Board and SMT

We have a well established and experienced board & team of directors.

Board Members

Our Non Executive Board comprises influential and experienced representatives of our local business community. Iain Wolsey is the Chair of the Board and company.

Iain Wolsey - Chairman 

Iain WolseyIain was appointed as chair of Business West in 2017. He also has other non-executive director roles and is a Director in Wolsey Meech, a business transformation consultancy. His background is in retail marketing with W H Smiths, Gateway and Somerfield.

Phil Smith - Managing Director

From 1983 Phil worked in the North Sea oil & gas fields as an offshore construction engineer for an American oil company. The stagnating North Sea oil industry of the late 80’s led Phil to do an MBA at London Business School and University of California Berkeley, which was followed by a role as a mergers and acquisitions specialist at a City of London investment bank. Phil moved to Bristol in the early 90’s to become CEO of the West of England Business Link. In 2003 Phil took on his current position as MD of Business West, the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, and a public purpose company, which operates the West of England Initiative and the Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire Chambers of Commerce. It also operates various public sector contracts, including DIT export services and Innovate UK services for the SW region. Business West is the co-founder of Destination Bristol and the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership. Phil is Chair of the South West Ventures Fund Advisory and the West of England ESIF committees and sits on the Court of Bristol University.

Nicky Alberry - Director 

Nicky Alberry Business WestNicky joined Swindon-based GWE in July 1991 and was Chief Executive until March 2005, then Chair until April 2008, when GWE Holdings merged with Business West to form GWE Business West Ltd. Outside of work she is a founding member of the Swindon Cares Fund Raising Appeal. She is active in the Rotary Club of Swindon, a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Wiltshire and in 2018/19 was the High Sheriff of Wiltshire.

Ian Bell - Director 

Ian Bell Business WestIan is Executive Director of Bath Chamber of Commerce and Initiative in B&NES. He leads all Chamber of Commerce and Initiative activity in Bath & North East Somerset. His role is to raise the profile of the Chamber and Initiative, to retain and recruit new members and through a range of business support and services offered by the Chamber help local businesses to prosper and grow. Ian is also responsible for maintaining close relationships with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), local MPs, councillors and partner organisations so that the Chamber can effectively represent the views of members ensuring their voice is heard by key decision makers. Ian is also Chairman of Bath Tourism Plus, the destination management organisation for the district.

Richard Bonner - Director 

Richard BonnerRichard is currently the UK Cities Director leading the ARCADIS Big Urban Clients strategic initiative, focused on delivering competitive advantage for cities. In the UK their key cities are London, Manchester and Birmingham, focusing on mobility, resiliency and regeneration, their ambition is to improve the quality of life.

Richard is also a nominated private sector representative to the West of England LEP Investment Award Panel.

Dr Jonathan Frost, OBE - Director 

Jack FrostJack worked for Johnson Matthey for over 20 years, retiring from his role as technology strategy director in 2016. His career has led him to be involved in a variety of business-led and government task forces and advisory groups focusing on business/economic benefits of environmental sustainability.

Mike Godfrey, OBE - Director 

Mike Godfrey Business WestMike’s background is automotive manufacturing having worked for Honda UK Manufacturing in Swindon as Chief Engineer. He continues to act as a Trustee Director for Honda’s pension scheme. As well as Chairing the Swindon and Wiltshire Initiative for Business West, he also Chairs the Swindon Employment and Skills Board and represents the local area on the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP Talent and Skills sub-group. Focused activities prioritise opportunities for young people considering apprenticeships and Higher education. He also represents business on the Swindon Challenge Board driving improved educational attainment in Swindon schools, and represents the region on the Careers Enterprise Advisory Group, as well as being an advisor for Swindon College. Other activities include being a trustee director of Safewise and the vice-chair of the Swindon Mindful network.

