Board & Directors



Chairman/President:  Andrew Finney

Andrew is Managing Director of HCR Group Ltd an employee relocation and property management company employing 112 people in Basingstoke.  He has been associated with business in Basingstoke for 24 years having started his career in banking.   He is currently Chairman of Anvil Arts.  Previously he was a SEEDA board member, Chair of South East Diamonds for Investment and Growth and Leader of Basingstoke and Deane District Council.  In his various roles Andrew has always been a keen advocate of business and economic growth throughout Hampshire. 

Executive Director: Maureen Frost,  Chief Executive

Chief Executive of Portsmouth & South East Hampshire Chamber of Commerce prior to taking on the role of Director of Operations/Deputy CEO for Hampshire Chamber, Maureen has been with the Chamber movement since 1997.  Prior to joining the Chamber Maureen was part of the business lending department at NatWest Bank.  She currently sits on the Portsmouth University Business School Advisory Board and is an experienced Business Awards judge and mentor.

Director: Derek Chartres, Business Services Group (Immediate Past Chairman)

Derek is MD of The Business Services Group, providing Business Services, Logistical Support and Print Solutions to businesses across the south for over 25 years.  Derek is also a past President of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce and Past Chair of the British Chambers of Commerce Accreditation Board.

Director:  Jan Ward, Corrotherm International Ltd

Immediate Past President of Southampton & Fareham Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Jan is a Mechanical Engineer by background and has spent 30 years in the metals industry.  She has worked at board level for several international steel and specialty metals producers and distributors in US, Europe and Middle East.

Jan is the CEO and founder of Corrotherm International Ltd a company which specialises in the supply of high alloys to niche markets. The company has been established for 16 years and offices in UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, South Africa and Libya.  Jan was also crowned NatWest/Everywoman Business Woman of the Year in 2009.

Director Paul Griffiths - The Mary Rose Trust

Paul is the Head of Operations at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth and also serves as the Managing Director of the Mary Rose Trading Company. Since opening in May 2013 the museum has welcomed over 700,000 visitors and has won numerous awards.  Prior to taking up his post at the Mary Rose in July 2012, Paul worked for English Heritage where he was the Area Manager for the London Historic Properties. A keen sports fan, Paul regularly plays squash and cricket and travels back up to London to the Valley to watch Charlton Athletic.  Paul likes in Rowlands Castle with his wife Ellie and young son Barnaby.

Director:  Malcolm Thixton Managing Partner BDO

Malcolm is the managing partner of the Southampton office of BDO where he also heads up the audit department. Although specialising as an audit partner, Malcolm advises his clients on a wide range of issues including acquisitions and disposals, tax planning, raising finance and improving profits generally.

He has around 30 years experience of working with businesses in Hampshire, where he has built up a wide range of sector specific experience including motor retail, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, engineering and professional services.  Malcolm is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered accountants in England and Wales, The Institute of the Motor Industry and recently completed an MBA at Southampton University.

Director:  Steven Gates CEO Denplan

Stephen Gates is Managing Director of Denplan, the UK’s leading private dental healthcare provider based in Winchester, working for over 6,000 dentists and 1,700,000 patients.  Stephen is also Managing Director of Simplyhealth Wellbeing Services, which provides a range of services, including retail and mobility aids, within the Simplyhealth Group (Denplan’s owners).

As Denplan's Managing Director, Steve is responsible for the overall strategic direction and growth of all its activities, both in association with the Simplyhealth and other senior management team members.  Steve works particularly closely in areas of new product and business development, whilst maintaining hands-on links with the dental profession.  Steve Gates is also Managing Director of Denplan’s Pet Health Plans.  Pet Health Plans, established in 2007, offers veterinary practices their own bespoke preventive health plans for cats and dogs and enables vets to offer interest-free loans to clients for veterinary treatment.  Over 100,000 pets are now covered.  

