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Meet the team

Meet the team


Rob Perks

Chief Executive

Chief Executive

In addition to his role with Inspire, Rob is a Non-Executive Director with insurance Businesses Holloway Friendly and Optimal Protection and is Chairman of the Holloway strategy & marketing Committee. He has spent most of his career in Financial Services where he qualified with the Chartered Institute of Bankers.He has also studied Business strategy at Warwick Business School. He held a number of positions with Natwest private banking, moving on to the role of Head of Lending at Bristol & West PLC and finally as Business Development Director at Britannic Money PLC. Rob has started several small Businesses and continues as Director of two family enterprises. He now devotes most of his time to his work with inspire looking to bring his experience to support enterprise across Wiltshire and North East Somerset.



Mandy Paterson

Business Development Director

My career to date in varying ways is primarily client led, I am passionate about amazing service and to really making a difference in all that I do and with all those I engage with.

As many do, I found myself drawn to the Recruitment Industry following a solid career at Executive level in the Travel and Tourism Industry working with both small and large leading tour operators. I spent over a decade shaping and growing grew the well reputed White Horse Employment as Director and Managing Director operating with an innovative service approach, leading the way in the Wiltshire employment market, providing a unique, unrivalled and award winning specialist commercial recruitment agency/business. During this time I became Head of Marketing for TEAM (The Employment Agents Movement) as well as holding post as Regional Director of TEAM with 46 Employment Agencies/Businesses in the South West region.

More recently I went on to spend nearly 5 years working with the largest Franchise Group of O2 as Head of SMB with over 300 staff and a wide brief to grow their Business customer base both through stores and a new call centre. Having completed and centralised the business teams it was time to make a career move and here I am part of your Inspire Team Amazing !


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Catharina Davies

Finance Director

Originally from the Netherlands, Catharina joined Inspire 13 years ago, and is a fellow member of AAT. She has extensive experience in accounting in the Charitable and Not for Profit sector, having worked for Spurgeon's Child Care and Relate as Financial Controller. Further experience was gained working for organisations such as Santander and Herman Miller. Catharina became Finance Director in 2012,hoping to make a valuable contribution to the ongoing success of Inspire.



Henrietta Brown

Head of Network Development - Elite

Henrietta heads up our Elite network of Wiltshire'slarger and growing businesses. Henrietta said: "This role is a fantasticopportunity for me to put together my experience and skills as a businessowner, together with my account management and network experience to lead thisinitiative. I started my career in estate agency and financial services withnational group, Countrywide, before moving on to an account manager role atNatwest, looking after some of their key accounts. This led me to pursue acareer in lending and to a national accounts role with the commercial lendingdivision within the Bank of Ireland Group. In 2002 I decided to start my ownfinancial services business which grew rapidly until I sold it in 2008 to takea career break and start a family- a very different enterprise. During thisperiod to keep myself out of mischief, I took a non-executive role with a newstart service company providing independent financial advisers with access tothe products they needed to meet their client's requirements for protection andinvestment needs."



Nynke Hunter

Head of Network Development - Elevate

Nynke only recently joined our team as the Head of Elevate and is our second Dutch team member.

Having started as a small business owner herself she very much understands the challenges of SME's and after having left Wiltshire for a couple of years whilst working for the Fredericks Foundation (a Responsible Finance Provider) she is very much looking forward to get back to supporting local businesses.
When she is not working her favourite past time is spending time with her family and friends, keeping fit and taking her retired greyhound out for long walks in the Wiltshire country site. 



Julie Smith

Head of Partnerships

Julie has been with Inspire for 5 years and is now employed as a Business Manager. She feels privileged to work with a wide range of businesses in North Wiltshire providing support and advice to help them grow. Julie thoroughly enjoys developing strong relationships with her clients and doing what she can to help them take their businesses forward, whether that be providing advice on setting up a business or simply providing useful contacts to existing businesses. When she isn't working her favourite pastime is spending time with her family, especially her two grown-up children. Other than that she enjoys cooking, reading, swimming, and last, by my no means least shopping!!