Sarah Pullen - Director

Sarah Pullen Business WestSarah is the Regional Managing Director for Bristol, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset for Trinity Mirror plc. Her first managing directorship was at the Bath News & Media group where she spearheaded the revolutionary change that saw the Bath Chronicle newspaper become the first in the country to convert from being a daily title to a weekly in response to market needs. The success of the transformation helped the business to transform into a modern media company with not only a thriving weekly newspaper but also a strong and successful website.

Sarah’s role then grew to incorporate a series of successful weekly titles throughout Somerset and Dorset before she added Gloucestershire Media with its two first class daily newspapers to her management portfolio in 2009. More recently in January 2013 Sarah’s role expanded to include Bristol News & Media with two further excellent daily titles. Sarah now is in charge of hundreds of staff across three counties, producing dozens of thriving titles and websites to a weekly audience of hundreds of thousands.

Peter Rilett - Director 

Peter Rilett Business WestPeter was Senior Partner in charge of the Bristol office of KPMG. His commercial interests include Centaur Services, Watts of Lydney Group, J T Group, Advanced Transport Systems and Clarke Willmott. Peter’s community and charitable interests include the Chairman North Bristol NHS Trust and is a Trustee of the Quartet Community Foundation. He is also Chairman of Governors at Bristol Grammar School and the St Monica Trust.

Janine Woodcock - Director 

Janine WoodcockJanine is an executive coach with a career history focussed in digital and direct marketing (over 20 years experience in the UK, Switzerland and New Zealand). 

As Managing Director of Zingg Ltd (and as an associate through other companies) Janine offers leadership development and executive coaching/mentoring. She works primarily with senior leaders to deliver behavioural change that enables business objectives

Peter Boucher - Director 

With a track record of company and business sector turnarounds, he brings proven strategic, commercial and innovation skills to Business West along with his start up and entrepreneurial flair.   He has an interest in customer insights and experience, from implementing customer segmentation and analytics to developing company-wide customer experience improvement programmes.

Peter is an experienced leader with a particular focus on talent development and driving employee engagement.

Simon Prescott - Director 

Simon works at Planning and Design Consultancy Barton Willmore and has been a Partner there for 10 years. Locally, he has overall responsibility for the work of its planning team as well as being directly involved in a wide range of projects. He acts as lead consultant in major housing, mixed use and commercial development proposals. He has appeared as an expert witness at numerous Local Plan Examinations and Appeals.

Locally he is a non-exec Director on the board of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Business West. Nationally he Chair’s the British Chambers of Commerce Expert’s Planning Group. In addition to this Simon has a number of roles; Master of The Guild of Guardians of Bristol, Chair of the UWE Planning Advisory Board, Chair of the West of England Housing Market Reference Group, a Trustee at The Canynges Society, a member of the Anchor Society and is an honorary fellow of the UWE Business and Law School.

Senior Management Team

We have a well established and experienced team of directors led by our Managing Director, Phil Smith.

Phil Smith - Managing Director 

From 1983 Phil worked in the North Sea oil & gas fields as an offshore construction engineer for an American oil company. The stagnating North Sea oil industry of the late 80’s led Phil to do an MBA at London Business School and University of California Berkeley, which was followed by a role as a mergers and acquisitions specialist at a City of London investment bank. Phil moved to Bristol in the early 90’s to become CEO of the West of England Business Link. In 2003 Phil took on his current position as MD of Business West, the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, and a public purpose company, which operates the West of England Initiative and the Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire Chambers of Commerce. It also operates various public sector contracts, including DIT export services and Innovate UK services for the SW region. Business West is the co-founder of Destination Bristol and the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership. Phil is Chair of the South West Ventures Fund Advisory and the West of England ESIF committees and sits on the Court of Bristol University.

Contact Phil - phil.smith@businesswest.co.uk 

Twitter - http://twitter.com/MDBusinesswest

Jo Greenwood - Finance Director 

Jo Greenwood Business WestJo is responsible for helping to set the financial direction of the company, ensuring strong financial controls and sound financial viability. A key part of her role is to provide quality financial and management information to managers, the Board and contracting agencies. She's also responsible for supporting managers and helping to structure project activity in the best financial way.

