Hello and welcome
Thank you for your visit. If you're interested, you can find out a little more about me in the introduction below.
People who know me describe me as curious, insightful and creative. I'm a natural problem-solver and I enjoy nothing more than finding out about situations and then helping to devise practical solutions. I've been lucky enough to work in exciting environments where organisations have been growing or changing fast. From working on innovative development projects to championing collaboration across organisational boundaries, it's been a lot of fun, and I've worked with a lot of great people. It has also given me a unique insight into what enables leaders and their teams to work at their best and what makes for great value from supply chains. These are things I feel strongly about and they shape the work I do.
I set up Athena 9 Ltd. in 2011 to provide value-for-money, bespoke services to organisations wishing to develop strategic and practical procurement capability. Alongside these professional skills, I also work to develop communication, coaching and team building skills. Depending on the scale of the assignment, I work independently or with a team of associates .
So how did I get here? Well, perhaps unusually for a Brit, I speak French, Spanish and German. Having studied languages at Durham, I was keen to stay in the North East after graduating. The Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan, offered me a job in their Purchasing department and I never looked back! At the time, they were setting up their factory on a greenfield site in Sunderland and urgently looking for European suppliers. There was a real buzz about the place: we had a strong team culture and I enjoyed working with engineers and designers to hit very challenging targets. At Nissan I experienced first hand the power of cross-functional teamwork, agile working, lean manufacturing and a strategic approach to managing suppliers.
The year after the Barcelona Olympics, Nissan sent me to their sister plant in the city on an 18 month assignment where I was to experience very different ways of doing things, seek out synergies and begin to build bridges between the two Purchasing organisations. I learned many things here that influenced my approach to work and life going forward. Ultimately, and with sadness, I left the blue skies of Spain behind me, moving to London to join the household and pharmaceutical giant Reckitt & Colman, later Reckitt Benckiser. Here I was lucky enough to work with many brilliant and wonderful people around the world, from whom I learned a great deal as I undertook a variety of challenging transformational and leadership roles.
From here, after 16 years in a couple of large corporates, it felt a natural step to move into consulting. I wanted the freedom to be creative and to be able to focus on helping people and organisations to work at their best. As with all things, there are aspects of my work I enjoy more than others, but I do love the variety and challenge, and, in particular, I love that I continually learn new things as I accompany others on their own development journeys.
Before setting up Athena 9, I worked with well-respected consultancies in Procurement, Leadership and Management, developing close ties which continue to this day. Alongside these relationships, I worked as an Associate Lecturer in a part-time role for the Open University. It was here that I was able to try out ways of transferring knowledge that drew on the latest research into how people learn, both face-to-face and online. This is something that motivated me greatly at the time and which has stood me in very good stead since, shaping the highly interactive and practical way in which I work.
Professional qualifications I have enjoyed studying for over my career include:
American Production & Inventory Control Society: Certificate in Production and Inventory Management
International Institute of Advanced Purchasing & Supply: Green Belt in Purchasing & Supply
Open University: Managing Collaboration across cultural and organisational boundaries
Open University: Certificate in Coaching at work
DiSC: Everything DiSC certified consultant