Twitter: @JulieWessex

LinkedIn: Julie Smith



Elaine Harvey

Head of Client Relationships

Have quite literally done a bit of everything! Starting out at the County Court, I moved into retail management via a tyre fitting company (yes, I am a girl and I can change my own) before joining the local authority. Whilst working at Wiltshire Council, I became involved in environmental management and resource efficiency, which led me into my first job with Inspire, Coordinating a sustainable business network.Now heading up the client manager team, I thoroughly enjoy supporting local businesses and developing great working relationships with them.


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Stefan Barbaruk

Business Development Manager

In addition to his current role with Inspire, Stefan's early career started in the manufacturing sector as an apprentice moving on to production control in the aviation field with Dowty Fuel Systems followed by Avon Rubber PLC. Always having had an interest in training, a career change opportunity came about and he joined Wiltshire Training as manager responsible for supporting up to 1000 young people and adults with their NVQs and getting them into employment. Having joined Inspire in 1996 when it was very much in it's infancy, Stefan has using his previous business/education experience played a major role to getting the chamber to where it is today by increasing the chambers membership, it's profile and organising events such as site visits, meet the buyers and international conferences on sharing best practice etc.


Events Manager

Kate Preece

TEN Co-ordinator

Kate is The Enterprise Network (TEN) co-ordinator and ensures the smooth running of the TEN centre in Trowbridge and will be your contact for any enquiries regarding the TEN offer. She finds it satisfying to witness start-up businesses grow supported by TEN and INSPIRE.

When not at INSPIRE Kate scours cookery books finding new recipes to try out on unsuspecting family and friends. Escapes wearing walking boots and heads to the hills. Basically a nosey person she enjoys reading biographies of famous people past and present.

At national sporting events she always cheers on teams from the Emerald Isle!

Twitter: @KatePreece

LinkedIn: Kate Preece



Jess Pitman

Head of Marketing and Events

I graduated from Bournemouth University in 2014 with a degree in Events Management and after an initial conversation with Rob, via LinkedIn, joined Wessex Chambers (now Inspire) in September 2014. Some people have the opinion of students that they lack in industry experience, luckily I signed up to an excellent course that forced me out of the comfort and warmth of a lecture theatre into the petrifying ‘real world' for a year. I completed a placement in London as an Events Executive for 6 months at a very forward thinking, creative hospitality company. This was followed by a 6 month internship at a zoo as Events and Projects intern; needless to say, I gained a hugely diverse yet hugely invaluable experience in both roles professionally and personally. I really do have some stories to tell! Following my placement year, I returned to uni and specialised in Marketing and Digital Marketing and here I am. Although I am always looking to learn, I'm confident that I know my stuff; I'm very proud of my academic education and varied experience. I'm working on all of our events and on our social media and digital marketing which means, when you tweet us you're likely talking to me! I am really enjoying learning from all of our clients, this role and my passion for the Events and Marketing industry - long may it continue!



Jade Simons

Marketing and Events Assistant 

I have been with Inspire since 2012, starting in Events I then moved on to Marketing, and then Finance. I have now come full circle and i'm back in Marketing and Events. I'm enjoying the chance to be creative again and meet lots of new people.



Amanda Roberts

Client Manager

I am delighted to have joined the lovely team at `Inspire at Wessex Chambers' after moving from Kent back home to Wiltshire. Whilst in Kent I had the great pleasure in working for `Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce' for approximately nine years and during that time wore many different hats! My experience is quiet diverse, my love is people, giving the best service I can and making a difference. I have a lot to learn in my new role and am looking forward to the challenge and meeting as many members as I can.



Lucy Newmarch-Christensen (Maternity Leave)

Membership Manager 

In addition to her role with Inspire, Lucy also holds the role of President of the Westbury Chamber of Commerce, Trade & Industry, where it is her responsibility to promote the strengths of local business and encourage business owners to develop working relationships across the community. She has built her career with both family businesses and global employers, working in customer facing roles and with data management systems.She studied Conflict, Governance and Development with a special interest in Economics and Politics at the University of York. Her Masters dissertation gave her the opportunity to question Members of the UK, European and Cypriot Parliaments, and be published in both British and Cypriot newspapers. A client Lucy has been working with for the last four years describes her as one of "the few people in business who have the skill to consistently make a positive contribution to every situation.


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