Denplan was a Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work for over a decade, with Steve Gates winning the ‘Inspirational Leadership’ award in 2007 and is IIP accredited.  Steve is regularly asked to speak on the subject of Leadership at conferences and other events. Steve has been closely involved in the Winchester Chamber of Commerce since 2007 and has been the Chairman of the Winchester Area Committee of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce since 2012.

Director:  Lizz Clarke, Logical Creative Marketing

Lizz had served on the Portsmouth & SE Hants Chamber Board, is Chair of the Business Advisory Group at the University of Portsmouth Business School and served as Events Chair at the Institute of Directors.  She is Managing Director of two companies: Logical Creative Marketing (LCM) and Altitude Learning & Development.

LCM has been established since 1989 and is highly regarded for its work in marketing both in the region, nationally and internationally. The company numbers many well-known names on its client list; perhaps most notably in this context, the team won the contract to develop the marketing strategy and branding when the three Chambers merged to form Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.  Altitude Learning & Development specialises in marketing and sales training and executive coaching.

Director:  Mike O'Dwyer

Mike has a wealth of commercial and operational experience on the High Street, having worked with Grand Metropolitan PLC, Whitbread PLC, Laurel Pub Company and latterly with P&O Ferries on the main board. He really enjoyed corporate life both in the board room and at the sharp end, always happy to talk to customers and staff alike and was always seen in the business actually walking the talk.

He is someone who puts the interests of the organisation above his own and someone who is absolutely dedicated and committed to achieving excellence in everything he puts his mind to. He is positive, energetic, organised and utterly reliable in doing what he says he is going to do. He understands how to get the best from people, builds high performing teams, commands respect and is absolutely fair and ethical in business and has that fine balance between hard and soft skills.

Today, Mike enjoys putting his experience, knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to challenges in his client's business, helping them to assess the situation and providing them with practical and realistic solutions which can be implemented with the minimum of fuss. He gains the greatest buzz from seeing people, teams, boards and companies fully achieve their goals. When he is not working he relaxes by climbing in the Alps, running marathons, extreme off road cycling, long distance endurance events and invests in fine wines which is a real passion; he is occasionally known to enjoy the fruits of his investments! 

Director:  Hendry Taylor, Taylored IT

A senior Board Level Professional consultant with directorship experience. I have a wide international experience, working within a multi-cultural environment. I am motivated by working both at a strategic and operational level. Delivering both an analytical and financially literate approach to the organisational deliverables.

Proven track record of delivering complex programmes, in often difficult circumstances. A good communicator at all levels, and across functions, both in a national and international team environment. I have extensive experience at dealing with large multinational Financial and Investment organisations at all levels. I have 28 years’ experience in a wide range of IT disciplines and sectors.

Director: Nick Barwood, Bond Dickinson LLP 

Nick Barwood is a partner with Bond Dickinson LLP, a national law firm with over 140 partners and employing 1300 people. Nick is head of the Commercial Team and based on the firm's Southampton office which is home to 180 staff.  He is also a member of the firm's 8 strong management board

Nick has over 25 years' experience of advising on commercial projects of all types. He is often asked to provide strategic input into a variety of complex and business critical projects across a broad range of industrial, consumer goods and retail businesses.  He is recognised for his commercial acumen and solution-driven approach and is client partner for a number of FTSE companies. His main area of expertise is in relation to outsourcing, particularly logistics, supply chain management and third party services contracts.



Director: Sandeep Sesodia,

Chair of Southampton Area Board

Sandeep works in the Commercial Banking arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland / Future Williams & Glyn Team and is based in Southampton. He has a successful track record of over 30 years in Banking and Finance, providing support and guidance to all types of businesses – whether to start up, to develop or to grow - so that they can achieve their strategic and long term goals. Building and developing relationships is core to his values. Sandeep leads by example and believes in doing the right thing, instilling pride in others and energising all those around him with his enthusiasm and with his personal and passionate approach. He has forged strong links throughout the business and local communities across the region. Sandeep’s association with the Chamber started in 2007 with a joint Chamber / RBS  venture to help start up businesses at the Marlands Shopping Centre. He subsequently worked with the CEO at the Chamber to help set up the Hampshire Chamber Asian Network.