Contact Jo - jo.greenwood@businesswest.co.uk

James Monk - Director of Commercial Services 

James Monk Business WestJames leads on our commercial activities supporting the business community, a Chartered Marketeer with an MBA from the University of Bath combined with 25 years practical business experience in a variety of sectors, within both FTSE 100 and SME companies.

Contact James - james.monk@businesswest.co.uk

James Durie - Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative (BCCI) and Executive Director of Business West  

James is responsible for all the activity of the organisation across Bristol, Bath and the West of England as Chief Executive of BCCI, the half owner of Business West. One of the most influential and respected people across Bristol, Bath and the South West region James is passionate about the importance and role of business to shape, influence and improve the environment in which it operates for reasons of mutual long term benefit, and for all. He leads the Initiative, a group of business leaders who sit at the heart of Business West, who over the past 30 years have taken action to enable the corporate citizen to be instrumental in driving long term success, prosperity and thinking for Bristol, Bath and the West of England. With an interest for improving place he was responsible for setting up the business side of the West of England LEP in 2011, for strengthening local governance and publishing the Bristol High in Hope 2050 vision back in 2011. He is a member of a number of boards and is responsible for the public private organisations the Initiative set up which include Destination Bristol & The Bristol Cultural Development Partnership.

Contact James - james.durie@businesswest.co.uk

Ian Larrard - Director of the Initiative in Swindon and Wiltshire 

Ian is our Director with responsibility for Swindon and Wiltshire and also works closely with our Gloucestershire Director. His role is to raise the profile of the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative and Wiltshire Chamber, through representing businesses and by being a key business voice in the area. An ex senior corporate manager with HSBC, Ian has worked in the region for many years. He maintains close relationships with local MPs, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Councillors across the county. Amongst many other responsibilities he is also Chair of inSwindon BID Co., a Governor of Swindon College and a Board member of Switch on to Swindon.

Contact Ian - ian.larrard@businesswest.co.uk

Mary Martin - Director of Marketing 

Mary Martin Business WestMary brings extensive experience of sales and marketing in businesses of all sizes - from start ups to MSBs - across a variety of sectors in the UK, USA and Ireland. She is responsible for Business West's marketing, PR & communications strategy, ensuring that all businesses in the region are aware of, and take up the services available to help them start up, grow, innovate and trade overseas. Proud of Business West's reputation as the ‘go to’ organisation for all business issues, Mary helps to identify members’ concerns which are fed into government to be taken on board when key decisions are being made.

Contact Mary - mary.martin@businesswest.co.uk

Matt Griffith - Director of Policy 

Andrea CrombleholmeMatt is Director of Policy at Business West, responsible for listening to and representing the concerns of the wide range of our business members.  He is a specialist in economic policy and has a long history of economic and business research and work in government affairs. He has written reports for the Prime Minister on improving England’s economic performance, reports on improving city growth and several high profile housing reports.

Matt also worked for several years as a trade specialist supporting emerging market economies on trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation and in European Union bilateral negotiations and as an advisor for the G33 and G90 group of countries. He has written and been quoted in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Times and the BBC and has written articles for International Affairs and the Princeton Encyclopaedia of the World Economy.

Contact Matt - matt.griffith@businesswest.co.uk

Andrea Crombleholme - Head of HR 

Andrea CrombleholmeAndrea’s role is to lead & direct the HR strategy to deliver an exceptional service and support to the Company and external clients in order to foster true employee engagement and drive high people performance, ensuring this is in line with the business objectives and aims. Andrea has over 20 years HR experience and has been with Business West for 10 years.

Contact Andrea - andrea.crombleholme@businesswest.co.uk

Jessica Vallentine - Head of Service Integration 

Andrea CrombleholmeJessica works with the Managing Director and Exec Board to implement the company’s vision and strategic direction. She leads on aligning and linking operations to meet Business West’s leadership and service goals, acting as a catalyst for continuous improvement measures and projects so that Business West can best deliver outstanding customer experience.

Contact Jessica - jessica.vallentine@businesswest.co.uk