Board Director - Biographies

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June 06, 2018
  Richard Stevens - Plymouth Citybus Richard Stevens was born in North Devon and is proud of being a West County boy, having lived and worked all over Devon and Cornwall; Richard is committed to ensuring that our cities, towns, rural and coastal areas receive the focus and investment they need to enable everyone who lives here to be successful and valued.  Richard Stevens career is in public transport, Richard was appointed as Managing Director of Plymouth Citybus in May 2012. With an annual turnover of more than 27 million pounds, Citybus serves over 17 million passengers a year and is the biggest public transport provider in Plymouth, employing 520 people and running a fleet of 185 buses. Richard has twenty years of senior management experience of working in the bus industry in the South West. Previously Richard served as an Operations & Commercial Director for Stagecoach South West and prior to that was Operations Director for First Devon and Cornwall; Richard has held many managerial roles, having begun his transport career in 1990 as a bus driver in Penzance.

Richard Stevens is the current chair of the Plymouth & Devon Chamber of Commerce; a role Richard is delighted and honored to perform. Richard has embraced the role and enthusiastically committed his time and energy to, promote the Chamber. Richard is also the current joint chair of the Plymouth Area Business Council, chair of the Plymouth Growth Board. Richard sits on the Devonport Task Force, One Plymouth, the Mayflower 400 Leadership group and the Peninsular Rail Task Force. Richard is also a director of Destination Plymouth; the destination management company; he is committed to working with all strategic partners, to ensure that the voice of business in Plymouth, Devon, and the region is strong, unified and playing to its collective strengths.

Richard also works within the school environment as an Enterprise adviser and Governor. As a Heart of the South West LEP board member Richard Chairs the business leadership group, is deputy chair of the Strategic Investment Group and a voting member of the Local Transport Board, Richard energetically and passionately works in the interests of businesses across the whole of Devon. 
In his spare time if he has any; Richard enjoys Sailing. 

  Steve Gaskell - Actioncoach Steve, a business owner, and retired Army Officer is a pragmatic, focused and highly motivated Business and Executive Coach. He has a degree in Leadership and Management, which underpins his aptitude as a leadership mentor and Executive Coach. With 28 years of experience across a breadth of Business function he is adept in; operational management, change management, training delivery, lean management, logistical management, financial management, employee engagement and a transformational leader. Steve was responsible for the delivery of efficiencies within a MOD department with a responsibility of £3m in turnover, within the first quarter he had increased efficiencies to the sum of £70,000. He has managed MOD projects ranging from the installation of communication infrastructure to a £3.1m new build of a welfare centre. He has dealt with complex high-pressure situations and briefed at prime ministerial level. Within an MOD organisation of 750+ he has delivered H&S, E&D, HR and welfare support. Steve was also the Master Coach within an Infantry battalion of 640+ where he advised the executive chain of command on performance training in order to enhanced productivity across a range of core activities.

Today, Steve will focus you on guiding businesses to the next level and unlocking growth potential. Key areas of focus include:
• Strategic planning and development.
• Challenge the norms and build a real diverse approach to your business, building niche and diversification to create predictive revenue.
• Exit strategy and selling businesses.
• Employee engagement strategies.
• Budgeting for profitable growth, cashflow, and cashflow forecasting, conducting gap analysis, and having a clear understanding of the key metrics.                                                                                                   
 For more information visit
  Tim Jones - Devon & Cornwall Business Council Tim Jones is Chairman of the South West Business Council (formally the Devon & Cornwall Business Council).  He has recently finished a six-year term with the Heart of the South West LEP as Board Member and its founding Chairman.  Tim is involved in a number of other organisations including being a Governor at Falmouth University, Governor at the Plymouth College of Art, Vice Chairman of South West Water’s WaterFuture Panel, Trustee at Dartington Hall, Board Member of Devon Chamber, Vice Chairman of Plymouth Area Business Council and Board Member of North Devon + and the Sherford Development Board.  Tim is also the national lead for the Great Food Plan (a Defra initiative).  Outside business-related activities, Tim is also involved in a wide range of Criminal Justice Issues being a Special Advisor to HM Prison Services, Chairman of Broadreach which deals with a wide range of Drug and Alcohol Services and Chairman of North Devon Biosphere Foundation.  Trustee for the Outset Foundation and Trustee for Fort Bovisand. Tim also served for 22 years as Chairman of the Princes Trust for Devon & Cornwall and as a South West Regional Board Member also a Board Member of Dame Hannah Rogers Trust.

Tim has active business interests and has been involved for over 30 years in a wide range of property issues.  Tim is now extensively involved in Commercial Property Development across the South West Peninsula and is a Director within Belstone Fox Project Management Ltd and Wessex Investors Ltd.
  Tim Jones - Start Point Finance Ltd Tim is a Director of Start Point Finance based in Kingsbridge and has been a Devon Chamber Board Director since 2015. Tim is passionate about supporting smaller businesses based in and around Plymouth and the whole County believing that we are stronger together and can help each other practically. Tim worked for a number of Banks before setting up the commercial finance business in 2007 in Manchester. He then relocated the company to the South West in 2011. He has experienced the challenges of growing a company and understands the need for an ongoing evolution of the Chamber for the benefit of Members. Tim also is Treasurer of Kingsbridge Rugby Club, a Vet Gig rower for Salcombe Estuary Rowing Club and three days a month drives the Coleridge Community Bus.