Director: Emma Watts, Chief of Staff at UK Defence Solutions Centre

Emma is Chief of Staff at the UK Defence Solutions Centre, a centralised strategic planning function that responds to international customers’ needs for innovative and tailored world-class defence solutions, at the pre-competitive stage.   

Created as part of the implementation plan for the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) and jointly funded by government and industry, the UKDSC works closely with the UK Department for International Trade – Defence and Security Organisation (DIT DSO), the UK Government, the defence value chain, academia and R&D.

As a trusted leader in start-up and change environments, Emma has broad operational experience and is adept at balancing stakeholders and delivering cross-organisational management of complex projects.   She is instinctive, highly organised and driven to develop communications, influence organisational design and implement company values.  Emma has sound international business acumen and a consistent track record of accountability and delivery within both corporate and SME markets.

Director: David Joel

 David is a professionally qualified, Chartered Company Director. He is a qualified physicist with 22 years in the engineering and technology sectors and 10 years in the services and facilities management sector mostly at board level.

 David was spent a number of  year the US, leading a multi-disciplinary team in support of the USAF and United States Navy aircraft e.

 Upon return from the US, David took a post as the Managing Director of a newly acquired SME, dealing with the change and culture issues that characterise a new business acquisition. Whist in the facilities management sector, David successfully led a bid team for the privatisation of the Atomic Weapons Establishment – Aldermaston United Kingdom. This activity presented many political, cultural and people challenges, culminating in a successful bid.

 In 2001 David qualified with a Diploma in Company Direction from The Institute of Directors. In 2002, David, founded a management and training business. He became a Chartered Director in 2003.

David works with the Institute of Directors delivering The Finance for non-Financial Directors programme and the Directors Role in leadership as part of the Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction with experience in both public and private sector organisations.


Director: Gail Thomas

Gail is the VP and Managing Director of TW Metals Ltd, and holds full responsibility for the International divisions of this privately held US organisation.  She has 38 years experience in the specialty metals industry.

TW is a speciality metals distributor and processor supplying a variety of industries covering most major end use sectors including oil and gas, petrochemical, and the nuclear sector but its major market is Aerospace.  TW holds global contracts and exports its products to 56 countries.  TW Metals currently has 300 employees across 8 countries that form the International Region, 2 of which are in the UK, with Southampton as the region’s headquarters.  In her tenure to date she has been responsible for the opening and successful integration of five TW companies (Poland, Houston USA, Italy, Germany, & Longbridge UK) throughout the region she controls.

Gail is a governor at Eastleigh College – a leading vocational college with strong links to industry and Gail understands only too well the challenges that young people face today and the requirement  of industry to be supportive of young people moving into the workplace.

Director: Kevin Stansfield ACA, MBA

Kevin is the Managing Director of ActionCOACH Solent, the leading business coaching firm in South Hampshire, and is one of the most awarded Business Coaches in the UK.  He has lived and breathed business all his life, starting as a child with both parents owning their own small businesses.  It is that start that has inspired Kevin to want to help business owners and senior executives to improve both their businesses and their lives.

After University, Kevin trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, working with owner run businesses and helping them to grow successfully, and later became a freelance Finance Director working for a number of fast growth companies.  In 2006 Kevin completed an MBA at Southampton University and decided subsequently to make a change of direction in his career, to focus more on business planning, growth and development and less on just the finances aspects of businesses. 

This led Kevin to train as a business coach with ActionCOACH, the world’s number one coaching firm. For the last 10 years, he has been coaching and training business owners on the south coast to realize their full potential by becoming better at growing and running their businesses, so that they can make more money and have more time to enjoy it.

Kevin has been a supporter of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce since 2006 and has sought to work with the Chamber and its members to boost the local economy in terms of profitability, opportunities and employment for local people.