Board Profiles

New Forest Business Partnership became a Community Interest Company in 2020.

A Board of volunteer directors who own businesses in the New Forest lead the day to day operation and set the direction and strategy of NFBP.

Our Advisory Group is made up of the directors and a wide range of representatives of New Forest businesses, local government, other partner organisations and colleges.

NFBP Directors


Matthew Lawson

Matthew's top-rated and award winning yacht charter business Escape Yachting operates from Lymington with day trips on the Solent and sailing holidays worldwide, including Croatia, Canada and the Caribbean. Matthew also owns the Thatched Cottage Hotel, Tea Room & Gin Bar in Brockenhurst.

Profile headshot

Darren Pestell
Compliance Director

Darren is an Independent Financial Advisor and Mortgage consultant, Woodlands Financial Planning, helping individuals and businesses achieve their financial goals. Specialising in business and personal protection, investments, retirement planning, estate planning, later life lending (equity release) and mortgages.


Heidi Roper
People, Skills & Talents Director

Heidi is a Director at View HR and has over 20 years of progressive Human Resources experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail and property. Heidi coaches businesses as a non-executive director in people related strategy.


Nicky Rudd
Communications & Marketing Director

Nicky is a Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is the Managing Director of Padua Communications, a content marketing and PR agency. She works with clients in over 70 different industry sectors and is a regular facilitator and speaker on business communications, marketing and PR.


Justine Thurgood
Commercial Director

Justine has over 30 years of commercial experience including Procurement, Project Management and Corporate Real Estate in many different industries. Justine now has her own business 4Pro Consultancy Services.


Rob Dewing
Partnerships Director

Rob runs Northerwood Systems, a business in Lyndhurst building and maintaining websites for local businesses. He is active in business lobbying as the Chair of the South Central Region of the Federation of Small Businesses.

NFBP Advisory Group


Sandeep Sesodia
Financial Services

Sandeep has 40 years’ experience in Banking and Finance including at NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland and his own commercial finance business, MGPS Commercial. He is now CEO of Parity Trust. His key focus is to assist businesses to develop and grow and to achieve their goals.


Hannah Avoth

Education & Apprenticeships

Hannah is the Vice Principal and Campus Lead at Totton College, a technical and vocational centre offering programmes for 14-16 and adults across a wide spectrum of courses and apprenticeships.


Jane Porter


Jane’s consultancy and agency Bartley Marketing provides the full range of digital and traditional marketing services and PR, combining strategic planning with hands-on implementation. Their online hub promotes local businesses via on page advertising and its highly regarded direct and social media channels.


David Simpson

Housing, Planning & Development

Based in Lyndhurst and Lymington, Simpson Hilder Associates are a multi-disciplinary architectural and surveying practice. David and his team are involved in a number of projects and schemes in around the New Forest including the Ampress Park development, Gordleton Industrial Estate, as well as the marine and housing sectors. The practice also works nationally in the healthcare and educational sectors.


Alison Wilson

Visitor Economy

Alison has co-owned the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst since 1997. Passionate about the New Forest and the broader hospitality industry, she is also a Director of Go New Forest.

Chris Forest foot and health

Christopher Gillingham

Health & Wellbeing

Christopher's career background has predominantly been in the leisure and commercial maritime sectors. Christopher co-owns the award-winning Forest Foot and Health Clinic and another award winning clinic, New Milton Foot Clinic.


Andrea McCallum

Hampshire County Council

Andrea is Manager for Enterprise & SME Growth at Hampshire County Council, having worked in economic development across the South East. Andrea’s role is supporting businesses growth in the area and business looking to locate in Hampshire. She worked with Solent LEP to establish their Business Support and Growth Hub to provide services to local SMEs.


Sam Sutton

Business Coaching

Sam founded New Forest Activities from a passion to support people's growth through outdoor activities. With a thriving business on the Beaulieu Estate and close to 20 years of business experience, he has now turned his hand to supporting other entrepreneurs and business leaders as they achieve their goals.


Richard Parkinson

Maritime & Logistics

Richard is Port Director of Solent Gateway, responsible for the operation and commercial development of Marchwood Port. Prior to joining Solent Gateway, he had a long and successful career in the Army undertaking many top leadership roles including Director of Army Logistics and Programme Manager for the Ministry of Defence’s strategic Logistic Commodities and Services Transformation Programme.


James Hiley-Jones

Visitor Economy

James is Managing Director of Greenclose Hotels which includes Careys Manor Hotel & Senspa in Brockenhurst and The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu. With a long career in hotel management and the New Forest, James is passionate about the Forest and offers a wealth of experience of the hospitality industry.


Helen Odhams

Education & Apprenticeships

Helen is Principal and Chief Executive of Brockenhurst College.

James Rimmer

James Rimmer

Business Consultancy

James is a qualified accountant and business consultant with Expense Reduction Analysts helping businesses to implement best practices and reduce the cost of their overheads. James was previously a CFO and Managing Director of the NHS in Southampton.


Dan Parsons

Food and Drink

Dan is the Chair of the New Forest Marque, established to champion local businesses who pride themselves on producing and providing food, drink and craft with clearly defined New Forest provenance. Dan is also the Director of a couple of small commercial companies, prior to which he spent 18 years as an Investment Banker and before that 6 years with the British Army.


Adie Callaghan

Food & Drink

Adie runs the New Forest Hamper Company, promoting a wealth of local food and drink producers across the New Forest. Adie worked in high level corporate marketing and communications for many years, with links to hospitality and retail. Adie is fiercely passionate about “supporting local” and raising the profile of the New Forest across the Food and Drink sector.


Paul Walton

Environment & Rural Economy

Paul leads the New Forest National Park Authority’s work in conserving the National Park and fostering a healthy economy to sustain the Park’s unique qualities. Paul has a Master's degree in Town and Country Planning.


James Ford

Solent Partners

James is Head of Enterprise and Skills at Solent Partners. Prior to this, James was a Business Development Manager at Southampton Football Club and was responsible for sourcing and activating new partnerships with both small and large businesses.


Claire Hughes

Solent University

Claire is the Head of Department of Business and Law at Solent University with over 25 years experience of managing teams in a range of global market leading organisations and also working within the public sector too. She works to champion SMEs and skills development in the Higher Degree Apprenticeships and Help to Grow SME Leadership programmes. 


Alice Smee

Sales & Events Management

After over 40 years working almost solely in sales, Alice now works independently offering local businesses short term sales support for projects needing some extra help and advice including networking or attending exhibitions on their behalf, database management resulting in lead generation, event planning and delivery. Alice also acts as NFBP's Members & Events Manager.


Gillian Saieva

Gillian has over 20 years management experience spanning global corporates to higher education, including development and delivery of Executive Education programmes. Her recent work has included SMEs with the national programmes of Small Business Leadership Programme and Help to Grow.