For the last decade, Neil has run Hovertravel with his team of 80 staff, ‘flying’ 850,000 passengers on the world’s only commercial Hovercraft service, ‘the fastest crossing to and from the Isle Of Wight’. His career started as a travel agent leading to setting up and running a Operations & Customer Service centre at Gatwick Airport called Skybreak for the last 30 years, where he is also MD. This sees his airport team of 60 looking after the service delivery & operational needs of many airlines and its customers alike.
Neil is passionate about service & product development and thoroughly enjoys working with customers, staff and stakeholders to continually share best practices and improve the customers experience for the longevity, safety and involvement of all. Outside work, always ensures a ‘make the most of life’ approach, and with his passion of travel sees him often travelling on all forms of transport to visit and experience life to the full whenever he can.
Colin is the Senior General Manager based at Gunwharf Quays, heading up the Landsec Outlet Portfolio of centres in the UK, and has developed the business strategy for Gunwharf Quays since 2014. Prior to Landsec Colin was the Regional Managing Director for McArthurGlen managing Outlet Centres in the UK and France. A retailer by trade Colin started his career with Marks and Spencer in the 80’s.
He lives in Arundel and is married with 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Louisa is an ACCA qualified Chartered Accountant and a Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Portsmouth.
Her background is that of professional accounting practice having qualified with a medium sized firm of accountants before joining Ernst and Young as an auditor and later going on to teach accountancy at the University of Portsmouth.
During her time in practise Louisa developed a specialism in conducting charity audits and now works on initiatives to bring university students together with local charities to provide accounting support.
Louisa is passionate about collaborative working between charities, businesses and other organisations, such as Universities, to improve our city and the opportunities within it.
Marketing & Branding
Having grown up in Lincolnshire, and then worked across the Midlands, Yvonne settled on the South Coast twenty years ago. Since working in Portsmouth for Landsec, based at Gunwharf Quays, over the last 5 years Yvonne has been impressed by the energy and passion that the people of the city have to offer, and is keen to do all she can to see our great city thrive.
With over 25 years of marketing experience, working for Boots the Chemist and the Virgin Group amongst others, Yvonne has gained a broad marketing and communication skill set, with a real passion for digital and social marketing channels. Yvonne’s goal is to add value to Shaping Portsmouth, to help drive the brand forward, work collaboratively with our financial sponsors, and support the city in its quest to improve and grow.
Ashley has recently retired from IBM after 35 years in a career involving finance, operations and transformational leadership roles, both UK and globally. Previously, he worked at Nat West where he achieved his Charted Banking qualification followed by an MBA at Manchester Business School.
Ashley is born and bred in the city, and attended Portsmouth Northern Grammar School for Boys (currently Mayfield). He is a long standing season ticket holder and previous shareholder at Portsmouth Football Club. His passion, apart from ‘all things Pompey’ is volleyball, and is currently Team Manager with the national England squad. He has been a school / college governor for ten years and is also a trustee with Citizens Advice Portsmouth. He lives in Horndean with Francine, and two boys.
Having been born in St Marys Hospital, Alison has lived in and near Portsmouth all her life, apart from when she studied for her Law degree in the Midlands. Alison is now Managing Director of a Portsmouth Law firm, Biscoes, which has been part of the city’s business community since 1854, and now employs 140 local residents.
Alison is entirely passionate about this city, its people and its military heritage, being the daughter of a Royal Naval chief petty officer. She worked as a care lawyer in the city for 20 years, working with some of the most disadvantaged in our city, which made her even more determined to see aspirations raised through good education and community support. Alison has been a Trustee of Pompey in the Community for the past 8 years, and Biscoes have been supporters of Shaping Portsmouth since its inception. Alison is very honoured to be part of it now and in the future.
Strategy & Grant Funding
Mark is Economic Growth Manager at Portsmouth City Council and has been in this role for 4 years. He manages the Council’s Economic Growth team, whose remit is to boost the local economy, support business competitiveness, innovation, enterprise and skills. He leads the Council work on inward investment and export. He is also a governor of Highbury College.
Mark has over 20 years’ experience in economic development. His experience spans Merseyside, Cheshire and Shropshire. He was national chair of CEDOS (Chief Economic Development Officer’s Society) for two years. He is an accountant by profession and has a BA and MA in Economic Geography from Cambridge University. Part of his degree included research in south-west India. He was Programme Manager for an overseas development programme in Ghana dealing with small business development and the medical and agricultural sectors. Before this he taught for 3 years. He is married and has 2 daughters and 2 sons.
Education & Schools Programmes
Hayden was born and educated in Portsmouth, setting up his first business aged 16. At the age of just 17, Hayden was appointed as the Corporate Relationships Manager for a fast-growing technology start-up called Hubbub, managing large University clients. At the age of 18, Hayden was selected to represent his company and the United Kingdom at the ‘One Young World’ global summit in Dublin, the world’s pre-eminent global forum for young leaders from 196 countries. He has since attended the global forums in Bangkok (Thailand), Ottawa (Canada) and Bogota, (Colombia).
In 2017, at the age of 20, Hayden was selected to be one of 10 UK Jo Cox Memorial Scholars. These young leaders are selected by the US Government for their work on community cohesion, and Hayden travelled to Washington DC to spend time exploring community cohesion initiatives in the US. Hayden, now 23, is focusing on his own social enterprise, Unloc, which provides innovative education programmes to over 100+ schools and colleges.
Michael J Thornton
Patron & Partner Development
Michael has been in the telecoms industry for over twenty years and four ago years started his own company, KSM Telecom. In this short time the business has grown substantially to be a leading telecoms provider based in Hampshire with a national customer base.
Through his business Michael’s true passion is to work and support charities with the very latest in communications technology based on the simple principle of free equipment, very low rental charges and on very short term agreements. As a Patron of Shaping Portsmouth Michael is most happy when working with and giving back to the community
Michael J Thornton
Executive Assistant to the Board
A Portsmouth resident and founder of Living Your Learning, a local training and development company based in the Historic Dockyard, Craig is a learning and people development expert who has spent over 20 years in a variety of private and public sector industries, successfully helping thousands of people and many leaders, teams and organisations to develop, improve and get the results they need.
Through impactful and innovative training, coaching and consultancy solutions and with a passion for communication of all kinds, Craig uses his skills as an inspirational and natural developer of people, leaders and teams to provide amazing learning experiences that work and can be applied in the real world. And now as a member of the Shaping Portsmouth board, Craig will be utilising these skills and vast experience to assist the board with their vital work in helping to make Portsmouth a truly great city for everyone.