  Paul Philpott - Fresh Air Studios Ltd Passionate about communication, Paul’s career has taken him from freelancing at BBC national radio to becoming a regional radio personality. He was a presenter on the now ‘archived’ Plymouth Sound radio for many years, and managed sponsorship and promotions prior to that. Little did people know that when his 5am - 10am shift finished, Paul went to the slightly more serious job of running Fresh Air Studios.  Established in 1998, his business helps companies communicate with internal and external audiences; be it helping a company leader inform their workforce about changes in legislation, to improving the customer experience of millions of mobile users nationwide. His business holds a mainly national client base including Three mobile, Santander, Royal Mail Group, Menzies Aviation, E.ON, Post Office, LeasePlan and more. Encouraging large companies to do business with a small Plymouth-based firm is no easy task, but Paul is incredibly passionate about the flexibility and creativity SMEs can offer and is equally proud of where Fresh Air Studios is based. He believes that running a business should be an enjoyable experience - dare he say ‘fun’? - that businesses should be encouraged and helped to grow, and that the region should benefit from all the positives such growth brings. Paul is a keen traveller, visiting cities around Eastern Europe, collecting an endless list of ideas where towns and councils have done something different to help SMEs, or to create an engaging and entrepreneurial vibe. He’s often heard saying, “If it can be done in a relatively poor place like this, surely we can do something similar in Plymouth!” Paul is a fan of wine, fitness and he holds several Dans in martial arts. He is not a fan of red tape, “jobs worth’s” and situations where common sense isn’t allowed to prevail.
  Kevin Kelway - Dorcas Media Ltd Award winning campaigner, children’s writer, and journalist with over 25 years experience. Kevin was news editor of B2B business magazine Business i Devon, before going on to be PR and marketing manager for A4e South West for 3 years. He was the marketing manager for Outset Plymouth where he coordinated the programme’s submission in winning the UK’s national BIS Enterprising Award for Promoting Enterprise, and a Euro Award, during Global Entrepreneurship Week in Cyprus, at the first ever assembly by the EU Commission. As well as his wealth in journalism experience and writing copy, he won the Sheila McKechnie Foundation for People & Place Award for his PR campaign in saving Plymouth’s iconic Tinside Lido. Kevin Kelway set up independent media specialist Dorcas Media in June 2013. The company specialises in reputation management, crisis management, advising businesses in PR, media engagement, social media, and well known in both protecting and enhancing businesses he works with. The company has set up a client base of companies based across Devon, UK, and Europe, and delivers media expertise to clients’ looking and already working in export markets.

