Board Profiles

Matthew Lawson (Chairman)Matthew Lawson

Business: Escape Yachting & Thatched Cottage Hotel
Sector: Marine & Tourism
Matthew’s top-rated and award winning yacht charter business operates from Lymington with day trips on the Solent and worldwide sailing holidays for leisure and corporate clients. He also owns the Thatched Cottage Hotel in Brockenhurst. Matthew is well connected with the local business community including as Chairman of the New Forest Business Show and through the Federation of Small Businesses.

Rob Dewing

Rob Dewing (Vice Chairman)

Business: Northerwood Systems Ltd.
Organisation: Federation of Small Businesses
Sector: Web and IT
Area: Lyndhurst

Rob runs a business based in Lyndhurst building and maintaining websites for local businesses. He has lived in the New Forest for over 10 years and is active in business lobbying as the local Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, representing over 800 FSB members in the New Forest.

Peter ArmstrongPeter J Armstrong

Business: Bespoke Funeral Ceremonies  
Peter runs Bespoke Funeral Ceremonies which offers personalised and meaningful funeral ceremonies. He has been involved in the management of cemeteries in local government where a number of awards were won. He has experience of public speaking in the UK and abroad and has served on various charities. Representing the Waterside, Peter connects local businesses to the opportunities available through NFBP. He has lived in the New Forest for over 20 years.

Matt Callaghan

Matt Callaghan

Organisation: New Forest District Council
In his role as Economic Development Manager, Matt is responsible for creating conditions for local businesses to grow, providing support for start-up enterprises and encouraging new investment into the district where appropriate. He works alongside a variety of business support organisations including Local Enterprise Partnerships, Enterprise First and Job Centre Plus. Matt and his team are developing a range of projects which encourage the growth of the local economy and provide a skills base appropriate to the needs of local employers in the New Forest.

Anthony C Board Member Anthony Climpson OBE

Organisation: Go New Forest
Sector: Tourism
Trained as an artist and designer, working in recycling, sales and publishing before being seduced by tourism, Anthony was Destination Manager at NFDC for nearly 30 years, before setting up Go New Forest to continue the legacy of inclusion and sustainability in forest first tourism development and promotion.

Keith Lightning Keith Lightning

Organisation: Lightning Group
Sector: Energy & Renewables
Owner of ISO 9001 Lightning and of KLIA Group of companies and associated businesses, main SME activities being electrical and instrumentation installations and specialist personnel provision, quality partnership and team practices and arrangements. RoSPA and British Safety Council Health & Safety National Award winners.  Services include Oil & Gas, Hazardous Areas, Energy From Waste, Nuclear, Power & General. Keith is a member of IOD, Management Board & General Council Member of Engineering Construction Industrial Association, Industrial Relations Committee and Engineering Productivity Improvement Committee.

Dr Maxine Room CBE

Organisation: Totton College
Sector: Education & Apprenticeships

Maxine is the Campus Principal at Totton College, a technical/vocational centre offering programmes for 14-16/16-18 and adults across a wide spectrum of courses and apprenticeships. Maxine is an experienced FE College Principal. Her career has included national and international projects in education and training. She has expertise in leadership and management data science, safeguarding, equality, diversity and inclusion and has a consultancy. She was recognised by the Queen with a CBE for services to education in 2012.

Adie Callaghan Board Member Adie Callaghan

Organisation: Appetite For Adventure
Sector: Food & Drink
Adie runs specialist event and private catering company, Appetite for Adventure with her partner Jason. Adie worked in high level corporate marketing and communications for over 25 years, with many links to hospitality and retail. She joined Jason 5 years ago to champion local producers and suppliers. Adie is fiercely passionate about “supporting local” across many levels and strives to raise the profile of the New Forest and all it has to offer across the food and drink sector. She was invited to join the New Forest Marque Board after being presented with “Best Supporter of Local Produce” by the CLA and National Parks. Adie’s mission is to educate younger generations about food and healthy eating as well as helping to support and promote sustainable and environmentally friendly developments across the food and drink industries.

Paul SherryPaul Sherry

Organisation: C4Si
Sector: Innovation
Prior to running his own businesses and holding blue-chip corporate sales and marketing roles, Paul gathered extensive experience as a trader on the Futures Exchange in the City of London. Since moving to the New Forest, Paul has become more involved in the third sector. He has created and delivered a pilot programme for children “at risk” of exclusion in the New Forest, was Chairman of the New Forest Tourism Association and is on the Board of Go New Forest.

Cllr Mel Kendal

Organisation: New Forest National Park Authority

Bob JacksonBob Jackson

Organisation: New Forest District Council
Bob is Chief Executive of New Forest District Council and, along with his Executive Management Team, is responsible for delivering the Council’s Corporate Plan. Priorities within this include ‘Helping local business grow’, ‘Protecting the local character of the place’ and ‘Living within the Council’s means’.

Suna King

Organisation: New Milton Town CouncilMatt Callaghan
Suna’s broad expertise and knowledge in marketing and communications comes from wide-ranging roles in marketing agencies as well as varied organisations including Samsung Electronics and the Wilton Carpet Factory. She is Town Development Manager at New Milton Town Council, co-ordinating the Neighbourhood Plan, with a focus on the regeneration of the town centre and enabling a digital economy.

