CEO, Interchange Solutions

Formerly a Royal Marines officer, John joined De La Rue in 1982 where he was Global Director of Key Accounts, managed international distribution businesses from Chicago to Hong Kong and the international sales of a California based developer of computerised ID systems.

He established Interchange in 2006, advising companies on managing and mitigating ethical risk, in both the supply and demand sides. Interchange has worked in 62 countries and is a member of TheCityUK, ADS, the Fraud Advisory Panel and the BSI 10500 standards committee.

Iain Hawthrone

Iain Hawthorn

HSBC (Alumnus) (Chair)

Iain graduated from CCCU in 2003 with a Masters Degree Distinction in Management Studies, following a Diploma with Distinction in Management Studies in 1998. Now a Global Relationship Director for HSBC Corporate Banking in Kent, he specialises in international trade finance and risk management. Iain has previously spent time in strategy consulting, including having held the chair of the Institute of Management Consultancy in London. He is now a strategic and entrepreneurial banker who very much helps to develop and build the Kent economy – he is also a Board member of the Kent International Business Program and speaker at international events.

Tony Jones

Tony Jones

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (now retired from here)

Tony joined the Trust Board in March 2008, and was appointed Chairman in January 2009. He also attends several other Board sub-committees, two of which he chairs (the Remuneration Committee and the Foundation Trust Committee).

Outside of his duties at the Trust, Tony was Vice-Chair and Non-Executive Director of “Midland Heart”, one of the country’s top housing and care associations, sat as a Justice of the Peace on the mid-Kent bench for eight years and was a Board member for ten years of Groundwork U.K, a national environmental charity.

Previously, Tony had a highly successful career in international human resource management with the Ford Motor Company culminating in his retirement in 2002 as Director of Human Resources for Jaguar. Tony is also a past member of the Accounting Standards Ethics Committee.

Martin Riley

Martin Riley

NHS Medway Community Healthcare Trust

Having joined the NHS in 1995 starting in health promotion, Martin has worked both in commissioning and provision within PCTs.

Martin joined Medway PCT in 2006 as Director of Provider Development before taking the post of Managing Director of Medway Community Healthcare in March 2009. He was previously director of service development with Ashford PCT since 2003.

Having graduated from Canterbury, Martin then went on to complete a post grad diploma in health education before undertaking further studies in health management at City University, London.

Mei Sim Lei

Mei Sim Lei


Mei Sim is the founder and Principal of LaiPeters & Co, Chartered Accountants, based in the City of London, which provides auditing, independent examination, accounting and tax services to the SMEs and charities and not for profit sector organisations.

Born and educated in Malaysia, Mei Sim has lived in the UK since 1970. In 2012 she won the Asian Women of the Year Award for her contribution to public service. She was appointed OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to equal opportunities . Since 1991, Mei Sim holds and has held several appointments in the public, private, voluntary sectors as well as City organisations. She is HM the Queen’s Representative for the London Borough of Brent.

Simon Wakeman

Simon Wakeman

The Panoply (Deputy Chair)

Simon is Agency Director at digital agency Deeson. He’s responsible for the agency’s delivery of digital services to a wide range of clients including the Royal Collection Trust, Johnson & Johnson, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Robbie Williams. 

His career spans entrepreneurial communications, marketing and digital roles with experience in the public and private sectors. He holds  professional qualifications in  PRmarketing and  change management. He is a  CIM Chartered Marketer, a former  CIPR Accredited Practitioner and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. 

As an experienced speaker and trainer he has spoken at conferences for organisations including CIPR, CIM, PR Week, LGC, the Guardian, SOCITM and Public Sector Forums. He has trained communication and marketing teams in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand and has written for LGC magazine, Marketing, the MJ, Marketing Week, PR Week and Revolution.



Canterbury Christ Church University



   Dr Christopher Russell

   Director of Christ Church Business School

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor 

School Administration Officer (Assistant to Head of School)

Dr Seyi Adesina 

Section Director Accounting, Economics and Finance

Julian Glover

Programme Director for Business and Management

Dr Marianne Highwood

Director of Enterprise and Professional Programmes

Dr Richard McManus

Director for Research Development

Kris Pole

Section Director Advertising and Marketing

Dr Marion Stuart-Hoyle 

Section Director Tourism, Hospitality and Events

Dr Lorna Thomas

Director of Partnerships

Cecile Tschirhart

Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (Business School)

Prof Mohamed Abdel-Maguid

Dean of Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Social Sciences

Joe Bufton

Faculty Manager (Administration and Operations)

Abbie Kemp

Head of Enterprise and Engagement





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Last edited: 31/08/2021 10:48:00