  Emily Beaumont - Plymouth Marjon University Emily is an Associate Professor and Director of the Marjon Business School at Plymouth Marjon University. Emily has created a business school which is dynamic in its offer and flexible to the rapidly changing and evolving world of business due to the combination of excellence in teaching and learning with a strong research ethos.  Emily has an eclectic academic background having produced outputs and made an impact in disciplines such as Marine Science, Sport Studies, and Enterprise and Employability.  Her skills, knowledge, and experience in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship led to her appointment as Director of Enterprise Educators UK, and played a significant role in her award of Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.    
For detailed profile including qualifications and vocational experience visit
  Steve Whiteway - Improving Lives Plymouth Steve Whiteway is an award-winning member of the Plymouth Business Community.  Awarded a lifetime achievement award in 2017 by Plymouth Herald Community Awards, Steve is one of a handful of people in the UK to be awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award for his work in helping to alleviate food poverty.  Steve is also one of 6 Plymouth people to have a train named after him by Devon Chamber patrons, GWR, after being voted one of the 50 all-time Great Westerners. 
Some of his achievements across the past 50 years are as follows:
• Prime Minister's Points of Light Award -March 2017,
• Top 50 Great Westerners (GWR/Trinity Mirror) October 2017
• Lifetime Achievement Award -Plymouth Herald Community Awards December 2017
• Good Neighbour Finalist- Plymouth Herald Community Awards December 2017
• Plymouth Inspirational-Environmental Volunteer of the Year 2015
• Plymouth Inspiring Long-Term Commitment to Volunteering 2016
• DEBI Devon Environmental Champion 2015
• #LOL Project Partner for Clean Up Britain Campaign Plymouth
• Plymouth City Centre Ambassador
• Chair of the Board of Trustees - Devon and Cornwall Food Action-Fighting food poverty until Dec
• Plymouth Climate Change Inaugural Commissioner 2009
• Shekinah supporter and winner of the Shekinah 21:21 Challenge 2014
• Devon Environmental Business Initiative Environmental Champion finalist 2012
• Devon Community Foundation Bringing People Together finalist Award 2013
• Herald Business Award finalist
• Supporter and artist for World Rocks against Dementia 2017
• The Barbican International Blues and Jazz Festival 2014.
• Ocean Jazz and Blues Festival 2016
• Culture fest against Cancer 2016
• Columnist /Songwriter/Poet
• Supporting charities through music and sport for over 50 years
  Craig Moore -Womble Bond Dickinson I am a solicitor with over 20 years' experience in commercial property and finance. I am the Plymouth
office head for Womble Bond Dickinson.
My experience includes acting for a wide variety of businesses, public bodies, charities and education
Institutions and I am client partner for a number of businesses in our region and nationally. 
I grew up in Plympton, and following time at University and Law College returned to the city as a trainee
with Bond Pearce. Over the last 25 years, I have developed an excellent network as well as experience
which I believe can make a really positive difference to the Chamber and its members, as well as the
wider region.  Plymouth and the wider region have great potential to grow and should be confidently seen on the world stage. It is my enthusiasm and passion for the city and wider region, combined with my experience that makes me want to become a director of the Chamber and help to drive it forward so that our city and wider region thrive.
As a business owner myself, I have considerable experience of dealing with matters which our
businesses face whether around finance, HR, sales and marketing, legal, etc and I know that training
and support from professional memberships can make an enormous difference. It is also clear that the
more we collaborate, the more we understand what great businesses we have in our city and wider
region, the more opportunities we identify and can leverage that to produce growth.
I am currently one of the co-chairs of the Plymouth Area Business Council, an advisory board member
for Mayflower 400, co-founder of the Plymouth Robotic Sailing Championships and have just joined the
Plymouth Waterfront Partnership as a director. In addition, I am a governor of Sherford School. I have
an excellent track record of providing strategic leadership and driving growth, and believe that I can be
an effective director with the Chamber helping to drive it forward and deliver successful growth for the
city and wider region.
  Paul James –
Delt Shared Services Ltd
I am currently the CFO and Deputy CEO for Delt Shared Services Ltd. Delt is a private company owned by Plymouth City Council and the NEW Devon CCG delivering IT/technical and payroll services to 17,000 users across Devon in the public, third and education sectors. Through employing 162 people, we deliver £8M of socio-economic value annually to the County from the jobs, services, and suppliers we support locally.  I have significant Board experience as a director, company secretary and trustee of various organisations. My initial experience was in the commercial sector and then shaped and developed through the charity and social enterprise sectors. I have a breadth of expertise in finance, HR, employee development, commercial and manufacturing operations. I want to be a Director of the Devon Chamber of Commerce for a number of reasons but what would I offer if elected? I have made a significant contribution to each organisation that I’ve worked for. How? Whether I’m working on change/transformation programmes, business/partnership development, large-scale capital projects or developing infrastructure/systems, I collaborate with people who, when working together on common aims, can achieve amazing things. The ability to do that with so many Chamber members is a huge draw for me. Businesses in Devon are better together, connecting their skills and capabilities to create conditions for social and economic growth. From the rural and city economies, Devon provides significant opportunities for members that I’d want to help them take advantage of. There are challenges, the impact of Brexit and the need for better infrastructure in the South West will require the Chamber to advise and advocate for members on key issues. I’ve been deeply involved in work and projects which prove that businesses working closely together, regardless of size, on connected aims, can deliver growth and related social and economic value, increasing skills and investment in the region. The ability to be a part of that in advocating for the Chamber whilst working with members to help them grow their businesses is one that I’d be immensely proud to be part of if chosen. 
  Sam Cross – Rotary International in Devon & Cornwall As a nurse by trade, I have a unique experience of working across health care, social care, the voluntary and private sectors; and have the experience to negotiate, communicate and build relationships with providers and partners on all levels. As a Project Manager, I have experience of research and development, service development, of influencing commissioning negotiation, business management, and extensive small organisation development and leadership skills. My many fixed-term contracts range across the areas of women’s health, bone health, smoking advice, dementia, befriending, telecare, and independent living. My supporting education for these roles is varied -  a degree in Psychology, a MSc in Health Psychology; alongside the Certificate of Management Studies, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector and the Certificate of Marketing Studies. I am the Rotary District 1175 (Devon and Cornwall) Social Media Mentor and help clubs with their branding, fundraising, marketing, event planning, public relations, and membership recruitment. (My skills have been recognised at a National level by Rotary International Great Britain and Ireland.) I am a Rotarian and positive about the Community, business, and people.
I know local businesses and was very proud to have received the Devon Venus award for ‘Networker of the Year’, and the Devon Chamber of Commerce award for ‘Business personality of the Year’, in 2016. I am passionate about networking with a purpose.
 I am still self-employed and work with small businesses and charities to help them identify their strengths, plan strategies for their development, and assist them with their plans for promoting what they do. Self-employment has allowed me to study my Masters in Public Health at Marjon University; which has developed my knowledge & skills in leadership, inequalities across Plymouth and the surrounding areas, and how to better engage with service providers.
Carol Belamarich, Marketing Co-ordinator
01752 220471


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