Meet our members


Andy Whyle

Business name:  BESST
Sector: Environment
SWM Green Leader 2017 Award (Private Sector)
British Safety Council Globe of Honour Award 2016
BCE Awards 2011 Winner of the Management for Resource Efficiency Award
Environment Agency: Best private sector Finalist 2010
Top 50 Green Leaders 2010

Andy Whyle has been Chair of BESST since 2006 which is a nationally recognised Business Environmental Network, developing and sharing BESST practice. Our mission is “To enhance the environmental performance of local businesses; In turn boosting efficiency and reducing the impact on the global environment”.

Andy leads a steering group of Telford business representatives who have shown expertise in their relative areas of sustainability. Our successful approach has become a model for other Business Environmental Networks. Andy is also Co-Chair of the Marches Business Environment Networks

Paul Hinkins

Business name: Telford Business Board

A serial entrepreneur who started his career as an Assistant Farm Manager, Paul’s determination, entrepreneurial spirit, and work ethic have seen him achieve extraordinary success in sales, marketing and service delivery.

He has set-up and sold multiple businesses, before buying Business Watch Guarding back in 2003, and growing the firm to its current position as one of the top 5% of accredited security providers in the country.

As well as his role as Chair of the Telford Business Board, Paul is Joint-Vice Chair of Marches LEP, Chair of Marches Growth Hub and is also Chair of Governors of Telford College.

Anna Brennand

Business name: Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
Sector: Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

Anna Brennand has been Chief Executive of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust since June 2013. Before taking up her current post, Anna was the Trust’s Deputy CEO and Director of Finance & Resources having initially joined the Museum in 2007.

Aside from her role at the Trust, Anna is a Board Member of the Museums Association, a member of the National Museum Directors Council, and sits on a variety of regional tourism bodies. She is a Trustee of a Further Education College and World Heritage UK. Anna also lectures at the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage.


Neil Phillips

Business name: Phillips Chartered Accountants
Sector:Professional services
Accreditations:ICAEW Chartered Accountant

Neil Phillips was born and educated in Telford and is the owner of Phillips Chartered Accountants
since 2000. After gaining a degree in accountancy at Exeter University, he trained as a chartered
accountant in Bristol with Cooper & Lybrand.

Neil was previously a partner at Bentley Jennison in Telford until 1993 and later worked at Jave and Co Birmingham for five years. He has been a Governor of Telford College since October 2016.


Felicity Wingrove

Business name:  Zen Communications
Sector: Public Relations

Felicity is Managing Director of Zen Communications and has over 15 years’ experience across the Strategic PR and Communications sector, including time looking after external communications for FTSE100 BAE Systems’ Air Systems and running a top national PR agency in Manchester.

She set up Zen Communications in 2007, which looks after the reputations of some of the nation’s best known – and loved – brands, organisations and corporations, through to SMEs and boutique firms. Specialising in top-level strategy and reputation management for a diverse range of clients, Felicity is a long-standing Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a Member of the Professional Speakers Association, and a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner.


David George

Business name:  ChoiceMaster Limited
Sector: ICT

David holds a PHD in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and was one of the early inference engine pioneers for Expert Systems and Knowledge-based systems. He has significant industry experience encompassing research, software engineering, and product development with specialist software technologies including domain specific languages, automatics code generation, database management systems, large scale project management, and general business management.

He has founded and co-founded numerous successful software companies specialising in the application of AI-based solutions to knowledge-intensive business process functions for international organisations including BMW, Barclays Bank, Ford, Medscheme Health Care, General Electric, Professional Provident Society, Daimler Chrysler, NIB Insurance and Nissan.

Mark Thompson

Business name:  Co-Founder & Managing Director of AceOn Group
Sector: Renewable Energy

Mark Thompson co-founded AceOn Group in 2009 with his father and business partner Gerald Thompson. Now in its seventh year the company is going through rapid growth. A calculated risk-taker with deep industrial knowledge, Mark has championed his enterprise with key supply chain providers whilst developing opportunities with major blue chip companies.

Mark stands at the forefront of one of the fastest-moving technology industry trends: Battery Specialised Products & Renewable Energy for Battery Energy Storage. His drive, combined with more than 25 years’ experience, make him ideally suited for the new emerging markets across Electric Vehicles and Energy Storage Solutions.


Graham Guest

Business name:  Telford College
Sector:Further Education
Accreditations:Matrix accredited

Graham Guest is Principal and Chief Executive at Telford College and has worked in the Education
Sector for over 28 years.

Previously Deputy Principal at Waltham Forest College, Graham began his career as a
lecturer in building services. He has since worked in six colleges across the West Midlands and
London, as well as the Ofsted grade one provider, Exeter College.

Graham is passionate about further education and its ability to not only make a positive difference to staff and students alike, but also significantly contribute to local economic development.


Johnny Themans

Business name: Good2Great Ltd
Sector: Business Coaching & Development 

Johnny has over 30 years’ experience in business, originally working within large blue-chip companies prior to launching Good2Great in 2007, along with business partner Gary Halpin.

Over the last 11 years, Good2Great has helped hundreds of owner-managed businesses in the Midlands successfully start and grow, as well as many established businesses become more profitable and sustainable. Their approach is all about focusing on the owner – using proprietary systems which are proven to deliver growth across all areas of the business.

Notable local projects have include delivering part of Telford & Wrekin’s ‘Pride in Your High Street’, the Marches LEP ‘Building Business Confidence’ programme and Shropshire Council’s Business Growth Roadshows. Johnny is also involved in a joint project with University College Hospital’s ‘Medpreneur’ programme, helping to develop and bring innovative medical products to market.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jthemans

Website: http://www.good-2-great.co.uk/

Professor Ian Oakes

Business name: Wolverhampton University
Sector: Further Education

Professor Ian Oakes is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton and Chief Executive of the Campus’s Science Park. He has more than 20 years’ experience in higher education.

Professor Oakes joined the University of Wolverhampton in 2008, as Pro Vice-Chancellor taking care of the University’s research and enterprise agenda and, developing the growing knowledge transfer arena at regional, national and international levels.

He has been awarded Professorships from two universities, and has been appointed to the Boards of two local Enterprise Partnerships where he looks after both education and skills.


Tim Luft

Business name: European Innovations
Sector:Creative and Media

Tim Luft is a Leading Edge Virtual Reality Specialist and Management Consultant for European Innovations based in Shropshire.

He was founder of the world’s first Serious Games Institute in Coventry and in 2015, he co-founded Telford-based Woote, a trading name of European Innovations – A 3D simulation and virtual reality experience centre, offering a full 360 degree video planning and production service for events, exhibitions, corporate videos, guided tours and site visits.

Tim is a mentor for the DIT Global Entrepreneur Programme, and a panel member on the Wolverhampton University Green Shoots initiative, which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund and aims to help small to medium enterprises flourish.