Meet the Team


John Mitchell

Group CEO

John has been Chief Executive of Enterprise First since 1997.  Following the addition of Business South into the Enterprise First Group in July 2016, John took over the role of Group Chief Executive in April 2017.

Leigh-Sara Timberlake

Champion Director

Leigh-Sara Timberlake is the Champion Director responsible for promoting Business South to companies throughout the region. She is also account manager for Champions within the Solent region, to ensure they maximise the outcome from partnering with Business South.

Anna Hales

Discover Southampton Manager

Anna has 10 year’s experience with Business South working on various successful projects, such as the development of the city’s official website, Discover Southampton which now receives 80k visits per month.
She is the main connection in the office, leads on communication and oversees strategy and projects.

Natalie Hunt

Executive Assistant / HR Forum Coordinator

Natalie's tasks as an Executive Assistant involve managing bookings for meetings and liaising with partners and stakeholders. Natalie's responsibilities also include being the HR Forum Action Group Coordinator. She joined the Business South team in June 2015. Natalie has previously worked in the hospitality industry, as a Deputy Manager for Holiday Inn Express.

Shirley Gradidge

Finance Assistant

Shirley supports the Finance Director in keeping Business South's finances in check. She joined  Business South in June 2015. She takes pride in balancing the books and pulling together financial reports as well as dealing with invoices, monitoring income and keeping an eye on expenditure. Shirley's background is in finance, events management, office administration and property management.

Kelly Dorbek

Digital Marketing Executive

A public relations graduate of Southampton Solent University, Kelly's responsibilities include looking after the Business South website and social media. Kelly joined the Business South team in August 2015. She also keeps the city’s official website up to date, as well as managing it's social media accounts.

Shirley Pinn

Event Logistics Lead


Shirley Pinn manages the logistics for the extensive event portfolio for Business South and is also the Event Director for ‘The Official Conference Bureau’, Destination Southampton Ltd.


Business South deliver over 50 events annually for our Champions including the flagship events, Local Produce Show, Opportunity Meets Talent Showcase, Regenerate South and our Annual Conference.  Shirley and her team ensure that the events hosted by Business South are delivered to a high standard, overseeing all delegate registrations, venue and supplier liaison, on-site production and post event feedback analysis.  Over 3000 delegates attend the events each year and we’re proud to report that on average we receive an overall rate of 95% good and excellent for each event.

Sophie Warren

Events Co-ordinator

Sophie works for Destination Southampton Ltd. and supports Business South Events. Registering delegates, general event administration, venue liaison and assisting with the event management.
Before joining the Business South event team, Sophie studied History at Oxford Brooks University, graduating in 2013.



Geoff Glover


Head of Talent & Skills


Prior to taking up lecturing in September 2014 at Southampton Solent University, Geoff was the head of human resources for the Ford Southampton assembly plant. In this role he oversaw the closure of the plant and the creation of two new Ford businesses in Southampton. He was responsible for developing a comprehensive social plan which helped to minimise and mitigate the impact of the plant closure. Geoff is chairman of the Business South HR Forum and a Southampton Fairness Commissioner.



Andy Swift

Area Director Surrey


Andrew has a passion for business development and is delighted to be currently working with the leadership team at Business South in the exciting expansion of their enterprise into Surrey.


Andrew worked at senior levels in the banking industry for 35 years and was involved in the SME market for the majority of his corporate career as a traditional business bank manager and regional commercial and corporate director. He really enjoys working to support the wider business community and has a passion for helping growing businesses. Over many years he has demonstrated his committed to supporting the business community shape the future of their area and the local economy. 


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