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 Board of Directors


Matthew Lawson

Marine & Tourism

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. He also owns the Thatched Cottage Hotel, Tea Room & Gin Bar in Brockenhurst.


Vicky Ryce
Communications Director

PR and Communications

Based in Sway, Vicky has more than 20 years communications and international marketing experience. She now runs her own company, Let’s Talk Communications, and works with a range of businesses helping them to understand and communicate with their audiences. She is a Parish Councillor in Sway.


David Lawrence
Compliance Director

Legal Services

David is a solicitor and senior Partner of Eric Robinson Solicitors. He has over 40 years’ experience of working in many different areas of law, including civil and criminal litigation, family law, residential and commercial property conveyancing, and most recently wills, trusts and succession. David acts as the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice at Eric Robinson Solicitors.


Heidi Roper

People, Skills & Talents Director

Heidi has 20 years progressive Human Resources experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail and property. Heidi has operated in senior leadership positions for the last 10 years and coaches businesses as a non-executive director in people related strategy.


Rob Dewing
Partnerships Director

Web and IT

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 more than 35 years’ experience in Banking and Finance including at NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland and now runs his own commercial finance business, MGPS Commercial. 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 & Solent LEP

Alison along with her husband Chris, has owned the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst since 1997. Passionate about the New Forest and the broader hospitality industry she is also a Director with Go New Forest and a Business Director with the Solent LEP.


Elizabeth Cooper


Lizzie is part of the Solent Apprenticeship Hub as the Advisor for New Forest & Eastleigh. As part of the Hub Lizzie is able to offer free and impartial advice to all size employers, and individuals about apprenticeships, traineeships, and other programmes.

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. They also own 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 Ltd responsible for the operation and commercial development of the Marchwood Port. Prior to his joining SGL in January 2019 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.


Dan Parsons

New Forest Marque

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.


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.


Polly Perkins CBE

Education & Apprenticeships

Polly is Principal and Chief Executive of Brockenhurst College. With a staff of 700, the College provides education and training to 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, the College works with over 300 local businesses.


Cllr Alexis McEvoy

New Forest National Park Authority

Alexis is an experienced elected Councillor with a track record of over 20 years working and interacting at all levels in politics, local government and the private sector while still running her own small business. She is involved locally as a Board Member for the local Academy and in a wider arena on a variety of other Boards and Management committees.


Cllr Sue Bennison

New Forest National Park Authority

Sue is Treasurer of the Bramshaw Horticultural Society and both Chairman and Treasurer of the Bramshaw and District Film Society. She is also the Bramshaw Parish Councillor, leading on planning and highway matters and the Parish representative on the Consultative Panel.

Since 2011, she has been the District Councillor for Marchwood. As a District Councillor she sits on the Planning Committee and the Environmental Panel and has an active interest in housing, health and leisure and all environmental issues.


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 strives to raise 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. He previously worked in Cornwall for the National Trust and as the manager of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Paul has a Master's degree in Town and Country Planning.


Sophy Robinson

Environment & Rural Economy

Sophy’s varied career includes coaching business leaders, entrepreneurs, global corporations and the public sector. Sophy volunteers for Dorset Business Mentors and Rethink Mental Illness. Based on a grassland farm near Fordingbridge, she is interested in the sustainable management of land, forestry and historic farm buildings.


Cllr Michael Harris OBE

New Forest District Council

Business Consultant and NFDC Cabinet Member for the Local Economy, Michael has 40 years experience in advising companies and individuals in film, TV, advertising and PR.


Claire Upton-Brown

New Forest District Council

Claire is the Chief Planning Officer at NFDC, responsible for Planning Policy and Strategy, and Economic Development.


Frances Fawcett

International Trade

Frances brings experience of working in IT, marketing consultancy and global programme management. Frances also owned a manufacturing business and now works as a consultant, trainer and coach in the fields of business planning and international trade.


Anthony Climpson OBE

Go New Forest 

Anthony has worked in the New Forest for more than 35 years, firstly with NFDC and since 2017 with GNF. Totally committed to embedding responsible tourism into the daily life of the wider community and using it to create a strong and locally resilient economy.


James Ford

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership

James is Head of Enterprise and Skills at Solent LEP. 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.