David Lawrence

Sector: Legal
Business: Eric Robinson Solicitors
David joined Eric Robinson Solicitors in 1991 and, as Senior Partner, manages their office in Lymington, a town he knows well having grown up and lived there for over 45 years. David specialised in litigation (civil, criminal, and family), residential conveyancing and property work, and wills and the administration of estates. As well as acting as the firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, and shouldering responsibility for other areas of compliance, David has played a significant role as an advocate in the firm’s Criminal Department, and has advised widely in relation to anti-money laundering and bribery practices. Since opening in Lymington, David has reverted to advising clients in the preparation of Wills and Estate Administration. In addition to this work, David remains a Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Court Criminal Proceedings), a member of the Criminal Litigation Scheme and is a Police Station and Court Duty Solicitor.

Cllr Keith MansCllr Keith Mans

Organisation: Hampshire County Council
Keith is a former RAF pilot who spent 10 years working for the John Lewis Partnership after leaving the RAF. He was elected MP for Wyre in Lancashire in 1987. Whilst in Parliament, Keith was PPS to the Secretary of State for Health as well as being a member of both the Defence and the Environment Select Committees. After leaving Parliament in 1997, Keith was CEO of the Royal Aeronautical Society until his retirement in 2009. Keith is County Councillor for Brockenhurst, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and on the Board of Enterprise M3 and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Andrea McCallumAM Photo

Organisation: Hampshire County Council
Andrea is Manager for Enterprise & SME Growth at Hampshire County Council. Previously, she worked in economic development roles for a number of organisations and with multiple partnerships across the South East. Andrea’s current role involves supporting local businesses experiencing growth or planning to grow in the area as well as business looking to locate in Hampshire and working with both the Solent and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnerships to establish their Business Support and Growth Hubs to provide services to SMEs.

Jane PorterJP NFBP

Business: Bartley Marketing &
Area: Lymington
Following a London based corporate marketing and advertising career, including running her own direct marketing agency,  Jane “came home” to the New Forest. Bartley Marketing, which owns, provides marketing and promotion for local businesses and community based organisations. Jane is Deputy Chair of networking group Forest Entrepreneurs and a member of Lymington Chamber. 

Cllr Barry RickmanBarry R Board Member

Organisation: New Forest District Council
Barry is Leader of New Forest District Council. Representing the Boldre and Sway Ward, Barry has run a photography business in the New Forest for 35 years and have been involved in local government for over 30 years.

Di Roberts CBEDi Roberts CBE

Organisation: Brockenhurst College
Sector: Education & Apprenticeships
Di has been Principal and Chief Executive of Brockenhurst College since 2006. With a staff of 700, the College provides education and training to nearly 2,500 full-time 16-18 year olds studying A-levels and vocational qualifications; 700 apprentices and 7,500 mainly part-time adults. With sites across the New Forest and in Southampton the College works with over 300 local businesses. The College has a well-established and innovative shared services company set up in partnership with Bournemouth and Poole College. Di has significant experience in education, training and business, including time as an Ofsted Inspector. She was Deputy Chair of the Association of Colleges (AoC) from 2009 to 2015 and currently chairs the national AoC SEN Group. In 2011, in recognition of her services to further education, Di was awarded a CBE.

Sophy Robinson

Sophy Robinson

Organisation: Forest Forge
Sector: Environment & Rural Economy
Sophy has a varied business career, including coaching leaders of a wide range of businesses, entrepreneurs, global corporations and in the public sector. She works in a voluntary capacity as a mentor for Dormen and for Forest Forge Theatre Company. She lives near Fordingbridge on a small grassland farm and is very interested in managing the land, forestry and historic farm buildings in a sustainable way, while also balancing the books. 

Sandeep SesodiaSandeep Sesodia

Business: MGPS Commercial
Sector: Financial Services
Before starting his own business, Sandeep was a member of the Future Williams & Glyn Team at the Royal Bank of Scotland, covering the New Forest. His key focus is to assist businesses to develop and grow and to achieve their goals. Sandeep’s knowledge extends over 30 years in the banking and finance profession. Sandeep is Chairman of the Southampton Business Board at the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and a Director of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

David Simpson

David Simpson

Business: Simpson Hilder Associates
Sector: Housing, Planning & Development
Based in Lyndhurst and Lymington, Simpson Hilder Associates are a medium sized 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 marina and housing sectors. The practice also works nationally in the healthcare and educational sectors.

Paul WaltonPaul Walton

Organisation: New Forest National Park Authority
Sector: Environment & Rural Economy
Paul’s role is to lead the National Park Authority’s work in conserving the landscapes and habitats of the National Park and foster a healthy local economy that can sustain the Park’s special qualities. Paul has considerable experience of working in protected landscapes. He came to the New Forest having previously worked in Cornwall, as a General Manager for the National Trust for five years and prior to that as the first partnership manager of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Paul also worked as an Area Manager for the Sussex Downs Conservation Board prior to the creation of the South Downs National Park and has a Master’s degree in Town and Country Planning.

If you would like to become involved with the NFBP Board then please contact Becky Denby by email.

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